Best Straight Edge Clamps of 2021: Buying Guide

Circular saws are one of the most versatile types of say you could ever own. Without the need for tables and guides, you can take the circular saw with you to cut the roughest, most oddly shaped boards of lumber down to size. But without a guide, producing super-straight cuts along the edges of boards is close to impossible.

This is where straight edge clamps can be of tremendous help. Instead of eyeing the cut, simply take a straight edge clamp, align it with where you would like to make the straight cut, the push your circular saw along the guide. They’re fairly simple to use, and you’ll get perfect results with your circular saw every single time.

To help you find a high-quality, durable straight edge clamp, we’ve created a list of models that should work perfectly with whatever circular saw model you own. Take a look at our picks of the best straight edge clamps below.


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Straight Edge Clamp | Bestseller


Ultimate Straight Edge Clamp Buying Guide

They might seem like simple tools, but finding the best fit for your circular saw can be more than challenging mainly due to the infinite sea of clamps available. In this section, we’ll go over what sort of features to look out for when shopping for a straight edge clamp of your very own.

Length

Straight edge clamps come in a myriad of different lengths. Some can be as short as 36 inches while others can reach 50 inches and beyond. The ideal length depends on how long of a board you’re working with. Overly long edge clamps that go beyond the length of the board are not as easy to clamp.

Optional Extensions

But if you’re working with extremely long boards that need to be dimensioned, consider investing in an edge clamp that has optional extension. Some edge clamp models allow you to increase the lengths almost indefinitely. If you plan on using extensions, you need the most rigid clamps possible since longer clamps tend to bend upwards.

Material

Most clamps are made of aluminum – a lightweight metal can that stand quite a beating. The problem with aluminum is that they bend rather easily. If you plan on using 100-plus-inch edge clamps, you may want to opt for something made of steel or another durable, not flexible material (not plastic).

Clamping Mechanism

The clamping mechanism in an edge clamp is what makes it possible to produce perfectly straight cuts along the lengths of a board. The clamping mechanism needs to be able to grab hold of the board without the slightest give when wobbled. When running the circular saw, try and apply as much even pressure along the length of the guide as possible. However, with a high-quality clamp, you won’t need to worry misaligning the guide in the middle of a cut.

Grooves

The grooves in a straight edge clamp are the tracks where a saw plate’s notches fit. There shouldn’t be any bumps or imperfections in the grooves since they can cause the notches to get stuck. For the most part, this isn’t an issue, but we’ve come across the odd model where the grooves are slightly tapered on one of the clamp, rendering it almost completely useless.

Swivel Head for Angled Cuts

Some edge clamps have a swiveling head mechanism allows the clamps to grab onto the edge of a board at up to 22.5°. Provided the clamping mechanism doesn’t have any issues, this is the only way you can safely produce perfectly straight mitered rip cuts using a circular saw. Although it’s possible to make angled cuts without a swiveling head, it’s not recommended unless you have a powerful grip on the board, the edge clamp, and the circular saw.

Rubber Anti-Slip Feet

Unless, of course, the straight edge clamps have rubber anti-slip feet. These rubber feet typically extend along the length of the guide, allowing you to simply position the guide at the correct angle and saw away. The best anti-slip feet should prevent the guide form wiggling during the cutting process.

Circular Saw Plate

The only way to make use out of a straight edge clamp is by attaching a bottom plate onto your circular saw. Some circular saw models come with a plate while others require a separate purchase. The plate comes with notches that fit perfectly into the straight edge clamp’s track grooves. Without the plate, you potentially increase the risk of injuring yourself or damaging the saw’s blade when gliding the tool across the edge clamp.

Straight Edge Clamp FAQs

How thick of a material can the straight edge guide clamp onto?

As long as the push-in clamps can grab hold of the board, the circular saw can cut into any board of any thickness. Whether the circular saw can cut through the entire board in one pass is an entirely different story.

Can you use straight edge clamps to cut boards without parallel ends?

Although parallel ends are ideal, they don’t need to be that way. With a makeshift shim, you can add to the parallelism to one or both tapered ends. Exercise extreme caution when doing so; straight edge clamps were not designed for use on non-parallel boards.

How do extensions affect the quality of the cut?

It depends on how they latch onto each other. For the most part, the extensions sit flush with the original clamp and don’t significantly impact the quality of the cut. Cheaper, less reliable models, however, might wiggle, bend, or can only be positioned at a slight angle, ruining the straight cut.

Closing Remarks

Although circular saws are extremely versatile as is, they aren’t the best at making straight cuts along the length or width of boards. Thankfully, you can get a straight edge clamp to eliminate most of the guesswork, thereby producing perfect cuts for a perfectly dimensioned board.

Shopping for a straight edge clamp isn’t all that difficult. The most important factor to consider is the quality of the clamps. A slight bend in the center or uneven grooves can cause the circular saw plate to get jammed which is definitely not something you want.

Straight Edge Clamp | Bestseller



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Straight Edge Clamps

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Last update on 2021-04-15 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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