Good, low cost toggle clamps at Harbor Freight

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Review by Craftsman on the lake posted 08-27-2009 07:08 PM 13946 views 2 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Good, low cost toggle clamps at Harbor Freight Good, low cost toggle clamps at Harbor Freight No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Just sharing this. When something raises my eyebrows and gets me thinking then maybe it’s worth passing on. I’m going to talk bang for buck. I hope you don’t mind.

Yup, I’ve got a few harbor freight tools but not much. I’ve had mixed luck with them. But a friend let me see one of these toggle clamps. I have some from a wood store and I must say, they are very similar but not identical and but both seem to be of the same quality. They’re probably both from the same factory in China. Just a guess. The difference is the price.

The first picture above is the clamp from harbor freight for $4.99 some are $3.99 and the second is from (I won’t mention the name, woodworking store) for $14.99. The wood store ones vary in price by design/size from $11.99 up.

I love these clamps in jigs but often just use a bolt with a wood block or a regular clamp because I just can’t justify $15-$45 per jig outfitting them with these clamps. I’m fairly frugal, I have to be, as most of you are I’m sure. 10 clamps for $40-$50 compared to 10 clamps for around $150. I think I’ll be making jigs I don’t even need. It’ll be nice having a box full of these in the corner for when I need one instead of taking a trip to the store and staring at a clamp on the wall of tools wondering if it’s a good $15 or more well spent just for a jig.

On the linked page above is one style clamp. If you look lower on that page you’ll see links to three other clamps, both vertical and horizontal varieties.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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Craftsman on the lake

3332 posts in 4207 days

18 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4497 days

#1 posted 08-27-2009 07:23 PM

the trick to buying these in advance is deciding if you will probably need horizontal locking or vertical locking mechanisms. I got two of each just in case. lol.

View PurpLev's profile


8572 posts in 4418 days

#2 posted 08-27-2009 07:28 PM

Cool, thanks for the link, I have a few of those I got at the “woodworking store” when they were on sale for ~$6/7 each if IIRC, and I have to think twice before bolting them permanently to a jig as I’m trying to use them for jigs that I would use the most… so far they are still in the bag (for the past year)... I would have def. made a larger purchase for less $$$ from HF and not have to worry about it if I knew any sooner… maybe I still will.

-- 抍 When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4055 days

#3 posted 08-27-2009 10:53 PM

Purp, screws and bolts also Unscrew if you change the direction of your driver—LOL (Sorry for the sarcasm, I couldn’t help myself)
Go ahead and use them. I change mine around all the time.

Craftsman, this is one time I agree that Harbor Freight is good value.


View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4183 days

#4 posted 08-28-2009 12:29 AM

I am glad to hear you like them. I have 4 of them on order from HF now and I would hate to hear they were no good.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4791 days

#5 posted 08-28-2009 12:37 AM

Desta co has had a very comfortable nd perhaps deserved living from this quick change technology but lets face it , it’s a bit much considering the number of endusers and the relatively low investment in dies.
Greed is loosing jobs over here.
Let’s start to complete on quality.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dusty56's profile


11858 posts in 4457 days

#6 posted 08-28-2009 04:56 AM

I’ve had nothing but excellent results from my HF toggles so far . I always keep an eye on their flyer for these to come on sale again…that’s right ..even less money for a quality product : )
Soon I’ll have at least four of each size and for the price it doesn’t really matter if they hang around waiting to be used. They actually have more sizes to choose from at my local store than are on their website.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4128 days

#7 posted 08-28-2009 05:00 AM

Wow, if you use the 20% off coupon, these become a real bargain. Thanks for the post!!

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4346 days

#8 posted 08-28-2009 05:27 AM

Thanks for the heads up


View PurpLev's profile


8572 posts in 4418 days

#9 posted 08-28-2009 03:49 PM

Kent – where are you getting your screws/bolts? also from HF? mine say “turn this way only” (sorry, couldn’t resist)

-- 抍 When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4004 days

#10 posted 08-29-2009 11:10 AM

Nice, I’ve been looking at making crosscut and taper jigs, these will be ordered for that :) Their hold down clamps are quite cheaper than that other place too.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View RKW's profile


328 posts in 4216 days

#11 posted 08-29-2009 05:22 PM

Harbor freight is a great store. The quality is usually questionable on power tools. I have even had some problems with hand tools. Having said that it is still one of my favorite stores. In my opinion, you can not beat their clamps. I have not purchased any toggle clamps, but all of my bar clamps and c-clamps have been purchased there for very reasonable prices and i have had no problems with them.

-- RKWoods

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328 posts in 4216 days

#12 posted 08-29-2009 05:24 PM

oh, and dont waist your time and money there on saw blades if your looking for a quality cut.

-- RKWoods

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4128 days

#13 posted 08-30-2009 04:01 AM

I have to amend my earlier post. The coupon from HF is 20% off “a single item”. So, unless you have several coupons, the deal isn’t quite as good.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View tomd's profile


2218 posts in 4539 days

#14 posted 08-31-2009 02:34 AM

Last summer these hold downs when on sale at HF for $3 each and I bought a dozen in several styles, they work very good. I also had purchased the $15 wood store ones and when I saw they were comparible I jumped on them.

-- Tom D

View dustyal's profile


1319 posts in 4244 days

#15 posted 09-03-2009 02:46 AM

My entertainment when I visited my mother-in-law was to shop HF store in her town. I always pick up some expendables cheap (sandpaper, brushes, etc). On one trip I got these clamps… on sale… had no need for them at the time. Later I saw how much they were for the same clamp at brand name woodworker store.

This last trip, I got dial caliper with decimal and fractions… on sale… cheap plus sound protection and dusk mask. As little as I use such tools, they pay off. Don’t need super durability and accuracy.

I’ve looked over power tools… but just won’t go there for those. I can spend hours browsing through the store… and make it home by dinner… LOL.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

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