Whether you are a carpenter by profession or just enjoy recreational DIY woodworking as a hobby, the pain-staking task of holding delicate materials in place should be all too familiar. Spring clamps solve the problem that larger clamps cannot. Functioning as a clip, spring clamps can be used both domestically around the house and during projects. To help you figure out which spring clamp is perfect for you, we’ve put together a list of the best spring clamps available on the market in 2023.
Whether you are a creative person with a passion for photography and woodworking, an outdoors enthusiast who enjoys camping, or a homebody who enjoys doing arts and crafts projects in their home shop, we are here to help you choose the best, good-quality spring clamps in 2023 to keep you (and your pocket) happy.
Also called pinch clamps or hand clamps, spring clamps in their basic form consist of two jaws held under tension by a metal spring, The jaws clamp down on both sides of any material to keep it in place. The spring clamp is commonly used for both professional and domestic tasks, which makes it a go-to tool for most DIY projects. They may especially come in handy when gluing, backdropping, or sewing. However, figuring out which spring clamp to invest in can be a confusing task- which is why we have prepared this buying guide to help you make your decision with confidence.
Sizing in Spring Clamps
Spring clamps come in a variety of sizes, and it can be easy to get lost in the different dimensions if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. When purchasing a spring clamp it is essential to be aware of the sizing and whether it is appropriate for your task.
Usually available online in a pack of ten or twenty, this spring clamp is a mini but mighty tool useful in situations where space is tight. The opening is just large enough to forcefully hold materials down but small enough to fit into spaces larger clamps cannot access. However, the clamp is very small and not the best choice for projects where a greater clamping force or jaw opening is required. To help visualize its size, imagine a spring clamp that fits into the palm of your hand.
Small- 3.75” and 4.5”
Despite being smaller than your average spring clamp, the three to five-inch long spring clamps pack a lot of strength and come in very handy. This size is perfect for those who are looking for spring clamps to help out in the photo studio. Activities like securing backdrops on standard photography background stands are where a good heavy-duty spring clamp is ideal. This helps you focus on the shoot itself rather than worrying about technicalities.
6 inches in length is the standard size for most spring clamps and is the best choice for those looking to buy a spring clamp for woodworking and carpentry. This size spring clamp is most commonly used for the task of fastening materials in place while gluing so the adhesive sets properly. If you are interested in a spring clamp that will be heavy-duty and assist you in various DIY projects, then this is the size for you.
The larger spring clamps are when you need a spring clamp that is a little more heavy-duty and firm than standard. For holding down material like tarp or securing wooden boards that are thicker in diameter, a larger spring clamp may be the better option. However, these can often be difficult to grasp with one hand due to their length so make sure a large clamp is what you really need!
What Is Jaw Opening?
After size, the jaw opening will help you figure out which spring clamp will be most useful for your project. Some spring clamps only open up to 1 inch while others can have an opening of 4 inches. If the jaw of the spring clamp is unable to wrap around the material you want to hold down, then you won’t be able to use it.
How To Decide Which Material Is Best
Before committing to buying a spring clamp, make sure its material is compatible with your project. If you are looking for a product that will withstand wear and tear then a spring clamp made of plastic would not be a good option. Nylon spring clamps are best for most small tasks while muslin is more heavy-duty. Metal spring clamps are the best option if you are looking for something more long-term.
This video from Stumpy Nubs may be able to help you figure out which type of spring clamp is best for you:
The Importance of Clamping Pressure and Flexibility
The best spring clamp is one that clamps with great clamping force without making you break into a sweat in the process. Flexible handles and a strong grip are essential to getting the job done and should be high on your list of priorities when buying a spring clamp. A well-designed spring clamp built with high-quality materials is what you should be on the lookout for.
Parts of a Spring Clamp
A spring clamp has two jaws responsible for holding on to the material that is to be clamped. Jaws often have PVC-coated or rubber tips at the end of them to protect the material from being damaged or marred in the clamping process. Sometimes these tips are adjustable and can swivel to hold odd-shaped material down at the best angle.
There are two handles in a spring clamp. Placing slight pressure on the handle opens the jaws of the clamp. A good spring clamp does not have slippery handles. You will find that handles are often coated in PVC or rubber. This is to protect your skin from injury.
This is where spring clamps get their name from. All spring clamps have a coiled spring positioned between their jaws and handles. The spring is what keeps the jaws of the spring clamp closed until pressure is applied to its handles.
Most spring clamps available online are either too small or too big. For users who need spring clamps to use in both domestic ways around the house as well as in woodworking projects, the size range of WORKRPO’s 16 piece set is incredibly useful. The set includes 6 PC 3-3/8″ clamps, 6 PC 4-1/2″ clamps, and 4 PC 6-1/2″ clamps.
The springs are sturdy and strong, and the handle allows for a firm grip. The only downside is that the swiveling red pads at the tips of the jaw can come off easily and must be reattached periodically.
The EMART Heavy Duty Muslin Spring Clamp is a great choice for work in the photography studio due to its ideal 4.5” size and strong clamp strength. Although the clamp is primarily advertised as useful for tasks like backdropping and mounting green screens, it can also be used in a variety of projects around the house.
The handles are a bit stiff which makes the clamp difficult to open, but once clamped down it works like a charm! However, this product is not as heavy-duty as advertised. The springs are strong and function well but the overall body is not very durable.
If you’re searching for a more compact and lightweight spring clamp that is easy to use, then the LimoStudio Photo Spring Clip is your best choice. This spring clamp measures 3.75” in length with a 2” maximum jaw opening.
These spring clamps are smaller than average and are recommended for use in photography studios to handle backdropping and securing sets. However, due to their size, they are not the best at securing stronger materials, which may be disadvantageous if you are looking for something more heavy-duty.
This product is a great option for those who are looking to buy a clamp to use in more large-scale woodworking rather than simple domestic tasks. This metal spring clamp measures a length of 6” with an extra-wide 3” jaw opening for better grip.
However, it is important to note that this should be used with caution, as the clamp is heavy duty and the grip incredibly strong. The black PVC coated tips are also protective and soft but may slip off to expose the jagged metal underneath. Using the product without keeping this in mind can damage the clamped surface.
At a maximum length of whopping 9 inches, this product is the largest spring clamp on our list. In addition to its long length, this is a heavy-duty spring clamp with a 4” jaw capacity able to withstand large amounts of stress with ease. The tips of the clamp are soft, flexible, and rotatable, and the handle’s anti-slip design guarantees a firm grasp.
One issue with this product is the design of the handles. They are too far apart to function as a one-handed spring clamp for users with smaller hands. Their size may require both hands to open, which is just inconvenient. However, the superior strength this clamp offered was able to make up for it.
These polymer mini spring clamps are ideal for those situations where space is tight., as they can fit into areas most spring clamps can’t. The clamp has a one-inch maximum jaw opening which clamps down with a force that is strong for its tiny size. Its eye-popping orange color also makes the spring clamp easy to spot even in small spaces. The product is made from a durable polymer so it will not wear down easily.
From helping glue delicate materials items like glass to acting as a clothespin substitute, there are many handy uses for this product.
Strong for its size
Color makes it easy to spot
People Also Asked
Q: What is a spring clamp?
A spring clamp is a hand tool used to apply clamping pressure quickly and easily Similar in design to a clip, the spring clamp provides a decently strong clamping pressure useful in holding down materials for both indoors and outdoors tasks. Spring clamps come in a variety of materials and sizes and are overall a great tool to have in your toolbox.
Q: How are spring clamps sized?
The size of a spring clamp is the length measured from the top of the jaw to the end of the handle. Rather than specifying size as small, medium, or large, the length measured in inches is what categorizes the size of a spring clamp. Sizes range from the mini 2-inch long spring clamp to the large 9-inch long spring clamp. The most common size is 6-inches in length.
Q: How strong is a spring clamp?
The strength of a spring clamp varies based on its size and material. Lightweight, compact spring clamps exert a force of up to 15 Newtons or 1.5 kg. Spring clamps that are more heavy-duty can have a clamping force of up to 150 Newtons or 15 kg.
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