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1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps?

nicole grace Member

I was just wondering what everyone thought about the differences in using 1/2" pipe clamps over the 3/4" size. Does one have an advantage over the other? I'd like to get a few more, but am not sure which size to get. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


9/15/18       #2: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Jim Clark  Member

I only use the 3/4" ones.
The 1/2" pipe bows to much under pressure.

9/15/18       #3: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...

Like Jim mentioned there is a lot of deflection with the 1/2 inch ones. They might be fine for a short clamp, maybe 18 inches or less.

9/15/18       #4: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
rich c.

There's a lot of deflection in 3/4". 1/2" are like noodles. I haven't bought any pipe clamps in decades. Only use parallel jaw clamps now, they are far superior to pipe clamps.

9/15/18       #5: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...

Which kind do you recommend?

9/16/18       #6: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
David R Sochar  Member

What are you clamping? Our 3/4" pipe and I -beam Jorgensons get daily use clamping hundreds of pounds of lumber. Pulling it tight may be a thousand pounds of clamp pressure on a single door, 42" w x 98" long, with clamps on each side of a 2-1/4" or 3" thick door.

Or you may be clamping mirror frame joints that are 1/2"x 3/4" in section, using rubber bands and tape.

9/16/18       #7: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...

Nicole Grace:

David Sochar makes an excellent point. I have a variety of clamps, for a variety of applications, so it would be helpful, if you are seeking recommendations, to put forth what you are clamping.

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9/16/18       #8: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Leo G Member

All I own are the 1/2" versions. I do just about everything with them. Clamp panels, door, cabinet and make furniture. The people claiming they bend to easy probably need to make better joinery. Yes, if you crank them they do bend. And if you are clamping wide material you may need to put a clamp on top and bottom which is good practice when using any pipe clamp anyway.

If you plan on clamping up stock that is thicker than 1 1/2" then you might consider using the 3/4" clamps as they have a deeper reach.

9/17/18       #9: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Jim Clark  Member

I use 3/4" and I always use clamps on top
and bottom of panel glue ups to equalize
the pressure. That keeps them quite flat.

9/18/18       #10: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...

Why use 1/2? The price difference is nothing.

I prefer pipe over k-body. Canít comment on jorgeson. K-bodies got all gummed up and didnít provide enough pressure.

Could I clean them? I guess, or just use pipe clamps

9/18/18       #11: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Leo G Member

3/4" pipe is more expensive. It's heavier. I find that the difference (for me) isn't worth it as I rarely use stock thicker than 6/4. 1/2" Pony brand clamps are what I use. The 1/2" crank is a slip through rod so if you have another clamp close, or the clamp isn't hanging over the table you might not be able to crank the clamp. The 3/4" crank is solid and non movable so the closest you can get another clamp is the diameter of the crank rotation.

Usually when clamping up wider glue ups I put a clamp on top and on the bottom of the end of the glue up. I put them as close as I can get them so they act as a single clamp. This way I can balance the panel and keep it perfectly straight. I do it in the middle of the glue up too, but the ends seem to benefit from this practice the most.

Price, weight and crank design for 1/2" vs 3/4" is why I chose 1/2"

9/19/18       #12: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Robert Member

Both replies are spot on Leo G.

9/19/18       #13: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Bryan "doc" Henderson  Member

I love my 3/4 inch Jorgensen pony pipe clamps. I have some Bessey clamps and a variety of Irwin "quick grip" clamps. I still have 2 pony sets that belonged to my father. they are durable and versatile, not sophisticated. I bought a dozen sets at a true value hardware store 30 years ago on clearance. Price then was 6 bucks marked down to 2.5 dollars. They are now 15 bucks a set online, and pipe is about 1.75 dollars a foot. You can change the cast head to different lengths of pipe, or use a 3/4 inch coupling to make longer lengths from the pipe you have. I have a set on a 10 foot section of pipe to help square large cabinets. The heads tend to square up when you put tension on the clamp. I do alternate sides of a panel to help keep things flat. Keep your eyes open for a good deal, and let me know if you find them for under 3 dollars. lol. I have all my clamps under 4 feet, in a 30 gal. mobile oil can for storage. Good luck!

9/20/18       #14: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...

When you use 50% more clamps,and then have to move panel, is it lighter?

Just messin. I glue a lot of panels that 1/2 would flex too much. YMMV.

3/27/19       #15: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Ethan Scott Member

I too only use the 3/4" ones. Though they are a bit expensive I find them worth the price. At the end of the day if the purpose is served is what matters. I recommend the same.

3/29/20       #16: 1/2" or 3/4" pipe clamps? ...
Michael Sanders Member

I use 3/4." Either way you go, spend the money for galvanized so you don't have to deal with black spots in your glue joints.

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