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Light, fast and plenty strong
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 7-15-2010
In my shop, clamping is not a strength sport. In the big majority of my clamping situations (and probably yours) a clamp with moderate pressure capabilities that is light, fast and easy to use fits the ticket nicely. I just need a clamp that holds firm and keeps on working for a long time. I hate cheap tools that I wind up having to buy more than once. As you might suspect I only had to look to the big boys in clamping to find the Bessey KliKlamp®. Problem solved.
Just the Facts
The Bessey KliKlamp® is considered to be in the light-duty clamping category but is built to the always-tough Bessey standards. As is their habit, Bessey uses quality materials and equally high-end manufacturing to produce the Bessey KliKlamp® in their high-tech facilities in Germany.
The Bessey KliKlamp® is built around a steel bar with the familiar Bessey hourglass shape. Though relatively light, this bar is very rigid. Both edges have the Bessey teeth formed into them that gives the moveable jaw the ability to lock solidly when pressure is applied.
The Bessey KliKlamp® jaws are made from magnesium for both strength and light weight. The arms feature a webbed I-beam design that resists flex very well. Both jaws feature heavy-duty bosses at the bar to be sure they are capable of withstanding the clamping force available. Both jaws have large mar-resistant pads for solid holding power without damaging the wood.
The moveable jaw has a 6"-long composite handle with a cam formed into its end. A pivot-mounted pad floats over the cam so that when the handle is pulled an increasing amount of pressure is applied through the pad. Very simple yet very effective. Teeth formed into the end of the moveable jaw interact with the red trigger within the handle to provide automatic locking at several points within its throw. Pull the trigger built and pressure is released and the Bessey KliKlamp® can be removed easily.
The Bessey KliKlamp® is available in three versions, all of which use the same lever system and all capable of developing a surprising 260-LBS of clamping force. The KLI3.004 has a 4" clamping capacity, the KLI3.008 has 8" of clamping capacity and the KLI3.012 model has 12" of clamping capacity. All three models have a 3" throat depth.
In the Shop
Using the Bessey KliKlamps® is at the very least - easy. There is nothing complicated about them other than how such a simple looking, light clamp can hold so well. Put the Bessey KliKlamp over the wood, slide the moveable jaw into contact and squeeze the composite lever as much as needed for the job. Pressure is applied quickly yet predictably. I know the Bessey KliKlamps® fall in the light to medium duty range of clamps but if you are preparing your wood right, so do about 90 per-cent of our clamping needs. A selection of the Bessey KliKlamps® in your clamp rack will be a welcome addition to most shops and used often.
The contact points of both jaws are relatively large with the moveable jaw having a pivoting pad that conforms to the wood regardless of the handle position. Both contact pads are non-marring and appear to resist glue contamination well. I managed to some yellow glue on the removable pad cover but didn't find it until a couple days later. I slid the cover off, flexed it and the glue popped right off.
The Bessey KliKlamps® are very well designed and manufactured. Bessey simply will not do it any other way. With a street price of just $23.99 for the 4" (KLI3.004) version to $25.99 for the 12" (KLI3.012 model (7-14, 2010) the Bessey KliKlamps® are priced right for populating your shop without squeezing the budget to death.
If you find yourself reaching for more clamps that you don't have yet, check out the Bessey KliKlamps®. If you are at all familiar with Bessey products, their tradition of quality in design and manufacturing will be no surprise.
Visit the Bessey web site - Click Here
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