Clamps for bamboo – Irwin Quick-Grip Clamp Review

When I started working with bamboo, rather than spend money on clamps I wasn’t sure about, I used some old C-clamps that happened to be here. They were heavy, a bit stiff, and very clumsy. Many times I found I needed three hands to hold the bamboo in place and secure the clamp. And still it slipped, or worked loose after a few saw strokes.

Then I was gifted an Irwin Quick-Grip Clamp (Thanks, Jem). I very quickly purchased a second one. Two is ideal for holding bamboo while sawing or drilling. The bamboo (I use, at least!) is never straight, or flat, or any of the nice even, symmetrical things milled timber can be. Using two clamps will secure the culm firmly without it pivoting on a high point.

Swivel jaw

The slightly soft swivel jaw of the clamp really comes in to its own when two clamps are used together on a round piece of bamboo. It’s almost impossible to get a firm grip on bamboo with just one clamp. Using two clamps together, each clamp will hold the bamboo at slightly opposing angles.

Single-handed operation

Fixing or releasing the clamp only needs one hand. The clamp fixes with a ratchet-type action by squeezing the larger handle. The smaller upper handle triggers an instant release. Simple. The clamps can also be used as spreaders, although I haven’t tried that yet.

At first blush, the clamps look light and a bit flimsy. Lightweight they are, but not flimsy. They are made out of some kind of resin and feel quite strong in action. Unsurprisingly, all the reviews on Amazon are positive.

My verdict: Love ’em. Great for working bamboo.

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