When you’re trying to secure something to a tabletop or easel, C clamps are among the most efficient ways to get the job done. This tool is often used in carpentry, but artists have commandeered it as well to suit their purposes. Named for its shape, the clamp has an open end that is crossed by a screw; by twisting a small perpendicular bar, this screw can be extended or retracted to increase or reduce the opening’s size. Ahead, find the five C clamps that we think will perform best in your studio, workshop, or office.
1. Bessey Tools CM20 Drop Forged C Clamp
For some projects, all you need is a little extra help. A 2-inch C clamp is perfect for such situations. This one, made of steel with a galvanized finish, features a 2-inch-wide opening that is adjusted with a smoothly threaded spindle. For small jobs, it’s much less cumbersome than its larger siblings and works well in affixing boards to each other or mounting small tools to a tabletop.
2. Tekton 6-Inch C Clamp
This clamp is 6 inches at maximum opening and works well for large and small jobs alike. It is made of malleable iron and features a swivel jaw pad that floats in a low-resistance ball-and-socket joint to ensure that pressure is applied evenly when tightened, compensating for surfaces that are not perfectly flat or flush with one another. The same clamp is also available in sizes ranging from a tiny 1 inch to a massive 12 inches.
3. Leadrise Universal C Clamp
This C clamp is made largely of aluminum alloy, which makes it a lighter option than some of our other picks. There is a no-slip rubber pad at the end of the screw bar, which helps prevent any movement when the clamp is fastened. This particular style of C clamp is especially useful in securing tools and devices like cameras and lights to tables and desktops. It is adjustable via a screw knob and opens to a maximum of 1.8 inches. It also has different-sized screw holes, at ¼ inch and 3/8 inch, so you can screw a tool into the clamp itself.
4. Irwin Quick-Grip C Clamp
If you are looking for a strong C clamp that will get the largest of jobs done, consider this one, which has an opening of up to 8 inches, so you can easily secure something really big to a tabletop or other surface. The clamp is made of cast iron and features a larger handle than earlier versions in order to apply more torque when tightening the clamp while reducing hand fatigue. The screw is also double-threaded to reduce deflection.
5. Wilton Amp Series Carriage C-Clamp Kit
This kit includes Wilton’s heaviest-duty clamp in four popular sizes, with maximum openings of 2.5, 4, 6, and 8 inches. The frames are made of high strength ductile iron castings with black oxide coating and are, in fact, the brand’s heaviest-duty clamp available. Each one features a clean, black oxide coating, oscillating ball-and-socket tip, and sliding cross-pin handle for maximum leverage. These clamps are the perfect balance of strength and easy handling.