My favorite jobsite clamp is the Stanley FatMax Xtreme Auto Trigger Clamp. It delivers a potent 450 pounds of clamping force and is spring-loaded to snap the jaws against the work at the press of a button. You only have to pull the trigger once or twice to apply the force. That’s especially handy when you’re holding up a material with one hand while clamping with the other, such as when clamping a temporary brace to a fence post or a guardrail newel to a deck joist. The clamp also converts to a spring-loaded spreader in a heartbeat.

All good, except that Stanley Black & Decker recently replaced that clamp with the new DeWalt Rapid Return Bar Clamp. Like the Stanley, it comes in a 6-inch and a 12-inch version. I tried both sizes to see if they work as well as their predecessors.

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