You’re probably sick of hearing the truism “you can never have too many clamps”. I’ll admit, I’m a clamp-a-holic who uses the phrase often. Especially while justifying a shopping spree. The thing is, it’s not only a matter of quantity (But trust me, I constantly run out of clamps during production runs. The more, the merrier). It’s also the type of clamp that matters; you need the right kind of clamp to get the job done. When Irwin sent us some of their one-handed bar clamps and Quick-Grip accessories to try out, I knew I was going to find plenty of uses for them. And I did.
Irwin Quick-Grip Bar Clamps – Multiplying The Might Of My Measly Mitts
In October 2016, Irwin released updated versions of their medium-duty and heavy-duty Quick-Grip bar clamps and, at the same time, introduced a line of accessories to make them more versatile. Versatility is the key. Irwin sent us a pair of 6” medium-duty Quick-Grip bar clamps, which they say are capable of sustained clamping forces up to 300lbs. They certainly provided more than enough pressure to close the glue lines on the few projects I’ve used them on so far.
The one-handed operation of Quick-Grip clamps is perfect for when you need a free hand to maneuver the workpiece during a glue-up. Especially for those of us who are not cephalopods. In other words, pretty much everyone, every time.
Spread ‘Em! – Irwin Quick-Grip Bar Clamps
Even without the optional Quick-Grip accessories, there’s more here than meets the eye. With the press of a button, they transform into spreaders. Just turn the fixed jaw around and the clamp “clamps” in the outward direction, rather than squeezing closed. I don’t use a spreader very often. But when I needed to re-glue the rungs on my shop stool, I was thankful for the option.
Keep Your Head On A Swivel – If You Want To
One end of the clamp has a swivelling head that applies even pressure and reduces denting when clamping surfaces that aren’t perfectly parallel. But if you’d rather both jaws remain rigid, you can easily pull off the swivel head and move the black plastic pad to the fixed jaw. If only it was so easy to stifle that mouthy child! The 6” clamps we received have an actual jaw capacity of 6-3/8”. Removing the swivel jaw increases that by almost a 1/2”.
Accessorize Your Quick-Grip Bar Clamps
Sometimes accessorizing is a call to higher fashion. But in this case, it’s the path to higher function. And you won’t be judged for donning these accessories after Labor Day. The various optional attachments work with Irwin’s one-handed medium-duty and heavy-duty Quick-Grip bar clamps and allow them to perform a lot more tasks without breaking the bank.
Clamp Coupler – Quick-Grip
Irwin Quick-Grip bar clamps come in a variety of lengths. But if your project is wider than the throat capacity of the clamps you have, you can pair them together using clamp couplers. Note that there are different couplers for the medium-duty and heavy-duty clamps. They are the same price; just make sure you’re buying the right one.
Corner Clamp – Quick-Grip
The corner clamp accessory makes it easy to clamp up drawer boxes and other assemblies with 90° corners, especially those having butt joints. Unfortunately, it didn’t work as well for me on mitered corners.
Just pull off the swivel jaw and clamp pad(s), pop on the corner clamp parts, and you’re good to go.
Quick-Grip Edge Clamp
If you’re trying to glue banding or solid trim to the edge of plywood or other sheet goods, the edge clamp attachment will make the job a lot easier.
Slip the edge clamp attachment onto the bar of the Quick-Grip clamp for lateral clamping pressure and you won’t have to deal with the tiny holes left in the wake of a pin nailer.
Irwin Quick-Grip Clamps – More Accessories
Other available accessories include:
Larger clamp pads to double the area over which pressure is applied to your workpiece.
A deck tool for holding and spacing deck boards during installation.
A hold-down jig that converts your workbench into a convenient clamping station.
A stand attachment that supports the clamp horizontally on your work surface (supports up to 100 pounds).
See Irwin Quick-Grip clamps and accessories in action in this video:
Irwin Quick-Grip – One Clamp, Many Possibilities
Irwin’s Quick-Grip clamp lineup includes a lot more than the bar clamps and accessories shown here. Whatever your clamping needs, Irwin is sure to have you covered.
Irwin Quick-Grip clamps are available at Lowe’s starting at about $15 per set.