Reacher Grabbers - Buying Tips

Reacher grabbers, also referred to as simply reachers, work like personal arm and hand extensions. They enable individuals to easily reach items in high places, as well as pick up things off the ground without having to bend or stoop. Designed to help people with injuries or mobility issues, grabbers are lightweight, simple to use and make executing everyday activities easier.

These assistive devices can facilitate a multitude of tasks. Examples include opening kitchen cabinets, reaching cups and bowls on top shelves, putting tools away in overhead bins, and moving items from the floor to a counter or table. You can use a grabber to move small things like your keys or television remote, as well as larger items like laundry soap bottles or box of tissues.

“Picking up items in hard-to-reach places can result in awkward movements and postures that can inflame back muscles and joints, which causes pain” says Joe Fleming, co-owner of medical supplies provider Vive Health. “Using a reacher grabber helps prevent this pain, as well as reduces the potential for falls, by helping you move items with ease and keep your environment tidy.”

Use and Types

Reacher grabbers offer either a trigger handle that you squeeze or a power-slide handle to open and close the gripper claw. To operate, you hold the handle and move the grabber to the item you wish to pick up, making sure the gripper claw is open around it. Then you squeeze or slide the handle to pick it up and move the item wherever you like.

There are a variety of types and sizes available to consumers. They range from short grabbers of 16 inches in length to ones that span 50 inches long – and all sizes in between. The following reacher grabber types share many features but have distinct elements.

  • Claw Grabber - Features a claw-shaped jaw on the end for easier grabbing
  • Rotating (All-purpose) Grabber - Grabber jaw can rotate 90 degrees for awkward reaches
  • Suction Cup Grabber - Features suctions cups on the end to attach to items you are lifting
  • Adjustable Length Reacher - Adds even more extension to the lightweight frame
  • Heavy Duty Outdoor Reacher - Can leverage more weight than the average reacher, often up to 20 lbs.
  • Folding Reacher - Folds in half with slip joint for easier storage, good for travel

Selecting the Best Reacher Grabber for Your Needs

Be mindful of the type of reacher you purchase. It should be comfortable, easy to operate, lightweight, and reliable. It also needs to have the components that facilitate your daily living requirements. Consider the following product features when comparing product models.

  • Built-in magnet for picking up metal objects
  • Ergonomic or contoured handle
  • Lightweight frame for easy maneuvering (typically aluminum)
  • Rubber grippers and jagged “teeth” on the end for better traction
  • Suction cup grippers on the end to attach to items and prevent slipping
  • Ability to rotate the device a full 90 degrees
  • Strength to hold multiple pounds at a time
  • Trigger or slide on handle to open and close grabber jaw
  • Small hook or horn to help with snatching up key rings and clothes
  • Safety lock that helps you hold onto items without constantly holding down the handle
  • Lifetime warranty

If you find yourself in need of regularly getting items like cans, jars or bottles off of high shelves, opt for a sturdier model with a u-shaped claw. If you want to reach nearby items like a newspaper or phone, a shorter claw or suction cup grabber might be a good choice. To move heavier objects or for outdoor use, consider a heavier duty model that can handle more weight.

Before you make your purchase, consult with your healthcare provider or occupational therapist to get recommendations. Also, try out a number of models to ensure you are comfortable with the one you choose and it meets your needs. 

Related Information - Reacher Grabbers

Walking Aids
Knee Walkers
Rollators
Walking Cane Buying Tips
How to Select the Right Crutches 
Mobility Resources 

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Published by Jules Sowder

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