What is a Reacher Grabber?
Reacher grabbers, also known as hand grip pick up tools, work as an extension of your arm so you can more easily reach needed items up on a shelf or down on the floor. Grabbers come in various lengths and have different features, such as a magnet for picking up coins and other metal objects. The one thing they have in common is they allow people with limited dexterity or mobility to retrieve items that otherwise might be beyond their reach.
Do Reacher Grabber Pick Up Tools Really Work?
This is one question I don’t have to do a lot of research about, because the answer is, from my experience, “Yes!” grabbers really work.
Video: RMS Reacher Grabber
A Pick Up Tool for Elderly or Mobility Challenged
If I sound enthusiastic, it’s because I am. Aging has caught up with me and forced me to rethink how I do some things, and whether or not I should do them at all. I have always been one to do things for myself. Even when offered help I’d say, “No, I’ve got this.” Until, recently that is, when I lost the ability to reach down to the floor.
Nine years ago, when I had knee replacement surgery, my medical team recommended certain items as part of a successful recovery. In addition to a walker and a cane, they said a reacher grabber tool would be helpful until physical therapy returned me to my normal range of motion and flexibility. Of course, they were right. My first grabber, the Duro-Med DMI Reacher Grabber, was handy and helpful as I gained back my mobility after surgery. Today, arthritis has brought my old grabber out of the closet into full-time use once again.
Grabbers extend my reach in every room
As fate would have it, my beloved Whirlpool bottom-freezer refrigerator stopped working and had to be replaced immediately, so there was no time to order and wait for delivery. I had to buy the soonest available replacement, which was a top-freezer refrigerator. I immediately realized I needed help reaching things in the crispers and on the bottom shelf, which led me to search for additional grabbers. Food safety is so important, I had to have one dedicated to reaching into the fridge only.
Amazon had a huge selection of grabbers in a variety of lengths. I selected two RMS 19-inch (Short Range) Grabber Reachers and I love them. Unlike the DMI grabber, the RMS grabber has a rotating gripper, which I find quite helpful at times. The RMS is different than my original DMI grabber also in that it has two claws (jaws) that meet at their tips. The DMI has one claw and the tip of the claw interlocks with a grippy, serrated hard rubber cover at the end of the pole. The DMI by its design does not have the rotating jaws but, unlike the RMS grabber, it has a magnet on the end and a bar that juts out about a half inch from the end of the pole. Both can easily grab objects and I like each one’s different features.
Duro-Med DMI Reacher Grabber
The Duro-Med DMI Reacher Grabber, at 26 inches long, is light weight (aluminum) and easy to use. It has a small magnet on the tip to pick up metal objects like paper clips, pins, and other small metal objects. A short bar sticks out close to the end of it and is great for pulling pots out of kitchen cabinets. I also like that it is slim enough to retrieve items that have slipped behind furniture. The DMI grabber opens 2.5 inches, which means it won’t open wide enough for some cans and other larger items. The trigger’s design allows the DMI Grabber to easily hang on door knobs.
RMS Reacher Grabber
The RMS Reacher Grabber, also aluminum and light weight, has a rubber trim outlining its rubber claws, which help it hold onto almost any item. The thick, rubber-coated hand grip of the RMS grabber is comfortable in my hand. The rotating claws (90 degrees for horizontal or vertical use) open approximately 4 inches apart and allow me to grab at different angles, depending on the situation. The RMS grabber also easily hangs by its trigger on door knobs.
Tool to Pick Up Off the Floor and More
So far there is nothing I’ve dropped or tried to pick up with my grabbers that I’ve been unable to retrieve. I use my grabbers to
- reach items on shelves at home and in stores
- lift shoes out of the closet
- pick up dropped items (which happens a lot due to my arthritic hands)
- retrieve things on lower shelves and floors of closets
- empty the lower dishwasher shelves
- spread sheets and blankets across the bed
Wash day would not be the same without the RMS grabber because it makes a great laundry grabber. I can pull clothes from the bottom of the hamper, washer, and out of the dryer.
Easy Reach Grabbers Pick Up Outdoors, Too
We bought another grabber for the patio in case we drop things outside, on the lawn, or in the driveway. It’s also handy for picking up small, fallen tree branches or litter that has blown into the yard. I also use it for lifting some of the sturdier vegetables in the garden, like cucumbers and squash, to where I can grab them and pull them off their vines.
Both reacher grabbers are easy to clean with soap and water or disinfectant wipes. Keep in mind there are longer grabbers you can buy, but these work well for me. It’s amazing what a difference this small addition to my household toolbox has made in my daily routine.
Thanks to these easy reach grabbers I can continue completing most of my daily chores without pain or damage to my back, even though I’m not as flexible as I once was. As a bonus, I feel so much less frustration at the adjustments I’ve had to make as I get older.
Kudos to the inventors of grabbers!