I posted a while back about problems I was having with my Irwin Quick Grip bar clamps. Basically they were slipping, over and over again, when I would squeeze the handles tightly, they would slip, the jaws would not grip tightly at all.
They have lifetime warranties but I was taking 1 or 2 back (owned a total of 8) pretty much every time I used them. It was getting old fast. Clamps that seemed to be ok one day, a week later on a different project would start slipping; and once they start to slip, they never rebound. They are weak from then on.
I emailed Irwin via their customer service web page asking if there was anything that could be done to adjust or fix them to where they would stop slipping. They replied a few days later and said "no" and told me to return them for exchange.
Here is their reply: Mr. Stewart,
Unfortunately there is no way to adjust the gripping mechanism. Please return any defectives to the place of purchase. I apologize for any inconvenience.
I posted a message here to see if anyone here knew of a way to adjust them, one guy came back with a procedure but to do it you had to remove the spring pins at the ends of the bars and "reverse" the leaves inside the handle. If you did that he said the clamps seemed to be ok. My problem with that is.....if I do that, there is likely going to be evidence (scratches) from where I was removing and installing the pins. With my luck, the next time I go to exchange one, they see the scratches and claim I've abused the clamp and refuse to honor my warranty. Which, I could understand.
Most of the responses I got were from other sad owners of Quick Grip clamps confirming they had the exact same problems. One guy said a friend had a cabinet shop or some professional wood shop and he was experiencing a 70% failure rate with the Irwin Quick Grip clamps so he took them all back.
That is what I did, and I purchased the Jorgensen ISD bar clamps, same idea, one handed cushioned jaw bar clamps.
My first impression, the Jorgensen clamps are simply built better. Jorgensen's are made in Taiwan, Irwin's are made in China. There is one spring and two leaves in the handle of the Irwin Quick Grip; the gauge of the spring is about the same as a spring from an old ball point pen. LIke a thin wire.
The Jorgensen clamps; two mirror finished heavy gauge springs working against two pairs of leaves that ride on the bar. I can squeeze the Jorgensen ISDs till I'm blue in the face and they just get tighter and tighter and tighter. They don't slip. Quick Grips at their best would slip every time if I exerted half this much force.
Another thing I like about the Jorgensen, the movable jaw stays in place even when the clamp isn't tightened onto something. This makes it nice for making coarse adjustments just larger than the width of what you plan to clamp, then you can use both hands to line things up and hold with one while you get the Jorgensen ISD with the other hand. A few squeezes with one hand and you are good to go. With the Irwin Quick Grips, the movable jaw slides all over the place loosely so it is a constant pain to use with just one hand.........which is the whole purpose of these type clamps in the first place!
Last, and this is the icing on the cake fellas, ladies; the Jorgensen ISD bar clamps are cheaper than the Irwin Quick Grip clamps.
Win, win, win.
Web links for Jorgensen and their ISD bar clamps are below, you can buy them on Amazon or Woodcraft. Google it and I'm sure you will find more.
I'm not here to beat up on Irwin, actually many of their products are pretty decent IMHO.
But their Quick Grip clamps are next to worthless.