Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Gorilla Gripper review

As part of the new shop build I will be using a lot of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) and plywood to build some partitions and line the inside of the doors. Also I will be using lots of sheet goods throughout the next few years to make jigs, use in projects etc. My back is not what it was and now I'm having problems with hip joints (plural) I thought I could do with a little help in the lifting department.

I stumbled across the Gorilla Gripper by Roughneck. I read a few reviews and saw a few videos on it so decided to part with some hard earned cash and ordered one from Amazon.
It came today in a plain cardboard box. Unpacking it revealed a well made, industrial rated but lightweight contractors model (32-610) that has a holding capacity of 10 to 28mm (3/8" to 1.1/8")

It is made from aircraft grade aluminium with high tensile steel fasteners.

The instructions tell you that it is designed to lift and carry large sheets of material from the top without bending or lifting, using the back, wrists and fingers. Of course we all know, or should know, that lifting with the legs and a straight back is a safer and faster way to move heavy materials. You can also use it to grip the top edge of large bags of animal feed, sand, top soil etc.

All you have to do is place the gripper securely on the top edge of the material and in the centre of the board so it has proper grip and balance. There are two rubber pads, one on each jaw, that you just have to make sure it has full contact with the material before you lift it. Then you lift it by the handle and the jaws, or gripping plates, tighten on the sheet by the mechanism. You basically carry it at the side of you and a 8 x 4 x 3/4" board is easily moved around. I tried it with a piece I had and even with my dodgy hips (and walking cane) was able to move the sheet around without any problems whatsoever. I am really impressed.

It can lift more than one sheet, dependent upon your strength of course, as long as the thickness of the material comes within it's range. I wouldn't fancy trying to lug 2 sheets of 8' x 4' x 3/4" thick MDF around with it for instance. But if you want to you could with the one for doors.

They make them in 3 sizes, this one is the middle of the range the others are 0-19mm (0 to 3/4") and one especially for doors 32-50mm (1.1/4" to 2")

Olympia-Tools (UK) Ltd are distributing them in the UK but I got mine from Amazon for £47.47 with Amazon Prime. I think the list price in the UK is around £80 so I got mine 41% cheaper.

Here's a cheesy 4 minute promo video


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