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So I heard you guys like clamps...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by clindo, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. clindo


    Mar 15, 2015
    Hey folks,

    Doing some work gathering tools for my first build coming up, and was pretty upset thinking that I was gonna have to shell out a lot for clamps (even the cheap ones I have seen are like $12US). Came across these guys after a bit of internet searching, and from what I can tell I will be picking up a bunch of these at the local branch near my home! 6" Quick Release Bar Clamp These are shown as on sale for $2.99, not sure for how long, but the price seems right to me. I will probably pick a few of these up, as well as some 18" for $4.99.

    For those interested, just thought I would share.

    If anyone has feedback on these before I buy them, please let me know. Otherwise I will report back when I get them tomorrow

  2. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    I use Harbor Freight clamps in all my work, and while they are not the highest end product on the market they work well. They also have a lifetime warranty and can be replaced on the spot in any of the stores if they fail. I once took in 8 or so clamps due to some bending in the bar and they replaced them all no questions asked, no receipt necessary. I highly recommend them to people looking for a good bargain.
    PDX Rich likes this.
  3. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I'll have to bring a couple of mine in for exchange. One has a handle that will tighten up to a point, and then just spins on the shaft. The other has a handle that cranked down on to the shaft so there is now only about an inch of threads showing. I have a bunch of others that still work fine.
  4. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I have lots of those. They work well, for a while. They are worth it for the cost. When I first started, those were my go-to clamps. Since then, I've become uncomfortable with some of their less savory aspects, so as they break, I'm replacing them with comparable Bessey clamps. They are remarkably stronger and more stable.


    I mean, they also cost 3x as much, so I won't be replacing all 30 of the HF clamps with Besseys at once, but I can do it 1 or 2 at a time, as the cheap ones break.
  5. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Harbor Freight = save your receipt. I bought a bunch of cheap clamps there and one of them broke on the first try. I brought it back, hoping for a quick exchange, but I couldn't find my receipt, so they told me absolutely no dice. They are the worst. I think their entire business model revolves around the customer misplacing their receipts and just giving up on the broken garbage they bought.
    Doctor Hugocat likes this.
  6. PDX Rich

    PDX Rich

    Dec 19, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I had the same worries. As others have said, they do the job and are easily replaced. 15 of the 21 clamps I used for my first neck blank were the quick release 2.99 HF clamps. Came out perfect.

    Attached Files:

  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Harbor Freight definitely sells some junk, but they have some decent stuff as well. I have a bunch of the clamps the OP posted, some of them I had for years with no failures. I've had a few of them bend on me, but they were cheap enough that I didn't even bother returning them.
  8. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    I'd suggest getting a few of the longer ones too, especially if you're going to be doing any side by side gluing of the body like bookmatched tops or neck thrus. The 18" clamps would work good for that stuff.

    I didn't know they had a warranty, that's definitely good to know! I have a couple with the same problem that mapleglo has.
  9. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    It appears that your mileage may vary depending on the store and personnel. :( I can only relate positive experiences so far, but dealing with retail customer representatives is sometimes a challenge. While I am not an enthusiastic endorser of all things Harbor Freight, I agree with @Hopkins in that it's hit or miss on the quality.

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