I made a picnic basket recently, and while doing so, I exposed a serious weakness in my arsenal of spring clamps. My “regular old” spring clamps that had served me well all these years weren’t up to basket making. They applied too much pressure and dented the soft wood I used for making the basket. Yeah… I know what you’re thinking… add some pads. Trust me; I tried that. The problem is the wider you open a “standard” style spring clamp, the more pressure it applies. Just the nature of the beast. Adding pads makes the spring clamps apply even more pressure. So there I was, needing a lightweight spring clamp that allowed me to control how much pressure it would apply. Darn… is there even such a thing? Off to the internet, I went. I was pleasantly surprised to find four spring clamps made by BESSEY Tools that looked like they would fill the bill. There are two styles and two sizes in each style.
I ordered 2 of each style spring clamp for testing. I was confident they would help me in the future should I face a similar clamping dilemma. That’s how I am; I identify a problem and make sure I have a solution in place for the next time. The testing proved these clamps were just what I needed and more. Here’s what I bought and how each style works.
Ratcheting Deep Reach Spring Clamps. The smaller one on the left is a bit easier to handle, but the larger one on the right has a much greater clamping capacity. The amount of pressure these clamps apply is based on how much pressure you use to squeeze the handles together. The ratchet device locks the clamp, and the finger lever releases the pressure.
Variable Spring Clamps. The double sliding arm version is on the left, and the single sliding arm version is on the right. These are like spring clamps on steroids! The sliding arm allows you to position the jaw anywhere along the arm. That gives you increased clamping capacity, plus the ability to fine-tune the clamping pressure based on where you position the jaw on the arm.
The deep reach feature of the ratcheting style spring clamps allows you to clamp over the raised edge of an object, like here where I clamped an aluminum angle to the edge of the shelf. The angle is held in place as the screws are inserted.
The pivoting pads of the ratcheting style spring clamps are notched giving them greater flexibility for clamping oddly shaped objects. The pads of the variable-style spring clamps also pivot, but they are not notched.
The smaller ratcheting style spring clamps have a 2″ clamping capacity.
The larger ratcheting style spring clamps, and the single sliding arm variable spring clamps have a 4″ clamping capacity.
The double sliding arm variable spring clamps have an eye-popping incredible 6-3/4″ clamping capacity. WOW!
Kieffer’s Opinion. I like these clamps. I may need to retire all my old-style spring clamps. That’s a shame, but I find my hands gravitate to these new (for me) clamps whenever I need a spring clamp. They are much more versatile than basic spring clamps, have nice soft pads and grip handles, and are solidly built high-quality clamps. I’m sold!
Photos By Author
Ratcheting spring clamp, deep reach, clamping capacity 2″ #XCRG2
Ratcheting spring clamp, deep reach, clamping capacity 4″ #SCRG4
Variable spring clamp, single sliding arm, clamping capacity 4″ # XV5-100
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