Magnetic return clamps; opinions?

  1. Yamhon

    Yamhon Member

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    I've been considering picking up a magnetic return clamp; more so since picking up my new brass clamp which doesn't clamp well on thin materials.

    They seem to be quick to use and secure enough; but most of them appear so cheap I've been wondering how good they really are.

    Does anyone use one, would recommend one, care to share their experience, etc?

    Plan to get one in the 200-250A range.
     
  2. rtbcomp

    rtbcomp Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    18,615
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    Are you within shouting distance of Sheffield? I may have one kicking about, if so free for collection. I'll need a bit of time to find it though.
     
  3. Moose McAlpine

    Moose McAlpine Member

    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Watford Hertfordshire
    I have a 300A Magswitch one. It's very good. I use it to ground the metal plate i weld on on my workbench, it's handy. Also good when i did some welding on a truck body outside to just clean a patch and stick it on.

    61ow4LiIG3L._SL1500_.jpg
    40 quid off Amazon + cable though.
     
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  4. Yamhon

    Yamhon Member

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    I don't drive, my bike is being used by my brother after his got knicked atm. Appreciate the offer; if it turns up I could pay postage if that would be alright. I'm over at Pontefract.
     
  5. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

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    Location:
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    Magswitch or Tweco.

    You’ll probably find the Tweco is made by magswitch.

    They’re not as good as a copper clamp but they’re not bad.
     
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  6. zzr1200

    zzr1200 Working at 650 ft on open steel work

    Messages:
    3,544
    Location:
    Brimington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
    I wouldn't mind trying it, if there's a possibility, please.

    Collection not a problem.
     
  7. rtbcomp

    rtbcomp Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    18,615
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
  8. Moose McAlpine

    Moose McAlpine Member

    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Watford Hertfordshire
    How easy are those ones to pull off a workpiece if there's no handle attached to it?
     
  9. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

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    Location:
    Essex
  10. Yamhon

    Yamhon Member

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    If you can post it, I'd happily take it and can send payment via PayPal if that's okay.
     
  11. Yamhon

    Yamhon Member

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    I have no idea, but if there is enough room on the thread, perhaps you could machine a small handle out of flat bar stock with an hole to bolt on alongside the cable...
     
  12. rtbcomp

    rtbcomp Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    18,615
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    Just grab the stud, I've been using it as a balance weight on my lathe treadle and I managed to pull it off OK

    It'll go with Hermes, I'll get it packed & weighed tomorrow & send PayPal details via PM (Send as gift to avoid charges please!)
     
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  13. Yamhon

    Yamhon Member

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    Great stuff, thank you.
     
  14. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,092
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    My personal experience with them is I wouldn’t bother. There are so few applications where it is actually a real convenience that it doesn’t out weigh the cons associated with them.
    They pick up all the dust and carp on your bench and require constant cleaning before attaching.
    If your welding on small items or have it relatively close to the area your welding they play absolute havoc with the arc.
    Even the best ones pull off relatively easy . It doesn’t take much regarding a kick of the cable to pull it off and the obvious draw back is they ain’t no good for austenitic stainless, aluminium etc just steel really.
    I’m not a fan at all. You can’t beat a good old twist of the handle on a solid brass clamp to get the best results.
     
  15. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Hardfacing shredders. You can’t get an earth clamp onto them half the time and you always need your earth to be near where you are welding.
     
  16. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,092
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Done loads of shredders and crushers. Big sacrificial G clamp on one of the blades was always the weapon of choice in my day.
    The rail line boys used to use the mag type too till I educated them with a big clamp to go round the rail line.
     
  17. Richard.

    Richard. Member

    Messages:
    18,092
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Infact I seem to remember years ago one of the cement plants made a point of not allowing mag clamps because they were of the opinion (rightly or wrongly, not my policy) that it wasn’t a good enough connection and went against their direct earthing policy. They said it had potential to be knocked off easier and had the risk of the current to be transferred through bearings.
     
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  18. Munkul Member

    Messages:
    761
    Cumbria, UK
    I have one of the cheap ones with a brass plunger and fixed round magnet, it lives under my welding table most of the time connecting table to TIG set. It's pitted with arc strikes and I know it's a very poor earth... but works fine for TIG :dontknow: I'd never use it for MIG though.

    I'd like to get one of those good quality ones to replace it, it's very handy for the odd job on ag machinery where a clamp is slightly awkward.
     
  19. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

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    Location:
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    I mean yeah that certainly can happen. Just as easy to leave your earth on the wrong drum and start welding on the adjacent one putting 200A directly through the bearings.

    Unlikely to pull one of the 300lb magswitch ones off I should think.
     
    Richard. likes this.
  20. Brad93

    Brad93 M J B Engineering

    Messages:
    5,919
    Location:
    Essex
    Do you suffer with poor arc strikes?
     
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