Quick Release Clamps: Jorgensen vs. Harbor Freight

I recently purchased some Harbor Freight clamps that are still on sale, 12″ clamps, 18″ clamps and 36″ clamps (the picture shows the 36″ as yellow, but they are blue in the store).  Decided to go with these because, quite honestly, they look almost exactly like Jorgensen clamps.  The main difference, besides the cost, is the plastic/rubberized grip versus the Jorgensen’s hardwood.

Although the castings are a bit rough, there’s no doubt where the Harbor Freight clamp manufacturer got their inspiration.  Here’s the clamp body:

HarborFreightClamps (4) JorgensenClamps (2)

The threads are similar, as are the pads.  The quick release mechanism looks the same, but the Jorgensen is much smoother.

HarborFreightClamps (1) JorgensenClamps (3)

The jaws are nearly identical.

HarborFreightClamps (2) JorgensenClamps (4) HarborFreightClamps (3) JorgensenClamps (1)

The clamps are quite good actually, I like the rubberized grip better than the hardwood, but I suspect it won’t last as long (I’ve had the Jorgensens for 20 years with little in the way of wear).  Time will tell.  But since the HF clamps are on sale, that makes them about a third of the cost of a Jorgy.

I used them on the miniature dresser project, right next the their orange counterpart, and they worked just as well.  Torqued down, the bar showed little in the way of bending or deflection.  The threaded screw turns smoothly, but the quick release is better on the Jorgensen.

I think it’s a great value, just make sure to clean off the packing oil from the plastic pads.



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