Clutch Style Bar Clamp vs Bar Clamp

Hey All,

I have some 12" Bessey Bar Clamps:

https://www.bessey.de/en-US/BESSEY-Tools-North-America/Products/Clamping-Tools/Woodworking-clamps,-cast-jaw-bar-clamps/Light-duty,-wood-handle

I like them, so I want to buy 2-4 24", but I noticed the clutch style are more available, and appear to be cheaper for the same specs:

https://www.bessey.de/en-US/BESSEY-Tools-North-America/Products/Clamping-Tools/Clutch-style-bar-clamps/Clutch-style,-2K-handle

Can anyone explain why you’d pick one over the other?

Thanks

Ben

Ben,

I have a pair of Bessey non-clutch clamps, and a couple of pairs of HF clutch. I like both of them, but the clutch levers on the HF are a bit hard and herky-jerky to press. I suspect the Bessey will be a little better made, and the levers will be smoother. Try before you buy, if the levers are smooth and easy, I suspect you will like them better than the regulars.

Having said that, the Bessey clamps have coarse threads that you have to really tighten to get good clamping pressure, but the good thing about coarse threads is, they won’r wear out as fast as finer threads.

Thanks! HomeDepot has them so i’ll go check them out.

I have some of the clutch style and they are great, I also have other non-Bessey clamps without the clutch and they work fine also. I think it’s a matter of preference, and like the bobad alluded to, quality of manufacture.

The non-clutch style are available in 2.5" and 4" deep jaws whereas the clutch style only has 3.5". That could be a deciding factor depending on your needs. Deep jaw clamps can come in handy, but they can be a little more difficult to position.

I’d also go for the classic wooden handle, if you are going to use them for anything other than a clean woodshop. The rubber grippy handles are really nice and easy on the hands, but can get dirty fast and some even degrade depending on environment and chemical exposure.

The non-clutch designs are lighter duty, so they are good for things like clamping workpieces to tables. They also can be made to slide open or closed by holding it at the right angle and shaking it a little, which can be handy if your other hand is occupied. To open or close the clutch designs, you have to press the clutch plates back with a finger. My two cents.