Reply by paxorion

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Posted on Parallel Clamps - Bessey or Jorgensen???

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1107 posts in 2551 days

#1 posted 01-26-2015 10:00 PM

I have Jet, Bessey, and Peachtree brand clamps. I wouldn’t say there is a perfect clamp out of the pack. Here are my thoughts on each one.
  • Jet (my review) – The Jets are great and do a phenominal job. More than half my parallel clamp collection are Jets. The trigger is both good and bad and does take a little getting used to. Handle is great but the plastic is not as comfortable as the composite materials used on the Bessey K Body REVO. The positionable foot is also very helpful when setting the clamp down on an assembly work surface for use. Worth noting that Walter Meier has had 50% off Jet parallel clamp sales on 2 Black Fridays in a row. Not sure if that means that history will repeat itself but Black Friday is a bit aways.
  • Bessey K Body REVO – I have a lot of these as well. Awesome clamp and it does a great job. I particular like the multi-faceted bar design and the handle. Smaller clamp head than the Jet and Jorgensen. Not a big fan of the plastic slide covers thou
  • Jorgensen Cabinetmaster – I shy’d away from these because I didn’t like the maple handle. It felt like something that would someday slip on me. The newer clamps feature a composite cushy plastic material, but there are what appears to be protrusions that don’t feel the best in hand. I’m also concerned that these clamps have a smooth clamp bar (like the Irwins), unlike the Jet, Bessey, and Peachtree/Groz/classic K Body.
  • Peachtree (my review (discontinued) – Clones of the original Bessey K Body but with different handles. The Peachtree went up in price since I bought them but are still a good bargain IMO.

They all do the job, but at different price points and sizes (which plays a factor based on the clamping application). Properly cut joinery won’t require crushing pressure. The bigger and heavier, the easier it is to position on a work onto it and clamp up. The smaller and lighter the easier it is to work with when you have to position and tighten the clamp off a work surface. I like having a range for my collection to pick the right ones. If I were to add more, I’d probably look to get a mix of longer length Jets (40”) if they have another sale this year. If I had to pick a good well-rounded option, I’d say Bessey K Body REVOs. I love the handle and it is a good mid-weight.

-- paxorion

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