I recently noticed a mark-down and disappearance of many Bessey clamps at my local Home Depot. There were some other signs that suggested that Home Depot might be changing up their in-store clamp section.
Many readers reported that there are no changes at their local Home Depot. Jeff shared a photo, above, of a Michigan Home Depot’s clamp section (thank you!), showing a full rack of Bessey clamp SKUs.
Several new Dewalt clamping products, which previously appeared on Home Depot’s website, have since showed up at my local Home Depot, although there are still some empty pegs.
Separately, Bessey has new clamps coming down the pipeline, and I have confirmed that some of them WILL be available at Home Depot stores.
Thus, I am increasingly convinced that Home Depot is NOT dropping Bessey in favor of Dewalt products.
So what’s going on?
What We Know and Can Conclude
Some stores are giving Bessey shelf space to new Dewalt products. Temporarily? More stores are keeping things as they were.
When I asked Dewalt about their new bar clamps, I was told:
These are a test with The Home Depot for DEWALT.
I had asked about the online listing I saw. I thought the answer was about the online listings, but what if it was referring to the in-store Dewalt clamp selections?
Bessey has some new products coming out, and so some empty pegs could simply be because a product refresh is pending.
Perhaps the Dewalt test is being done at some stores, with Bessey products to return once new or updated clamps are available to take their place.
There are still a lot of questions, but it appears that Home Depot is only testing out Dewalt clamping tools at some brick and mortar locations.
Will it be at the Detriment of Bessey?
That part is unclear, but I can say this: I sure hope not.
I really like Dewalt hand tools, and I really like Bessey clamps. I have purchased both brands’ clamps. I also own some Irwin clamps, and have tested others.
Bessey knows clamps. That’s their forte – clamps, clamping tools, and other such products.
From the looks of it, Dewalt’s new clamps are more affordable, and quite good. But are they as good? I have my doubts. Dewalt has iterated some of their hands tools over the years, making good products better. But in regard to clamps, Bessey has a significant lead.
I want to be able to visit my local Home Depot store to buy Dewalt clamps AND Bessey clamps. Surely Home Depot can find a way for both brands to share the same space.
I have purchased a couple of Bessey parallel clamps at Home Depot, but I bought more of them online. My local Home Depot has 2, maybe 3 of each size that they carry. Or at least they had. A new woodworker, or a seasoned woodworker that needs extra clamps for a new project, isn’t going to visit 3 or 4 Home Depot stores to pick up all the clamps they need. They’ll go to a woodworking supplier, or order the clamps they need online.
Nothing beats being able to try a clamp in person. Parallel clamps are a big investment, and it helps to be able to evaluate one or two brands before you decide where to spend your money. Some pre-purchase hands-on time is advantageous when shopping for other types of clamps, too.
Now that I think about it, I purchased most of my clamps in stores. I have 2 Craftsman bar clamps, a whole slew of Bessey bar clamps, mostly short ones, 8 Irwin trigger clamps, and a bunch of Dewalt trigger clamps. All bought from Brick & Mortar stores.
I have Jorgenson cam-action clamps, and a pair of Bessey ratcheting KliKlamps that I purchased just before posting about them. The Jorgenson and Bessey KliKlamp purchases are among the few clamps I bought sight unseen.
Looking at some of my photos, my local store didn’t have any Milwaukee hand clamps or Hart hand clamps on the shelf. So right now, it’s just Dewalt and Bessey.
There are some clamping products where Home Depot’s buyers will have to decide between Dewalt and Bessey. For instance, how many right angle clamps do shoppers need or want to choose from? I can understand that, but I really don’t want to see ANY Bessey products pushed off the shelves at Home Depot.
I must admit, there are 2 reasons why I want to see both Bessey and Dewalt clamping tools available at Home Depot. First, I like to have options. I want to choose from different brands and styles of hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and clamps, among other tools. Options and choices are good.
But second, I’m worried about what it might mean should Home Depot decide to replace Bessey clamping tools with Dewalt products.
Right now, it does NOT look like that’s happening. But it could. This test that Home Depot is conducting at some store locations, or however else you can describe it, is being done for a reason.
What I’m hoping is that Home Depot can find a way to bring new Dewalt clamping tools to their stores, without giving any Bessey space to them.
The new Dewalt parallel clamps are less expensive, and my in-store hands-on left me optimistic about their performance. But Bessey’s are the best, and they don’t cost all that much more. Bessey’s 24″ clamp is $5 more, but their 50″ clamp gives you 2 extra inches of the same money.
It’s hard for me to think or talk about this, as I’m fond of both brands. I don’t want to see any Bessey products dropped from stores, but at the same time I also want to see more Dewalt products available at stores when I can check them out and maybe buy some in person. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the Home Depot buyer or buying team that has to make decisions about what to buy to stock their clamp section with.
We’ll have to see how this plays out.
I am actually getting sick of having so many Dewalt tools. My garage is starting to look like the Dewalt factory repair center. Seriously, I would prefer to buy many different brands, whoever is known for that tool in that category, or like the Stuart says whoever is known for their forte. I don’t like looking like a Dewalt reprentative. And I don’t mean SBD owning a hundred different brands. I’d like some independence.
I have many Dewalt Tools. Planer, Circular saw others….
Last year I purchased an Kobalt Brushless Drill and driver set with one battery for $99. It has a one year warranty with Lowes so I figured I had 1 year to give it a trial. I can also get extra batteries for $20. So far I have been very happy with this set. Battery life is great even after sitting for a month without use. Not everything is better because it cost more.
But most of the time it’s true. Kobalt tools are not made for professionals. I’m happy it has worked for you but in no way is a contractor,as myself buying Kobalt tools for anything..Dewalt,Milwaukee,Makita are the brands with some exceptions,Rigid,Bosch Hilti,Hitachi,Metabo all have some tools that are great but generally not as a full line of tools…..whenever possible buy American made products or lean towards a company bringing jobs to Americans.
Shelf or rack space is all about what sells, how fast and in what volume it sells and how much profit it makes. Home Depot is likely testing Dewalt clamps to get the data to make a decision.
In my city, there are 2 HD stores. One totally cleared Bessey for Dewalt, the other store split the rack 50/50. I also confirmed with HD corporate that Milwaukee is in a test market to determine the response HD will have to Lowe’s recent decision to carry the new S B&D Craftsman line. Specifically 14 stores are taking A old Craftsman hand tool in exchange for A FREE Husky of equal style and feature. Few takers so far.
Really? I have an old Craftsman drill that is taking up cabinet space. Battery will not hold a charge and cheaper to replace the drill. I’ll need to check into this. Is that 14 stores across the USA?
I believe the promo spoken of is for hand tools only.
My recommendation is to find your closest construction supply. While their prices on power tools are often quite higher than HD or Lowe’s, they do get promo the big box chains don’t, with significant discounts for bringing in old tools. I don’t venture into them often, but have heard of these and saw the promo firsthand a few years back, when someone exchanged a busted up drill and some cash for a new Milwaukee setup.
It appears Hart clamps are being closed out. Just a few on the shelf with yellow markdown tags. I bought two of the 6 inch clamps and may go to another store for two more.
The one thing I noticed at my local Home Depot’s is the only Bessy’s clamps that are marked down (only a dollar or two) are the ones with the wood handles. The ones with the newer plastic and rubber handles are not marked down. Maybe they are clearing out the old style?
I was just at Home Depot in SE Michigan and the display is much like pictured at the top. About 1/2 and 1/2. It ONLY has DeWalt trigger clamps, but they take about half the display. The trigger clamps are the only Irwin clamps I’d buy which are carried by Lowe’s, so I’m wondering if this isn’t a strategy to keep customers in HD.
Here’s the odd thing, though. There are some very long trigger clamps, like 50″ and they are about the same price as the Bessey 50″ parallel clamps. Buying 50″ trigger clamps would be a poor choice for me, since they don’t keep the pieces parallel. The long ones will deflect and also the jaws are shorter. The trigger clamps are fast and easy, so I can see people buying these, but then later having buyer’s remorse when they don’t keep pieces parallel. I have some 36″ Irwin trigger clamps, purchased before I knew better, and rarely find use for them, since they pull things out of square. Pipe clamps would be cheaper and a better choice than trigger clamps, but parallel clamps are best. Especially Bessey parallel clamps.
They did have a package of 4 DeWalt trigger clamps at $40, so I bought them, and will see how they compare to the Irwins I have. Since you can never have too many. The 4 pk may be a promo to get people to try them.
The 4 pk has two 12″ and two 6″. Also the price is $30, not $40 for the set.
Bessey doesn’t make the trigger type of clamp, though I like their kliklamps for small and quick like clamping things to a worktable when routing, etc, they are low profile, and would normally use these ahead of the trigger style. I still use the Irwin triggers enough for a stronger clamping force, though.
I sure hope the Bessey clamps are not edged out by squeeze clamps (DeWalt or any other brand). They just are not as robust as they appear to be at first glance. I had an Irwin squeeze clamp break on me the first time I used it, and I had not even given it a tight squeeze. So for me squeeze clamps are for only the lightest duty tasks.
Looks exactly like my hd clamp section I scoped last night. (NV) Full stock of DeWalt and bessey, right down the middle?
My home depot which is the central store for our city has all bessy clamps GONE. All you can find it dewalt clamps. Not that i really mind but i checked a week ago and its true.
I’d agree on wanting to keep the Bessey clamps and have the Dewalt as a lower priced option.
Really though, I’d rather big box stores like HD stock even MORE clamps in a variety of brands and price ranges.
It should seem strange that a HUGE store like HD is so stingy when it comes to shelf space for, of all things, tools. I find it unacceptable that I can only get one or maybe two brands when I go to HD for something, when there are way more brands to choose from.
If they want to pretend that shelf space is the real issue, then maybe, just maybe, they can, I don’t know, not pretend that every single clamp they have in stock needs to be all on the same hook and occupying the same few cubic inches and instead just store one or two of each, and have vertical storage for the rest, just above where the tool is, so a customer can grab more if they need more than one or two, or an associate can put one or two back on the hook if a customer grabs both that were on there.
Really, if these big box stores wanted to make some BIG money, they’d carry way more brands and selection than they do now, and sell WAY more products. Right now they pretty much deliberately only sell a limited amount of stuff and artificially restrict the amount of the space devoted to tools.
I walked through a few stores yesterday and they’re the same as those around Columbus, GA: slight discounts on a couple of Bessey clamps and about 50/50 between Bessey and DeWalt. I didn’t stop in Metro Atlanta, but hit up a store on the outskirts of that city, stopped at one in Charlotte, and made my last HD stop of the trip in Greensboro. I’ll be checking out some stores around Richmond this week.
Since Atlanta is their base of operations, I’ll try to check one or two of the larger stores out on my way back. They should provide some kind of insight; maybe HD is only experimenting in large stores near large population centers. The two I stopped at in NC were definitely of the smaller variety.
Bessey is coming out with new K body revo parallel clamps in early 2018. See link:
I picked up four 24” Bessey parallel clamps discounted at $28 each in one local Birmingham, AL store. They’re likely making space for the new model.
I was at my local depot to day for something and walked over to the clamps, it was a large sea of dewalt yellow and a mere 2 bessey bar clamps that looked like they were either returns or run over but the delivery truck. The usual assortment and brands were all replaced by dewalt.
I’m of the mindset that one can never have too many clamps, when I saw the pipe clamps I figured that I’d give it a try, it was less then $12 with tax, and how bad could they be?
If this is their new line and are trying to win over people to their new products and lines you’d think that they would be a bit more critical of their QA- they have one chance to make a first impression and they made one on me — I will never buy one of their paper weights marked as a clamp. Why should I? How can I ever trust it to not fail or worse?
The fit and finish were rough, there were casting burrs and sharp edges; the screw to advance the clamp had filings in it and bound up easily, even when cleaned it was still binding up. I could live with the finish, however the cam’s wouldn’t hold on the pipe regardless of which way it was put on. Now for those thinking I don’t know what I’m doing with a pipe clamp we have a custom wood and separate metal fabrication shop. We literally have a wall in each shop full of pony, jorgensen and bessey clamps. I bought this for my own personal use at home and truth to be told i’d feel less upset if I went to harbor freight – I’d know exactly what i was getting and not have any delusions about its quality and have lower expectations. These to me are nothing more then the cheap no names painted yellow and with a dewalt sticker on them.
Unless you have to bleed yellow in everything save your money and hold out for real tools and not some gimmicks that the manufacturers push out just because they want you to buy their latest gizmos.
Yikes – it sounds like SB&D is dropping the ball on the DeWalt clamps and maybe who knows what else. Their wrenches don’t seem to be so great either, though they’re just cheapos with a Dewalt name stamped on them.
I would expect they’d do better if Dewalt is one of their “premium” brands, certainly one of the best known when it comes to power tools and one that has some pretty devoted customers.
They could easily, easily make much higher quality stuff and sell it for a higher price with the Dewalt name on it. Really dumb to go low end on the Dewalt hand tools considering the status of the power tools among it’s customer base.
Maybe SB&D will wise up and use some of that USA production capacity for Craftsman to also produce Dewalt branded hand tools.
Hey! Some Harbor Freight clamps get decent reviews on their site. Honestly I have no idea how good they are though. Silly for SB&D to tarnish the Dewalt brand with subpar hand tools if what you’re saying ends up being the norm when it comes to the quality of their hand tools. They own so many brands as it is that I don’t understand why even bother with using the Dewalt brand for that. For something like clamps wouldn’t Porter Cable or even Irwin be a better fit? I mean why have a brand you’ve built up take a hit reputation wise because you want to make a cheap tool. They own cheap tool brands that can do that already.
From personal experience it might be with Home Depot’s desire to control a market and forced exclusivity contacts with vendors. The large tool manufacturers and market specific leaders don’t play the HD game..try finding Purdy products in HD…
Bessey clamps will always be a woodworker’s perfered clamp of choice, but it can also be that in the end it is a very small market and the product may not be moving as well as HD wanted.
The new Dewalt clamps that replaced Bradley are lick and stick from Great Star a Chinese Manufacturer that make anything for anyone for a price. Do t buy that junk quality is low.
It looks like Bessey’s spring clamp set is hitting the chopping block at HD. A 9-piece set is currently priced at $6.
I haven’t spent much time looking at the site this morning; there may be other Bessey deals to be found.
I’ve been monitoring the clamp section at my local HD ever since I read this article. The clamp section seems to be 60/40 Bessey to DeWalt. However, the Bessey section hasnt been re-stocked at all from what I can tell. It looks like a ghost town.