I ordered a cheap 9' light stand from Adorama, and in the box, just loose, was this weird clip:

the clip

I don't see it in the manual or on the product photos online

It's a white plastic partial circle, a little under an inch in diameter and ³⁄₄" tall. It fits loosely on the middle-sized part of the telescoping center column or tightly on the largest section. The side protrusion on the right-top in this image sticks below the main half-circle by about ¹⁄₈” and has a hex inset on that side, as if to hold a bolt. There's nothing at all on the light stand itself that these might obviously connect to.

Is this some random piece of packing material, or does it have a function, and if so, what function?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Going by the small bump bit and the way it looks like the diamater of a tube for the main bit, my guess would be: it is used to keep a cable nice and neat against a pole. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alec Teal
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm could you please post some more close up images of both bolt holes? \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure. With some degree of irony for this site, that's just a cameraphone snap. I can set up to do some more detailed product photography instead. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 14:41

4 Answers 4


As others have said, the primary purpose of the clip is to route cables along the shafts of light stands.

The two holes are for using Allen-type wrenches to help leverage spreading the clip when installing it onto or removing it from the shaft of the light stand. They're not really needed if the shaft is in the lower range of diameters for which the clip is intended, but can be almost essential to getting the same clip on a shaft that is the maximum diameter for which it is made.

A typical clip is the Manfrotto 065 that is made for shafts ranging in size from 22-30mm in diameter. They're pretty easy to press onto 22mm shafts without any tools. Doing the same with a 30mm shaft is considerably more demanding. Getting the clip off of a 30mm shaft will almost certainly require some assistance. I've seen others use flat screwdrivers to remove them, but that can scratch or even bend the surface of the hollow metal shaft.

Placing the short shaft of a set of Allen keys in each of the holes with the long shafts extending more or less in the same direction opposite the opening of the clip allows one to spread the clip by squeezing the other ends of the shafts of the two Allen keys together.

The reason the small allen key receiver holes are two different sizes is so that the typical two-sized set of Allen keys needed to adjust most Manfrotto (and copycat) tripods/monopod/light stands/etc. can be used without needing a duplicate of either sized hex wrench.


You can use it to attach a cable to the column.

If you trigger your flash via cable or have it connected to a power supply: you can organise the cable with that clip. Moving the stand around will also cause the cable to move along. If only attached to the flash (at the top of the stand) moving the stand might cause the cable to go diagonally to the ground, which can be hazardous.

Admitedly, that's just a guess, but I'm pretty sure that thing would work like that despite its actual purpose.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems like a decent guess, but what's up with the (apparent) bolt holes on the side? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 22:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its possible that (being "cheap") the manufacturer found a suitable 3rd party "thing" to satisfy the need, and they happened to have the extra unknown holes. could be useful too if you want to cable-tie other things to it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 22:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess, but it seems like not including it at all would have been an even cheaper option, since it's not mentioned or listed anywhere in the features. Maybe I'm just overthinking this. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 23:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The holes might be for storing allen keys, like this: bhphotovideo.com/c/product/769654-REG/…. My Manfrotto tripod came with something similar. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ The holes might also be for cable ties, so you can attach the clip permanently to your flash cable (even if it's too fat for the notch). Then you'd be less likely to lose the clip (I found one of the manfrotto clips on the ground recently -- not mine -- so they do go missing) \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris H
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 11:06

Looks to me like its for holding a cable to the stand.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have the same question as I had for @null — that seems like a fine guess, but what would the other holes be for? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 22:33
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm looking at a B&H listing for a Manfrotto cable clip, it looks like one's for securing an allen wrench? The mystery of why you'd want to do that is not something I can answer, tho. :D \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @inkista that looks very like this piece, so I guess it's definitive. Weird. And thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @skamradt, I know you were in first, but I'm accepting null's answer for greater detail. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 0:08

I think it's for storing allen wrenches so you can do repairs on the light stand in the field.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you believe it's for allen wrenches rather than cables? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 11:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth ... I just received a new 3POD aluminum tripod from Adorama earlier this week. A plastic tool identical to the one in inkista's post above was included in my bag with my new tripod - with allen wrenches already installed in the holes. I had no idea what the tool was for either - other than a holding place for the allen wrenches. I've never received one of these tools with any of the light stands I've purchased (I have 4 light stands). \$\endgroup\$
    – markthomas
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 13:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.