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What is a Spring Clamp?

Keith Koons
Keith Koons

A spring clamp is a common carpenter’s tool that is able to hold two or more solid objects together by generating a tremendous amount of force for its comparative size. This instrument obtains this high amount of pressure because of the tightly wound coils within its center that automatically force both sides of the device to pinch inward to a centralized space, and the tension can be released when one firmly grips the handle and applies a counter-pressure that will allow the spring to expand. Spring clamps are available in a great number of sizes and can substantiate varying degrees of tension, so the average workshop normally stocks several of them within its inventory.

A spring clamp is most commonly found within woodworking establishments to provide a firm grip while a glue or solvent attaches two or more pieces of lumber together, but perhaps a better example for the novice user would be a jumper cables that can be used to connect two vehicles' batteries when one of them loses a proper charge. Each spring clamp is connected to the respective battery posts to ensure a stable grip that will allow the transfer of electricity, and after the task is completed, the handles can be squeezed to release them. The coil spring clamps for this particular application generate enough force to crush many types of plastic or wood, which is why a spring clamp set normally is designed for a very specific task. When purchasing this type of tool, it is important for one to consider the pressure rating that the spring clamp is able to generate and the material that the gripping area is created with. Failure to do this could cause unintentional damage to the surface of the object that is being held in place.


Spring clamps are commonly used for a number of household projects and can be used for tasks such as holding an opened potato chip bag closed or securing a large piece of mechanical machinery, such as a table saw. This type of design normally is favored over other types of gripping devices because there are not any adjustments that have to be made in order to ensure that the proper force is applied. This makes them much quicker to secure in place and often less likely to fail. One downside to using a spring clamp is that it can be unintentionally knocked loose when several heavy items are being moved within the general area where it is being used, so whenever safety is an issue, a bar clamp or quick clamp might be a more sensible option.

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