An F-clamp is similar to a C-clamp but generally has a larger opening, allowing it to be used on larger stacks of material. The clamp itself features two equal-sized horizontal bars that are joined together on a longer vertical bar, along which one or the other slides to open and close the space between the two. There is a large screw positioned on the lower bar, which allows for tightening or loosening to your heart’s content. Made of both metal and plastic and sold in a wide range of sizes and adjustment methods, not all F-clamps are created equal. Ahead, find the top five F-clamps on Amazon, as approved by ARTnews.
1. Maxpower Heavy-Duty F Clamp
If you’re looking for the best, classic option, consider this mid-sized, metal F-clamp. The throat opens up to 4.75 inches, with the whole clamp measuring 12 inches from tip to tail. The entire structure is made of steel, with a black oxide spindle that will resist wear, tear, and rust. The unique aspect of this F-clamp, however, is the swivel pad that will easily center on your workspace for a sturdy hold that presents equal pressure to all aspects. And, while it’s certainly not the lightest-weight option (at just under three pounds), it’s totally manageable, especially for its level of strength output.
2. Irwin Bar Clamp
This F-clamp has quite a large range, compared to its counterparts, measuring up to 12 inches fully opened. It’s made of steel, making it strong and durable, though features a soft grip that is larger and more ergonomic than others, to help avoid hand fatigue when lightening and loosening the tool. The I-beam bar design reduces flexing and bowing, which is especially important when the clamp is open at a larger capacity versus a smaller one. The clutch plates are also slightly larger than most, allowing for easier release and increasing the dependability of the tool as a whole.
3. Wilton Classic Series F-Clamp Kit
As educators often love a mixed bag, this comes as no exception. This particular F-clamp set includes the four most popular sizes, ranging from 4 to 12 inches in maximum opening. These clamps are all made of forged steel, which makes them both strong and slightly more lightweight than some of their competitors. Each clamp is outfitted with a black oxide spindle that will resist wear and tear as it’s screwed this way and that with use. They also resist flex with everything except the heaviest of workloads.
4. Bessey General Purpose Clamp
This affordable option is great for small jobs, as it opens to a maximum of only four inches. That said, it features the classic F-clamp design that ensures not only strength but also easy handling. This clamp comes complete with an ergonomic-grip wood handle as well as a protective non-marking cap. The clamp itself is made of steel, ensuring its strength, even at such a small size. Sturdy as it might be, however, it’s best used on smaller projects, due to its size. It also boasts a lifetime warranty against any defects in workmanship.
5. Jorgensen Steel Bar Clamp Set
This dual set features an eight-inch and a 12-inch F-clamp. They are each made of steel and boast a whopping 300-pound load limit. As such, they are fairly heavy-duty and the preferred styles of professionals. The handles are made of an ergonomic rubber grip that is comfortable as well as slip-proof when tightening the jaws of the clamps themselves. The steel bar is rust-resistant, making it strong, durable, and able to stand the test of time. And, to ensure that you don’t damage your workspaces, each steel screw and clamp head is capped with a soft plastic pad.