Truth to be told:
Not all of us can afford a big fancy table saw.
Good news is:
You don’t need an expensive table saw to make cuts straight as an arrow.
With just a circular saw and straight edge clamp, you’ll be able to rip right through huge sheets of plywood.
But, the question still remains: Which straight edge clamp should you buy?
We've got you covered. Here's a list of the five best straight edge clamps of 2020.
Straight Edge Clamps
E. Emerson C50
Rockler Clamp Edge System
5 Best Straight Edge Clamp - Reviews
1. Bora WTX Clamp Edge - The Best
Our thought: Great clamps with a gimmick that may fall short...
These are solidly made straight clamps. They’ll keep your line well. The saw plate is cool, but may turn out to be more hassle than it’s worth.
A little bit of everything:
This spicy Bora set comes with four pieces: a 24” clamp, 50” clamp, 50” extender, and saw plate.
Made from aircraft grade aluminum:
These clamps guarantee rigid, straight cuts. The 3.5 inches of width ensure that they don’t bow when you’re hacking those plywood sheets with the circular saw.
The best part?
The 50” clamp extension can turn your 50” clamp into a 100” clamp. That’s over 8 feet of straight-cutting clamping action!
Soft, convenient handling...
Soft-grip non-marring rubberized clamping pad grips your surfaces tightly without marring. Store these clamps easily and conveniently using the integrated hanging loop on the handles.
Saw plate increases your precision:
This particular set comes with a saw plate that works with most circular saws, left or right handed. Cut as straight as a table saw with confidence.
The plate needs some love...
The saw plate can be a bit finicky. It is plastic, and you need to spend some time adjusting your saw to make sure it’s cutting straight.
2. Bora 541100 Clamp Edge - Premium Pick
Our thought: This clamp has got all the right angles:
Our favorite part of this clamp is the angling capability. Not many straight clamps can do that. Although, the price is a bit steep, and clamping strength decreases at full length.
A giraffe among straight clamps:
This Bora clamp packs 100 whole inches of rigid, straight clamping action.
Swivel head design...
...Allows you to cut at angles up to 22.5 degrees. This is the only clamp on the list with this feature. If you’re looking to make long angled cuts, this clamp is for you.
Aluminum frame guarantees sturdy construction, and the 3 3/8 inches of width will ensure minimal bowing while you cut.
Oversized handle for increased clamping pressure:
The soft-grip rubberized clamping pad holds your work tightly in place. A firm grip will keep the clamp straight: the straighter the clamp, the straighter the cut.
Easy to accessorize...
The Bora 541100 comes with integrated dual “T” tracks. Use 1/4” 20 bolts to pair this clamp with your shop accessories to increase your options.
The best part?
This clamp comes with a lifetime warranty. In this era of plastic tools, that’s hard to beat.
With great length comes great responsibility:
Look, 100” inches is long. When you’re using the clamp at full 8 foot capacity, the clamping power decreases. That’s to be expected.
Probably every clamp on the list will suffer from this. There are no other real drawbacks to this thing. It really does the job well.
3. E. Emerson C50 - Budget Pick
Our thought: The budget king.
Hobbyists or DIYers, this may be the best straight edge clamp for you. It’s got solid construction for the price.
50” does come up a bit short. If you’re putting in heavy use, the clamp may wear out before you know it.
The runt of the litter:
This Emerson runs a little short at 50”, but it still packs a punch.
Tubes running the length of the wide body...
...Make this clamp both lightweight and extra rigid. The aluminum frame is lightweight, but durable at the same time.
Though this is our budget pick, it definitely stacks up well against the other clamps on the list.
Rounded handle ensures comfort:
However, the plastic handle can feel flimsy as well. The handle on this clamp pushes to 45 degrees for a light clamp...
...and then all the way down for a full clamp.
That can be a little confusing, so keep that in mind if the clamp doesn’t seem tight enough.
Pair it with Contractor Series accessories:
This Emerson clamp has recessed tracks that play well with Contractor Series saw plates, router plates, and stop blocks. If you use Contractor Series, this is a good pick for you.
Keep in mind that it will not work with A, Twin, or Ultra Series accesories.
Finding the goldilocks zone...
This clamp does not self-adjust to 90 degrees. Meaning you’ll have to square it up manually. This isn’t too much of an issue, but not ideal.
Don’t use this clamp outdoors for too long:
With exposure to rain or lots of sun, the clamp parts can jam up in the track...
...making it difficult to adjust the clamping mechanism.
4. Bora 543100 Clamp Edge - A Good Edge Clamp
Our thought: Overall good.
The longest of the long boys, but stays unbent. Keep it straight and go slowly and carefully when you’re using the full length of the clamp.
The Bora 543100 comes in at a healthy 100”, long enough to measure most anything.
Heavy gauge, extruded aluminum makes this clamp strong:
Stronger than a lot of competitors out there. Tough and durable, this clamp is sure to stay straight, even at a long 100”.
Cam activated locking handle...
...grabs your work tightly and hangs on for dear life.
Like many of the other clamps on the list, this Bora has got a hanging notch for convenient storage.
It just keeps on going:
If 100” of clamp isn’t long enough, you can buy a 24” or 50” extension for this clamp.
This clamp will help you cut long long sheets of material. Use with circular saws, jigsaws, routers, and other portable power tools. Precision is within your grasp.
At just 3 inches...
...this clamp is not as wide as some of the others on the list.
That doesn’t seem to be a problem, even at 100” long. It shouldn’t bend or bow on you--that’s a real testament to the strength of the materials.
When using extenders, the clamp doesn’t always stay straight. Make sure to double check the straightness if you choose to use extenders with this clamp.
5. Rockler Straight Edge Clamp - You May Consider
Our thought: Okay...
Rockler’s got serious rails. It’s too bad that their clamping force leaves a bit to be desired.
Being able to write on the clamps is a neat design element that could be seriously useful.
The misfit of this list:
Rockler rounds out the list with a unique clamp. A stylish black bar with yellow along the edges is sure to catch your eye.
Rockler’s got the length...
This clamp comes in two 52” lengths. Stick them together and you’ve got 104 inches of straight clamping ability. More than enough.
Add the T-fence and the Rockler becomes a T-Square--perfect for laying out your projects.
Story stick brings out the artist in you...
This is actually a cool, unique feature. You can write or draw on an edge of this clamp.
Make custom markings for each of your projects instead of trying to memorize a bunch of numbers on a measuring tape.
The rail is sturdy, but...
...the clamps themselves seem a bit flimsy. The knobs come off pretty easily.
If you buy this clamp:
Go ahead and epoxy or superglue the clamp knobs on. It’ll save you a bunch of trouble. I know it’s a hassle, but otherwise this is a pretty darn good clamp.
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