Description: Are you frustrated with the lack of dexterity from most third hands? The SparkFun Third Hand gives you the ability to hold a board between two alligator clips on two flexible arms with multiple points of articulation. The arm’s wide range of articulation gives you access to any angle of the board that you are currently working on, making soldering that much easier. The SparkFun Third Hand also won’t move around while you work thanks to a heavy aluminum base supporting the arms.
Even though we give you two alligator clips for the flex arms, that shouldn’t restrict their functionality to just holding a PCB. Add an LED for better lighting, a fan to keep solder fumes out of your face, or a magnifying glass to get an up close and personal look at what you are working on.
Note: For assembly instructions watch the product video below.
Note: A portion of this sale is given to Ryan for inspiring the design with his Instructable.
Based on 10 ratings:
3 of 3 found this helpful:
The base is solid and heavy, and the flexible coolant pipes are durable and can flex to hold your work exactly where you need it. I bought extra hardware to make a total of 4 pipes+clips and now I feel invincible.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I only can say, I LOVE this thing. I only wish there was a magnifying glass accessory available for it
1 of 1 found this helpful:
After trying to muscle the arms back together for 30min I gave up and got out a butane torch and heated both the arm and nozzle. Snapped together very easily after that.
I have had the traditional 3rd hand rigs with the magnifier and they just dont get to where I need to go. So with a gift certifcate from the recent holidays I was able to get the SparkFun Third Hand Kit.
It didnt come with assembly instructions, but seems obvious what needs to be done. I tried to take off the conical end to put the screw in for the clip. That was a bit difficult but I thought there must be an easier way. It turns out that if you drill out the yellow connector on the other end to allow the screw head to pass, it will go all the way through the tube and connect the clip nicely. No screwdriver required.
Note: hold the part you are drilling in a vice so you dont spin and loosen the connection to the blue bits.
Not long after, I was doiing some work under the dash of my car, and this was just the help I needed to solder some wiring. Its a really sturdy build. I will probably see about adding an additional arm or 2 down the road.
Like other reviewers, I had a horrible time reattaching the yellow tip once I’d installed the alligator clip. I finally saw advice to use heat, which really worked (a propane torch is so handy!) but BE CAREFUL! The plastic is fairly heat resistant, but once it’s at temp it gets soft/melts quickly.
That all said, it’s DARNED USEFUL now that I’m using it! It’s nice and stiff but flexible and definitely stays where you move it. I’m considering picking up two more pieces for other parts (magnifying glass and LED light come to mind.)
This thing is absolutely awesome once put together. My one complaint is that it doesn’t come already put together. This took me about 30 minutes to assemble because the ends are so difficult to reattach.
Some people have successfully used pliers to snap it together rather than trying to push on it with about 100lbs of force, but even then it’s not straight forward due to the curved surfaces. On, the other hand, +1 for beveling the edge of the aluminum base, otherwise my hand would be scratched up from when the tubes invariably slip and move around when you put 100lbs of force on them
I’m not if it’s me or the product but I’m have trouble with the clips fItting.
Please send information on everything fits together.
Hi, Sorry for the trouble. Check out this video where Robert explain how to assemble the kit. http://youtu.be/XdOG609ajBo?t=1m36s Thanks
I found snapping the blue segments apart and putting them back together to be nearly impossible in my cold environment. A bit of time with a heat gun made it easy though!
I received the 3rd hand kit and was excited to put it together. The first thing I did was try to take off the top orange nozzle, which I found incredibly difficult. With some leverage on to aluminum base described in the video, I was able to get them off. The second I took them off though, I realized that the inside of this arm was completely hollow and that I probably could have fed the screw in through the bottom had I straightened out the tube. After assembling the alligator clips into the orange nozzle and using a lighter to melt the heat shrink tubing onto the clips, the next roadblock was getting the nozzles back on. This is incredibly harder to do than getting them off, and requires enormous pressure to achieve. I had this kit stashed in an unusable state for a few weeks, with various attempts at reattching the hose. I even tried sanding away some of the plastic to get it to assemble easier but stil no dice. I had almost resorted to superglueing them on, but I remembered a comment someone left about using a heat gun to push the orange piece on. I don’t have a heat gun, but I did have a ligher, and I found that if you hold the plastic nozzle a few centimeters above the flame, while moving the nozzle to give it an even heating, the blue socket will slip in with a little bit of force. After the nozzle cools, the plastic contracts and forms a nice seal around the socket. screwing the threaded base joint into the aluminum base was more diffucult than it should have been, requiring a set of pliers to tighten it all the way.
Overall I think this is a great product with some fairly obvious flaws. Firstly, they used the cheapest coolant hose they could find. removing the top and reattaching it for the kit was far more difficult than the assembly video implies. This wouldn’t be such big issue had the instructions given the tip of using a heat gun or lighter to reattach the hose. The aluminum base is high quality and I can imagine the threads being quite accurately cut, however the threaded hose still required a bit of force to get in, which again is probably due to the cheapness of the hose. That said, the hose works well and the only advantage to a more expensive one would probably have been a nicer thread and easier to detatch links, which we’re never going to break apart again anyway
I recommend you order this and (if you don’t have one) order a heat gun