- Arts and Design
Irwin Quick Grip Clamp Set
Irwin Quick Grip Clamps/Spreaders
Someone once told me that owning a pair of woodworking clamps was like having an extra pair of hands and I think that is oh so true.
I bought a pair of the 12-inch version of these bar clamps about 9-years back and since then they have far surpassed my expectations, there isn't a project goes by without me reaching for them.
I guess the thing I like most about them is that I'm able to hold the job in place with one hand while clamping it with the other. Such a contrast to the days when I used to use the old fashioned type of G clamp. Unless I was working on a bench, it seemed like I needed five hands to get the G clamp in place. One to hold the job, two to hold the pieces of scrap timber required so that the clamp wouldn't mark the surface and the other two to hold and tighten the clamp itself. Wow, that brought back some frustrating memories.
And, in case you're wondering, I haven't been kind to these tools at all. I have dropped them and thrown them around countless times and yes they are looking a little beat up but they still perform as good as the day I got them.
I wouldn't be without them, period.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I have a pair of 36 inch "Quick-Grip" clamps made by another manufacturer. My local supplier didn't stock the Irwin version and I needed them that same day. I was dissappointed as soon as I took them out of the packaging and they broke on me shortly after - they just weren't up to the job. Next time I'll stick with what I trust.
Irwin Mini (6in) Quick Grip Bar Clamps
Irwin Clamps Quick Grip Review
Another feature I really like is how light-weight my Quick Grip clamps are. This is because Irwin have made the jaws from resin. Now, when I saw that they'd done this I was a little relcutant to buy them because I thought they may break easily, how wrong was I? But they looked so much better than my G-clamps, I just had to give them a try and I'm so glad that I did. And they are covered by the manufacturer's lifetime warranty, so that gave me total peace of mind.
Oh, and there's no need to mess around with offcuts of timber to protect the job from the clamp's jaws, Irwin thought of this and fitted soft plastic or rubber pads to protect your work.
Irwin 12 Inch Quick Grip Bar Clamps
The One-Handed Irwin Quick-Grip
How to use the One Handed Quick-Clamp
On the One-Handed Irwin Quick-Grip Bar Clamp, the jaws are fixed at 90 degrees.
To turn it into a spreader, you simply slide out the yellow plastic clip at the bottom of the fixed jaw, then move the jaw to the other end of the bar, slide it on with its pad facing outward and push the yellow plastic clip back in to secure it.
The throat depth on this model is 2 7/16in (62mm).
To clamp or spread your work-piece, just keep repeatedly pulling the trigger until it's tight When you're done, pull the steel lever and it will snap open.
The clamp will exert 150 lbs (68 Kgs) of pressure at the jaws.
Irwin 18 Inch Quick Grip Bar Clamps
The SL300 One-Handed Irwin Quick-Grip
Using the SL300 One Handed Quick-Clamp
On the SL300 One-Handed Irwin Quick-Grip Bar Clamp, the jaws pivot slightly to allow for clamping jobs that aren't square.
To turn it into a spreader, you simply unscrew the black, plastic-headed bolt at the bottom of the fixed jaw, then move the jaw to the other end of the bar, slide it on with its pad facing outward and screw the bolt in to secure it.
The throat depth on this model is 3 1/4in (81mm).
The clamp will exert 300 lbs (136 Kgs) of pressure at the jaws.
The bar on the SL300 is made from I-section steel to reduce bowing and flexing.
The XP600 One-Handed Irwin Quick-Grip
Using the XP600 One Handed Quick-Clamp
On the XP600 One-Handed Irwin Quick-Grip Bar Clamp, again, the jaws pivot slightly to allow for clamping jobs that aren't square. But now the jaws are double locking to make for even distribution of clamping force.
Just like on the SL300, to turn it into a spreader, you simply unscrew the black, plastic-headed bolt at the bottom of the fixed jaw, then move the jaw to the other end of the bar, slide it on with its pad facing outward and screw the bolt in to secure it.
The throat depth on this model is 3 3/4in (93mm).
The clamp will exert 600 lbs (272 Kgs) of pressure at the jaws.
Again, this model employs an I-section steel bar to reduce bowing and flexing and has an adjustable foot.
Please see the video below for more information.