first set of parallel clamps - 50" or 40"?

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Forum topic by jimmy J posted 03-27-2015 01:35 AM 1365 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimmy J

229 posts in 2741 days

03-27-2015 01:35 AM

they seem to be the same price at HD (and cheaper than the Rockler sales price). which size would you get? i know it depends upon what i plan to make, but who knows.

16 replies so far

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3054 days

#1 posted 03-27-2015 02:30 AM

Same price? Get the big ones. You can use the 50” on a 40” project. You can’t use the 40” on a 50” project.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 2042 days

#2 posted 03-27-2015 02:35 AM

I have to many long clamps and not near enough short ones. Whenever I clamp something up I spend the next hour dodging the longer bars. The lengths I tend to reach for the most are 24” and 30” since they fit well on my workbench.

View CharlesA's profile


3381 posts in 2159 days

#3 posted 03-27-2015 02:53 AM

Same here. I love having long clamps, but I end up using 24” clamps 75% of the time.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View waho6o9's profile


8638 posts in 2939 days

#4 posted 03-27-2015 02:56 AM

Get a pair of each, you’ll use em.

View TimberMagic's profile


114 posts in 1541 days

#5 posted 03-27-2015 03:16 AM

Rockler has a sale of the Bessey Revo Clamp Set. You get two 40”, two 24”, and 4 KP blocks for $164.95. And they have free shipping thru 4/7 on a $25 purchase. Even on sale, those items total about $213.

-- Lee

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1584 days

#6 posted 03-27-2015 03:56 AM

Better to have and not need. Plenty of times I end up using longer clamps to make up for not enough shorter ones. Can’t do that with short ones.

-- I meant to do that!

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1883 days

#7 posted 03-27-2015 03:56 AM

Same here. I love having long clamps, but I end up using 24” clamps 75% of the time.

- CharlesA

I agree. I use my 24” and 18” clamps more than anything.

View Robert's profile


3371 posts in 1842 days

#8 posted 03-27-2015 10:55 AM

Guess it really depends on the type of work you’re doing but for the average person, I wouldn’t spend the coin on long clamps.

In my experience, they’ll spend 90% of their time on the rack while you’re wishing you had just 2 more 24” ones.

I use 60” pipe clamps for my long glue ups. You can even put two together for really long ones.

For the price of one long clamp you can probably have 4 pipe clamps.

The advice is good – save your money and focus on 18 and 24” clamps.

I bought a bunch of 24” clamps on sale and wish I had some 18’s and even 12’s.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View DaveHaughs's profile


11 posts in 1522 days

#9 posted 03-27-2015 01:16 PM

Buy them both :)

You’ll get a million (maybe a few less) opinions on this. For me I used them all pretty equally. It really depends on what you are building.

I ran into a problem last night that even my long clamps were not long enough :) I’m not a fan of pipe clamps but they work, I should probably get a couple or more for big glue ups. I use parallel clamps for everything.

Bottom line you will NEVER have enough clamps. But you can get creative

View knotscott's profile


8277 posts in 3737 days

#10 posted 03-27-2015 01:38 PM

Same here. I love having long clamps, but I end up using 24” clamps 75% of the time.

- CharlesA


-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View JayT's profile


6160 posts in 2573 days

#11 posted 03-27-2015 02:33 PM

Totally agree with the others. I have a couple 50 inch parallel clamps, but always reach for (and run out of) the 24 inchers first. If you plan on doing a lot of large projects that require 50 inch clamps, then get them. Otherwise, it’s better to focus on shorter ones.

-- In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2407 days

#12 posted 03-27-2015 02:39 PM

Depends on the projects you do. Longer will give you more options, but parallel clamps are very heavy. I bought my first set (2×24” and 2×40”) and found out the hard way just how heavy and tippy long parallel clamps can be. I find that 80% of my projects call for 24-31” parallel clamps, which makes up more than half of my collection.

Now with all that being said. if you’re just starting your collection, the 50” from HD are a better bargain than the 40”. However, I’ve found more uses for my 40” than my 50”/60” parallel clamps. That is…I have yet to use my 50”/60”.

-- paxorion

View frosty50's profile


46 posts in 2709 days

#13 posted 03-27-2015 02:57 PM

There an old saying “you can never have enough clamps, you always need on more.” That said, I have over 150 bar clamps, F style and parallels. There have been several times that I had to use everyone to get the job done. Buy what you can afford, look for good deals at the stores, yard sales, etc., and build your collection. The major of mine are 24” and 36” bar clamps, but there are times when having F and parallel are needed. Storage does become a problem with a large collection, something movable works well so the clamps can be close to your working area.

-- frosty

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1937 days

#14 posted 03-27-2015 05:15 PM

I just bought some 12” because the 24’ get in the way if I need to clamp to the bench.
If your building large case goods or tables get some 50” and if they are at a hard to walk away from price get a few.
I would go with the herd here and get lots of 18”-30” clamps.
I grew up on bar clamps ,C clamps and wooden clamps in wood shop,I like pony bar clamps! I like the crank handle as I don’t have that great of a grip.
I like bar clamps because you can get some 12” pipe,18,24,60’ pipe and you just take the fittings off one and put it on what ever size you need.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5507 posts in 2855 days

#15 posted 03-27-2015 05:20 PM

The long ones can always be made into shorter, if they cost the same you don’t lose anything. I recently turned a couple of 24” Besseys into 12” ones.

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

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