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Ratchet Clamps

Ratchet clamps are an improved version of the light duty bar clamps and they have become very popular. Instead of adjusting the bar clamp to the approximate size and then screwing the clamp tight, ratchet clamps replace the screw mechanism with a squeezable lever that allows you to adjust and tighten the clamp with just one hand. Very convenient but they are only good for light weight gripping. As with light duty bar clamps, quality varies.

Clamps with any major amount squeezing force are likely to mar the project surfaces when they are tightened. The most significant factor is the size of the clamp pads, with larger pads spreading the crushing force over a wider surface area. Almost

invariably you will need to use scraps of wood between the work piece and the clamp to distribute the clamping force, so donít overestimate the significant of whether the clamp you are buying comes with rubber or nylon pad covers.
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