Are you in the market for a 90-degree clamp, sometimes called a right angle clamp, corner clamp, or a right angle jig? So was I. I ended up buying two of the most popular models to see which one I liked best.
For testing, I bought a WeTols Right Angle Clamp (about $18) and a Dewalt 90-degree Angle Clamp (about $21).
If you don’t feel like reading the whole article: The two clamps are roughly comparable. I like the Dewalt more for smaller jobs and the Wetols for larger ones. Most of the time I reach for the Dewalt.
These are both affordable corner clamps that are useful mainly for making cabinets, but can also be handy for making picture frames, furniture, or really anything that requires a right angle joint.
These are a convenient tool and a time saver, but they won’t help too much if you don’t already have nice, square cuts. Many jobs can benefit from one, or even two of these, but you rarely need more.
These are both lower cost, casual use corner clamps. If you are making cabinetry for a living or plan to do a whole lot of work soon, most people decide to upgrade to the Kreg right angle clamp, but those will cost you about $40 per clamp.
Right Angle Clamp Review Video
Don’t want the details? You’d rather jump right into the demonstration? Here’s my review video…
Wetols 90-Degree Right Angle Clamp Thoughts
This is a jig-style right angle clamp that happens to be the best seller on Amazon. It can be had for about $19 or $15 (per clamp) if you buy a pair.
Being designed like a jig, this clamp has a full base that can be screwed or bolted down to a work bench and you can build on top of it. It’s made of lightweight metal to it feels a bit flimsy, but it’s held up well enough for me despite months of usage.
The maximum clamping width is 2.75 inches, and the design supports uneven clamping, so one wall doesn’t have to be the same thickness as the other. It has a rubberized handle but all the other hardware is metal.
As demonstrated in the video, the tightening rod has a pivot in it, so it’s not always at 45 degrees. This might seem like a flaw, since you will want this piece to be at 45 degrees almost all the time, but if the material on one side of the work is thicker than on the other, you will want this pivot. For me this was most of an annoyance than anything but I could see it coming in handy now and them, particularly for more advanced users.
On the whole this tool is nicely made and does its job well enough.
Dewalt 90-degree Angle Clamp Thoughts
From Home Depot I purchased a Dewalt DWHT83853 clamp as well. This is a $21, 250-pound clamp, so it’s pretty tough, but it’s not as strong as a bar clamp.
This clamp won’t bolt down to your work surface, so it can’t be used like a jig. It’s smaller but more blocky than the Wetols model, but it feels heavier duty. Plus it’s yellow so you’ll never lose it.
Using the Dewalt when building some garage cabinets and drawers, I found that it was quicker to position and straighten up when the Wetols clamp. Each of the parts of the Dewalt is a bit smaller, so it’s easier to work with even though your work can be placed in it the way you can a larger right angle clamp.
One cool feature of the Dewalt clamp is that the tightening handle can be used on other side. By default it’s on the inside of the work, but if this is in the way, you can remove a little plastic tab and turn the handle and screw rod around, so the clamp tightened from the outside (as the Wetols does). It’s a thoughtful feature.
This right angle clamp also works well, even though it has less surface area than the Wetols and cannot be used like a jig. It’s also a few dollars more expensive than the competition, but that’s to be expected when buying from a major tool brand.
90-Degree Clamp Alternatives
If you aren’t sold on right angle clamps — and I don’t blame you if you aren’t — then you can buy (or make) a 90-degree piece and just clamp it in place with whatever C-clamps or bar clamps you might have lying around.
If you go this route I’d recommend some positioning squares as they do the job, they last forever, and you get a bunch of them for not too much money.