Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

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AaronStJ
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:43 pm
Location: Seattle

Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

Post by AaronStJ »

HarborFreight.com currently has 12" racheting bar clamps on sale for $2.99 each. These reviews seem to think their bar clamps are pretty good. Being Harbor Freight, I'm sure it's a gamble, but I figured you can never have too many clamps. I picked up half a dozen for the price of one "good" clamp from elsewhere.

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darthplywood
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Location: Erie, PA

Re: Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

Post by darthplywood »

i don't buy much from Harbor Freight, but i did load up on C-Clamps from there. I have been using them and they work just as good as any other clamp would.
Built the 17' Glen-L "Sea Knight"
yet to come...11' Glen-L "Utility"

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vupilot
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Re: Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

Post by vupilot »

All the clamps for my build came from harbor freight for 2.99-3.99 a piece. None of them have broken. The C clamps are top notch, the bar clamps the little rubber feet slip off of easy

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sunflounder
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:34 am
Location: Langley, WA

Re: Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

Post by sunflounder »

I have a subsantial collection of these clamps as well and find them ideal for epoxy clamping since the will self destruct if you try clamping them too hard.
The el cheapo internals are all plastic and can't handle the force you can excert on the el cheapo plastic handles. They are fixable though with a few screws.
Buy lots : )
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Moeregaard
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Location: Thousand Oaks, California

Re: Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

Post by Moeregaard »

I thought it would be fun to pull the lid back off this thread. When we were building our Zip, I probably bought 100 of their 2" and 4" C-clamps. All but one worked perfectly. The one problem child had a casting defect ($1.99 clamps are not usually forged) that allowed the frame to break in half as I was applying pressure. Chinese cast iron usually contains large amounts of Chinese sand. Do I still like HF C-clamps? I do, but I'll always have a few more than I need on hand, just to cover the ones made on a Friday.

Their bar clamps are another story. These are the ones that use a rectangular-section aluminum extrusion, with cast-aluminum ends finished in blue powedercoat. They are absolute crap. The ratchet wears very quickly, resulting in the pawl failing to engage the stamped notch in the extrusion--not the sort of excitement you need when assembling stuff with glue all over it. I bought eight of these things for $6.99 each, and every project has had one of them going into the trash.

I bought some Jet bar clamps recently The quality is quite good and the price was not much higher than the HF junk, so if Bessey or Jorgensen aren't justified these are worth a look.

-Mark Shipley
A boat is just a wooden box with no right angles.

fergal butler
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Location: Co.Dublin, Ireland.

Re: Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

Post by fergal butler »

You got to love this a picture speaks a 1000 words or clamps,Thanks to Jim.
Image
Image

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BulldogBoater
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:16 pm
Location: Wilson, North Carolina

Re: Cheap clamps at Harbor Freight

Post by BulldogBoater »

I boughts some of those exact clamps. Not too impressed - especially once you've used a good one.

Their spring clamps I did not like either. Cheaply made and not two clamps had the same pressure. Home Depot has spring-clamps that are decent and priced competitive.

The c-clamps are pretty good but its kind of hard to mess up a cast iron c-clamp.

Their wood clamps I do like (for the money) and have bought several different sizes - they often go on sale. They're not as nice as good ones but still useable and I've built 3 boats with them with only one breaking.

Good Luck,

KB
"I'm not trying to get it perfect. I'm trying to get it finished!"
Strip Planked Skiff, Jet Squirt, 2 Tubby Tugs, Console Skiff, Modified Kingfisher (Last One #6)

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