Panavise Jr. - Vacuum Base

The Panavise Jr. is a great vise with a vacuum base. Its jaws open up to about 3" and have grooves for PCBs. It's perfect for light duty field repairs, electronics, hobby and dozens of other projects. This is an exceptionally lightweight, portable vise that firmly attaches to any flat, smooth non-porous surface. A single knob locks the head into position, while a second knob locks the arm at the angle you select.

Panavise Jr. - Vacuum Base Product Help and Resources

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

September 19, 2013

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

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.
See all skill levels


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.

  • McSpunckle / about 13 years ago / 3

    Yo, Sparkfun bros! This thing is awesome, but you do gotta be careful not to touch the jaws with the soldering iron. They will melt. They're not the plastic that just vanishes, but it does melt the spot you touch.
    It'd be awesome if you sold the neoprene jaw pads that go with it (Panavise # 204). They're squishy so they hold PCBs pretty solidly, and you have to actually hold a hot iron on them for a while to melt them-- and before they melt it smells like a burning tire, so you'e not likely to do that. : D

    • AgustinGS / about 10 years ago / 1

      I was just gonna ask a question similar to this and you answered it 3 years ago! What a vision of the future! Although I wanted to know if it would melt with the hot air rework tool... I'm sure the answer will be similar

  • R0B0T1CS / about 13 years ago / 2

    Silly Putty!
    I have a panavise which I rarely use. Holding your arms 4" above the benchtop for hours of soldering is Not Fun.
    Silly putty allows you to place a board right on the work surface. You can hold many small boards (I've mounted ~ 90 at a time) or larger ones. It's cheap ($0.99 - $4), portable, flexible in use, and it lasts for years. I prefer the old fashioned peach colored stuff. It doesn't smell that bad when burned and it's thicker/ heavier than the newer multicolor stuff.
    Just Don't get Isopropyl alcohol on it while cleaning your pcb (gummy mess).
    A Panavise does come in handy for awkward mounting or desoldering of larger boards. So you should still get one.

    • dcormier / about 13 years ago / 1

      I've got a pound of the stuff sitting on my desk (a result of this). I would think that it would move as you're trying to solder stuff to the board. You don't run into that?

    • Striker121 / about 13 years ago / 1

      Silly putty? Seriously? :D I can't say I would use it as I would imagine it gets stuck to pins, joints, etc but that's a pretty interesting idea. I'll have to try it some time.

  • abenner / about 9 years ago / 1

    Just have to say, This device rocks.

    It's not going to hold up to anything strenuous but for soldering boards it's worth every penny. Totally awesome. This coupled with a magnifying lamp is the bee's knees for my old eyes and shaky hands.

  • Glebun / about 10 years ago / 1

    Do you plan on carrying the one with the alluminium base?

  • Member #523389 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I am looking for something like this where you can open and close the "hand" from arduino commands. Any help?

    • chartle / about 10 years ago / 2

      maybe this:

      You will also need a servo.

  • Jake0313 / about 11 years ago / 1

    This vise is great!!! It sticks to my desk very firmly and rigidly. It is definitely worth the money.

  • I use one of these stuck to a 12" square piece of polycarbonate which is easy to move from place to place. Very useful for holding PCBs, LCD displays at just the right angle, etc. etc. I have zero regrets about buying this little guy.

  • BB / about 13 years ago / 1

    You should also carry the regular Panavise bases and heads. The nice thing about those is that you can reuse the base with different heads, including a Panavise Jr. head. The suction base itself does cost as much as this whole device, but it's much heavier duty (usually enough to not even need the suction) and interchangeable with other heads.

  • Squintz / about 13 years ago / 1

    I own a Panavise that looks exactly like this. It has a lot of potential but I have found that the suction cup will not stick to my wood veneer desk or my cubicle desk for more than 5 minutes with nothing in the gripper. The tiny bit of texture is too much for the suction cup. You would need to stick it to glass or something just as smooth to really work with the vise.

  • SomeGuy123 / about 13 years ago * / 1

    This looks like it could hold one of those Sparkfun solar panels.

  • doobie / about 13 years ago / 1

    How would this compare to say a "third hand"?

    • BB / about 13 years ago / 1

      MUCH better for holding PCBs in place. Third hands are okay if you're soldering two wires together, but you really need something more "clampish" for full boards. It sure beats taping the boards to the table.
      I use one of these (the full base and Jr. head) in conjunction with a third hand and it is so much easier. Better yet, you can free the second third hand (4th hand?) for holding other components or for a more steady grip.

    • Bagel / about 13 years ago / 1

      I don't have this particular vise, but we've got a few Panavises around at work and I've found that compared to a third hand they don't slide or lean even when you put decent pressure on the board (courtesy of the vacuum base) and it's easier to get a board held in the vise just so. I would imagine this one is not quite as easy to grab with since its jaws are plastic vs. the rubber grippers on ours, but probably still easier than the third hand. You could probably address the gripping issue by dipping the jaw portion in plastidip or similar.

  • fotoflojoe / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have the older version of the Jr. as well. Great tool - it's an important fixture on my workbench. It's also been one of the key items in improving my soldering technique, in addition to a Weller adjustable iron, a flux pen, an Optivisor, and PLENTY of light.
    My only gripe about the Panavise Jr. has been that the max opening width of its jaws always seem to be juuuuuust a tad too narrow for what I need to hold. Well, serendipitously, only just this morning, I came across a mod that fixes everything!

    • PeteM. / about 13 years ago / 2

      For a moment I was suspicious as to what you were doing with an ovipositor...

  • finsprings / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have this but it never seems to stay stuck to any surface I use for more than a minute or so.
    I'd use it more if it would stay stuck to my bench…

  • You guys are SO right. Just playing with it for the product shoot and such, I decided to get one for my desk. It's very useful.

  • Striker121 / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have this same vice, just with a different base knob and can confirm that this is by FAR one of the most worthy investments I have EVER made into my electronics equipment. The only thing more useful was getting away from a radioshack iron. The clamp works great and has both strong suction and grip, it also has a wide range of motion and a clamp adjustable for most projects. :End crazy product rant:

  • dcormier / about 13 years ago / 1

    I have a different version of this vise (same head, different base) and have found it to be very helpful in assembling smallish kits.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 2 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

Very good for holding small pcb's

It has some ball joints that allows a lot of movement of the board being held.

Works great!

This vise is easy to use and very handy. I should have bought this sooner. I wish I could open and close the jaws quickly without turning the knob many times.