The claw clips work nice. I have a real big claw and I just open it on either side of my part and close it near the scalp. It looks funny when I first take it out like there's a peak in the middle but when I scrunch the crunch out of my hair and it fluffs up it looks good.
If you're using the metal ones you need to use them close to the scalp. I clip a curl group right at the roots with the tip that opens pointed to the back of my hair toward the crown.
The claw is easier and makes for better lift for me but the clips keep my curls on top intact all the way to the roots so it's a trade off