Sunday, 19 February 2012

Third Hand / Helping Hand Alternative

I get really fed up using the helping hands.  They're really needed sometimes but any pressure and they go sliding off, so I got a PCB vice, but it is a bit big and unwieldy and I often couldn't be bothered messing with it.  Then when I was perusing eBay I saw this great little mini vice.

The base is metal and quite heavy and of course much less top heavy than a helping hand, there's rubber feet for added friction, but there's also holes so this could be screwed to a board or table top to keep it really secure. The size would be perfect for just about any effect build.

Place your resistors, put another board over the top so they won't fall out (same height so it wil be held in place by the vice), turn the boards over and clamp into place, then solder all your resistors in one go.

It may not have the range of movement of the helping hand, but it holds the boards much more securely.  So now I can just use the helping hand for the magnifier whilst the board is held firmly in place.

A useful tool and all for a massive ......... wait for it ........

£3.18 including postage!  Look here.

Update: Thanks to Aaron for sending me a link to a US seller of this vice for anyone wanting to buy it in the good ol' US of A.


  1. Got mine in the mail today. This really beats traditional third hand all to the point when you solder caps on the board. I just wish working area on it would be higher. I it were, i would stop using that wiggly alligator clip thing althogether.

    For soldering resistors, ic and transistor sockets, this really is worth having.

    Thanks for the tip.

  2. I'm ordering one. My "third hand" tool is an altoids tin full of pennies with alligator clips attached to craft wire soldered on.

  3. Also, what circuit is this? Thanks!