A good clamp in it's own right, and a better choice than bar or F-clamps for clamping into hard-to-reach places.
Bessey was the first to introduce an inline clamp – the GearKlamp – that has the handle inline with the clamping jaws. This configuration makes it a lot easier to use the clamp when the handle is up against the side of a cabinet or wall. Similar in principle to the GearKlamp, Woodcraft’s new WoodRiver Quick Twist Bar Clamp, a runner up in our 2021 Tool of the Year Awards in the hand tool category, offers a different design that has some distinct advantages.
The WoodRiver clamp has a very simple and effective clamping mechanism. You simply twist the handle to move it along the rail and then twist it in the opposite direction to tighten. The 4-1/4″ long textured soft grip handle is nicely padded and easy to turn.
About 3 turns of the handle brings the clamp to full clamping pressure – up to 330 pounds, which is sufficient for most of the clamping jobs in my shop. Another 3 turns in the opposite direction releases the movable head so you can slide it along the rail. This makes it very quick to use even though you have to use two hands to manipulate the clamp. There is only 1/2″ of screw travel so you need to snug the jaws together before you begin to apply clamping pressure.
What I like most about these clamps are the large (1-7/16″ by 3-3/8″) soft jaw pads that give you a lot of surface area and won’t mar your work. I much prefer this style of jaw over the small round tilting pad on the Bessey GearKlamp. The WoodRiver clamps have a generous 3-3/8″ throat depth, similar to my large parallel clamps. Under maximum pressure the jaws remain completely parallel to each other.
While these clamps excel in situations where you have a restricted space in which to tighten a traditional clamp handle, they work just as well as any bar or F-clamp for regular clamping jobs.
It didn’t take long to get used to the clamping arm on these inline clamps, and I’ve come to rely on them for a lot of small panel clamping jobs – particularly because of the splendid large clamping pads.
These smooth action WoodRiver Quick Twist Bar Clamps are available in 6″, 12″ and 18″ clamping lengths.