IRWIN 6-Inch One-Handed Mini Bar Quick Grip Woodworking Clamp, 4-Pack

Last updated date: June 26, 2020

DWYM Score
9.8

IRWIN 6-Inch One-Handed Mini Bar Quick Grip Woodworking Clamp, 4-Pack

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Overall Take

These lightweight, compact clamps are just the thing for hobbyists. The carbon material offers plenty of strength in a small package. The pads have plenty of give and protect the wood while applying a firm hold. In our analysis of 10 expert reviews, the IRWIN IRWIN 6-Inch Mini Bar Quick Grip Clamp, 4-Pack placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note June 26, 2020:
Checkout The Best Woodworking Clamp for a detailed review of all the top woodworking clamps.

Expert Summarized Score
0.0
1 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
1,646 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Perfect for hobbyists, these mini clamps from Irwin have a fantastic jaw opening of 6″, and are made of high quality carbon. Whenever you need to glue wood pieces together, hold something in place to cut or shape it, or even when you need to hold pieces of wood together to transport them, these clamps help you to get the job done efficiently. Irwin makes some of the best clamps on the market, and these offer all the strength and durability that you need. The clamps are 25% smaller than Quick-Change clamps, but they still provide all the strength that you’re looking for. Everything in the design is lightweight, so they’re easy to store and transport to wherever you need them to go. The soft, pliable pads inside help to protect materials that have a fine finish. All in all, no tool box is complete without having some of these clamps on-hand to help you to get any job done with more ease.
- Best Consumer Reviews
What experts didn't like
Since its size is ‘mini’, you’ll just have to make sure that it fits the entire width or length of your object.
- Best Consumer Reviews

From The Manufacturer

The IRWIN(r) QUICK-GRIP(R) One-Handed Mini Bar Clamp 4 Pack, is the perfect clamp set for smaller projects and working in confined spaces. Reinforced resin bodies and hardened steel bars ensure strength and durability. These clamps feature non-marring pads to protect work surfaces, one-handed quick-release triggers and provide 140 lbs. of clamping force. Set includes four 6" One-Handed Mini Bar Clamps.

An Overview On Woodworking Clamps

Step into any serious woodworker’s shop and you’ll see a wide variety of tools. That’s to be expected. No handyman (or woman) wants to be caught without the right drill bit for an oddly-sized opening, or a saw that can cut at just the right angle. If there’s one item you’d think they would use that is right for every job, it’s the humble woodworking clamp.

And you’d be dead wrong in thinking that, because a woodworker’s clamps are one of the most specialized toolsets they can use — and the most essential. By their basic definition, a clamp’s job is simple: Hold a block of wood in place by clamping it onto a more stable object, like a table. But that’s hardly the only job of a clamp, and it turns out even that simple task requires a lot of variation.

Hence the first step in buying your new set of clamps: Determine the best type for the job at hand.

Let’s start with the smallest jobs. If you’re gluing together relatively thin pieces of wood or securing edging material onto a panel, you want a reliable set of spring clamps. These simple clamps look and operate just like giant clothespins, and they’re great when you need a quick hold. They won’t have the grip or width you need for securing large planks or blocks, but for light work, there’s nothing handier.

The most common clamp in a woodworker’s arsenal is the bar clamp, which can encompass a lot of different styles. For tasks where you need a quick hold, there’s nothing like a trigger bar clamp, also known as a pistol grip clamp. The particular advantage of this tool is it can be used one-handed. Just get your pieces in position, put the clamp in place and pull the trigger as many times as you need. Each pump will ratchet the pads closer together until you’ve got a secure fit. They typically come with a release lever that can instantly break the tension.

A more common type of bar clamp is the F-style, named because of the shape of its profile. These old-school clamps come in a variety of designs, but they generally require the turn of a screw handle to tighten the pads. It’s not as easy to do as a trigger clamp, but the hold will usually be tighter. The width will definitely be an advantage, as F-style clamps can be adjusted from an inch or less out to a few feet. This makes them one of the most versatile clamps, able to secure multiple pieces of wood together or even fasten sanders and other tools directly to a workbench.

For really large jobs like cabinet assembly or work that takes up an entire tabletop, you’ll need clamps with jaws that can open several feet wide — and still remain stable. That’s the primary specialty of parallel jaw clamps. They feature two jaws that slide on a long bar, both of which remain fixed to the bar at a 90-degree angle. Alternatively, you can pick up a good set of pipe clamps. These have jaws that secure with a turnkey and can fit over any standard length of piping. That lets you make them as wide as the job requires. Sometimes they are even sold completely separate from the pipe, in which case you’ll have to check that your workshop has a compatible length of pipe handy.

For jobs that require a little spatial creativity, there’s the handscrew clamp. This clamp with its two thick wooden jaws looks like something of an antique, but it is a staple in every serious woodworker’s tool kit. The loose way the jaws are held together by their long screws allows them to clamp together pieces that are tapered, offset or just at an odd angle to one another.

There are certainly other types of clamps, but that list covers the main general types. Whichever type you use, you’ll want to consider the amount of force it can apply. At the same time, give the pads a look. Too much force can leave unwanted impressions in the wood, but padded jaws can mitigate that.

DWYM Fun Fact

We’ve got the ancient Egyptians to thank for innovations in many fields of art and science, and woodworking is no exception. The first Egyptian woodworkers were using tools such as bow drills, chisels and pull saws earlier than 3000 B.C. Archaeologists also found the world’s oldest piece of plywood — that homebuilding staple — lining an Egyptian coffin.

The Woodworking Clamp Buying Guide

Use the right clamps, but use them correctly. You don’t want to apply more force than you need, especially if you’re working with “soft” woods or other material that clamps can leave an impression on. For bigger jobs that require multiple clamps, consider alternating their placement so the force of the clamps doesn’t pull or twist your project to one side. Apply your first clamp right side up, the next one upside down, etcetera.