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Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

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  • Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

    I'm trying to decide between Kreg or Milescraft pocket hole clamps.

    I have a Kreg pocket hile jig and a few other Kreg tools, but I've read quite a few complaints about their Automax automatic clamping system and they don't seem to sell their old screw type any more which had nothing but praises. The Milescraft has good reviews, but I was wondering what others think.

    The Kreg is currently at $41.99 and the Milescraft at $27.84

    Any input?

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  • #2

    Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

    I'm sure they both clamp... I'd get the cheapest one.

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    • #3

      Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

      Both of those clamps fit into a drilled hole and are somewhat limited and specific in their uses. They pull two pieces together using your predrilled pocket hole I think and most any clamp will do the same. They have little to no value to me but obviously you have found a use. Can I ask what that use is?
      "Do it Right!"

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      • #4

        Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

        LOL.. Well, for me its the obvious use, to hold boards together like a third hand while I'm attaching them with pocket-hole screws ... Keeps me from having to drag the cabinet to my bench to square it up .... I guess my real question was what people think about those Kreg Automax clamps compared to the old screw type ... I know the Automax would be much quicker and easier to use, but I'm wondering how well they actually clamp compared to the screw type. ... I also can't understand that Kreg only has a 90 day warranty on these!

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        • #5

          Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

          I have screw type Kreg clamps and they work just like vice grips. I have never used these ones but I would be interested as would the group to understand how these fail? Most every clamping company from Irwin to Festool has something similar with no complaints that I know of.
          "Do it Right!"

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          • #6

            Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

            I tried the Automaxx version of this clamp but found the clamping pressure weak regardless of the setting. I returned it to Home Depot the next day.

            I found 4 clamps with the old screw type at a local tool store for contractors. Cleared them out. They have decent clamping pressure.

            BTW, I ordered these 10" reach clamps.

            https://www.tegstools.com/Kreg-KHC-X...amp_p_348.html

            Perfect to hold wide boards level at the center when gluing. The new version is Automaxx with 6" reach.

            IMHO, a step back.

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            • #7

              Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

              Thanks ... That's what a few other reviewers complained about as well, that or that it clamped too hard and split the wood and that the adjustment screw wouldn't change anything ... Its odd that a company like Kreg would would just throw all its apples into one basket and replace everything with the Automax line .. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure that Kreg used to have a deep (10") pocket hole clamp like that flat clamp you showed.

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              • #8

                Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

                From my conversations with tool suppliers that I frequent, Kreg made the Automax clamp to eliminate the same thing that folks are complaining about. That is; too much pressure would split the pocket hole or maybe in softer woods added pressure might marr or dent the face of the joint. Obviously that's a specific complaint about the clamp in question, which has one jaw of the clamp that fits in the pocket hole like a probe and the other jaw which has a face plate to spread pressure. The idea was apparently supply enough pressure to align but not split the pocket hole. After all it's the screw that provides the required force to complete the joint without crushing and maybe altering or otherwise diminishing it's effectiveness. It sounds reasonable.
                Brian @ Muir and WeQuick like this.
                "Do it Right!"

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                • #9

                  Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

                  Originally posted by Nelson in Markham View Post
                  BTW, I ordered these 10" reach clamps.

                  https://www.tegstools.com/Kreg-KHC-X...amp_p_348.html
                  Those are similar to what I have used in the little bit of pocket hole screw work I have done. I set the pressure so that they hold the two pieces lined up properly but the wood can still slide between the jaws so that the screw pulls the pieces together like Rusty describes. Truth be told ... I didn't know the other type existed (the ones that pull in the hole)
                  WeQuick likes this.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

                    I agree that the idea sounds reasonable, but it also would sound reasonable to me if Kreg would give the Automax line a lifetime warranty (like most other brands of clamps), knowing that several customers have complained about the adjustment not working properly and having others say works really well. It sure seems like just a quality control issue.... and customers on Amazon reported that they wrote to Kreg and Kreg replaced the clamps after the warranty period, so that just proves even more that they should give it a lifetime warranty... Warranties are against manufacture defects or other issues that may cause premature wear, not breaking from use (even though I've never had an issue exchanging a pair of Irwin Vice-Grips no matter what I've done to them!!), so an issue like this would have to fit in either the design defect category or the quality control category.

                    I was planning on buying 2 clamps, one of these pocket hole clamps and one Kreg corner clamp, figuring between those 2 clamps and my regular flat clamps I would have all I need ... I think I'm going to search round and see if I can find anyone who still has the old style Kreg pocket hole clamp ... I know if I found that it would make my decision for me!

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                    • #11

                      Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

                      In all honesty I don't think I would ever use the clamp you're looking at that fits into the drilled hole simply because I won't risk splitting the workpiece when joining. I use the clamp that came with the jig to align the two faces but if I want to hold the ends together I use a bessey clamp or a pipe clamp applied just firmly. Even a bench dog system will work real well for production jobs.
                      "Do it Right!"

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                      • #12

                        Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

                        Yup, I usually do it all on my bench system, but its for the occasion that I have to assemble something on the spot or want to add something to a finished job. I have used the regular face clamp often, but they are a PITA when you're bent over under a kitchen sink adding a shelf. Seeing videos of people working with the pocket hole clamp seemed much easier... I have enough sense to not try and completely support the piece by the pocket hole, but for helping to line things up square, it seems like it would be a handy tool.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

                          If you can get a shelf under a kitchen sink around all those pipes and feeds you're a magician not a cabinet maker. LOL Just kidding!
                          "Do it Right!"

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                          • #14

                            Re: Kreg or Milescraft Pocket Hole Clamps?

                            Lol !!

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