By: Fix-It Club

Whatever you need to hold in place, there's sure to be a clamp that's right for you.
Whatever you need to hold in place, there's sure to be a clamp that's right for you.

A clamp is not as common a household tool, though it is very popular with woodworkers and hobbyists.


What Is a Clamp?

A clamp firmly grips and holds other objects. Clamps are useful when holding or gluing materials such as wood, paper, plastic, or some metals. A paper clip is a simple clamp. There are many types of clamps from which to choose. The C clamp is useful for clamping wood or metal; the handscrew is used for clamping wood objects at an angle; spring clamps provide light clamping pressure when gluing; bar and pipe clamps hold larger components in place; and web clamps tighten around large materials with a softer nylon webbing. Most clamps have a face and an adjustable screw. Some, such as the handscrew, have two screws.

How to Safely Use a Clamp

To safely use a clamp, first determine which type of clamp is required for the job. Then make adjustments needed to the screw to accommodate the objects. Spring clamps only require that pressure be applied to the handles to open the clamp's jaws. Close the jaw around the object by turning the screw or releasing the handles. For safety, make sure that fingers and skin are not pinched by the frame, screws, or jaws.

How to Maintain a Clamp

Clamps are simple in operation and typically don't require maintenance unless poorly constructed or abused. Specialized clamps may require some maintenance depending on the complexity of the components that are subject to wear.

Tools Related to the Clamp

Other useful gripping tools include pliers.


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