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Complete Guide for Adjustable Cam Levers

A cam lever or cam clamp is a device that allows you to make frequent clamping adjustments without using different tools like wrenches. Standard cam levers are the more common types, but they do not work for all situations. If you have a narrow work area, you should consider purchasing an adjustable cam lever.

In this article we will take a closer look at:

1. Cam Lever Design & Mechanism
    > What is an industrial cam lever?
    > What is a heavy duty cam lever?

2. Adjustable Cam Levers
    > What makes a cam lever adjustable?
    > Threaded stud vs internal thread (no stud)

3. Cam Lever Clamps and Latch
    > What is a cam lever clamp?
    > What is a cam lever latch?

4. Quick Release and Locking Features
    > What is a quick release cam lever?
5. Cam Lever Accessories
    > Cam Lever Bolts
    > Fasteners

6. Summary

Cam Lever Design and Mechanism

An adjustable cam lever allows you to tighten and loosen screws on components in tight or enclosed spaces. Like standard cam levers, these categories of clamps have a lever or handle, spring, threaded stud, and serration. Based on the design, pulling up the cam’s lever releases the threaded serration engagement while releasing the lever returns the adjustable camp to its original threaded serration engagement position.

What is an industrial cam lever?
An industrial cam lever is also known as a stainless steel cam lever. It works with a ratchet mechanism that allows for easy and quick clamping for machine elements. In many cases, the cam’s adjustable handle is made of plastic or metal, while the rest of the device is built from some form of steel. Industrial cam levers are ideal for use in small or confined spaces. 

What is a heavy-duty cam lever?
Heavy-duty cam-levers are best described as “rugged, steel handles.” These types of clamping levers are built for durability, so you should purchase them if you conduct frequent positioning, tightening, and holding adjustments.  

Cam Lever Design and Mechanism

Source: Norelem

Adjustable Cam Levers

What makes a cam lever adjustable?
Adjustable cam levers have a rotating stud and a screwdriver slot that quickly makes frequent adjustments. These types of cam levers are designed for specific situations where a standard cam lever falls short.
What you'll notice here is that the threaded stud rotates freely within the hinge pin. This allows the handle to remain static while using a screwdriver to turn the stud and adjust or readjust the handle material. In this case, you would lift the cam’s handle and rotate its stud using a screwdriver slot until you achieve the desired tension. As mentioned earlier, adjustable cam levers have different types, including industrial cam levers and heavy-duty cam levers for larger equipment and machinery.

Threaded stud vs internal thread (no stud)
The major difference between a standard cam lever and an adjustable cam lever is how the threaded stud actuates in both cases.
A standard cam lever features an external thread fixed to the hinge pin, allowing you to operate the device without any external tools like a screwdriver.
When you rotate the handle of the standard cam, it moves the stud at the same speed. While this is optimal in many cases, it has several limitations. For example, you cannot move the handle if there's some obstruction; this prevents you from locking the cam's handle in when you achieve ideal clamping tension.
On the other hand, an adjustable cam lever allows the threaded stud to rotate freely within the hinge pin, making it easier for you to lock the handle in when you reach the ideal clamping tension. Adjustable cam levers work best when your work area is somewhat enclosed and restricts the placement of the cam's handle.  

Cam Lever Clamps and Latch

What is a cam lever clamp?

A cam lever clamp quick-action fastening device allows the user to release a workpiece without using tools or equipment quickly. Typically, a cam clamp has two jaws—one of the jaws is fixed into the end of the bar while the other one slides along depending on the size of the workpiece. To apply clamping pressure and hold your workpieces in place, move the adjustable jaw against the clamp's flexible tongue. There are different types of cam clamps, including the spiral cam and eccentric cam. You can also use cam clamps as direct or indirect clamping devices.

What is a cam lever latch?

A cam lever latch is sometimes referred to as a cam lock latch. Like all latches, this device actuates to close doors, panels, and other surfaces. Cam latches are simple mechanical devices with both a base and a cam lever. To actuate the latch, you need to turn the base with a key or some other form of control that moves its components into place and presses the surfaces shut.

Depending on your preferences, you can opt for cam lock latches with T-Handles or one with a stainless steel cam lock. These tools are one of the most common types of cabinet latch hardware. They also have different mountings, including wings and knobs.

Cam Lever Clamps
Cam Lever Latch

Quick Release and Locking Features

What is a Quick Release Cam Lever?

As the name suggests, a quick-release cam lever is a quick action device that allows you to easily release a workpiece of equipment without using tools or equipment.

These cam levers have some quick-lock in the form of a spring clip fixed into the base component. You can attach the cam's handle to different elements using a twist-lock action.

In quick cam levers, the clamping force is released by simply lifting the lever. This happens after you must have threaded the lever on the application to reduce the pressure on the workpiece.

Quick cam levers come in different threaded models, and they can be made of steel, glass, reinforced plastic, or stainless steel.

Cam Lever Accessories

Cam Lever Bolts

A cam lever bolt is a mechanical device or threaded fastener that holds objects in place using a washer and a nut or a band clamp and strap. A common type of cam lever bolt is the T-Bolt with a collar.  The collar slides along the shaft, and you can fix it in place to hold components and prevent over-torquing.


A fastener is a general name for different types of devices that can create non-permanent joints of two or more objects. Screws, nails, cam lever bolts, and rivets are different types of fasteners.


In this article, we have discussed adjustable cam levers and their different clamping elements. Now that you know how this device works, it is time to invest in the right tool. Please browse through our catalog of adjustable handles, toggle clamps, spring plungers, handwheels, and other types of position indicators today.