An ongoing battle of exhaust clamps vs welding debate that has been going around for a long time. With each of them having unique perks, it’s hard to crown the winner. All of us face problems with our exhaust system. It’s pretty costly to hire a repairman. That’s why most of the time, we try to fix it ourselves.
This is where the debate comes in. Both of them are good, depending on the situation. So, in this article, we will talk about the various aspects of these two instruments to find the winner.
About Exhaust Clamp
The name itself gives us a pretty rudimentary idea of what it is. An exhaust clamp is a tool to hold and fasten the exhaust. The mechanism is quite simple and also perfect for a DIY enthusiast.
You take an exhaust clamp and fit it around the exhaust pipe. The most exciting aspect of it is you can loosen and tighten it as much as you want. There are versatile exhaust clamps in the market for different uses. We will get to that later. Exhaust clamps are great for pipes that undergo extreme heat.
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Types Of Exhaust Clamp
There are different types of exhaust clamps to choose from. Each type of exhaust clamp has a definite function. So without further ado, let’s look at the different types of clamps.
1. Band Clamps
While other exhaust clamps are temporary, Band clamps are permanent. They are either made of aluminum or stainless steel and are pretty durable. This type of exhaust clamp can withstand high force as well. Most of the time, it’s hard to find out a suitable clamp for exhaust pipes.
But Band Clamps fit most exhaust pipes as they come in versatile sizes. They are beginner-friendly, and you can tighten them with a handy clamping tool. They are one of the most valuable clamps you can get your hands on. (Read more: Can You Solder Brass To Copper? Answer May Surprise You!)
2. U-Bolt Clamps
This one on our list is the most common clamp in the market. Just seeing the name, you can visualize that it is U-shaped. This U-shaped bolt helps adjust clamps of various sizes. There is a bolt in the clamp. Because of the bolt, the pipe doesn’t turn or come apart.
Initially, this may seem like a good feature. But when you try to pull apart the exhaust system, you will have a hard time. Therefore, it’s both a pro and a con. Many vehicle mufflers and aftermarket systems use it for its rigidness.
3. V-Band Clamp
The V-Band clamp is the fanciest clamp out of the four. The price of it is pretty high, and hence it’s more intricate than others. You will often see this V-band clamp in high-end cars with a powerful turbo exhaust system.
We all have seen movies where race cars use turbo to boost their speed. This is the clamp that does all the magic. The clamp has two different interlocking rings, and you can connect these two rings around the exhaust pipe.
These clamps don’t have any leaks. Thus you can rest assured of its safety. The only problem is that you need to wield it at the end of the pipes.
What is the Best Type of Exhaust Clamp?
There is a wide type of clamps you can find in the market. But the question is which one is the best. Well, it depends on your machinery. Considering the price and functionality, the Evil Energy Band clamps are a good choice. The clamps are easy to use yet effective.
The stainless steel body that it comes in is highly durable, and the clamp distributes the overall force throughout the body, preventing noise. On top of that, you can easily disassemble it. Therefore, the evil energy band clamp has a high potential to be the best exhaust clamp.
Are Exhaust Clamps Good?
You might be wondering why I should use an exhaust clamp. I can just use welding. Well, the benefits of Exhaust clamps can change your mind. First of all, they are versatile. You can find clamps for any pipe size. The clamps connect with the pipes properly. Therefore, there is no risk. They are highly functional. The most crucial part is that they are user-friendly. Therefore, anyone can use them.
Advantage and Problems
Here is a short overview of all the things we’ve talked about. In case you are running low on time, have a quick look.
- User Friendly
- No need for assistance
- Wide range of sizes
- Can be installed with a muffler on vehicle
- Not as durable as welding
- Some Clamps requires welding
At a glance, welding is the process of combining two objects. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Though it seems simple, there is a lot to understand to have a proper insight into welding.
For welding, you will require to apply a lot of heat to melt the metal filler metal using special tools. That’s why you have to use perfect tools as a welding machine. Welding gives a much stronger bond than the clamp using the filler material.
Also, it ensures a strong bond that lasts for a long time if the filler metal is used properly. But the bummer about it is that it requires additional tools. While you can efficiently work with exhaust clamps, welding may need some expert assistance.
Types of Welding
The best part about welding is its versatility and the strong bond it creates. There are varieties of common welding techniques you can incorporate. Here are the kinds of welding to pique your interest.
1. TIG Welding
This is perhaps the most common type of exhaust wielding. The mechanism of it is pretty fascinating. It utilizes non-consumable electrodes. It means you can use it while it’s hot without the risk of melting. There is a couple of instrument that helps it function. We won’t bore you with the technical jargon. But at the end of the day, it creates an arc. We can use this type of welding to melt strong metals, including stainless steel, titanium alloys, etc.
2. MIG Welding
This one is quite similar to the TIG welding, with some exceptions. In TIG welding, you use a non-consumable electrode. But in MIG welding, you will need to use a metal electrode. To make it a cathode, you will have to connect the opposing end with a workpiece. That’s pretty much the mechanism of MIG welding. You should remember that you shouldn’t use this kind of wielding to fix thin tubing sections as you will face some complications. Thus, it’s best to avoid it for this use.
3. Stick Welding
This type of welding uses a consumable electrode as well. The fascinating part about Stick Welding is that you don’t need any additional gas supply. All you need is two electric cables, a stable DC generator, and a metal table. After turning on the power supply, the instrument will create a powerful arc.
This arc is sturdy enough to melt any kind of metal. You may be thinking if it’s safe to use it or not. Don’t worry. There is a flux coating of the electrode that works as a gas shield protection. The welding torch makes the joint more potent and secured with stick welding.
4. Flux Cored Arc Welding
Last but not least is this welding technique. The electrode melt in the Flux-cored welding is different than the other three. Flux core welding uses a tabular wire. Similar to other welding types, when the workpiece meets the electrode, an arc forms. You can use the welding torch to dissolve any metal using the flux-cored arc welding process.
Flux-cored arc welding has two different types. The self-shielded one uses the flux as a protected shield. On the other hand, the gas-shielded metal arc welding uses the gas as a protector. Both are great for creating strong welding joints.
- Extremely durable.
- Versatile use.
- Strong joints.
- Less material used.
- Can be a bit costly.
Which One is Better? Is it better to weld or clamp exhaust?
The winner of clamps vs. exhaust welding entirely depends on your preference. To have a stable yet temporary fix, Exhaust clamps are the best. Also, it’s very easy to use. On the other hand, the welding process gives much more rigid and robust joints. But not everybody can use it which is a downside of welding. It’s challenging to find out the better one as both have good features.
If you’re looking for something permanent, welding machine is what you need! But, if you want to save some money and don’t need rock-hard fixing, exhaust clamps is the best choice for you.
How To Connect Exhaust Pipes without Welding?
It may seem like the welding process is the only way to connect exhaust pipes. But it’s not entirely true. You can fix it using other techniques. First, cut the exhaust pipe with a saw. Try to cut it in the place close to the damaged part. Then remove the rubber bushes. After that, disconnect the oxygen sector to take the exhaust out. Then use adapters for pipe connection. It’s that easy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can you weld a broken exhaust pipe?
Yes, if it’s not entirely broken. For welding exhaust pipe, you can wrap a bit of steel or other strong metal around the breaking point and put it to use. But, keep in mind that you should never weld your exhaust entirely as you need a stress point.
Q. Are exhaust clamps reliable?
Without a shadow of a doubt, yes!
In reality, an alternative to welding clamps, the exhaust components is sometimes better since clamps give the same stability and strength as welding. Furthermore, clamp to welding will enable you to easily replace the exhaust component, which is not possible if the components are fused together.
Q. What are the basic functions of exhaust clamps?
Exhaust clamps are used to hold and seal the exhaust system. Putting pressure through bolts, exhaust clamps are sealed around pipes.
All types of exhaust clamps are useful. But, a lot of the professionals prefer band clamps. They’re simple to use but sturdy and solid.
Q. Which materials are best for using in welding?
It depends on your project. Based on the content you’re welding, Iron, Steel, Copper, Titanium, Aluminum, Brass, etc. are used for welding.
Q. What is the best type of welding?
As mentioned above, there are 4 types of welding. TIG, MIG, Stick, and Flux Cored Arc. Any of them can be considered as the best type of welding depending on the task you have.
While TIG welding is the most common and easiest type of welding, Flux Cored welding provides gas shielding that ensures purer metal welding.
Both welding and clamps have made our lives a lot easier. Leaks or malfunctions are inevitable. Sometimes it can cause enormous distress. Techniques like welding and clamps can save the day. These two techniques have made exhaust systems much better and safer. It’s up to you to choose the winner in the Exhaust Clamps Vs Welding debate.