Wouldn't it be nice to find this pile of Bessey clamps in your shop? Well, you can and probably for far less than you expect!
Click image to enlarge

Bessey classiX™ Standard Pad and Heavy Duty Pad Versions

The economic way to non-standard quality

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted – 1-21-2011

Even the home based or small pro shop need regular duty clamps that they can depend on over the long haul. The Bessey classiX™ line has the functionality and durability to meet these needs at a price we just can’t pass up. Bessey has been a leader in all types of clamping for a very long time and have developed hordes of design and manufacturing techniques which they apply to everything that they make, including the Bessey classiX™ line of clamps.

The Basics

While the classiX line of all-steel welding clamps does not have all the patented features of the current top-line BESSEY products (1800S & 2400S Series) they would have been considered state-of-the-art even a few short years ago. Bessey recognized that some users need an entry-level price point with top-line features, especially during the worst recession in recent history.

Bessey flexed their international muscles to source specially made components for the Bessey classiX™ clamps while assuring quality through Bessey’s in-house engineering and quality control. This logistical confluence of industrial capacities keeps the price remarkably low for quality clamps that are loaded with tried and true Bessey features.

High quality steel and heat-treating processes make the familiar hourglass rail profile tough enough for the in-shop environment. The moveable arm is also designed to maintain rigidity under the surprising clamping forces the Bessey classiX™ Clamps generate. The boss that grips the rail is precisely made so that it locks in place as soon as clamping pressure is applied. Release the pressure and the arm slides easily to the next spot needed.

If the bars on the classiX™ clamps looks familiar (left) that's because it is on many of Besseys line of clamps. It works better than other shapes so Bessey uses this shape where ever it makes sense. The moveable arms (right) are tough, rigid and lock in place firmly!
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Even the spatter resistant spindle benefits from Bessey developed manufacturing and heat-treating techniques that make them strong and resistant to welding spatter. The spindles feature precisely formed Acme threads that make applying pressure fast and virtually effortless. The heavy-duty swivel pad at the end of the spindle has been designed to make applying the Bessey classiX™ to irregular surfaces easier.

All of these features are also built into the Bessey classiX™ with their heavy-duty swivel pads designed to work with substantially higher clamping pressures. Though visually very similar the Bessey classiX™ with the heavy-duty pads are designed to apply substantial clamping forces economically.

Capacity Range

The Bessey classiX™ Clamps with the standard pad are available in a large range of sizes and capacities to satisfy the needs of virtually all shops. The GS12-8K has a throat depth of 3-1/8”, a clamping capacity of 4” and generates up to 550-lbs of force! The GS16K also has a 3-1/8” throat depth with 6” of clamping capacity and 550-lbs of clamping force. The GS20K has a throat depth of 4”, a clamping capacity of 8” and a clamping force of up to 880-lbs! The GS16-12K has 4-3/4” o throat depth, 6” of clamping capacity and 1000-lbs of clamping force. The GS25K also has 4-3/4” of throat depth, 10” of clamping capacity and 1000-lbs of clamping force. The GS30K has 5-1/2” of throat depth, 12” of clamping capacity and can generate up to 1200-lbs of force. Finally, the GS60K has a 4-3/4” of throat depth, 24” of clamping capacity and 1200-lbs of clamping force.

Both styles of the Bessey classiX™ clamps use the tough, easy to turn Acme thread (left) that lets you build pressure quickly with little effort. Even the fixed upper pads (right) are very tough and provide a solid grip when pressure is applied.
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The Bessey classiX™ with the heavy-duty pads also come in a wide range of sizes that allow you to choose the right ones for your needs. The GSL30 has 4-3/4” of throat depth, 12” of clamping capacity and is capable of up to 1880-lbs of clamping force! The GSKL60 also has 4-3/4” of throat depth but 24” of clamping capacity and 1880-lbs of clamping force. The GSM 20 has 4-3/4” of throat depth, 7-1/2” of clamping range but 2660-lbs of potential clamping force. GSM25 has 5-1/2” of throat depth, 9” of clamping range and 2660-lbs of clamping force. The GSM30 has 5-1/2” of throat capacity, 12” of clamping capacity with 2660-lbs of clamping force. The GSM40 features 5-1/2” of throat depth, 16” of clamping range with 2660-lbs of clamping force. The GSM50 has 5-1/2” of throat depth, 20” of clamping range and 2660-lbs of clamping force. Finally, the GSM60 has 5-1/2” of throat depth, 24” of clamping range and 2660-lbs of clamping force.

In the Shop

If you are at all familiar with Bessey tools it will come as no surprise that the Bessey classiX™ line of clamps are everything they say they are and more. I have used this line of clamps in my shop for a while now and have yet to find a deficiency. If these clamps deflect at all under any reasonable amount of force, I cannot find it. Even when I needed to “coax” two stubborn pieces of metal together for welding, the Bessey classiX™ made that happen with ease. Turning the spindles to apply the necessary clamping force is easy and though I repeatedly welded close to the spindles (MIG and stick) neither the bars nor the Acme threads showed spatter that was firmly stuck.

Video Tour

The balance of reach (throat depth) and the thicknesses the Bessey classiX™ Clamps are capable of handling satisfied most of the needs I encounter in my home-based metalworking shop. I never felt that I was nearing the maximum clamping force available in any of the Bessey classiX™ models I used. I love clamps that I can apply, crank down as I need and then do the welding or fastening needed for the job without worry about the clamps bending or releasing unexpectedly. The quality construction and design of the Bessey classiX™ Clamps makes sure that they are a valued tool and not a liability. Not many tools that I have looked at have such a little down side!

Conclusions

The Bessey classiX™ Clamps are very well made, thoughtfully designed for both the home-based and pro metalworker yet carry a surprisingly small price tag! Street prices run from $12.99 (1-20-2011) for the GS12-8K to $89.99 for the GSM50! Considering that barring an intentional attack with an acetylene torch the Bessey classiX™ Clamps are a lifetime purchase it is hard to imagine a better value for any metalworker.
If you work with metal (I use them on wood also, don’t tell anyone) the Bessey classiX™ Clamps will be of interest. If you also have a budget to keep in mind the Bessey classiX™ Clamps move to the top of the priority list!

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