6 Best Pipe Clamps 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
A pipe clamp is a common tool in many workshops, but there can be some confusion to the new apprentice about how they work and what brand you should purchase. It seems like a simple tool, but with so many brands available, it’s understandable that you might wonder if there’s a difference between them.
We’ve chosen 6 pipe clamps to review for you so you can see how they differ. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we take a closer look at pipe clamps to see how they work, so you know what to look for while you shop.
Join us while we look at stability, pipes, the clutch, ease of use, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Bessey BPC-H34 H Style Pipe Clamp||
|Best Value||IRWIN 224134 QUICK-GRIP Pipe Clamp||
|Premium Choice||Yaetek Wood Gluing Pipe Clamp||
|Yost Tools YPC-Y12 Pipe Clamp||
|PONY 55 Pro Pipe Clamp||
The 6 Best Pipe Clamps – Reviews 2021
1. Bessey BPC-H34 H Style Pipe Clamp – Best Overall
The Bessey BPC-H34 H Style Pipe Clamp is our choice for the best overall pipe clamp. It works with a ¾-inch pipe and as an H-shaped foot assembly that stabilizes the clamp. The extra-high base provides plenty of clearance so you can clamp down without bumping your project. The cast-iron jaws are durable, and it comes with 2 soft jaw caps to protect your project from damage. It has a zinc plated clutch and black oxide coated spindle handle to protect against corrosion and add strength and durability. We found them easy to use, and they held our projects secure.
It’s hard to find something negative to say about the Bessey BPC-H34, so we’ll only mention that it has a rough finish compared to many other models.
2. IRWIN 224134 QUICK-GRIP Pipe Clamp – Best Value
The IRWIN 224134 QUICK-GRIP Pipe Clamp is our pick for the best pipe clamp for the money. It uses an innovative clutch system that removes the need for threaded pipe because the clutch can grab without them. The ergonomic handle reduces hand fatigue while clamping, and large feet help stabilize the clamps and keep the project secure. Each clamp has a 1⅞-inch throat depth and uses a ¾-inch pipe. Large clutch plates release easily for speed and dependability.
If you are used to working with a threaded pipe, the clutch system used by the IRWIN 224134 will require an adjustment period. When we first got them, we could not get them to clamp to the pipe, but they became one of the more popular clamps in the shop with a little practice.
3. Yaetek Wood Gluing Pipe Clamp – Premium Choice
The Yaetek Wood Gluing Pipe Clamp is our premium choice pipe clamp and comes in a 4-piece set designed with woodworkers in mind. The cast iron housing is extremely durable and is designed for ¾-inch pipe with at least one side threaded to 14 threads per inch (TPI). It has a ¾-inch throat depth, and quick release plate clutches. It holds steady when you need it but releases at the lightest touch.
We’re fond of these clamps and think the 4-pack of Yaetek Wood Gluing Pipe Clamps are a great buy for someone who does not yet have any. The downside is that some are rough to turn and feel a little flimsy mechanically.
4. Yost Tools YPC-Y12 Pipe Clamp
The Yost Tools YPC-Y12 Pipe Clamp Is a smaller clamp that uses a ½-inch pipe. It has a 1½-inch jaw height and a 1¼-inch jaw width for firmly gripping your project and a cast iron construction you can count on for durability.
The downside to the Yost is this flimsy handle with a pen that slides from side to side and is easily bent as you crank the clamp tight.
5. PONY 55 Pro Pipe Clamp
The PONY 55 Pro Pipe Clamp Is a high-profile clamp that allows you to clamp it down without bumping into your project. It uses a ¾-inch pipe and has a cast iron construction. The multiple-disc clutch grips the pipe firmly and keeps it in place until you release it.
Our problems with the PONY were mostly cosmetic. The plastic feet would buckle under pressure, and the paint is continuously flaking off. It also arrived with no packaging material to prevent it from getting knocked around.
6. FLK Tech Wood Gluing Pipe Clamp
The FLK Tech Wood Gluing Pipe Clamp is designed for ¾-inch pipe and features a spring lever-controlled jaw lock that makes it easy to release the clamps when you need to. The extra heavy-duty cast iron construction will last a lifetime, and it comes in a 4-piece set, so it’s a great option if you need several clamps.
Unfortunately, FLK Tech is not without its problems, and we found the casting to be of poor quality. The handle was very rough and needed a little more grinding. The threads were in equally bad shape and were hard to turn. One failed to travel its full distance, and paint chipped off quickly.
Let’s take a close look at the pipe clamp to see what is important to look for while you shop.
How it Works
The pipe clamp is a 2-piece clamp that requires a metal pipe with threads on one end. One part of the clamp screws on to the threaded end of the pipe and is called the fixed end. The other piece of the clamp slides over the non-threaded part of the pipe and can slide until locked into place with the clutch. This second piece is called the movable end, and it allows you to clamp the project tight. You can purchase any length of pipe and use the same clamps for any project. The clamps are usually less expensive than other types and are extremely durable, with most being cast iron.
You can purchase pipe clamps that use either ½-inch pipe or ¾-inch pipe. While it’s true ¾-inch pipe will be stronger, it’s unlikely that you will come close to testing the strength of either, so the choice is purely personal. However, you’ll likely find many more ¾-inch clamps for sale as that seems to be the choice of pros. The ¾-inch pipe is also easier to find and doesn’t cost much more.
You will not need a lot of threads at the end of the pipe, and it will be equal to the throat depth of your clamp. However, we recommend getting a little more in case you use other clamps. The threads should be 14 TPI, and it’s easy to have them made at your local hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can also get the pipe cut to any length, and many stores will have several pre-cut and pre-threaded pipes you can buy without seeking help.
What makes pipe clamps so popular is that you can use any pipe length that you need for your project. You can theoretically make a pipe clamp that’s hundreds of feet long, something you could never do with any other type of clamp, making it one of the most useful clamps in the workshop.
The clutch is usually a series of metal plates built into the pipe clamp that grabs the pipe and holds the clamp in place when you apply clamping pressure. There is also usually a spring built-in to assist in releasing the clamp when you apply pressure. More plates in the clutch equal better gripping, but this time-tested mechanism usually works perfectly even with fewer plates.
The screw handle is very important because this is what you use to clamp down on your project. A handle that does not allow you to apply enough force to your project will not be useful. Some flimsy sliding pin-style handles can bend, making it harder to apply enough pressure to the project.
The main screw is what the screw handle is attached to and is the heart of the clamp. Far too many times in our experience, this screw would often be poorly cast and unable to travel its full distance rendering the clamp useless. Unfortunately, if you purchase your tools online, there’s little you can do but send them back. But if you were shopping in a hardware store, make sure you turn the screw to test the handle and screw for full range functionality.
The jaws are what come in contact with the surface of your project. A larger jaw will spread the force over a larger area, reducing the risk of marking the surface. Most jaws are iron or steel, but some include soft caps to reduce the risk of damage further.
Some pipe clamps have very short screws, which causes you to continuously bump into your project as you try to tighten down the clamps. Bumping can be frustrating, slow you down, and it could move your project out of alignment. We recommend models with a high base or high profile, in general, to make sure there’s plenty of clamping room.
The Bessey BPC-H34 H Style Pipe Clamp is our choice for the best overall pipe clamp because of the high-quality workmanship and durable construction. It includes two soft jar caps and a high base that makes it easy to adjust your clamps without bumping into the project. If you’re just building your workshop and you need a few pipe clamps to get you started, we highly recommend our premium choice. The Yaetek Wood Gluing Pipe Clamp Comes in a set of 4 and has quick-release clutches to take the effort out of clamp adjustments. If you’re looking for a budget option, try the IRWIN 224134 QUICK-GRIP Pipe Clamp, which is our pick for the best pipe clamp for the money.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews, and you have found a pipe clamp or two that you like. If we have helped answer any questions you have had, please share this guide to the best pipe clamps on Facebook and Twitter.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 6 Best Pipe Clamps – Reviews 2021
- Buyer’s Guide