Toggle Clamps Information

Toggle clampToggle clamps are quick-action hold down clamps used to keep a workpiece stationary. Toggle clamps may be fixed to a bench or fixture, or they may be handheld for holding workpieces together.


Toggle clamps operate through a system of levers and pivots. Actuation of the clamp moves it against the workpiece and the linkage is stretched or compressed. The toggle locks positively by moving the clamp’s center pivot past the centerline of the other pivots, against a stop. Toggle clamps firmly hold the workpiece until the user moves the handle to release the toggle.


There are many different types of adjustable toggle clamps.

  • Horizontal toggle clamps are in the locked position when the handle is in the horizontal position. These clamps have a low profile.
  • Vertical toggle clamps are in the locked position when the handle is positioned vertically.
  • Diagonal hold-down clamps are similar to horizontal toggle clamps, but diagonal handle hold-down clamps are in the locked position when the handle is in a diagonal position. These clamps also have a low profile.
  • Push pull clamps have a plunger that travels in and out. These clamps provide push and pull forces. The clamp may lock in either the push or pull position. They may also be referred to as plunger-style or straight line clamps.
  • Toggle edge clamps apply force both forward and downward at the same time.
  • The action of hook clamps in pulling two parts together makes them suitable for applications such as closing and holding closed doors, lids, molds, etc. Hook clamps may require a separate fixed catch.
  • Latch type clamps are clamps that use a pull action to tighten. Latch type clamps may also be referred to as pull clamps. They are ideal for latching, locking, or fastening doors or fixtures. Latch clamps may be provided in horizontal or vertical configurations.
  • Latch toggle clamps may require a separate fixed catch.
  • Plier toggle clamps are handheld clamps that are configured similar to a set of pliers. A squeeze action is used to close, or toggle, the clamp. Plier toggle clamps may be referred to as squeeze clamps.
  • The pull back clamp has an action similar to a plier clamp, but has a method of mounting the body.
  • Cam clamps are similar to vertical clamps but the clamping force is generated by the action of a roller on a cam. The cam action allows components of differing thickness to be clamped without readjustment of the clamping spindle.

Other specialized or proprietary toggle clamp types may also be available. Check with the toggle clamp manufacturer.

Related Information

CR4 Community—Frequent Toggle Locking Problem in Injection Molding Machine Chenpet 83

CR4 Community—Ball Point Pent Type Mechanism

CR4 Community—Can Toggle Clamp Joints Have Bearings?

Image credit: 

Silberwolf / CC BY-SA 2.5