I am in the process of building a cedar strip canoe. I have a few Irwin 2" Quick-Grip Handi-Clamps already that I plan to use while laying the strips:
I had planned to pick up a few more of the Irwin clamps on Ebay before I started that process. During my trip to the local Home Depot today, however, I spotted these Milwaukee 2" Hand Clamps for the first time:
The Irwin clamps are $8.58 at Lowe’s (can be found slightly cheaper on Ebay) while the Milwaukee clamps are $5.97 on the Home Depot website (there was also a sale on them at my local store today rounding them down to ~$4.50-$5). The Milwaukee clamps are more expensive everywhere else I looked (Amazon, Ebay, etc…).
Each clamp had mixed reviews on each website, however the Milwaukee clamps were a lot higher on average. It appeared as though the bad reviews were mainly from customers who used these clamps for more than what they were intended. I have only used the Irwin clamps before but am looking at possibly purchasing the Milwaukee clamps instead to finish my set off if they are indeed better.
The Irwin clamp is rated for 60lbs of clamping force while the Milwaukee clamp is rated for 120lbs. That alone makes me kick myself for not picking one or two up today to at least test. The Irwin clamp also operates on a ratcheting mechanism to tighten while the Milwaukee clamp has a slide. I do not know how well the slide works on the Milwaukee clamp so I cannot compare the two as of yet. The Irwin clamp has a softer pad while the Milwaukee clamp has a hard pad. This makes me think that the Milwaukee clamp will be more likely to slip when in use. As far as ergonomics go, the Milwaukee clamp has a much more comfortable grip than my Irwin clamps, but that can be subjective. Milwaukee also has a limited lifetime warranty on their hand tools while I am not sure of Irwin’s policy.
Overall, I wish I had picked up a few while at Home Depot today while they were on sale (still a great price online in my opinion relative to Irwin’s). Does anyone have any prior experience or light they can shed on this to better inform my decision on expanding my 2" hand clamp collection?