Tool Review
5.5 Inch '5 Speed' Hold & Fold

by: John Murcutt [ JLMURC ]

Remembering a saying oft used during gunnery training brought clarity to the problem, so with, ‘Use the correct tool correctly’ in mind I decided after much consideration to purchase the latest Hold & Fold from the Small Shop. A ten minute conversation with Alasdair and I had ordered the 5.5 inch, ‘5 speed’ model.

The 5 Speed

This model has been designed to offer most modelers the maximum selection of features that will be needed when manipulating and bending razor sharp folds. One side is plain to allow uninterrupted folding of long items. Each of the other sides offer a greater variety of fingers in many varied depths and widths to cope with the large variety of applications that we may encounter in aftermarket PE sets

Some of these fingers are machined to offer the ability to make grab handles. There is also a selection of cut outs for forming things like headlight guards, especially useful for fans of the Sherman
Twin locking clamps guarantee to perfectly grip the component. Aside from bending it can also be used as an engineering vice for holding and tasks such as filing off any small remains when components are cut from the fret.

This redesigned unit balances perfectly in most sized hands. Being machined from aircraft quality aluminium, it is light, allowing comfort and control. When not using it is placed on the workbench, for which a number of non slip rubber feet are supplied.

A set of instructions is included that offers advice as to usage, but most uses will become clearer when you use simple logic and look at the component and consider the best approach in folding to achieve the proper shape. I have found the simple expedience of folding a piece paper often gives excellent direction.


The Hold and fold ‘5 Speed’ photo etch bending tool is the next generation of an already proven tool that should be considered as a must have for all modelers who work with aftermarket sets.

It is one of those items that until you have it, you don’t know what you have been missing.
Over the past few years like many others, I have taken the plunge into using aftermarket sets to make my model building more challenging and aside from learning to work with resin castings the most difficult issue to overcome has been that of photo etch. Often things that look wonderful nestling amongst their frets take on a life of their own once cut into individual pieces. They fly across the room, bend anywhere except upon the fold line, crack and cause so much stress that when you try to anneal them over a gas stove, turn red and then turn into a molten blob in the blink of an eye and another expensive purchase lies unused in a dark corner causing a resolve never to try it again.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 5 Speed Hold & Fold
  Suggested Retail: £52.50
  PUBLISHED: Mar 18, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

About John Murcutt (jlmurc)

A modeller since about the age of five. A number of years in the Royal Armoured Corps working on both Chieftain and the CVR[T] series did not manage to dent my love of all things armoured. I do build some aircraft and other distractions but get pulled back to German Vehicles due to the variation i...

Copyright ©2021 text by John Murcutt [ JLMURC ]. All rights reserved.


Click image to enlarge
  • 5_Speed_Setup
  • 5_Speed_Finger_Side
  • 5_Speed_Hold_Fold
  • 5_Speed_Long_Side
  • 5_Speed_Hand_2
  • 5_Speed_Hand_1