The Best Parallel Clamps for Your Workshop

Need help holding it all together during stressful woodworking glue-ups and assemblies? Check out the best parallel clamps to ensure smooth times ahead.

Best Overall

Two Jorgensen parallel clamps on a white background

Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-Inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar


Two Bora 31-Inch Parallel Clamps on a white background

Bora 31-Inch Parallel Clamp Set

Best Bang For The Buck

Bremen 24-Inch Parallel Clamp on a white background

Bremen 24-Inch Parallel Clamp

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Whether creating high-end cutting boards or building custom cabinet doors, having the best parallel clamps can make glue-ups and assembly go smoothly. They create evenly distributed pressure that prevents joints from warping or shifting, providing a workpiece that requires less finishing and flattening.

Shopping for the best parallel clamps can be involved. There are plenty of products on the market, and choosing the right one for your specific needs can be challenging. This guide will explore the most important factors to consider as you choose the best parallel clamps for your woodworking projects and then highlight the selections of some of the top products on the market. We even tapped Richard Louise, a third-generation furniture maker and owner of Dovetails and Stitches in Birmingham, Alabama, for woodworking guidance on what to look for when choosing the best parallel clamps. Keep reading to learn more.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-Inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar
  2. RUNNER-UP: Bora 31-Inch Parallel Clamp Set
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bremen 24-Inch Parallel Clamp
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Jet 70411 Parallel Clamp Framing Kit
  5. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Bessey 31-Inch K Body Revo Parallel Bar Clamp
  6. BEST KIT: Bora 4-Piece Parallel Clamp Set 
  7. ALSO CONSIDER: Powertec 71602 40-Inch Parallel Clamps
The Best Parallel Clamps Options

Our Top Picks

With a bit of background on parallel bar clamps, shopping for a set for a workshop becomes easier. Keep reading to discover these top picks for some of the best parallel clamps on the market. Be sure to keep the abovementioned considerations in mind when comparing these products, as there is an option for almost every application.

Best Overall

Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-Inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar

Product Specs 

  • Clamping pressure: 1,500 pounds
  • Throat depth: 3⅞ inches
  • Available sizes: 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, 60, and 72 inches


  • Jaw design and built-in stands allow for one-handed setup
  • Open/close design speeds up setup and takedown
  • Rubber grip on the handle makes winding more comfortable


  • Some customers complain about clamps loosening while under pressure

When it comes to all-around quality, value, and capability, this two-pack of Jorgensen Cabinet Master parallel jaw bar clamps is hard to beat. This set of clamps features a 24-inch capacity and plastic-coated steel jaws for gluing up smaller projects without marring the work surfaces. The adjustable clamp jaws are reversible, converting these clamps into spreaders.

These parallel clamps also offer several ergonomic features that many

woodworkers will appreciate

. The jaws have flat-bottom surfaces and built-in stands that allow them to stand on their own for one-handed setup. The clamps create up to 1,500 pounds of force and feature rapid opening and closing action for quick setups and breakdowns. Cinching down on the workpiece is also easy thanks to the rubber-molded, screw-adjustment handles for applying plenty of force pain-free.

Get the Jorgensen parallel clamps at Amazon.


Bora 31-Inch Parallel Clamp Set

Product Specs 

  • Clamping pressure: 1,100 pounds
  • Throat depth: 3½ inches
  • Available sizes: 18, 24, 31, 40, and 50 inches


  • Produces ample clamp pressure for glue-ups and other clamping needs
  • Distributes even pressure over the workpiece due to wide jaw size
  • Prevents dents and marks on wood due to ample padding on jaws


  • Some customers report problems with the clamps slipping under pressure

With its ample clamping pressure and a design that protects the workpiece, this set of clamps from Bora is a great option for most workshops. With a clamping pressure of 1,100 pounds, these clamps create a tight grip for


. The wide 3½-inch jaws provide even pressure, while the thick padding prevents them from creating indentations or marks on the wood.

There’s also a large quick-release handle that makes it easy to slide the jaws along the bar to clamp materials. Plenty of rubberized grip allows one to get a good hold on the handle while winding. Bora’s parallel clamps also come in many size options to suit different projects.

Get the Bora 31-inch parallel clamps at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Bang For The Buck

Bremen 24-Inch Parallel Clamp

Product Specs 

  • Clamping pressure: 1,300 pounds
  • Throat depth: 3¾ inches
  • Available sizes: 24 inches


  • High clamping force of up to 1,300 pounds
  • Built-in locking system helps to prevent slippage when under pressure
  • Removable end foot allows clamp to convert to a spreader


  • Resin jaws don’t provide as much protection from marring as other parallel clamps
  • Clamps are only available in 1 size option

Parallel clamps can be pricey

woodworking tools for your workshop

, especially if you purchase multiple sizes in pairs. Bremen offers an affordable option with this parallel clamp, which offers similar performance at a cheaper price. The clamp produces a force of 1,300 pounds, exceeding many pricier clamps. Its 3¾-inch throat depth allows it to distribute weight evenly across workpieces.

A locking system also prevents the jaws from slipping while under pressure, and its resin jaws present marring. This parallel clamp is also versatile, with a removable end foot that converts it into a spreader.

Get the Bremen parallel clamps at Harbor Freight.

Upgrade Pick

Jet 70411 Parallel Clamp Framing Kit

Product Specs 

  • Clamping pressure: 1,000 pounds
  • Throat depth: N/A
  • Available sizes: 24 and 40 inches


  • Included bench dogs allow for easy use with a workbench
  • Micro-adjustment handles allow for precise pressure on workpiece
  • Built-in slide-guide trigger allows for easy setup and takedown
  • Adjustable jaws convert clamps to spreaders


  • Significantly more expensive than other parallel clamp kits

Achieving a perfectly square glue-up has never been easier than with Jet’s parallel clamp framing kit. This clamp collection includes two 24-inch clamps, two 40-inch clamps, and four framing blocks for 90-degree corner pressure. The blocks and the resin-coated jaws work together to provide mar-free pressure on the edges and fields of boards. The kit also provides a set of bench dogs for securing the clamps to a workbench.

Thanks to their comfortably soft micro-adjustment handles, each of these parallel clamps can exert 1,000 pounds of pressure across a workpiece. Jet’s Slide-Guide trigger also makes setup and breakdown easier. Additionally, users can reverse the adjustable jaws, turning these clamps into powerful spreaders.

Get the Jet parallel clamps at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Best Heavy-duty

Bessey 31-Inch K Body Revo Parallel Bar Clamp

Product Specs 

  • Clamping pressure: 1,700 pounds
  • Throat depth: 3¾ inches
  • Available sizes: 12, 18, 24, 31, 40, and 50 inches


  • Workpieces stay firmly in place due to 1,700 pounds of clamping force
  • Large jaw size produces even distribution of pressure across workpiece
  • Multiple brackets protect workpiece from marring
  • Rubber-molded handles make clamps more comfortable to crank down


  • Some customers complain that it’s difficult to slide the clamp up and down the bar

Powerful clamps are necessary for badly bowed boards, tight joints, and airtight glue-ups. This pair of Bessey 24-inch fixed jaw parallel clamps provides more than enough pressure, with each clamp creating 1,700 pounds of force—enough for truly heavy-duty applications.

Bessey has increased the jaw size by 30 percent to distribute the force on these clamps better, and they feature a plastic coating for protection. The rubber-molded, screw-adjustment handles are comfortable for cranking down on as well. This kit also provides several plastic bar brackets for holding the workpiece off the surface while clamping, reducing the chances of scratches and scrapes.

Get the Bessey parallel clamps at Amazon or The Home Depot(for 1).

Best Kit

Bora 4-Piece Parallel Clamp Set

Product Specs 

  • Clamping pressure: 1,100 pounds
  • Throat depth: 3½ inches
  • Available sizes: 24 and 31 inches


  • Wide jaws help to distribute pressure over a wide area on the workpiece
  • Ample clamping force for a variety of different applications
  • Quick-release function on handle makes setups and takedowns faster


  • Some customers report that the clamps can be difficult to slide

For small projects, it’s hard to beat the overall capability of Bora’s four-piece parallel clamp set. This kit includes four clamps—two 24-inch and two 31-inch—offering plenty of square-clamping capacity for cabinet doors, picture frames, cutting boards, and other woodworking projects. Each clamp can exert 1,100 pounds of force, creating tight joinery and clean glue-ups.

These clamps feature wide padded jaws for even pressure without damaging the edge of the workpiece. The jaws also boast a quick-release function for faster setups and breakdowns, requiring the user to lift the handle to slide the jaw.

Get the Bora four-piece parallel clamps at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Also Consider

Powertec 71602 40-Inch Parallel Clamps

Product Specs 

  • Clamping pressure: 1,100 pounds
  • Throat depth: 3¾ inches
  • Available sizes: 40 inches


  • Large 40-inch capacity makes these clamps suitable for large glue-ups
  • Removable rail clip allows it to double as a spreader tool
  • Quick-release design speeds up setup and takedowns


  • Some customers report that the bar can bend under heavy pressure

Powertec’s set of parallel clamps checks all the boxes. They feature 1,100 pounds of clamping force, which is plenty of pressure for glue-ups, picture frames, and furniture making. A locking system prevents the clamps from slipping while in use, and there are also pads for the jaws to prevent marring the clamping surface.

Their 40-inch size allows them to handle larger jobs. The handles have a rubberized grip that makes winding easier, and the end rail clip is removable, allowing the clamp to be converted into a spreader with a wide 44-inch spreading capacity. A quick-adjustment feature speeds up the setup and takedown process.

Get the Powertec parallel clamps at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing Parallel Clamps

The best parallel clamps are one of the most useful clamps for woodworking glue-ups and assemblies. These clamps provide even pressure, and they span a range of sizes and materials.


With the large number of parallel clamps on the market and the range in price, choosing the best parallel clamps often comes down to the material first and foremost.

Parallel clamps are typically made with steel or aluminum bars and plastic jaws made from hard resin.

Aluminum bar clamps are all about both cost and weight savings. They can sometimes cost and weigh less than half of a steel model. However, because aluminum isn’t as sturdy as steel, it can become damaged or deformed under enough pressure. Also, they’re unable to provide quite as much strength as steel parallel clamps.

“As a professional shop, and gluing up thick stock, we do prefer clamps made from steel,” woodworker Louise says.

Steel parallel clamps are the heavier-duty option, exerting a lot of force and resisting becoming deformed under pressure. They do tend to be more expensive than aluminum models, and longer steel clamps can be heavy and awkward to set up until you are used to their design.

Parallel clamps usually feature a plastic coating over the top of steel jaws, providing strength, a lightweight design, and a mar-free surface.


When it comes to choosing the best parallel clamps for your workshop, length is definitely a factor as well. However, keep in mind that while purchasing the longest possible clamp will provide the widest clamping range, it might not be the most logical move.

If you’ll be gluing mostly small projects, such as a cutting board or a picture frame, 24-inch parallel clamps will likely do the trick. These clamps are small, light, and easy to maneuver around a tight shop. For larger projects like cabinets and doors, however, 30-inch or even 48-inch clamps might be necessary.

For massive projects, many manufacturers do sell brackets to convert two smaller parallel clamps into one longer clamp. There’s also a method of hooking two clamps together—jaw to jaw—but the pressure isn’t quite as evenly distributed.

Louise advises purchasing a variety of sizes for your shop. “The adage ‘you can never have enough clamps’ is quite true,” he says. “You should have enough clamps to produce equal pressure across what is being glued up (and remember to put clamps on the top and the bottom of what is being clamped).”

Clamping Force

Avoiding gaps between boards or pulling together challenging joinery sometimes requires a bit of extra pressure from parallel clamps. While many clamps can exert a ton of force, only the best parallel clamps can do so while still retaining their shape.

Heavy-duty clamps can exert as much as 1,700 pounds of pressure, easily drawing bowed boards and tough joints together. And because of how parallel clamps slowly apply pressure, they work just as well for light-duty projects. Woodworkers can use the same clamps for gluing up thick hemlock doors as they can for ensuring perfectly flat maple cutting boards.

While most clamp manufacturers highlight their clamping force, Louise says clamping force is somewhat overrated. “We only clamp with enough pressure to get good, even squeeze out along the joint,” he says. He advises paying closer attention to bar deflection, the amount the bar bends under pressure. “I reach for parallel clamps mostly for panel glue-ups, and since we want as flat of a panel as we can get, bar deflection is a very important factor.” He recommends looking for a clamp that bends as little as possible when under pressure.

Jaw Design

Jaw design is what makes parallel clamps stand out from the crowd among clamp types. The jaws are designed to be perfectly parallel under force, requiring substantial reinforcement at each jaw. Beyond the jaws, these clamps feature screw-type micro adjustments to add more pressure to the workpiece.

Louise recommends looking for clamps with jaws that toe-in slightly (about 1/16 inch). “The reason behind this is, as in our experience, as you add pressure, that toe-in goes away and the jaws square up and provide more even pressure,” he says.

To use parallel clamps, simply place the workpiece between the jaws, slide the clamps together on the ratcheting bar, and slowly apply pressure with the screw-adjustment handle. As the screw turns, it applies more pressure to the jaws, pulling joints and boards closer together.

Many jaws even feature quick releases, making releasing and spreading the jaws apart much faster—an excellent feature in production shops or when working one-handed.

“A trigger release that releases the jaw is my personal preference when it comes to quick releases,” Louise says.

Surface Protection 

When a clamp applies 1,500 pounds of force to the end of a board, there is a lot of potential for crushing the grain, marring the surface, and ruining the project. It’s important that the pressure is as evenly distributed as possible to avoid this damage.

For that reason, some of the best parallel clamps feature removable jaw pads that turn sideways, increasing the amount of surface area that comes in contact with the board’s edge. While this method might not target pressure particularly well over a small gap, it does help reduce some of the damage a powerful clamp can create.

Another point about surface protection: Some of the best parallel clamp manufacturers sell attachments or brackets that hold the workpiece up off the clamp bars. These standoffs keep the field of the workpiece from scratching or marring as well.


Setting up a long parallel clamp can be a bit of a headache. Between situating the clamp in the ideal spot and applying pressure without moving it, there’s some room for error. Working one-handed, which is often the case in woodworking glue-ups, can exacerbate the issue.

To help make setup easier, many of the best parallel clamps feature ergonomically friendly designs. Ratcheting bars for fast setups, quick releases for when the project is dry, and comfortable screw-adjustment handles with nonslip pads make setup and breakdown much easier.

“As someone that uses clamps a lot in our shop … a handle that is comfortable to the hands is a very personal preference,” Louise says.

He also suggests looking at the threads on the handle. “Some parallel clamps have more threads per inch and require more turning of the handle to get the needed pressure,” he says. “This isn’t a deal killer by any means, but I prefer more coarse threads and less turning.”


When it comes to versatility, most parallel clamps have a trick or two up their sleeves. Not only can you purchase separate brackets for connecting clamps together, but many clamps can also spread objects apart.

By removing the adjustable jaw and spinning it around, a clamp becomes a spreader. It can pull tight, friction-heavy joints apart with the same amount of pressure and force as when securing them together. This can be especially beneficial in humid shops where wood tends to swell quickly during test fits.

And remember—for other woodworking clamp types, you might consider a right-angle clamp or a trusty set of spring clamps.


If you still have questions about the best parallel clamps, the following list addresses many of the most frequently asked queries. Be sure to check for an answer to your question below.

Q. What is a parallel clamp used for?

A parallel clamp has many uses, but it’s most frequently used for clamping boards into one wide surface for countertops, tabletops, and doors or for clamping tight joints for assembly.

Q. What size clamps should I buy?

You can never have too many parallel clamps, so a pair of each size is always a good idea. But 24-inch clamps are the most frequently used.

Q. How many parallel clamps do I need for my woodworking project?

It depends on the size of the project. A full-size door could require 10 clamps during glue-up, while a cabinet door might require only four clamps.

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Tom Scalisi


Tom Scalisi is a freelance writer, author, and blogger with a passion for building. Whether it’s a DIY project or an entire website, Tom loves creating something from the ground up, stepping back, and admiring a job well done.