Helping Hands are small work-holding fixturing accessories that you either hear about over and over again, or know nothing about. They typically feature a weighty base, sliding horizontal arm, and alligator clips attached via a double ball-and-socket joint. Sometimes helping hands will also come with a pivoting magnifying glass or other attachments.
You would ordinarily use one of these clamping devices when soldering small wires and electronics components, but they can be used to hold and position small hardware and parts as well.
My own HHs are about 12 years old or so. I don’t remember where I bought them – possibly Radio Shack – and the magnifier has long ago broken away, but they do come in handy from time to time.
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Helping Hands are typically priced from $5-$10.