FastCap 3rd Hand Clamp Review


FastCap makes a series of clamps I am generally referring to as "third hand" clamps.  In actuality only one of these is so named (the 3rd Hand HD).  Starting with this one, basically it is an extension pole with a jacking tip and a screw bottom.  Both the top and bottom pads are articulated to adjust to different working angles.  The pole can extend from 5 feet all the way up to 12 feet and has a locking detent every 12".  The clamp (or jack) has a quick release lever near the pump handle.  The clamp is light enough to carry and use but (naturally) in some cases too long for some work.  The 3rd Hand HD can also be fitted with a pad accessory to grip plastic sheeting.  There is also a replacement foot to free stand the pole and a mount to attach a laser level.

The 3rd Hand HD can be used for a variety of applications.  The device can be used to hold crown moulding and would be especially good if one were working alone.  It's articulating pads are able to work close to the wall and will hold the trim quite securely while it is being installed.

With (or even without really) the DB Clip a sheet of plastic can be held at the top of the pad. Using multiple 3rd Hand HDs, a dust barrier can be formed where you are working.  This would work to contain construction debris or as a poor mans spray booth.

I found the detent mechanism to be a little problematic so I replaced it with a simple 1/4 bolt and nut.  Although not an ideal solution, it seems to work better.

As mentioned, the 3rd hand HD may be too long for use in some cases.  FastCap also makes a smaller version.  The Little Hand HD does not have a telescopic pole but otherwise is very similar to its big brother.  Other differences are that has a larger 6 x 6 pad and only the top pad articulates.  One typical use for these would be to hold wall cabinets up from the base during installation.

There is yet a third type of clamp called the Jack.  The Jack is very similar to a common woodworking clamp and can be used as one if desired.   It's claim to fame however is the use of a small tab included on the moving clamp head.  With the standard clamp pads swiveled out of the way, this tab can be used to lift the edges of thing like cabinets or even to push items such as flooring. 

3rd Hand HD

Little Hand HD

Little Hand HD

FastCap Jack


I've been amazed at how FastCap continues to come up with extremely innovative but simple products for the craftsman.  These three clamps certainly fill an important need.   Working alone can sometimes make simple tasks very difficult and these items will certainly make installations a whole lot easier and faster as well.  Sometimes all that is needed to make life easier is an extra set of hands and these items perform this function quite well.

On the job site is where these items really shine and I would go so far as to say that if you are usually working alone, the cost of these items will be returned on a single job.  This makes them a very good investment in my book.

FastCap Jack on the Floor

In the interest of full disclosure FastCap provided this product to facilitate this review.