Craft

QuadHands Helping Hands

img

Third hand for soldering

A lot of us are probably experienced with “Helping Hands” doodads that hold stuff for soldering, usually, though they can be used for other efforts as well. A small weighted base, some flexi-joints, a couple of alligator clips. I always hated those things. The base was never heavy enough, the joints sketchy, never really held things well or the way they needed to be. Yuk. Always frustrating. I’d gotten into the habit of rigging other things to avoid these “tools” by using rubber bands around plier handles, or generally half-assing some goofy setup. That’s tiring too.

Looking for an upgrade, I found QuadHands. A heavy powder-coated steel base (with robust rubber feet) is, to me, the meat of the whole thing. There’s no flimsy, watch it! moments with it, no tipping or scooting away. And the arms are a lot more predictable than those crappy joints on cheap types. The clips are stainless and have silicone tips (just a snip of tubing, but it works). The clips screw onto the arms and have a jam nut wheel behind them to easily lock the clip from further rotation. Simple, but totally effective. In my version, the arms are screwed to the base; other versions are magnetically attached/movable.

Additional magnetic arms can be used with any of the QuadHands, so maybe I’ll add some… I’m using the simplest model, but may have to admit I might prefer the model that also mounts a Panavise. Really, a quibble, but I should’ve considered the options more deeply but that’s clearly my own issue now – anyone considering getting one of these, please think about the options! Anyway, the nut of things here is that the cheapie Helping Hands should no longer be an option to anyone even halfway serious about why they need such a thing – the QuadHands blows them away.

-- Wayne Ruffner 02/5/18