Monday 28 September 2009
Wolfcraft have taken their range of one-hand clamps through a few redesigns, so it was about time we tried out a selection in the workshop.
The models we put through their paces were the Easy 75-300 and EHZ Pro 100-150 and Pro 100-700. We also tried their screw clamps SC120-300 and SC120-1000. And last, and best of all, we tried their HZ 100-150 power clamp, the product numbers indicating clamp size in millimetres.
The idea of one-hand clamps with a squeeze mechanism has been around for a while now, and Wolfcraft have perfected the art with their various iterations of the form.
Of the one hand clamps tested, it has to be said that the Pro range has a sturdier construction and easier feel when used, the Easy and EHZ range less so, but the amateur woodworker will find little to complain about.
The Pro series also benefits from comfortable rubber inserts on the handles, which makes them more comfortable to use, and should allow more pressure to be applied as a result.
The 100mm throat clearance of both ranges allows for ease of use with most jobs.
My favourite clamp of the bunch has to be the HZ 100-150 power clamp. With its ratchet and cam mechanism for tightening, it is very quick and easy to apply a large amount of pressure or, indeed, not very much at all.
This would be my choice for general purpose clamping around the workshop. All of the one-handed clamps have reversible jaws for spreading jobs.
The screw clamps have a durable feel about them, and the galvanised, cavity-profile clamp arm shouldn't bend even on the longer SC120-1000 clamp.
My only gripe would be about the tightening handle, which would have benefited from a more ergonomic design, though Wolfcraft do a range of screw clamps with just such an advantage... definitely worth thinking about.
The ratchet and cam power clamp is a joy to use and my favourite from the range, but all the other clamps perform well and do the job.
Of the one-handed clamps, I would spend that little bit more and get something from the Pro range.