Sunday, April 12, 2015

Band Clamps: The Answer to a Question You Haven't Yet Asked

Pony 1215 Band Clamp

Band clamp in use
Despite the name, band clamps have nothing to do with Sousa marches. They’re different animals from other clamps: while most clamps are rigid metal or metal and wood (or plastic) devices that use levers and screws to force the pieces together, band clamps manage to be both simpler and more complex. 

They’re a lot like the belt you’re wearing, except that instead of 30-some inches of leather, this belt is fifteen feet long and made of nylon webbing an inch or so wide. Instead of a "buckle," there's a gear-and-pulley device, spring-loaded. You use it by looping the band around a work piece, like looping a belt around your waist. Then you use the pulley system to tension the band. Think of someone with a 42” waist buckling a 36” belt, and you see how such clamps can apply great pressure. 

The end of the band comes free of its frame and threads through tight spots where necessary. Once in place, you tighten the band by hand and use a wrench (supplied) to crank it even tighter. To release, you press a lever and the band slips free. 

A Pony 1215 Band Clamp comes with the wrench and four metal corners to strengthen the corners of rectangular shapes and prevent the band from marring surfaces. Because the nylon is so flexible, this clamp can be wrapped around almost any shape. 


  • A 15-foot band makes this larger than any other clamp in most workshops. 
  • The flexible band fits even irregular shapes. 
  • Nylon webbing doesn’t mar surfaces like metal or plastic clamps might. 
  • You can thread the band’s end through small openings: for instance, to re-glue the molding on a cabinet door I threaded the band through the space between hinges instead unmounting the door. 


  • The pieces are packed loose and will likely wander off on their own.
  • Applying the clamp can be tricky, since it’s rather clumsy

I stand by my previous statement: you can never have too many clamps!


Plus: fits tight spots, works on irregular surfaces, large capacity, doesn't mar most surfaces
Minus: clumsy to install, small parts can be easily lost
What They're Saying: Every clamp freak should have a band clamp.

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