Parallel Clamps , anybody other than Bessey or Jorgensen

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Forum topic by Richard posted 09-04-2011 02:22 AM 3832 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1944 posts in 3765 days

09-04-2011 02:22 AM

Is there anyone other than Bessey or Joregensen that make decent Parallel clamps at an aforadable price ?
I have looked at both of these at different places and they are very costly ( I know you get what you pay for ) for the number of clamps I would like to get it would just be to much and I don’t need 40 or 50 clamps just 10 or 20 at the most but the price of these brands seems way to high. There has to be a good brand out there somewhere that won’t break the bank. Come on guys and girls someone has to know where they can be bought and not have to pay super high $$ for good clamps.

17 replies so far

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 4000 days

#1 posted 09-04-2011 02:56 AM

You can certainly pay less, but that’s what you end up with too…

Bessey has another line of parallel clamps with reduced clamping pressure, and they are about $10.00 per clamp less, if that helps.

I have had Bessey K clamps for years, never regretted buying them.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5172 days

#2 posted 09-04-2011 02:59 AM

I have the Bessey clamps as well. I bought them a few clamps at a time over a couple of years.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View surfin2's profile


51275 posts in 4210 days

#3 posted 09-04-2011 03:53 AM

Bessey are has beens, Jet is better than Bessey hands down I have both when Jet was awards #1 Parellel clamp I stopped buying Bessey. I’m sure glad that I did….
I’ve brought out both clamps and had the person tighten the Bessey, untighten it…
Tighten the Jet, untighten it, which do you prefer…. I’m batting 100 % with JET ALL THE WAY…
I wait when they go on sale & get them online….

-- Rick

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3964 days

#4 posted 09-04-2011 04:12 AM

I used Besseys for years, was given 6 pair of Jets as a retirement gift. I still use them all but the Jets are first off of the rack. BTW, I haven’t bought any parrell clamps in the last 3 years.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3673 days

#5 posted 09-04-2011 04:33 AM

Woodcraft sells a set of 4 for $100 from time to time . 2 24”, 2 40”. Not bessey or jet, but much less cost.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4233 days

#6 posted 09-04-2011 05:22 AM

Ditto on the Woodcrafts. The 40” clamps are normally $30 each on-line. That’s a good price for such a good clamp.

-- jay,

View Pick's profile


30 posts in 4107 days

#7 posted 09-04-2011 05:33 AM

i got a great deal on two Irwin 24” and two 48” clamps. Very comfortable grip, and very sturdy clamp. No complaints here. They also sit next to some besseys and jets. Very pleased with all of them.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


20772 posts in 4750 days

#8 posted 09-04-2011 09:39 AM

What makes the Jets so much better?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6963 posts in 3568 days

#9 posted 09-04-2011 01:59 PM

While I own 4 types of these clamps, in 3 brands; I have no Jets. But they have one feature I wish I had on all of mine, that finger lock you release to move the head. After having all of the others (except my Gros Stabils) slide down and pinch my fingers more than once I can understand the value of it. The Jets seem to be a little less costly as well…..

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 3905 days

#10 posted 09-04-2011 02:55 PM

I have Besseys (old style, no Revo’s), a couple of Jets, and recently purchased 8 of the Wood River (Woodcraft) to give them a try. They were on sale and what the heck..
The Besseys are my go to clamps. Probably do to the fact they are just what I’m use to using. The little release lever on the Jets are just annoying to me. You have to squeeze them just the right amount to get them to release. Again, not what I’m accustom to. The Wood River’s are Bessey copy’s but much less quality. The screws are not near as smooth as the Besseys and the parallel heads are skewed by a couple degrees from each other but do remain parallel. From experience with other clamps, c-clamps, f-clamps, etc., with these apparently zinc or chrome coated screws, they don’t perform well in the long run. Not near as smooth as the acme style screw threads.
As usual, you get what you pay for. Get the best you can afford.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4149 days

#11 posted 09-04-2011 03:34 PM

Several years ago I bought 6 cheap parallel clamps on e-bay. I only have 2 now because the rest broke. There is nothing cheap about buying 6 clamps to end up with only 2 clamps that I don’t trust to use. A good clamp should last forever.

I now have a nice collection of Bessey, Irwin and Jorgenson and I use all of them.

However, if my objective was to get good, solid, dependable clamps at a reasonable price, I recommend pipe clamps. They may seem to be a little more awkward to use at first, but once you have some experience with them, they really are great to work with.

Here are some great pipe clamps. Don’t buy the pipe from Rockler. Go to your local hardward store and buy basic black pipe for a fraction of the cost.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Richard's profile


1944 posts in 3765 days

#12 posted 09-04-2011 05:00 PM

Thanks for all the input guys. I think I might check out the ones from woodcraft since there is store nearby and also take a look athe Jets as well, but I don’t like buying online unles I have already had my hands on the tools before. It a pain to return them if you end up not likeing them.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


20772 posts in 4750 days

#13 posted 09-04-2011 08:25 PM

Rich I’m not a very experienced woodworking, but I have always wondered why spend gillions on clamps when pipe claps see to work just fine.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View maljr1980's profile


171 posts in 3530 days

#14 posted 09-04-2011 11:36 PM

jet ftw! the jorgensens look and feel cheaper than the besseys or the jets, and i like the older bessey k bodys over the new revo k bodies

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 4000 days

#15 posted 09-05-2011 12:16 AM

maljr, I have to agree with you on the older K clamps.

I was selected to participate in a survey / test of Bessey clamps, they sent me a few boxes of clamps for trial, and although (as I mentioned above) they have a new line that is a bit smaller and may suit some situations better, I still like the original K clamps.

Topa, I think the K clamps are jus’ finer! :)

I know a lot of people love them, I am not one of those.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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