A frugal buddy and I attended the SF Bay Area Wood Working Show
this past Friday. He's in the market for some K-Body type clamps
and was considering the WoodCraft green "Bessy" clamps. He stopped
by the Bessy booth and asked why they are making a cheaper version
of their clamps for WoodCraft. "We aren't." was the answer.
So are the WoodCraft green "Bessy Type Clamps" actually made
According to the Woodcraft web page, yes. What makes your frugal buddy
think they are cheaper? Well, maybe they sell for less money, but that does
not mean they are constructed with less integrity, quality, or anything
aside from the green instead of red color.
If it is the same clamp at a lower selling price, the Bessy rep was correct.
Well, if you read the Woodcraft article carefully, it doesn't actually
say they are made by Bessy, only that they (WC) "had the opportunity to
work with Bessey to develop a Woodcraft line of parallel clamps." It
goes on to point out they aren't the same as the K-Body so one would
presume they bought a design or engineering services from Bessy and are
_probably_ having them made for them. What is confusing is the Bessy
logo used as it is. See
Is also possible, of course, that they are also actually made by Bessy
and the guys working the booth simply aren't aware of all the deals the
front office has cut...that wouldn't be at all surprising, either.
Whatever the answer is, they aren't K-bodies, but a parallel jaw clamp
of differing design details. Does appear from the words they aren't a
product of patent-avoidance, though, as that wouldn't lend to the use
of Bessy at all in the marketing...
True, as far as I can tell. This issue has been addressed in the past
Representatives of both Woodcraft and Bessey chimed in to say that
they're NOT actually made by Bessey, even though I think Woodcraft
promo materials definitely imply they are. In fact, to quote their
website http://tinyurl.com/y26jz2 , "Manufactured Exclusively for
Woodcraft by Bessey Tools!" Despite that glowing advertisement, these
clamps are apparently ACTUALLY manufactured by Groz in India, and not
Bessey in Germany (See previously mentioned rec.woodworking thread of
Oct 3, 2006).
Anyway, with Bessey, Gross Stabil, and Jet parallel clamps on sale at
Amazon right now (as per my earlier post), and all of these "real"
brands CHEAPER (for 12, 24 and 31" sizes) than the Woodcraft ones, why
would you go with the knock-offs?
If Woodcraft offered these greenies at a significant cost savings over
sale-priced "real" clamps, I might look at them more closely, but until
then, why bother? I'm a very satisfied Woodcraft customer, and I'll
certainly continue to take my business to them when I'm near one of
their stores, but if they wanted to sell me green clamps, they'd have
to offer them at half their current prices.
Just my opinion,
This was explained a couple months ago here....
Some company in India is actually making the clamps
for Woodcraft using a license agreement from Bessey.
I finally found the original messge that describes
the situation: (I reorged the message to look better)
The Woodcraft parallel clamps were manufactured on
contract by a third party (Groz of India) to Bessey's
These clamps are designed and manufactured to Bessey's
standards to be a price point alternative to the regular
K-Body manufactured by Bessey Tools in Germany.
I have personally used these clamps on several occasions
since we first received the initial prototypes and I have
to say that I truly believe they are of a quality that far
exceeds the price.
That being said if you want the absolute best parallel jaw
clamp on the maket then I would suggest that they buy the
If on the other hand you are a cost conscience customer
that maybe has a budget that they must work within then
I believe the Woodcraft by Bessey parallel clamps
offer exceptional value.
Good luck on your decision and with all of your woodworking
projects to come.
(PS: what's wrong with looking like Santa's workshop ??)
charlie b wrote:
The "Green Ones" look like the Bessys - from a distance.
If you look closer you notice
- the metal of the movable jaw are pretty porous castings
and sand blasted.
- the threads are
\ not like \
/ the Bessy |
/ or Gross Stabile /
I think the Bessy threads are called "acme thread" - much
stronger, which is why they're used on bench vises
I'm betting this is another example of you get what you
pay for. Looks similar enough - how it WORKS is another
At this point Jack, I have no idea... The India explaination
actually sounds right and based on what I saw at the Woodcraft,
I would suspect somebody from that part of the world was making
those green critters.
They DO NOT look like a real Bessey(I have over 40) after a
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