Recommendation for Helping hand

Looking at Banggood, I see they have several models of the helping-hand clamp magnifier tool. I am considering this one.

Does anyone have this model or maybe recommend a good one? Thanks

I dislike the amount of plastic, I like this one, use it at work, but removed the magnifier (I use +3 reading glasses instead).

I hadn’t seen that one. I can see why you like it. It says that it has a cast iron base, nice.

Did you remove the magnifier because of its poor quality or just because you prefer using the readers?

I have a couple of them, one like this

and the other similar but with a taller stem and a spring type soldering iron rest and place for a damp sponge. Both bases seem to be made of cast iron.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Soldering-Iron-Rest-LED-Helping-Hands-Illuminated-Magnifying-Glass-Magnifier-/331488558153?hash=item4d2e41fc49:g:01EAAOSwZjJU7K52

Both have magnifying glasses, and the taller one has a large illuminated glass (3xAAA and a pair of LEDs). I tend not to use the magnifying glasses.

They’re more useful when screwed to a block of wood to give stability, as just on their own base they can topple too easily. That’s also true for the little standalone soldering iron stands with a spring type holder.

I find they are one of those things that just occasionally are a godsend, but I don’t use that much, and there are spells when I do a fair amount of electronic soldering.

I agree that plastic and soldering don’t mix, and I don’t like the plastic body on the one you linked to on Banggood.

I’ve also seen a few other jigs for holding circuit boards and tilting them, but I’ve never been tempted to shell out for one. They can be quite expensive.

Of the two I’ve got, I find the taller one with the soldering iron stand and the sponge holder the most useful. It’s the same as the one djozz mentioned in his post.

If you want one, look on ebay USA first. It may well be cheaper than Banggood and will arrive sooner.

I gave up long ago on those cheap ones with the crappy joints, I’m also not interested in paying the crazy money for nice ones so my solution is indicator arms. The magnetic base means you can move them around, you can have as few or as many as you want, you can pick what clips you want to get good ones (the clip on the left is the crappy clips I started with and the other is the much nicer mueller clips I’m replacing them with) and most importantly you can position them very very accurately by loosening them, moving them to just where you want them and tightening them again. The range and degrees of freedom you have is also far better.

I have heard very good things about the QuadHands , been debating grabbing one myself. A bit pricey, but more flexible than the usual ones.

Use a vice it’s easier and more versatile.

I have a vice, 2 actually. I want something else.

The best I’ve seen were made from magnetic bases meant to hold dial indicators. Several ways to mount the clips (DIY your own way with any kind of clip you like), they are very adjustable, but most important is they’re very rigid when the easily-tightened knob is torqued tight. No metal working surface? No problem, just use a heavy scrap block of steel underneath for a gravity mount. Bonus tip: Use a baking sheet or pan weighed down with a brick or W.H.Y. to both hold the clamps and protect the desktop . Not really cheap, but better than anything you can buy :wink:

Budget buying is good but cheap helping hands are awful, worse than a 10K lumen Chinese single AAA only flashlight :stuck_out_tongue:

Phil

G'Day Jigsaw,

My brother bought this one & he is Very happy with it:

U$34.99 Realacc Strange Third Hand Six Arm Soldering Station with USB Fan | Banggood

http://www.banggood.com/Realacc-Strange-Third-Hand-Six-Arm-Soldering-Station-with-USB-Fan-p-1081818.html

I intend buying it in the near future.

Best Regards,

George

I’ve also heard great things. I’ve had it in my amazon cart for months now and haven’t pulled the trigger.

Thanks for the tip Scianic. I went with the longer Clockwise brand for about $5 more. They might have better quality control. I don’t have a red arm one to compare with, but from what I read the gripper is a larger 3/8” (9.5mm) as opposed to 8mm. A size better suited for the 3/8” barrel of the BU-60HS-0 Mueller clips. The copper clips (BU-60CHS) might be useful as well.


I had a cheap one from Banggood and it was horrible. Asked the opinion of an experienced modder and they recommended this:

Super happy with my purchase so far.

I have the 6” x 9” Quadhands.

The base is very heavy (4lb) and stable, 3/16 powder coated steel plate. The arms are easy to position and stay in place well. I seem to be soldering different things of all sizes in different positions so this works well for me.

A vise is still the best for tiny precision board work but considering the convenience this is what I mainly use. There is a smaller model designed specifically to fit a Panavise but I prefer the heavier wider base so I will probably thread a few slots in mine to accept a Panavise and use it when needed.

There are some less robust clones out there now but Quadhands has great quality and excellent customer service, also felt good to compensate a U.S. company for doing good work.

For PCB soldering I am using

or this:

The last one also has different attachment heads with different heights, arms, and more that are magnetic.