Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lidl technical problems 2 – Quick clamps

I bought a selection of quick clamps from Lidl a while ago. These the single-handed clamps that you ratchet closed and tighten by squeezing a pair of handles together, rather then screwing closed to tighten.

I haven’t had any real opportunity to use them, but when I repaired a chair which had loose joints, I was less than impressed by the force these clamps could generate. I had on old pressed metal version of this type of clamp from B&Q a few years back, and this generated so much closing force it would bend it’s own frame.

I had a chance to use the Lidl clamps for a real job, which needed the clamp to pull a frame together while glue set.

The pic below shows the result of trying to pull the parts together with this clamp.

The first problem is obvious – the plastic handle just snapped and broke off while I was squeezing the handle to tighten the clamp. This was only with one hand, and I am not Hercules.

The second problem that developed is more subtle – and the tiny piece of plastic seen to the upper left of the screwdriver tip is the clue, together with the position of the handle just above it.

That piece of plastic should stop the handle moving into that position and jamming there, but had already broken off and was rattling inside the casing, which it why this thing is dismantled, to find the reason for the jamming handle and rattle.

I don’t know what’s worst about these clamps, that they deliver such a low clamping force, or that the handles may just break if you try to squeeze them harder.

I guess these are now relegated to light duty holding rather than proper clamping in future, since I don’t need any more broken clamps to go with this one.

Broken Lidl clamp

Broken Lidl clamp

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May 15, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

2 Comments »

  1. Would it be unfair of me as well as politically incorrect to ask if these clamps were manufactured in the mysterious east, and I don’t mean in Japan?

    Like

    Comment by Ralph. | July 2, 2015

  2. Not unfair at all, as the place of manufacture is a matter of fact.

    You can see the branding on the cover plate. Most of Lidl’s product comes from Europe, and is identified with the source.

    Unfortunately, that detail is on the labelling, and I disposed of all the cards the clamps were tied to at purchase.

    Sad to say, I am finding that Lidl’s hardware looks good, but is failing to deliver – you get what you pay for. This series will be ongoing.

    Same as Maplin in a way, which sells lots of goodies, but I have now found they also fail if pushed, or relied on for too long.

    Like

    Comment by Apollo | July 2, 2015


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