Photos by Rob Brown
I love clamps. Even with a wall of likely 300 clamps I still dream of one day having enough of clamps to stop wanting more.
Most one-handed clamps are fairly weak and flimsy. Bessey’s EHK series trigger clamps are not your average one-handed clamp. With three strengths (EHKM=100 lb. of clamping force, EHKL=300 lb. and EHKXL= 600 lb.) the EHKXL models are stronger than anything I’ve used before, and work flawlessly in many woodworking and DIY situations. I immediately noticed the bar is robust and stiff during use. The fit and finish is fantastic, and there are no sharp or rough points on the bar to scrape me during use. Even the handles are non-slip and comfortable to use.
The clamping action and rapid adjustment are both very smooth. And once you have the two clamping heads positioned where required you will notice the two hard rubber pads are oversized to disperse pressure.
The end clamping head is easily and quickly removed and repositioned to the opposite end of the bar with the press of a thumb. This will immediately turn the clamp into a spreading tool. Although I very rarely need this option, it’s nice to know that in a clamping ‘situation’, when things go sideways, you can quickly reverse the clamping direction and dismantle an assembly.
300 lb x 6″ = $24.49
300 lb x 36 = $43.72
600 lb x 6″ = $35.00
600 lb x 50″ = $58.31
I spent a lot of time using the EHKXL series clamps. I’m also impressed with Bessey’s EHKL one-handed clamps. With a slightly narrower and thinner bar, marginally smaller clamping heads and a lower rated pressure of 300 lb. these at first seemed relatively tiny to me. It wasn’t until I used some of my older one-handed clamps that I realized that not only they weren’t that small, but they were better than all of the other versions I’ve ever owned. They have all the great attributes of the larger versions, and are a joy to use in many different situations. In fact, if extreme strength in a one-handed clamp wasn’t needed, these will be my go-to option from now on.
Bessey’s EHK trigger clamps don’t stop me from considering more clamp purchases, but they absolutely fill my desire for any more one-handed clamps. These are great clamps that work wonderfully in my shop.