Perfect Wire Hose Clamps With A Simple DIY Tool

Hose clamps have been around as long as we’ve been using flexible hoses. Usually, a clamp consists of a slotted metal strap, and a screw for tightening. Most of us know how quickly they slip when you want to add a bit more torque, or the frustration of not having the right size. Fortunately [Max Egorov] reminded us of DIY wire clamps (video after the break), an excellent alternative that is very effective, covers an infinite size range and is easy to make with a simple tool.

The wire clamp is in effect a doubled girth hitch, that is pulled tight with the ends bent over to keep the tension. [Max] shows you how to easily make your own clamper tool with basic tools and a few bits of steel. Making it as ornate as his one is definitely not required.  You can also buy a commercial tool that is sold under the name ClampTite, which uses a leadscrew type design.

To achieve a tight seal with a hose clamp, the main requirement is constant pressure around its entire circumference. These wire clamps do this very well and are popular among aircraft mechanics, since flying in a plane with a leaky coolant or fuel hose could shorten your lifespan a bit. [Max] also demonstrates a variety of other uses for these including fixing tool handles and even building a ladder.

We love simple but effective tools like this, and we’ll definitely be adding one to our toolbox. Have you used these before? Let us know in the comments!

There is (almost) never such a thing as too many tools, and making your own is very satisfying. We’ve seen people build an outfit a complete carpentry workshop using plywood, and build sheet metal press brake with no welding.

Thanks [Keith O] for the tip!

30 thoughts on “Perfect Wire Hose Clamps With A Simple DIY Tool

  1. Pretty much anyone who regularly works on boats owns this tool it is not long forgotten at all. Great tool and a great way to clamp hoses if you have not clamped them like this before. Not a hack, done every day all around the world.

    1. I’ve been reading around and finding a bunch of anecdotes of this style of clamping failing. It also doesn’t seem to be ABYC approved.

      Do you have links to any studies or anything? I’m about to replace all of my hoses and would love to save some money on clamps but not without solid evidence that my hose ends aren’t going to all split in the next 10 years.

      1. A lot of it depends on the wire you use to make the clamp 304ss is the best all rounder but make sure it’s of a decent thickness. Worst case I have used a coat hanger it ended up lasting over 2 months purely because I remembered it needed to be redone later with ss.

        Not sure about the yacht club but the USCG has passed my COI on several occasions with out issue. Just followed the rules as normal with 2 clamps at each connection.

        1. About a decade and a half ago, give or take a few years, I lost the hose clamp off the top rad hose while out of town. Now I had taken my tools out of the trunk to use on something else a couple of days before and derp, didn’t have so much as a pair of pliers with me. However, I did have my emergency coat hanger. So after waiting for it to cool off a bit, I pulled up the hose as far as I could get it, then wound coat hanger around a few times, and tightened it up purely by twisting it with a stick off the side of the road… topped off the coolant, had a quart spare with me. Got back home fine. So next day or so, some family drama/SHTF kinda thing happened and I forgot all about it… 6 years later I had STILL forgotten all about it when the radiator blew and I was swapping it out and had to cut it off and was amazed it was good that long. By that time though I was into replacing clamps with SS worm clamps, because I realised they were only a dime more a piece than the rust up or off in months version.

    1. I bought one of those at a state fair 40 years ago. I still have it and some of the wire plus wire I bought. I have repaired hoses on cars, water hoses, wooden ladders (started to split lengthwise) and lots of other things. Also just strap things to poles or to each other.

  2. I’ve had the clamptite for years an more often than not I find myself replacing traditional hose clamps with wire and never need img to bother with them again

  3. OK, I’ve never seen this tool before, it’s very ingenious and Mad Max did a very nice job of building one. (Hey he built a bear proof cabin and climbed a tree to make a phone call, I think Mad Max fits.)

    1. Spring-type wire clamps were OE on most car hoses which were molded type…well before flex hoses which were designed for after-market replacement. Flexes would fit almost all apps without big inventories…even heater hoses.

  4. A little offtopic, but sort-of in the same story-line a little:
    The ‘Queenslander’ or ‘Queensland Hitch’ is an Aussie alternative approach to tying larger items together – more in line with fencing though. Uses larger diameter, low tensile fencing wire to hitch things together, at unbelievable strength when done correctly. Its all in the method of tying the wire knot (hitch).

  5. I was going to say that this is not a new idea, but it is a nice clone of a commercial product. From what I understand these tools work real well and this may be what it takes for me to get off my butt and build one. It was a nice build.

    As far as cell reception goes, it is good to remember that high is usually better, away from things is usually better. I got very lost in the middle of nowhere a few years ago trying to find my friends cabin in the woods. I had only been up there once before and that was in the daylight and I had missed a turn. I got no bars on my cell phone in my truck, but I was able to find a clearing and I got up on the roof and slowly turned in a circle and I was able to get one bar, which was enough to call and get more detailed directions. Having your phone fully charged probabley helps too.

  6. I have seen the clamps through the years on cars and wondered how they made them. I have seen them hold up 25 years on fluid hoses.They are a pain to remove because the hard wire used puts nice notches in your dikes

    I was impressed with his creative source of materials. He also built the decorative flare from the inception, something I never seem to get around to until the end of the project.

    Now the big question…

    How did he get that camera shot of him climbing the tree? At some points it rises with him then stops dead still. Great job!
    Like any good cinematographer’s work, you just see the picture and never realize the carera got there first.

  7. Very attractive, and nice for handles how it lies flat. But I’ve never seen a jubilee clip fail unless the hose itself has deteriorated – in which case this would fail too.

  8. Now I’m tempted to build something similar to the clamptite version, even though I’m not certain the extra leverage of the screw is neccesary, I do not like the tool to be in 2 separate parts. The clamptite version is easier to store, especially if you make the pins shorter.

    An extra modification for me would be to use a regular hex or torx bolt in addition to a curled end or the wingnut., so I can use an electric dill as an extra option to tighten the wire.

    I sure do hope that my self made tool will also come with a free cabin in the woods and a pine tree cell phone tower relay.

  9. Four days later after watching this, I went and made one. I’d love to know how much time was spent making this particular one in this video. I took just on 30 minutes to make mine. Which looks absolutely nothing like the flashness of this, but for 30 minutes spent on making said tool, you wont expect it too look like much. It does work an absolute treat though. I’m impressed. Two coats of cold-gal mirror surface paint on it, and it brought its ‘flashness’ up a notch or two.

  10. Yesterday saturday evening I invested 2.5h into building one of these tools.
    That is, the not so shiny version of it, and made it my own by punchlettering it (shiny tools get stolen quickly).

    Today sunday I was practising on fixing rake handles with it, my brother showed up, was fascinated, googled and youtubed about it, found my construction very good, and used the rest of my round- and barstock materials to build his own. To up the looks of my tool a bit (and to differenciate from my brothers tool ;) ), I sprayed it neon orange, makes it easier to find it, if it fell into the lawn.

    Probably wednesday I want to build a bending guide for the wire clamps, because if I bend the clamp in place it becomes uglier and takes longer (8-10min*), with a pre-bent wireclamp I’m more in the 2-4 min range and need only turn about one revolution.

    * In case someone wonders why it takes so long: I used 2.1mm stainless wire for my 3/4″ garden hoses.

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