Best Holdfast for Woodworking: Holdfast Clamps for Workbench

Woodworking requires quite a number of tools and accessories ranging from glues and benches to a good holdfast. The holdfast is an important piece of equipment that needs to be in every woodworker’s toolbox. Holdfasts are used to secure wood or pieces of wood firmly to a workbench. It makes working with wood easier, as you won’t have to worry about your craft moving around when working on it.

Holdfasts usually have a curved top or even a flat one, but they all share a hook-like shape that helps to firmly maintain your craft in place. How do you use holdfast on your woodworking bench? To use it on a workbench you’ll need an appropriate-sized hole to fit the lower rod, and after you’ve set up your craft, lightly tap the holdfast with a mallet.

Best Holdfast for Woodworking Bench

There are a number of different holdfasts in the market. Choosing the right one and knowing which one to choose is crucial if you want to have an easy time working with wood.

POWERTEC 8-Inch Workbench Holdfast Woodworking Clamps


  • Accommodates various stock sizes and shapes.
  • Quick and easy to use.
  • Shank is extra-long.
  • Durable.


  • Cast Iron may rust over time.

If you need a holdfast to secure something effectively on your workbench, then consider the Powertech 71096. It provides a quick and secure clamp. The shank is also longer than most holdfasts, which makes it more practical and functional.

Constructed using cast iron, this holdfast will last for a long time. It can also easily accommodate different stock sizes and stock shapes as well. It is also really easy to use. Just tap once using a hammer from the top to set it, and to release it, tap it again from the backside.

Product Details:

Item Weight‎2.83 pounds
Product Dimensions‎11 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches
Size‎8″ of length with 3-1/2″ reach

Woodworking Hold Fast Hold Down Bench dog clamp


  • Easy to use.
  • Works with most workbenches.
  • Designed by professionals.


  • The toe of the holdfast and heel do not align properly in some cases.

Made using American steel, this particular holdfast will not disappoint you. If you are looking for a good holdfast to secure your wood, then consider using this particular one. The diameter of the shaft is such that it can easily fit into most holes present in the woodworking benches.

This particular holdfast is also easy to use and does not require any extra skills or knowledge. You just need to fit the shaft in the holes and secure them using a hammer. This shaft is also an excellent choice as professional engineers designed this product.

Product Details:

Production MethodAll holdfasts are hand forged

Woodworking Holdfast Clamp


  • Steel construction.
  • Works well on thicker benches.
  • Easy to use.


  • On the more expensive end.

If you have a thicker workbench, then this holdfast might be the perfect solution for all your problems. The construction of this holdfast is steel, and as such, you can expect durability and sturdiness from this holdfast. This particular holdfast is forged manually by hand.

When it comes to holdfasts that use cast iron, they can be expensive and also susceptible to rust. But this is not the case with the steel holdfast.

Product Details:

Production MethodAll holdfasts are hand forged

DCT Bench Holdfast Woodworking Tools


  • Easy to secure and release.
  • Durable.
  • Works well on thin benches.


  • Not the best for thick benches.

With the DCT holdfast, you can quickly and easily clamp and secure any projects you are working on. Moreover, the DCT holdfast is also durable because it is made using alloy steel. The hold it provides is also strong, so you need not worry about your projects moving.

The shepherd hook design is also beneficial for holding down projects with great strength. This holdfast is also easy to use, and does not take time to get familiar with it. Securing and releasing is also very simple.

Product Details:

Item Weight‎2.49 pounds
Product Dimensions‎8.3 x 6 x 2 inches
Material‎Alloy Steel
Thickness‎2 Inches

Eagle America 453-0108 8-Inch Bench Holdfast with 4 Reach


  • Simple to use.
  • Provides a sturdy hold.
  • Durable.


  • Product images may be misleading.

Eagle America’s holdfast is one of the best choices when it comes to the holdfast. Are you wondering why? It is because this particular holdfast is easy to use and is made using cast iron. So, you can expect this holdfast to endure for a long time without breaking.

This holdfast is also amazing for working on thicker benches. Thinner benches might offer lesser resistance. You can also learn to use this in no time as it is really simple to secure and release.

Product Details:

Item Weight‎13.8 ounces
Product Dimensions‎0.39 x 1.97 x 3.35 inches
Style‎Heavy Duty

Bundle 2 Each Pair Workbench Holdfasts Bench Clamps Ductile


  •  Cast iron offers durability
  • It comes in a bundle of two
  • Provides a sturdy clamp
  • Works well on thinner workbenches


  • Iron may rust

The market is full of amazing holdfasts, and Taytools’ holdfast is one of them. If you need a holdfast that works quickly and easily, then you should definitely consider getting this. Made using cast iron, this product is going to give you extreme durability as well as strength for securing your projects.

The best thing about this holdfast is that you get it in a bundle of two. It is amazing for securing your wooden pieces and chips at the top or sides of your workbench. It works well on thin workbenches as well.

Product Details:

Item Weight‎2.5 pounds
Product Dimensions‎8 x 3 x 5 inches
Material‎Cast Iron

Large woodworking holdfast for 1″ benchdog hole


  • Hand-forged.
  • Easy to use.
  • Durable.


  • It is expensive

Handforged holdfasts are much better than those that get manufactured using machines. As such, this particular holdfast is going to be not only useful but also incredibly strong and durable. Even after years of use, you won’t find any complaints or problems with it.

This holdfast works well on benches with one-inch dog holes. If the holes are too small, you might need to counterbore the bench, but that is a simple and easy task.

Product Details:


DCT 8in Work Bench Holdfast Woodworking Hold-Down Clamp


  • Effective and simple to use.
  • Works well on thinner benches.
  • Steel construction makes it durable.


  • It might not be the perfect fit for thicker benches.

Do you need a holdfast for quickly securing your wood pieces to your workbench? If so, the holdfast by DCT is a great option to consider. You can secure it by fitting it into the dog holes and hammering it from the top. To release, simply hit the back.

This particular holdfast is made using steel, so you can expect this holdfast to last you for years to come. The reach of the clamp is also quite good. You will find no complaints. This DCT holdfast also works well on thin workbenches.

Product Details:

Item Weight‎1.28 pounds
Product Dimensions‎8.25 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
Material‎Alloy Steel
Thickness‎0.7 Inches

What is the purpose of a holdfast?

Holdfasts are used if you want to firmly secure your wooden pieces either at the top or even at the sides of your workbench. This makes it easier when sawing, sanding, drilling, or even sawing.

The use of holdfasts in woodworking dates centuries back. Even today, many carpenters or people working with wood use them for their usefulness and versatility.

black holdfast

Holdfasts do not only make woodworking easier and less tedious by keeping your craft immobile but they are also a great safety aid. By helping to firmly secure wood against the workbench, the risk of an incident while using power tools is also reduced.

How to use a holdfast for woodworking:

In summary, holdfasts are placed in your workbench dog holes and then tightened with the slight tap of a mallet or hammer. Here is the step-by-step process of using a holdfast how to use a holdfast:

  1. Slide the holdfast into the dog hole.
  2. Align it to make sure it is pressing against the wooden piece you are trying to secure.
  3. Lightly tap the top with a mallet or hammer to tighten the hold.
  4. To release, use the mallet again on the bottom of the table
using a woodworking holdfast

Sometimes, workbench dog holes may be wider or smaller. In case it is small, you need to drill it and make it larger. This is known as counterboring. When drilling additional dog holes it is recommended to go with the smallest diameter possible.

Place whatever pieces of wood need securing on the top or sides of the workbench. Place the holdfast in the dog holes. Now, bring the clamp and place it on the workpieces. Now, hit the holdfast from the top using a hammer, and the workpieces are secure. To release, simply use a hammer again to tap the backside.

Getting the best grip with a holdfast

To get an excellent grip and prevent the wood from sliding under the holdfast, make sure you give it a tap with a mallet without being excessively aggressive. For an even more secure grip, you could consider getting a holdfast leather pad, this will give you additional grip while also helping you maintain the finish of the wood without scratching it.

Holdfasts hold the workpieces at a single point. This point of contact allows the workpieces to pivot. Hitting the holdfast harder to get a firmer grip is simply not right. It will only damage the wood. However, if you are using holdfasts that are not suitable for your workbench, then the grip strength will surely be poor.

For more in-depth help when working with holdfasts, check out this comprehensive video guide by Wood and Shop.

Where to place the workbench holes?

Bench holes or dog holes need to be carefully placed in your workbench. If you are new, here are some suggestions. There is no specific formula. However, there are some useful suggestions.

  • Do not place the bench holes too close to one another. This will only weaken your workbench.
  • Another thing to note is that the edges are not the place placement for holes.
  • At first, make smaller holes. This will allow you to counterbore as necessary.

Best workbench material for holdfast use

You need to remember that holdfasts work by putting force on the workbench. So, weak and brittle workbench wood will not do a good job. Woods such as Pine, MDF, or even Timber and Oak are ideal. If you want your workbench to stand the test of time and resist the force of the holdfast, consider looking into these strong woods.

holdfast on woodworking bench

Choosing the Appropriate Holdfast for Your Workbench

Workbench thickness

When getting a holdfast, you need to consider the thickness of your workbench. Certain holdfasts work better on thinner workbenches, while others may work better on thicker ones. Thick workbenches can restrict movement.

Thickness and size of materials being used

Holdfasts are used to secure and hold down workpieces. So, one thing you should definitely consider is the size as well as the thickness of the materials that need securing. If the materials are large or even tall, then getting a holdfast with a longer shaft may be ideal.

Diameter of existing holes

When choosing a holdfast, look at the diameter of the shaft as well as the diameter of the holes in your workbench. The holes in your bench should be larger than the diameter of the shaft.

Closing thoughts

Holdfasts are woodworking equipment that dates back thousands of years back. From ancient times, people have been using this piece of equipment for its amazing usefulness in woodworking.

We listed some of the best holdfasts that are currently available in the market. Choosing the right holdfast can make a huge difference in the final product. Our top recommendation is the Powertech 71096. You can use this particular holdfast for numerous woodworking projects.