Bessey Clamps Get The Job Done

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Review by pintodeluxe posted 10-15-2012 09:41 PM 5388 views 0 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bessey Clamps Get The Job Done No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Great handle is easy to grip.
Easy to release.
Bar has decent rigidity.
Large clamp pad surface area.

Difficult to engage clamping pressure – clamps often won’t “bite” then you are forced to reset the threads and try again. This usually occurs during a glueup, when time is of the essence.
Nothing holds the moveable clamp head in position when not in use. Occasionally that part will slide down the bar and slam into the fixed head. Most clamps have triggers to prevent this annoying problem.
They don’t perform as well as my Bessey 1/2” H body pipe clamps.

They do work, and I use them frequently for desk frame and table glueups. The mechanism that engages the clamps takes some getting used to, but all in all a good clamp.

(upgraded to 4 stars after extended use)

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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6520 posts in 4153 days

33 comments so far

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228 posts in 3679 days

#1 posted 10-15-2012 10:41 PM

I really felt the same way about them having trouble biting until i realised that I wasnt using them correctly.. I spent a bit of time really looking at the mechanism until I figured it out and now have no issue.

-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4648 days

#2 posted 10-16-2012 01:02 AM

You have to apply downward pressure on the handle for them to get a good grab. I have 12 of the bessey clamps and 12 of the jet clamps and I do prefer the jet since they are much heavier and solid feeling…but when i just need a lighter clamp the bessey does just fine. I have some of the 12” bessey revo jr. clamps and find the good in many situations.

View Manitario's profile


2818 posts in 4223 days

#3 posted 10-16-2012 01:21 AM

I own a couple of these clamps; they are not my favourite! Any glue spilt on the bar will be +++difficult to clean off due to the treads. I much prefer my Jorgenson clamps with their smooth bar for this reason.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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1405 posts in 3837 days

#4 posted 10-16-2012 02:36 AM

These are some of the most annoyingly expensive clamps in the world. Great in some ways but I’ll agree with you on the problems. And I have looked and looked and tried and tried on the mechanism but when you need them in a clutch they almost always fail. Speaking of clutch, I also have the Jorgensen Cabinet Master equivalents and find them superior in every respect. But both of them make me insane with the itty bitty screw length. By the time you engage there is no travel left and you must release, thread back and try agian. Would it kill you to put a 3” thread on these things!!! What would it cost!!? Sheesh.

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4274 days

#5 posted 10-16-2012 05:21 AM

I have 8 of them.

I also experience the same issues.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Ken90712's profile


18106 posts in 4529 days

#6 posted 10-16-2012 04:35 PM

I’m a jet fan as well. Love them. Hope it works out for ya.

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

View ducky911's profile


237 posts in 4129 days

#7 posted 10-16-2012 11:01 PM

i like my bessys…cheapest price is at the local hardware store…don’t know why…have to pay sale tax but free shipping osh hardware.

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 3583 days

#8 posted 10-16-2012 11:39 PM

Thanks for the review. I was shopping around for 24” and 48” parallel clamps and was eyeing those Besseys. I’ve got some Jorgensen Cabinet Masters that I absolutely love because they are solid and just plain work. So maybe I’ll stick to those.

Pipe clamps sound good though so maybe I’ll try some of those too.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

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117 posts in 4521 days

#9 posted 10-17-2012 01:30 AM

I have both the Jet and the Bessey and totally agree with your review. I do find the Jet is a little sticky when trying to slide the clamp, but otherwise it is a better clamp. The only real problem I have is there isn’t local store that sells the Jet. Home Depot used to sell them a couple of years ago, but no more. Lowes only sells the Bessey.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 4241 days

#10 posted 10-17-2012 01:42 AM

I’m with the Jet crowd. I love my parallel clamps. They are a joy to use.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3938 days

#11 posted 10-17-2012 01:46 AM

I agree with most of the above comments, tough to get them to engage, when they do, you find yourself out of threads too often. Plus the head sliding around is annoying too. I need to try some Jet clamps. Not sure I have ever heard a bad word about these.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4030 days

#12 posted 10-17-2012 02:08 AM

I have the Jorgensen and Bessey parallel jaw clamps and like the Jorgensens best for all the reasons you cited plus the Jorgys are easier to clean glue off of as Rob mentioned.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4917 days

#13 posted 10-17-2012 02:14 AM

I agree with the group ,I have at least 30 Bessey’s and I wish they were all Jets.


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Johnny Boy

76 posts in 4559 days

#14 posted 10-17-2012 02:23 AM

I have to join the group. I have some “Langevin & Forest” clones and thought it was related to that fact.
But it looks that even the expensive ones have the same slippy problem.
Even with heavy downward pressure, they fail 50% of time.

-- Johnny Boy

View scott_t's profile


1 post in 3388 days

#15 posted 10-17-2012 03:04 AM

I have some stanley cabinet clamps that I bought at big lots several years ago. They were cheap and really heavy. And I mean heavy. But you can clamp them down and they never move. I also have some jors and they are much lighter than the stanleys but i prefer the stanleys. Link to the one I am talking about

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