Toggle Clamp Holding Capacity & Clamping Force

Having the right tool for the job is vital during all steps of the manufacturing process. This is especially important when deciding your workholding application’s toggle clamp holding capacity and clamping force.

An improperly selected workholding solution can affect your final product’s quality and performance. This will increase your material costs and can cause production delays due to product rework.

Trust that you’re choosing the correct workholding solution for your production with Carr Lane Mfg.

We are proud to offer a wide range of action clamps. Our catalog includes horizontal clamps, vertical clamps, plunger-type push/pull toggle clamps, latch action toggle clamps, and squeeze-action toggle pliers.


Spindle position for maximum capacity
Spindle position for maximum reach

What is Holding Capacity?

The "holding capacity" listed for each toggle clamp refers to the maximum force that the clamp can safely resist in its locked position without incurring any permanent deformation.

For hold-down clamps, holding capacity is measured with the spindle as close as possible to the handle, and will be less at the end of the clamping arm.


What is Clamping Force?

Clamping force is the amount of force that is applied to the workpiece by closing and locking the clamp. This force is usually less than the stated holding capacity, allowing the clamp to have ample capacity to resist external machining forces.

Actual clamping force is dependent on many factors, such as:

  • spindle position
  • proper spindle-height adjustment
  • spindle cushioning: uncushioned hex-head spindles provide the greatest force
  • workpiece material
  • the clamp's mechanical advantage

In most cases, roughly 1/2 of the stated holding capacity can be applied by hand with medium effort.


What is Hand Force?

Hand force is the measure of the force applied by the toggle clamping arm when maneuvered to the “closed” or “locked” position.

Once the toggle clamp is positioned correctly on the workpiece, the operator then closes the clamping lever. The clamp’s hand force ensures that the workpiece is held securely in place during the machining process.


What Should I Consider When Selecting a Toggle Clamp?

When deciding on your next toggle clamp holding capacity, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the size(s) and shape(s) of parts needing to be held?
  • What is the strength of the toggle clamp operator?
  • How fast am I needing the toggle clamp to operate?
  • What is my production environment like? Do I need a stainless-steel action clamp to resist corrosion?

Having the answers to these important questions will allow you to choose the right toggle clamp for your workholding needs.