SparkFun Third Hand Parts

This parts kit allows you to modify a coolant hose into an additional hand for your SparkFun Third Hand. It includes the alligator clips and hardware necessary to repair a broken hand, or make a new one.

Note: A portion of this sale is given to Ryan for inspiring the design with his Instructable.

  • 2x Alligator Clips
  • 2x 1" 6-32 Phillips Pan Head Machine Screws
  • 2x 50 x 4mm Heat Shrink Wraps

SparkFun Third Hand Parts Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • dead-eye / about 11 years ago / 1

    Ditto that. I ended up just taking the one that fit properly to my local ACE Hardware and found another one that had the matching thread pattern. I think it cost me about 30 cents. YMMV

  • Defragster / about 11 years ago / 1

    Has anyone else gotten these and found the two machine screws to be non matching? I got two packs and each had one right size and one smaller diameter screw.

    • Member #496329 / about 11 years ago / 1

      Yes, it happened to me too.

      • Member #497210 / about 11 years ago / 1

        Better than me, both the screws in my pack seem too small to fit the alligator clips.

Customer Reviews

4 out of 5

Based on 12 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

I wish the alligator clips were bigger

They work perfectly with the coolant tubes in the third hand kit, I only wish that the alligator clips were a bit bigger to accommodate holding PCBs and larger components.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Helping hands kit crocodile clips too small and weak

The clips are a bit on the flimsy side - they bend very easily at the wrist. Slightly bigger and stronger would make them more useful. At the moment they feel like they are going to break if I don't handle them with kid gloves.

Almost Perfect

Overall I am very pleased with these parts.

There's two things I think that can be improved.

First, I think the alligator clips could be larger. I haven't run into issues yet, but I can easily see myself being unable to grip certain things at some future point. For thin items, they work incredibly well.

Second, I think the alligator clips could be a bit stronger. The flat surface between the clip and the screw mount can bend if you're not careful. I accidentally bent one of the clips when trying to reposition the arm. I have since become more cautious with how I use the clips.

And while this comment isn't specific to these parts, I think it would be cool if Spark Fun invested some energy in coming up with new parts for future release (lights, fans, magnifying lenses, etc.)

These are very handy

The parts are for my Sparkfun Third Hand setup. It's come in handy when I've had to hold the circuit boards I solder at an odd angle. The third hands hold it secure enough to solder, but are movable if I want to view the board at a different angle. They are also rather strong considering their small size. This is a cool invention.

Used for the PCB Workstation on Thingiverse

I used these to on my PCB workstation on I put them together and they work. Cut the tube in half put the cut tubes over the alligator teeth. Do it again to add double insulation. Works Great!

simple but effective

I have read some of the other reviews, and the issues with strength, but I have not have not experienced this. It may be that I use these as a supplement to my panavise so I am not overloading them trying to hold a PCB. Basically little things like this allow me to continue enjoy DIY projects despite my arthritis.

Good Quility

These are well made, with threaded ends to match the screws. It might be nice if they were a size larger to hold thicker items when soldering. I do recommend them to anyone building a third hand.

Unlike most third hands these actually work. I bought two of the kits and four of the coolant hoses.Since I have RA in my hands I could not separate the hose links so I did one better. I used a metal reamer to enlarge the base end. I slid the screw from the parts kit into the hose. Attaching the gator clip was easy. I would recommend using a much larger gator clip for heavy projects. Other than that everything is working great.

hard to adjust

They work fine but it is so hard (too stiff) to adjust.

Everything was as promised

The only modification for these parts that I would possibly make would be using larger alligator clips. Also, if anyone is using these for a third hand kit as sold, I would recommend using some thread lock on the machine screws during assembly.

Too small

OK, I guess, for tiny objects, but not big or strong enough for something like making an XLR cable. The clips appear to be a knockoff of the Mueller BU-30TBO. Get some Mueller BU-60TBO clips (You Do It Electronics) and #8-32 machine screws. Thread lock on the screws is an excellent idea, too. Otherwise they unscrew when you try to turn them. Sparkfun needs to up their game and switch to the BU-60TBO in the 3rd hand kit.