So after working hard on a cabinet I made for my sister I decided I would do a review of the Trion PS 300 EQ when I was done. I finished the cabinet and the review but I realised that the Trion is old and I doubt anyone would want a review of an old tool and then yesterday I got a call from my dealer that my new clamps had arrived. Thus the birth of my review for the Festool MFT quick clamp came to be.
At first I was sceptical about buying these (I bought two) because from the look of them I thought it would be the normal clamp with a plastic handle that wouldn't last long. Wow was I wrong, from the second I picked this package up I knew it was quality. The only plastic on it is the green trigger and the green clamp pad.
Straight away I could tell that it was bigger than the normal screw clamps you get/use with the rails. This is not necessarily a bad thing ad I found the extra length to be useful when putting the clamp through the holes on the MFT and being able to clamp something a little thicker is rarely a bad thing.
In both length and width the quick clamp is bigger.
How it works is that you grab the metal rod with your thumb and put the rest of your fingers on the grip. You push the clamp all the way up to the wood and then squeeze your hand together to tighten the clamp. By squeezing it you push up the back which pushes the green pad up into the wood making the hold tighter. To stop the clamp from slipping the front side has teeth which the clamp slips into to hold it in place. To release you press the green trigger and the teeth let go.
Here I tried to illustrate that by pulling the handle to the rod you lift up the clamp head and what I meant by front and back side.
These two photos show how the teeth system works.
Here you can see the clamps being used with the MFT on the edge to hold a piece of pine.
I just thought I would show you that you could easily lift up the table with the clamps. I put my foot there since it's hard to tell when the legs left the floor.
The nice thing about the clamps is that when used the green pads don't leave marks on the wood like the screw clamps, unfortunately the same can't be said for the metal.
A picture showing that it easily works with the rails.
Another great feature of this little clamp is that the head swivels so even if you are clamping a mitred piece or a bowed piece of wood this clamp can handle it.
The one problem I had with these clamps is that due to their size it requires more space to be used. These clamps extend out a lot more than the screw in clamps. You don't have to start the clamp all the way open though and the reason for the grip sticking so far forward is to give you mechanical advantage as well as allow for tight pulling to the rod.
As you can see here the normal screw in clamp is about 85mm (33?) wide where as the quick clamp is about 175mm (68?). Sorry about the metric only tape measure.
All in all though, I am very pleased with this purchase. It really does make clamping easier. I would suggest this to anyone with a MFT and/or rails as it is a nice step up from the normal clamps. It's a well thought out product by Festool.
If anyone is interested in seeing my Trion review just let me know and I will post it.