Key: Need a PAIR of ball link toolsAlmost all the ball links we need for a heli consist of a rod, and two ball links, one on each end. The key is to hold the rod, and get one side on and get a few turns started, then put the other side on, and turn it a few turns.
Then, you need a PAIR
of ball link holding tools, such as the Mavrikk tool
This is a single purpose tool for larger helis (450 to 600):
This is a multipurpose one which covers heli's from 250 up to 90 Class
There are other manufacturers of similar tools, but these were the first that came up in my search. These also have a longer handle than most, so you hold it like a screwdriver, in your palm, and not just with your fingers.
The one on the top (single purpose) is a lot cheaper than the multi-purpose one (which if you buy a pair, you might as well put in the rest and get a LinkMaker). There are less expensive ones available, and there was a site that was selling them in pairs for about the same price. Don't remember where.
Once you have the ends on, you put one of these tools over each
of the ball links on the end, and twist them on. There is now no need to hold onto the rod! Don't worry about which hand you need to twist. Surprisingly, the amount each ball link threads onto the rod ends up about even. If one side ends up threading on less, you can use your ball link pliers (or regular pliers) to hold the rod, and thread that end on more.
I would not recommend the ones with the "wings" on them. It looks like it would be easier to turn, but you end up using your fingers (like a wingnut), and not your palm (like a screwdriver) and lose any advantage that the tool should give you.
These tools cause much less stress on the fingers, and cheaper than the LinkMaker 9000. I don't make enough ball links to make the LinkMaker worthwhile, but I would not throw it out if someone gave it to me for free ....Just had my morning coffee ... Internet search is working better now!
PS: Found these under "RC Cars" section, but they work the same.
And a few more:
(Local hobby store)