This is the Bessey GearKlamp, a unique first-of-its-kind clamping solution that works in tight spaces and anywhere you might want quick, secure, and ergonomic clamping.
Basically, it’s a new type of bar clamp.
At the heart of the Bessey GearKlamp is a gear train, fully enclosed to keep out dust and debris, which can deliver up to 450 lbs of clamping power.
The GearKlamp features a quick release button, an ergonomic handle that drives the gear train power, reinforced clamping arms, a hardened and tempered cold drawn steel rail, non-marring clamps, and V-groove anvil in case you need to clamp round parts. The v-grooves are exposed by removing the large protective cap.
Bessey says that it’s great for working in cramped locations, up against other objects, or if you need to reach into or across something to clamp.
It’s available in 4 sizes:
- 8″, GK15
- 12″, GK30
- 18″, GK45
- 24″, GK60
Throat depth is 2-3/8″ for each size.
“So what?” Is that what you’re thinking?
Consider what happens if you try to use a traditional bar clamp in tight spaces. You end up with a long handle that gets in the way.
With the Bessey GearKlamp, the handle is actually inline with the bar, which helps keep it out of the way.
Or, it can be used where there’s not enough space to grip and turn a traditional bar clamp handle.
Price: $16-25 depending on size
Buy Now: 6-inch | 12-inch | 18-inch | 24-inch (via Acme Tools)
The new Bessey GearKlamp bar clamps look pretty neat, and they definitely would have saved me some past frustrations with my other clamps.
There is a downside. With these clamps you do get less clamping power than traditional bar clamps, which can provide 600 or 880 lbs of clamping pressure (using Bessey’s TGJ and TG4 clamps with 2K handles as the example). However, even 450 lbs of clamping pressure is going to be enough for many applications. My favorite quick-use clamp these days is the Bessey KliKlamp, a ratcheting-action clamp with magnesium jaws and 260 lbs clamping pressure rating.
I might have been inclined to question the polyamide construction of these GearKlamps, but so far the polymer handle on my KliKlamps have been holding up just fine.
I haven’t tried the GearKlamps yet, but I think that Bessey might just have come out with another problem solver.
Bessey Promo Video
so not terribly more expensive than a traditional bar – yet more expensive. I could see getting say 2 of the smaller size.
for those odd occasions
gears look to be plastic – which honestly is probably OK too.
But I’ve done without this long so maybe I can continue. Next clamp I’m buying is a parallel jaw of long size
I agree on the plastic gear on the KliKlamp, some I have are over a decade old and the wear is minimal if even so.
I will get me a pair or so GearKlamps.
Interesting idea. The pipe clamps or quick clamps many of the presumed target customers already have should cover at least half of those use cases where a bar or parallel clamp can’t.
That’s not to say these don’t have a place, it just seems a bit more niche than even those cases listed suggest. I’d still want a few, but I’d probably add more of the other types mentioned first. You never can have enough clamps.
When the sales come out I could see buying a few for the rack.. Could see these and a good benefit or at least a way to get started if by yourself!!
Outstanding… Definitely grabbing a couple of each.. thanks
At first I thought it was going to be a knuckle buster, but after watching the video it does appear to have more clearance than their traditional ones. I’m going to have to check them out in person in a store and see how it feels in hand. Or maybe I should just order a couple.
“You can never have too many clamps”
I can think of a number of cases where this design would have been useful to me. It seems like a geuinely good and novel idea, not just a gimmick.
The price isn’t outrageous.
However, the plastic-y construction is a bit of a turnoff. I get that they’re low-force clamps but the photos sort of scream “cheap and breakable”. It looks like the kind of product that’s great before the cost engineering takes hold and all the plastic parts are made of thin, lousy material that doesn’t show up in pictures.
I’d like to try them and see how the mechanism feels and how strong they seem. I could see buying a couple for the times when they would be useful.
The place that I often run into handle clearance issues is welding large fixtures on the bench or on the ground. Obviously this construction won’t work for welding, so here’s hoping they make a metal version
I bought one of each a 3 piece “set” (GK15, GK30 and GK60) that someone vendor was bundling together in October last year for $60.85. I then bought a GK45 in November for $22.49. I probably overpaid a bit on the set.
I’ve tried them (the 15 and 30) alongside other F-style clamps and you seem to get adequate clamping force for decent glue squeeze-out. As Norm Abrams liked to say and MT_-Noob quoted: “you can’t have too many clamps” – but I haven’t found these so useful that I’ll buy another set.
Koko The Talking Ape
Good to know about! They strike me as something I wouldn’t rush out to buy, but maybe in preparation for a specific project.
Re plastic gears, is it impossible to mold helically toothed plastic gears? They would be more durable and less likely to skip a tooth.
Re regular bar clamps, I wish they would let you switch out the long screwdriver-like handles with short star knobs. More clearance for some jobs (less for others), but more torque.
Fast cap makes better clamps for cabinetry. Everyone makes better clamps than Bessey. Jorgensen Gear clamp is about 472 times better then Kliklamps. Jet has a far superior K-body style clamps.
Quick Grips work better in the illustrated examples and they’re spreader clamps too.
I thought about getting a set, but the use cases for this are also accommodated by a heavy duty trigger style clamp (jack clamp,Irwin, Dewalt, etc) which offer one additional benefit…one handed operation. The wooden handscrew clamps can also meet this use case but offer additional flexibility, though these days most don’t have many (any?) of these.
They are certainly a unique design and even if I saw a need for this style clamp, I think a small set of 4 would cover the bases if you don’t already have something else to meet the need. The traditional F and K body clamps most people have still rule the day 99% of the time.
Never used a fully plastic clamp, I am skeptical but I doubt a major company would sully their name by releasing without adequate R&D. Plastic gears definitely worry me.
For many tight spaces, I use Kant-Twist clamps. Bessy makes a good clamp, with the German made being the best. Very expensive though. These new clamps seem ok, but there are better choices. Starrett parallel machinists clamps come to mind.
I got a pair of the 8″ recently at my local woodcraft. Already owning and liking/ depending on most of their whole line, I figured they must be worth a shot. There are limitations but we KNOW that. HOWEVER both my clamps didnt last 2 weeks of normal use before they started walking right down the metal bar upon light, moving into medium, pressure. Nothing could be done. Upon speaking with a few others who now own and use them, one person had same exact issue, one didnt. You’ll see. It’s the plastic locking button. Wont stop me from loving and using my approximately 20 other Bessey clamps sets of wide range of sizes, but the gearklamp for me, immediately crapped out.