Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader


 

Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader
Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader

I use a lot of clamps. They are the first clamps of this type sold by Harbor Freight that I like. I make a lot of toys and use many small clamps. Recently I went to Harbor Freight with coupon in hand to pick up a few more of these clamps only to find that they have changed the clamp. 

Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader New Style
Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader New Style


There are currently three SKUs listed on their website: 68974, 46805, 62242. The ones I have the most of are SKU 68974. I have only seen only two of them. I went ahead and purchased four of the new ones. I decided that for $0.99 each, I would give them a try.

 

Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader New Style Flashing on the Trigger
Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader New Style Flashing on the Trigger

 

The new clamps work ok, but the build quality isn't as good. The knob on the side is tiny compared to the older version, and there is flashing on the trigger that my old one does not have. The flashing on the trigger sharp and uncomfortable to squeeze even at the light pressures I use. It feels like it might cut me under the right circumstances. I don't like the smaller knob, but it isn't a deal-breaker as I rarely use it. I removed all the flashing with a sharp knife and smoothed everything down. 

Harbor Freight Four Inch Ratcheting Bar Clamp/Spreader New Style vs Older Style

 

 

I used these recently on a small project. The new style clamps worked fine, but I have to wonder about the roughness of the tool. If they let this slide, what else did they let slide?

If I need more clamps, I will be looking for the SKU 68974 clamps. However, unless I have a problem with the newer ones, I will buy them if I need this size clamp. If it breaks, they will replace it.

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