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You get what you pay for...and in this case, less

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Review by cmacnaughton posted 11-01-2019 01:25 PM 1559 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
You get what you pay for...and in this case, less No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought these clamps based solely on the price. I have longer Dubuque bar clamps which are fantastic. These Wood River clamps were half the price of the 24” Dubuques at Woodcraft, so I figured how bad could they be?

Pretty bad, actually. Having now tried to use them twice, if I saw them for $5 each at a garage sale I would not buy them. The cast iron heads are poorly machined to the point where I had a pile of metal shavings beneath them after trying (unsuccessfully) to tighten them down for a panel glue-up (cutting board).

The handles/tension bars on these clamps have cap nuts on both ends that do not stay tight, so when you’re spinning the bars, the nuts have a tendency to come loose and roll under the nearest bench or cart. Yeah, I know I can add locktite or super glue, but I shouldn’t have to.

Lesson learned. I’ll stick with Dubuque bar clamps or pipe clamps.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice




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cmacnaughton

181 posts in 418 days



18 comments so far

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mnguy

303 posts in 4172 days


#1 posted 11-01-2019 06:29 PM

It is always frustrating when retailers choose to include these types of low quality / poorly designed items in their owned-brands. Woodcraft diminishes their entire brand with stuff like this.

I have very similar clamps that I got from Lee Valley ~15 years ago, and they have been rock solid. The only annoyance was the jaw pads kept falling off, which I fixed with a dab of latex caulk under each pad. Too bad the Wood River versions of today aren’t similar in quality.

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cmmyakman

286 posts in 3430 days


#2 posted 11-01-2019 07:53 PM

”...so I figured how bad could they be? Pretty bad, actually.” That was pretty funny. Thank you for the review.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

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BurlyBob

7612 posts in 3039 days


#3 posted 11-04-2019 04:06 PM

Thanks, good to know where not to waste my money.

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WoodenDreams

1067 posts in 684 days


#4 posted 11-06-2019 01:32 AM

Personally I like this style clamp. Because of the weight, these aluminum U-bar clamps are easier to handle verses the steel pipe clamps. I have quite a few of the 24”, 36” 48” and 60” aluminum U-bar clamps.

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cmacnaughton

181 posts in 418 days


#5 posted 11-06-2019 01:36 AM



Personally I like this style clamp. Because of the weight, these aluminum U-bar clamps are easier to handle verses the steel bar clamps. I have quite a few of the 24”, 36” 48” and 60” aluminum U-bar clamps.

- WoodenDreams


I love this style of clamp as well. This particular brand, however, is absolute garbage. I am returning 4 of them to Woodcraft this weekend and getting 2 Dubuques in exchange. The Dubuques are fantastic.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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WoodenDreams

1067 posts in 684 days


#6 posted 11-06-2019 03:52 AM

All of mine are from HF. same as the clamps your disappointed with.

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cmacnaughton

181 posts in 418 days


#7 posted 11-06-2019 04:38 AM



All of mine are from HF. same as the clamps your disappointed with.

- WoodenDreams


These are not from Harbor Freight. They are from Woodcraft as I mentioned in my review. If they are the “same” then I got FOUR lemons. What are the odds of that?

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

View Ramma's profile

Ramma

11 posts in 632 days


#8 posted 11-06-2019 12:05 PM

I too bought two of these at my local Woodcraft about a year ago. I snapped the cast clamp head clean in two whilst gluing up pieces for a cutting board. I will say though, I called the 1-800 number for woodcraft customer support and they were fantastic. No questions asked other than my transaction number on my receipt. Mailed me a new one and received it in four days. Great customer service.

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Ken90712

17877 posts in 3962 days


#9 posted 11-06-2019 01:12 PM

I bought two of these from Rockler yrs ago, I agree waste of money and flimsy. Sorry you went through it as well. Jet are my go to clamps now.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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jimintx

934 posts in 2358 days


#10 posted 11-11-2019 06:59 PM

I am not sure what some of the above posts are trying to say about the HF version of these very clamps.

I have several of those from HF, and a few of the same design, Sure-Foot aluminum bar clamps from Rockler. I think they are all equally useful, and can’t see any reason to complain about the ones I have. They are light weight, low-to-mid pressure clamps, which is exactly what I expected them to be.

Of course, compared to some big, pricey Bessey K-body parallel claps they aren’t the same.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View cmacnaughton's profile

cmacnaughton

181 posts in 418 days


#11 posted 11-11-2019 07:07 PM



I am not sure what some of the above posts are trying to say about the HF version of these very clamps.

I have several of those from HF, and a few of the same design, Sure-Foot aluminum bar clamps from Rockler. I think they are all equally useful, and can t see any reason to complain about the ones I have. They are light weight, low-to-mid pressure clamps, which is exactly what I expected them to be.

Of course, compared to some big, pricey Bessey K-body parallel claps they aren t the same.

- jimintx


I can only review products I have specifically used. In this case, the clamps noted, from Woodcraft with the Wood River branding. While I cannot say with any degree of certainty that these are the same as the clamps sold by Harbor Freight, can say with absolute certainty that the clamps I purchased are substandard in manufacture and quality. They are demonstrably inferior to the same size clamps made by Dubuque, albeit for half the price of the Dubuques. I stand by my assertion that I would have been better served by spending twice as much on the Dubuques. As for Bessey or other parallel clamps, I plead ignorance. They are even more expensive than the Dubuques and I do not own any. Now I’m realizing I need to write a separate review of those OUTSTANDING Dubuque clamps.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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Moron

5048 posts in 4667 days


#12 posted 11-24-2019 10:59 PM

9 out of ten reviews get 4 out of 5 stars
1 is rare and they are the ones I read

Makes me wonder why wonder bread is the best seller and McDonalds burgers never technically rot ? And billions buy them ?

1 is a good review cause its always honest in a perspective they lived through

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Moron

5048 posts in 4667 days


#13 posted 11-24-2019 11:09 PM

Everyone wants to convince themselves they couldn’t possibly have made a bad choice and bought the wrong tool at the wrong time until you ...... smile

.theres nothing else you can do but wait and count their fingers and hope u got to ten

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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cmacnaughton

181 posts in 418 days


#14 posted 11-24-2019 11:30 PM



9 out of ten reviews get 4 out of 5 stars
1 is rare and they are the ones I read

Makes me wonder why wonder bread is the best seller and McDonalds burgers never technically rot ? And billions buy them ?

1 is a good review cause its always honest in a perspective they lived through

- Moron


I’ve done my share of 4 and 5 star reviews. I have rarely written a review this bad. Some have taken issue, but I stand by it.

-- –Chuck M. Nutmegger by choice

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Moron

5048 posts in 4667 days


#15 posted 11-25-2019 12:21 AM

There is certain sense of satisfaction buying the ikea kit and even of the result of assembly isnt exactly like the photo we exalt ourselves in job well done

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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