I recently purchased a couple of Gibraltar extendable multi-position C-clamps, and thought they were the coolest and most versatile C-clamps ever. That was a short-lived sentiment, as I now know that these Irwin G-clamps exist.
Before you get your wallet out, you should know that Irwin’s G-clamps aren’t available in the USA, but there are a couple of European and international suppliers that carry them.
G-clamps are available in 6″, 9″, and 12″ sizes. Each clamp has a standard C-clamp geometry, but instead of two fixed jaws, one is moveable. The top jaw, or the one without the adjustable clamping screw, can slide along the bar and settle into any of the notches which look to be about 3/4″ apart. This allows for far quicker adjustments
With regular C-clamps, going from clamping something thin to clamping something thick is not a fun process. It’s even worse when you’re using larger clamps or multiple clamps. This is can sometimes be made easier if you have multiple C-clamp sizes, but then you have to fit all those different C-clamps in a drawer, on a pegboard, or elsewhere.
With these G-clamps, one clamp can be adjusted over a wide range of heights in no time at all.
There look to be three downsides to these clamps. First, they’re more expensive than ordinary 6″, 9″, and 12″ C-clamps, and far more expensive than smaller C-clamps. Second, they’re not readily available. Third, these still won’t eliminate the need for smaller C-clamps or to have a range of clamp sizes readily available. A 6″ clamp is not going to work in a lot of places 2″ or even 4″ clamps could.
Still, this is a cool clamp to look out for. The clamps seem to be Irwin and Record co-branded, according to a lot of the product pages I found.
Model numbers: 10504422 (6″), 10504423 (9″), 10504424 (12″)
DeStaCo makes an interesting variant:
The De-Sta-Co clamp is $127.47 at Zoro – rather than $184.62 at Drillspot (via Amazon) – interesting as both Zoro and Drillspot are Grainger companies.
My local Home Depot has closed out all the Irwin clamp stock. Shelf space is being filled with Dewalt-brandes clamps.
Branded, not brandes. Sorry.
I’m a big fan of the sliding L clamps myself. I use some Armstrong ones at work, and there are Bessey ones on Amazon. Same principal as these however the other end is the part that slides. The Armstrong ones we use also have an attachment to go on them so you can clamp onto a pipe.
Bessey also makes a quick-release style C-Clamp that has a button yo press to release the threads so you can slide the screw in and out. I think that Great Neck and Harbor Freight also offer this style clamp – but I always shied away from them thinking that they might not be as strong as conventional C-Clamps.