The 10 Best Circuit Board Holders
This wiki has been updated 5 times since it was first published in March of 2020. Whether you're a professional or a hobbyist, everyone who works on electronics needs a helping hand next to their workbench. These devices not only keep your PCB in place, but can also provide light and magnification, or even hold wires in place, so you don't have to worry about tricky hand positioning while soldering. Always take proper safety precautions while working with powered devices. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 26, 2020:
The QuadHands Helping Hand is an excellent choice in most situations because of its versatility and affordable pricepoint. However, while this option will work for a huge range of projects, you may want to go with a different one if you have special requirements.
For instance, if you are often working with large PCBs, you'll want to consider the Panavise 333 or the Quadhands Jumbo Workbench. The Panavise can securely hold boards up to 12 inches wide, and the Quadhands size range is hard to even quantify because of its flexible gooseneck components. Its base is 11 by 17 inches, so it would probably be best to keep to sizes smaller than that. While some may prefer the Quadhand's ability to also hold wires or other components while soldering, the Panavise's vice-style grip is ever so slightly more secure.
If you're looking for something more affordable, the Neiko 01902 and Aven 17010 are selections worth considering. They lack features like gooseneck-mounted alligator clips or lights, but they are still very effective for all sorts of smaller projects. Whether you're a beginner trying to save money or someone who just occasionally repairs electronics, these are both perfectly adequate choices.
If you would rather purchase an all in one package and don't want to deal with separate lights or magnifying glasses, then the Newacalox SN6AR, Kotto Third Hand, and Fancii Soldering Station are your best options. While these selections don't have the raw durability of some other models, it's hard to deny how helpful their combination light and magnification units are. Even if your workspace is well lit, a good light can often make soldering with small components or identifying problems on a board much easier.
No matter which option you choose, always remember to take proper safety precautions when you're dealing with dangerously hot soldering irons or high electric currents and voltages.