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Extra Hands clamp: How many use it? Worth the $$$?


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#1 mysterj1

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:14 PM

I'm looking at some new tools for my workbench and was wondering how many of us use some form of this? There's a couple different manufacturers that make them, I'm curious what your experiences are?

#2 RJWood

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:31 AM

I use mine quite often. Very useful tool. Picked mine up for cheep at Harbor freight. The magnifying glass comes in handy as well.
I would say you should get it. I have a T- bucket frame on a clothespin clamped on the allagator clips for drying as I speak.

#3 Brizio

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:23 AM

I never use them.

#4 rhs856

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:33 AM

I have two; one from Harbor Freight ($4) and one from Radio Shack($14). They both do the same thing for me, hold small parts while I detail paint, but the main difference is size. The RS one is big and beefy. If I tap it with my arm, it stabilizes quickly without tipping off of the desk. The HF one is more top heavy (or less bottom heavy - the base is much smaller) and tips over easily. From my experience in having both, if you are going to get one, spend the extra $10 and get the RS one.

Edited by rhs856, 30 May 2012 - 07:33 AM.


#5 59 Impala

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:39 AM

I've got two from Harbor Freight and have no problems with them. Of course I'm kinda cheap anyway. Have to be, I'm on a fixed income now and have to watch what I spend fer stuff. Anyway, I like them a lot. They are real handy. :) Dan

#6 TooOld

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:55 AM

I bought one about 6 months ago thinking it would get a lot of use . It hasn't . Whether I'm doing assembly work of small parts or painting some details , I need to rest my hands or arms on something solid , usually the table . I just need the support to keep steady . My " Extra Hands " are resting peacefully in the bottom of my tool box .

#7 MAGNUM4342

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:09 AM

I have two as well. Both Harbor Frieght items. I use them constantly, in fact both are employed right now. One is for working small parts and the other is a small parts paint stand with the mag glass removed.

#8 Aaronw

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:01 AM

I've got one my wife bought me a few years ago, I think it is the one made by Exacto with two arms.
I wouldn't put it in the must have category as I only occasionally use it, and I got on just fine without it. I mostly use it for working on really small parts so I have both hands free.

While not essential, it is a handy tool, and since they cost less than $20 I'd say it is a worthwhile addition to a work bench.

#9 crazyjim

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:03 PM

I've had one for a million years and rarely use it.

#10 Kaleb

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:22 PM

Wow your old. I've got one and I use it. But im working with lighting too so I need it to solder

Edited by Kaleb, 30 May 2012 - 01:22 PM.


#11 crazyjim

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:24 PM

Yeah I'm old and feel even older. Here's some free advise from an old guy - DON'T GET OLD!

#12 Mercman

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:39 PM

I have 3 of them 2 for regular work, the other is just for soldering. They do come in handy. (no pun intended).

#13 jbwelda

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:40 PM

what crazy jim said, about the alligator (cough) clip things. but when i first got it i did use it quite a bit to hold parts while the paint dried, nowadays i just have a big plug of blu tack with toothpicks sticking out of it to attach parts to.

#14 Foxer

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:05 AM

I've thought about getting one of these too, but so far I'm not convinced. I'd expect to need one WHEN I need a third hand, but no ones given any example when they are indispensable. How about a few situations when you use them?

#15 mickey1938

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:25 PM

Harbor Friegth here in Schererville Indiana has them for $2.99 for how long I don't know!!

#16 Jon Cole

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:58 PM

I have about 5 or 6 of them. Only use them for painting. Work great for that purpose. I ditched the mag glass.

#17 Dave Pye

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:32 PM

I use mine frequently. Harbor Freight.

#18 Foxer

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 01:32 AM

Here's a situation where I always think I need a "third hand" ... gluing two parts together that need to be held while the glue dries enough so the parts stay aligned. With CA I always want to use my "third hand" to apply some Zip Kicker.

Has anyone found these able to hold two parts aligned and tight together enough to apply some glue?

#19 garryrenfro

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:33 AM

I have a couple of third hands, a couple of hobby vices, and a Micromark magnetic gluing jig that are always in use.

#20 Chillyb1

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 06:04 AM

Has anyone found these able to hold two parts aligned and tight together enough to apply some glue?

Yes. I've done that many times when trying to glue photoetch windshield wipers together. I attach each of the two pieces of the wipers (the blade and the arm) to a toothpick or similar item with poster tack. Then the alligator clips hold the toothpicks and I position them so that the two wiper pieces mate the way I want them. A tiny bit of CA where they meet and I'm done.

But I also use my magnifier constantly. My eyes are still 20/20 but I find it much easier to use a magnifier when doing any sort of detail work, be it painting, drilling, or gluing.

If you get one be aware that you may have to repair the magnifier's ring (or clip or rim or whatever you call the part that goes around the glass and attaches to the base. I got mine from Radio Shack and that part was apparently the absolutely cheapest possible solution for the manufacturer; it is an unconscionably shoddy part. Needless to say it broke about eight minutes after I got the thing. My repair was to use a hose clamp (with worm screw) big enough to surround the glass, with a gasket cut from an old bicycle tire innertube between the clamp and the glass. That assembly was CA glued to a bolt that then fits into the original part on the stand. (Does that make sense?)