Bessey Tradesman Bar Clamp Review
The Bessey bar clamp is one of those tools that looks like any other
tool so it seems hard to pay a premium price for the tool. However, my
experience with other tools has let me to believe that these clamps are
well worth the money.
The heart of any bar clamp is the bar. It should be strong enough to handle
the clamping pressure without too much bending. I started out my woodworking
hobby purchasing some orange bar clamps. There was nothing wrong with
the clamps at all. I ran across a good deal on some Bessey clamps so I
decided to jump in and get a few. The bar on these clamps are much stronger.
By applying similar pressure the bars on my Bessey clamps are hardly bent
at all while my other clamps are noticeably bent. The lack of bending
makes it easier to glue up board.
The threads on the clamps are very coarse. This is ideal for woodworking
as the pressure needed to form a good glue joint isn't nearly as high
as these clamps will produce. The coarse threads provide less mechanical
advantage and consequently provide less clamping force per pound of torque
on the handle. This produces another nice advantage, what is given up
in torque is gained in speed. The coarse threads are very quick to close
compared with cheaper clamps. I've also found these clamps are easier
to clean glue out of the threads if glue makes its way into the threads.
The jaws on these clamps are more than adequate for woodworking purposes.
Unlike cheaper claps they also come with plastic caps on the metal jaws.
This is much easier than buying plastic or rubber caps for metal clamps
because I'm always losing the removable kind.
The locking mechanism on these clamps is very quick and secure. I've used
bar clamps with the pipe clamp style locking system and I find Bessey's
method much improved over the spring locking mechanism found on cheaper
A seemingly minor but helpful detail on these clamps are the larger wooden
handles. On my old orange clamps the handle was so diminutive that I would
always bang my knuckles into the locking mechanism because the handle
was so short and the jaws were too close to the bar. It may be minor but
these clamps are just easier to use.
If you value quality tools, these clamps will not disappoint. There always
seems to be some sort of drama during my glue ups. Any advantage I can
have is a good investment.
Overall Rating 6 out of 6.