Monday, October 18, 2010

Small Enough For Many Basic Tasks, The 1" C-Clamp Holds Most Things Well.

The Good: No slippage on threads, Durable, Easy-to-clean
The Bad: Foot may slip on some applications.
The Basics: A wonderful basic tool, the Adjustable Clamp Company 1 x 1 C-Clamp does what it promises for meeting basic clamping needs.

Some basic tools are easy to write about, easy to use and the only question one truly needs answered about them in the final analysis is “does the tool work?” In the case of the Adjustable Clamp Company's 1” C-clamp, the answer is “yes!” The 1” C-clamp is a very easy to use tool which has a single real purpose and it lives up to all demands I've put on it for that purpose.

I have had a set of 1” c-clamps from the Adjustable Clamp Company for about a decade now. The 1” c-clamp gets its name from the depth of the opening of the “C” as well as the depth of the legs that form the “C.” The Adjustable Clamp Company's 1 x 1 C-clamp has all of the same basic parts; a C clamp about as deep as it is wide open, made of solid steel. Having used these clamps in many applications underneath my last house, I can credibly attest to the fact that they do not rust, even when exposed almost constantly to water.

The C clamp is remarkably easy to use. First, find the item you need clamped or the two items you need clamped together. I have used these small c-clamps for everything from pressing boards together over books to re-flatted warped paperbacks to holding 1/2" pipes up on a beam that was only a little thicker. Pass the items you want clamped through the opening on the C-clamp, then twist the end of the threaded clamp to push the foot toward the head. Tightening the clamp too much may result in pushing the metal head into the surface one is trying to clamp to, but tightening not enough may result in slippage. It is always recommended that one test clamp the clamp on a similar (but expendable) surface before one uses it in their main project.

In fact, this leads to the only detraction I could find for this small steel c-clamp; the foot (the end on the threaded part that moves) is steel as well and on some surfaces, like linoleum, it is going to slip pretty much regardless. Some c-clamps have rubber on the foot and head, but this Adjustable Clamp Company one does not and while there are limited times in one's life one might need a c-clamp on linoleum or other smoother surfaces, I actually ran into one of them and this clamp did not fit my needs.

That said, for basic small clamping uses, this 1 X 1 clamp has never let me down. After a decade of use none of the ones I have used have shown any thread wear, which means they all still grip with the same strength they originally did. That makes them an incredible value with their durability and ideal for both housework and frequent craft projects where a clamp might be helpful (and in projects involving gluing in multiple planes, that's pretty much ideal).

For other tools and the like kicking around my workshop, please check out my reviews of:
Keter 16" toolbox
Stanley 8" Adjustable Wrench
Soundbest International 8" Round File


For other tool reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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