I'm sure that most of us have some variation of a Third Hand (aka Helping Hand) in our workshop. If you're not familiar with this particular tool, it's basically a pair of alligator clips that are attached to articulating arms with a weighted base. The mechanical "hands" will securely hold whatever small widget you're working on, while leaving your actuals hands free to do the work. The utility of these simple tools for outweighs their meager cost (usually $5-$10).
I have several Third Hands that I employ for a variety of tasks. The one I use most often is at my soldering station. I use it to hold wires, connectors, circuit boards, motors, or whatever else I need to solder. While I love this tool, I do have to concede that it has limitations. You can certainly buy nicer and more elaborate Third Hand tools. But there is often a significant bump in price for the upgrade. Second-tier units typically sell in the $30-$50 range.
There's nothing wrong with spending $50 on a high-quality tool that fits your needs. The problem was that I didn't see any off-the-shelf models that had everything I wanted for soldering tasks. So I decided to try upgrading my base model Third Hand. This was actually my second round of modifying the Third Hand I use for soldering. I previously adapted an aluminum heatsink that makes it easier to solder battery connectors.