The Bessey name has been synonymous with excellence in clamps for decades. The Bessey K-body parallel clamp, in particular, has long been the clamp of choice for professional and hobbyist furniture and cabinet makes. For case assembly these clamps are hard to beat. However, when you want to secure you work quickly, a one hand bar clamp can be very handy.
The Bessey EZS One Hand Clamp comes in five clamping lengths: 6″, 12″, 18″, 24″ and 36″. I had the opportunity of shop testing the 12″ length, model EZS 30-8.
Manufacturer: Bessey Tools
Available From: Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
Retail Price: $24.48
Model #: EZS 30-8
Made In: Taiwan
The EZS has a super rigid 1/4″ x 3/4″ steel rail that resists flexing under load. On one end of the rail is a removable jaw, and other end is a movable jaw with a pressure release handle. Both composite jaws are slightly contoured, providing more clearance during assembly, are covered with large, removable 1-1/2″ x 1-3/4″ cushioned camping pads, and have a 3-3/8″ throat depth.
The removable jaw has a unique push button release mechanism that enables you to quickly convert the EZS into spreading mode. Push the green button, and then slip the jaw off the rail. You can then slip the jaw onto the opposite end of the rail, and then push the red button to lock the jaw in place. The effective spreading distance is from 6-1/2″ to about 19″. Conversion takes no more than 15 seconds.
The movable jaw has a generous, comfortably shaped 4″ handle with rubber overmold. As you squeeze the handle the jaw moves smoothly across the rail in 1/4″ increments. To quickly reposition the jaw you depress the pressure release trigger, and then push or pull the jaw along the rail. On the sample I tested the jaw didn’t move all that smoothly across the rail. This is likely due to the more robust all-steel plates, springs and pivot bar used on the EZS, which also account for the very impressive 445 pounds of clamping pressure the clamp delivers. Maximum clamping pressure will depend on how much pressure you can exert on the movable jaw. I wasn’t able to measure clamping pressure, but I was impressed with how easily the EZS could draw together severely warped studs and curved stock.
More importantly, when engaged, the jaws align almost perfectly, with virtually no gaps between the pads, making for an even distribution of camping pressure. Releasing clamping pressure doesn’t take a lot of effort.
The Bessey EZS clamps are very well made; provide excellent clamping pressure; have well aligning clamping pads, large enough that they aren’t likely to damage your stock; have a nicely designed movable jaw handle with good trigger release; can be quickly converted from clamping to spreader mode; and are competitively priced. Great clamp, great value.