SnakeClamp is an American company with one simple mission: to help people and companies hold what they need, right where they need it.
It’s a fully modular product, designed to work with a variety of different devices, clamping to a number of surfaces, with different lengths and strengths of gooseneck arm available.
The gear we decided to test – and the set we’ll be giving away to one lucky winner – is as follows:
- Tablet mount base ($29.95)
- Tablet mount ends for iPad 1-4 ($9.95)
- Camera ball head to test with the weight of a loaded dSLR ($13.95)
- Multiclamp (for attaching to a variety of surfaces) ($29.95)
- 18-inch heavy duty flexible gooseneck arm ($17.95)
Total cost: $101.75
You’ll find the full range of accessories at SnakeClamp.com.
As far as I can tell, SnakeClamp stand in a league of their own, with no other companies offering a heavy duty flexible clamp. There are some that are shorter, or designed for lighter devices like the iPad air, but nothing that comes even remotely close to the strength or quality of the SnakeClamp.
Mount Anything to Anywhere!
This isn’t an Apple-only product, and though the mounting option I chose is specifically design for the heavier iPads, they also sell universal tablet mounts – small and large – to suit all tablets. The heavy duty iPad mount is in fact made by another USA company called Ram Mount, for which Snake Clamp are an OEM distributor.
In addition to tablet mounts, I decided to test with a camera head too, designed to fit the standard screw thread on the base of most cameras. A dSLR with Flash can be rather heavy, so I felt this would push the heavy duty mount to it’s limit.
In addition to tablet and camera mounting points, SnakeClamp also sells:
- Smartphone mounts
- Needle nose clamps
- GoPro mounts
- Machine guards
- Three finger clamps
Essentially, you can clamp anything to anywhere – once you’ve bought a complete kit, adding additional mounting points is cost effective. It’s a high quality modular system that won’t let you down or break the bank.
The benefits of a modular system are clear:
- If anything breaks – which is unlikely given the quality of the components – you can replace just that piece without buying a whole new set.
- If your requirements change, you need only purchase a new adapter or mount point. This reduces cost, and prevents waste of old accessories, something which happens all too often with many mobile and tablet accessories when a new model is released. While it may seem more costly in the short term, you’ll save more long term and have a better product for it.
- Greater flexibility. You’ll have trouble tracking down something niche like a dSLR heavy duty gooseneck arm for clamping to a pole, for instance. The sheer range of components that SnakeClamp sells mean there are thousands of combinations that simply couldn’t be purchased as an accessory elsewhere.
That said, putting things together can be a bit fiddly. Let’s take a look at the individual parts first.
Also modular, different mount ends are available to accommodate various tablets. Made of strong ABS plastic, the iPad mount ends require no less than 10 screws to fit on to the main body of the mount, plus 2 more and a bolt to attach it to the gooseneck (though this came pre-fitted with ours). With one end fixed in place, a strong spring mechanism allows the other end to pull out and snap over your tablet.
Of note are the holes in the end of the mount, placed to allow the rear camera to pass through no matter which way you have the device oriented. This is particularly useful if you’re using the clamp to film a stop-motion video.
It held my iPad very securely, but be careful removing it from the mount as it can be a bit awkward to hold the iPad, hold the mount, and pull the ends apart at the same time. It feels like you need three hands.
The heavy duty arm comes in a fixed length of 18 inches, and is flexible enough to bend fully into a U-shape while still maintaining strength.
For extreme testing, I also tried with a fully loaded dSLR – it sagged a little, but nothing I couldn’t compensate for with the initial positioning.
Attaching the gooseneck to your chosen base clamp means threading the main shaft on to a large bolt, then tightening a locking bolt. The tool you need to do this is provided, along with spare locks, but these will need to kept safe and used whenever you change clamps.
While the multiclamp we tested can be used for a variety of situations, it’s not perfect for a desktop surface as the padding is designed to wrap around something, like a curtain pole or piece of scaffolding – you may find it damages a desktop surface if done up too tightly. If you know your primary use is going to be a desktop, get the table clamp, which is specifically designed for the task and $7 cheaper.
Living With The Snake Clamp
All the tools and parts you need are provided – except for a Philips screwdriver – but the fact it takes some effort to put these together means you probably won’t be swapping them around very often. The parts aren’t designed to have any kind of quick-release, like a camera tripod. Changing the base clamp or attaching the ball head means pulling out some tools to reconfigure it.
Though the SnakeClamp does hold solidly, vigorous use of your tablet will result in a little wobble – it’s being held by a length of metal and spring after all, so this is to be expected. It’s more obvious when the bend in the Snake Clamp is sharper, and less obvious if it’s positioned at an upright angle instead.
This the most versatile, heavy-duty tablet stand out there – adaptable to any number of use cases around the home, office, or workshop.
Should You Buy a Snake Clamp?
If you’ve found your choice of mounting options from the competition thus far limited, you’re going to love the SnakeClamp. Wherever you want to mount it – and whatever you want to mount – there is a combination of parts to suit you. There’s a lot of benefits to using a modular system, even if it does take a little while to change parts around. For the quality that you’re getting and a fully modular approach, the system represents great value for money.
The winner will be selected at random and informed via email. View the list of winners here.
Send your products to be reviewed. Contact James Bruce for further details.