Toggle Clamps: What They Are Why You Need Them
While it may seem like a simple mechanism that holds things together, toggle clamps provide outstanding locking action, reliable holding power, and a super level of force when the situation demands it. These versatile tools are perfect for mass production industrial applications or even small machine shop projects. They are easy to use, even though the applications are more specialized than a standard two-jaw clamp. Here’s what you need to know about these project-saving tools.
How Do Toggle Clamps Work?
These clamps rely on three main components. There is a handle that allows you to operate the tool, a clamping arm that creates the contact point with the work item, and the base where the clamp attaches. Once the simple linkage system of the clamp has been put in the over-center position (also known as the locked position), the handle must be pulled to release the lock. The force can also be broken by overcoming any holding capacity for the item.
You will find three basic toggle movements for this kind of clamp. These include:
- A vertical hold where the force is perpendicular against the base
- A horizontal-push hold where there is a force on a parallel to the base
- A horizontal-pull hold where a squeeze clamp helps create a parallel force to the base
A toggle clamp will securely and safely hold a work piece stationary when working on it. With a pivot and lever system, you are given excellent performance and maximum function without compromising your comfort during the job. It eliminates the need for several other fixtures or tools in different applications, saving you time and money on your project. It is also extremely adaptable, giving you the clamping force needed across a variety of projects. It is important that you only work with clamps that have undergone extensive quality control checks, as a snap or break in the tension can pose the risk of serious bodily harm.
Where Are These Clamps Used?
Toggle clamps are more commonly used as tools during the manufacturing process rather than included as a component of the final product. You can use these clamps in several environments but choosing the wrong clamp can make your project more stressful. You need to work with a clamp that will provide maximum efficiency along with optimal safety. Here are a few of the applications where you may want to use a toggle clamp.
Welding projects often require the use of clamps, and using the right toggle, can give your project a boost. A welding jig has several parts that work together to keep the work piece f weldment stable, but it also needs to keep a fixed dimensional relationship between each of these parts. Welding fixtures can be more easily constructed with quality and specific measurements when heavy-duty toggle clamps hold the materials securely in place.
During the injection molding process, a toggle clamp is a key element to open and close the mold. Through its mechanical linkages, it can provide high force motions. At times, a direct hydraulic clamp is substituted for the toggle to automate this process for high volume production.
Machine Tool Positioning
A toggle can also be used as a machine tool positioner. Relying on manual efforts to position a machine can lead to inaccuracies and errors, but a latch action toggle clamp from one of the best manufacturers in the industry can keep your processes running with a reduced risk of errors. Other types of clamps for this purpose are painstakingly slow to screw on, but toggle clamps latch into position fast and easy.
Conveyors are used for moving packages or items from one location to another with very little human involvement, especially difficult bulk materials like gravel or aggregate. A toggle clamp is used to support the overall framework of rollers, wheels, and belts, keeping productivity a priority.
Gaging and Inspection Features
Quality assurance and process control are crucial components of manufacturing assemblies. With ineffective inspection or gauging operations, defects can become commonplace in manufactured elements. Installing a push-pull toggle clamp from industry-recognized manufacture ensures that items are held in place while being measured and you are eliminating inefficiencies from your production processes.
Which Toggle Clamp Will Be Best?
You should select your toggle clamp according to the project requirements, as different clamps provide different holding capacities and orientations. For safety reasons, it is very important to use a high-quality clamp that can handle the demand you are subjecting it to. Your clamp won’t last as long when it is used incorrectly or it is pushed past the manufacturer’s recommended limitations. You will also find that many clamps are used in conjunction with each other to achieve more complicated fixturing solutions.
The push-pull has one of the highest holding capacities of the different clamp types, and Sierra Pacific Engineering and Products have several options ranging between 300 to 850-pound holding capacity. The category of vertical hold clamps includes clamps manufactured using both zinc plated steel and mill finish stainless steel. The holding capacity for these clamps moves between 110 pounds up to 750 pounds. The highest holding capacity toggle clamp carried by SPEP is a steel latching clamp rated for 2,182 pounds. If you do not see the particular toggle clamp you need in our catalog, please contact one of our sales reps for a specialized quote.
Order Your Toggle Clamps Today
Browse a variety of quality toggle clamps that allow for safe and effective operations with SPEP today. Our vast offering of hardware parts likely has just the widget you are looking for. There are potential applications across several industries for many mechanical needs, and SPEP can help you with the perfect solution at a competitive price.