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Clamping Levers vs. Clamping Handles vs. Adjustable Handles

Before buying clamping levers for your industrial devices, you need to understand the differences in features, components, and accessories. In general, though, a cam lever or cam clamp is a quick-action fastening device that you can use to loosen your workpieces.

Wondering how they work? This article explains the mechanism of clamping levers, their different clamping elements, and other features you should know.

In this article we will take a closer look at:

1. Clamping Lever Mechanism
2. Mount Types
    > 1-Side, 1-Post Clamping Mount
    > 2-Side, 1-Post Clamping Mount
    > Thru-Hole Clamping Hubs (32 mm Pattern)
    > Clamping Hubs (16mm Pattern)
    > 2-Side, 2-Post Clamping Mount

3. Material and Tension Levers
4. Quick Release and Locking Features
5. Clamping Lever Accessories
    > What is a clamping lever knob and how does it work?
    > What is a control lever and what does it do?

6. Summary

Clamping Lever Mechanism

A clamp lever is mainly used in industrial contexts to tighten and loosen screws without other tools. It comes in handy when you need to work in tight spaces on heavy-duty equipment. Clamp levers consist of a threaded stud, serration, lever part, and spring. They also come in male and female thread models.

From the outside, you'd notice how the adjustable hand lever releases the threaded serration engagement when you pull it up. Curious about what goes on behind the scene? To understand this, you need to know how the clamp level structure and mechanism work.

First, the lever and threaded serration are connected, and they rotate at the same time when they encounter some degree of clamping force. Then, when you pull the lever, it releases the threaded serration engagement and returns it to its original state.

Mount Types

Clamping mounts help you adjust the axial and radial positions of mating components. In addition, it connects the different parts of the lever without any obstructions.

Depending on the type of clamping lever, adjustable clamping lever, or clamping handle, you can use one of these mount-types:

  1. 1-Side, 1-Post Clamping Mount: You can use single post clamps to build at complex angles. At the base of each clamp, you'd see an M4 x 0.7mm threaded hole for mounting and a 24mm base to center dimension to remain on the pattern.
  2. 2-Side, 1-Post Clamping Mounts: You'd notice that these clamping mounts have a post on each side and are 43mm wide. They also have two attachment points for shafting angles as required. The posts and width align with holes across the center of the 1120 Series Channel and other plates spaced 43mm apart.
  3. Thru-Hole Clamping Hubs (32mm Pattern): Thru-hole clamps work best when you need to run the fastener into a threaded hole on a mating part. You'd also find them handy when you have to fasten multiple items together.
  4. Clamping Hubs (16mm Pattern): Clamping hubs are used to fasten parts on an axle or shaft with little or no obstruction. When you tighten the M4 pinch bolt, it locks on the shaft and secures the rotating component.
  5. 2-Side, 2-Post Clamping Mounts:  The 2-side, 2-post clamping mounts have threaded holes on opposing sides. They are 43mm wide, which allows the mounts to slide inside the 1120 Series U-Channel. 

Material and Tension Levers

The pull handle can be made from plastic, stainless steel, cast iron, or zinc die-cast. On the other hand, the external thread is made from steel, stainless steel, and similar materials. Each material has its unique features.

For example, plastic levers are lightweight, stainless steel is corrosion-resistant and steel is strong. Therefore, it would be best to consider your individual needs before choosing a lever handle or crank handle made from a particular material.

Quick Release and Locking Features

Adjustable levers or clamping levers have a semi-ratcheting feature useful for tensioning and clamping on machines, devices, and different types of mechanisms. They consist of a nut or bolt fixed into a wrench.

To move the lever into its best clamping position, you should pull the handle up and make the necessary adjustments. The hand lever goes back to its original position once it is released.

quick release and locking features

Clamping Lever Accessories: Knobs, Control Levers

What is a Clamping Lever Knob and How Does It Work?

A clamping knob is an integral part of an adjustable lever. You should think of them as revolving handles that provide a firm grip or some degree of secure control through clamping elements such as texturing, knurling, lobes, or wings. The design of clamping knobs allows them to comfortably grasp and adjust applications that require turning or medium torque.

The most common types of knobs for clamping levers are T-shaped. They allow for powerful gripping, especially in small spaces, and you can adjust them easily. Clamping lever knobs are made from different materials like phenolic, glass-fiber reinforced technopolymer, thermoplastic, and duroplast.

What is a Control Lever and What Does It Do?

As the name suggests, a control lever or lever fitting is used to regulate devices, including clamps. For example, with a control lever, you can easily adjust your clamping lever using a mechanical linkage that matches the lever movement.

Control levers are attached to the end of a control cable. This allows it to mechanically enhance the applied force needed to operate a control cable. You can also adjust the tension in a line or multiply the clamping power that the cable delivers.

A control head comprises foot pedal controls, panel-mounted units, and multiple cable control units. Depending on the type, you may also find handles, pedals, and mounting brackets in your control lever.


Using clamp levers can improve your work efficiency significantly while reducing your screw operation space. Therefore, these levers are one of the essential tools needed for workshops.

If you're looking to turn out quality work consistently, you should consider purchasing one or more clamp lever applications. At Reid Supply, you would discover a rich catalog of new products, including clamping levers, adjustable handles, and clamping handles, plus other tools like handwheels. Visit our website to find your fit today.