Image of a ring clamp

Ring Clamp:

Grip your material tightly while making life easy on your hands.

A ring clamp is a great holding device which can really save your hands.  Even if you feel your hands are in great shape, holding small bits for extended periods of time can cause fatigue and even tendon issues.  This style of clamp is intended to help hold rings with a firm grasp, but can be used to hold other items as well.

My choice:

Ring Clamp with a wedge

Ring clamps can be found made from nylon or wood.  The material doesn’t matter much to me, but I do like the speed with which I can grasp and re-adjust with the wedge style clamp.

A ring clamp is not just for holding rings…

There are various styles of ring clamps available.  Some work in conjunction with a bench pin.  And some have a wing nut to tighten the grip. But I like the traditional clamp where you insert a wedge in the end opposite where you are holding your material like in the picture shown.

The jaw of the clamp is lined with leather, so your piece won’t get marred.  Each end offers a different shape so you can choose which best supports the particular piece you are working with.  Once your material is secure in the grasp, the girth of the clamp fits nicely in your hand and can be held against your work surface for additional leverage.

To use the clamp, simply place your metal in the end you wish to grasp with, and hold the clamp closed on the material.  Then insert the wedge in the opposite end to apply the pressure needed to hold your piece securely.  Many craftsmen file/cut some of the narrow end of the wedge off so they can push the wedge in further achieving an even stronger grasp.

image of ring clamp with the wedge removed
Ring Clamp clasping wire

The clamps work best when you insert your material so the area you want to work is close to the grasp…

If you are using the clamp to hold a piece for filing, you want to position the edge you want to file close to the edge of the grasp to avoid the material flexing while you work on it, unless your piece is made of material strong enough to avoid this flexing issue.  

Where to purchase…

Ring clamps are very commonly found through jewelry supply sources.