A reacher tool, or grabber tool, is a simple but incredibly useful mobility tool designed to replace the constant need for bending, picking, and grabbing. If you drop something on the floor, the act of bending and grabbing can become an impossibility, one that leads to pain, overexertion, and general distress.
A grabber features an opening and closing mechanism attached to the end of a long pole. They are lightweight, cheap, versatile, and can be used to grab something from the floor, top shelf, or anywhere else that is out of reach.
What to Look for in a Grabber Tool
Grabbers are relatively basic tools, but one product can differ considerably from the next, and there are some important features to look out for. These include:
- The Trigger: Look for a sturdy trigger, preferably with an anti-slip grip. You don’t want your finger to slip when you’re getting a jar of sauce down from the top shelf!
- The Gripper: The jaws of the gripper vary in size and some of them also rotate—an incredibly useful feature.
- Handle: Does it feature an ergonomic design, is it easy to hold and use? You may be forced to use it a lot, so it’s important for it to be comfortable and durable.
- Length: Grabbers tend to be a similar height, equating to between 2 and 3 feet. That said, you can get longer and shorter ones if needed. It all depends on what you’re going to be using it for, how much you can bend over, and how tall you are.
- Weight Capacity: This pops up on all of our mobility products and usually concerns the maximum weight of a user, whether because they’re sitting/lying on the product or using it to support some of their weight. Where grabbers are concerned, the maximum weight refers to how much weight the grabber can hold. Exceeding this may cause the product to fail and place the user at risk.
The Best Reacher Tools and Grabber Tools
Grabbers can vary considerably and there are many different products and manufacturers out there. In the list below, we’ve highlighted the very best tools in this category, pointing you in the right direction and ensuring you get a quality grabber for an affordable price.
Vice Suction Cup Reacher
A standard size reacher tool coming in at 32 inches and offering stable support. The claws feature a suction cup for added grip, making it ideal for grabbing heavy items from the top shelf. It’s lightweight, weighing just 8 ounces, and can be used to grab and hold most reasonably sized items.
TrackLife Upgrade Grabber Reacher
A uniquely designed grabber that features a rotating clamp and an angled arm, making it easy to grab, lift, and move items. It features magnetic tips to help you pick up keys, coins, and other metallic items, and the design helps to reduce the risks of slips and other problems.
One of our favorite features with this product is that it can hold up to 12 lbs. when lifted vertically. It’s worth noting, however, that this doesn’t apply to items taken from high places like the top shelf, as there is a great risk of the product bending or breaking.
RMS 2-Pack Rotating Jaws
Manufactured by Royal Medical Solutions, this product contains 2 grabber tools, one 19 inches and one 32 inches. They feature a stylish black-and-yellow design and are designed to be strong, durable, and rust-resistant. They are strong enough and large enough to grab tins of food and other bulky items, but the grip is tight enough to pick up coins, keys, and other small items.
The Handi Grip 19 Inch
A miniature grabber with a head that rotates 90 degrees and a flexible trigger that makes it easy to grab and maintain a tight grip. The aluminum shaft is strong and lightweight, and the mechanism is controlled by a reliable and durable steel wire.
At 19 inches, this grabber won’t suit all users, but it’s an ideal addition to your collection and can serve as the perfect mobility aid if you just need a little extra support.
Unger Professional Nifty Nabber
At 36 inches, this is the longest grabber on our list. It features a large mechanism with serrated edges, allowing it to collect large items as well as much smaller ones. It’s lightweight but strong, and it should last for years.
We have seen reports that it can be quite difficult to use for people with arthritis and other issues, but it may be that these customers just had a faulty product as most reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
Other Essential Mobility Aids
Mobility products can range in cost, features, and price. On one end of the scale, you have grabbers and other basic tools. On the other, there are mobility scooters, walk-in bathtubs, and lift chairs. They’re expensive but they can make a massive difference to the life of an elderly or disabled person.
However, you don’t need to spend big to improve your living conditions and simplify your daily chores. The following tools are often just as cheap and simple as grabbers/reachers and can make just as much of a difference:
- Dressing Aids: From poles and clasps to sock assists, there are a wealth of dressing aids to help you get ready in the morning. They are designed to close zips, pull-on socks, and take clothes from the rack, among other things.
- Grab Bars: A few well-placed grab bars can make a world of difference in the life of a disabled or elderly person. They provide support as the individual moves from room to room, ascends/descends the stairs, and performs simple tasks like using the toilet or getting into the bath.
- Adaptive Utensils: Specially designed utensils designed to help individuals with Parkinson’s, arthritis, and other conditions that impact their ability to grip and/or cause tremors.
- Canes and Walking Sticks: A staple for anyone who can still walk and get around by themselves but need a little support now and then. Canes and walking sticks are low-cost and can take some of the user’s weight as needed.