People living with mobility issues know how hard some tasks can be. This might include using the washroom, but it can also include grabbing something that is just out of arms reach. The best reacher grabber tools can help you regain your independence by helping you reach things without assistance.
A reacher grabber, also known as a reach extender or a grabber arm, is a mechanical device that is a pole shape. It’s often made of metal or plastic. On one end of the reacher grabber is a pair of jaws, and on the other is a handle and trigger that allow you to open or close the jaw (Source).
Most reacher grabbers are no more than three feet long. They’re lightweight but durable, so they’re able to hold most household items.
Reach extenders are perfect for people confined to a chair or bed due to disability, injury, or age. They’re also particularly handy if you work in a trade that requires reaching, for example, an eavestrough cleaner. A reach extender can also help you collect garbage at home and around your community (Source).
Prior to purchasing a reacher grabber, you’ll want to consider the maximum weight it can hold. You’ll also want to consider how much it weighs, and how long the arm can extend. Finally, you’ll need to consider how much the jaw can open, or if it comes with suction cups attached.
It’s risky to overextend yourself when you’re already injured, so get yourself one of these top-rated reacher grabbers.
What Is The Best Reacher Grabber?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is The Best Reacher Grabber?
- 2 What Is A Reacher Grabber?
- 3 Comparing The Best Reacher Grabber Tools
- 4 1. Ettore 49036 Reacher Grabber Tool – Best Overall
- 5 2. Unger Professional Nifty Nabber – Best Magnetic Grabber
- 6 3. VIVE Suction Cup Reacher Grabber – Best Suction Cup Grabber
- 7 4. RMS 32” Grabber with Rotating Gripper – Best Rotating Head Grabber
- 8 5. RMS 32” Grabber with Magnetic Tip (2-Pack) – For Short People
- 9 Before Buying a Reacher Grabber Tool
- 10 Ready To Buy The Best Reacher Grabber Tools?
The Ettore 49016 Grip ‘N Grab Reach Tool is a 16’ Reacher Grabber capable of handling items up to 5 lbs. It has an ergonomic handle as well as rubberized jaws for extra grip. The head of the Ettore 49016 can turn 90 degrees meaning you can avoid awkward maneuvers.
What Is A Reacher Grabber?
A Reacher Grabber is a mechanical device that uses a handle, pole, and a set of jaws to grab items just out of arm’s reach to the user. Also called a Reach Extender, a Reacher Grabber is lightweight, easy to use, and never longer than three feet in length.
Comparing The Best Reacher Grabber Tools
|Unger Professional Nifty Nabber|
|VIVE Suction Cup Reacher Grabber|
|RMS 32” Rotating Gripper|
|RMS 32” Reacher Grabber|
1. Ettore 49036 Reacher Grabber Tool – Best Overall
The handle and the jaw are made of hard plastic that won’t break easily while the pole itself is aluminum, so it won’t rust or corrode when exposed to the elements.
The whole unit is well-constructed and easy to use. It’s lightweight, and the handle feels comfortable to hold. It has a firm grip which helps you keep the jaw stable while picking items. The trigger doesn’t need much squeezing, it responds instantly, so there is very little straining.
The best part about this Ettore grabber is its swiveling jaws. They are rubberized and can firmly hold various objects. They can securely hold up to 5 pounds of weight. The head swivels, so you can grab almost any unreachable object both horizontally and vertically. The length is great, and its slim head profile makes it even easier to reach into tight spaces.
Generally, the Ettore 49036 has all the right components to make grabbing hard to reach items in homes as well as outdoors easier. It’s light and has an easy-to-use design. If you are looking to invest in the best grabber, then this is worth considering.
2. Unger Professional Nifty Nabber – Best Magnetic Grabber
The shaft is made of aluminum. It’s light but rigid enough to lift and hold heavy items without bending. Like the Ettore 49036 above, it can securely hold items weighing up to 5 pounds.
One of the features you will appreciate on this grabber is its built-in magnet. Placed in the tip of the grips, the magnet is strong and can attract both small and pretty heavy items. It’s actually more effective than what you will find in most other grabbers.
The jaws are secure and wide with the tips interlocking. So, whether you are picking a small object or a jar of pickles, it will hold it securely without sliding. The Nifty Nabber is quite easy to operate as well. Less pressure is required to grab heavy objects. The grippers are very responsive and only require a little squeezing on the trigger to hold an object firmly.
Considering that it has a long, strong shaft and can easily pick up anything with little effort, this Unger grabber is an ideal option for senior users. It’s light, and you can use it for hours without it wearing you down.
3. VIVE Suction Cup Reacher Grabber – Best Suction Cup Grabber
The trigger handle feels firm and comfortable when holding it and can fit easily in either hand. The shaft is strong and sturdy but not heavy. You can use it for long without experiencing arm and hand fatigue.
The rubber suction cup tips are arguably the best part about this VIVE grabber. They are incredibly good at picking up different things, and the grip is firm and secure on any item even on smooth or slippery objects.
The cups apply just enough pressure to firmly hold an item without causing any scratch or damage. You can confidently hold delicate items including your iPad or iPhone with this grabber, or even remove light bulbs. It doesn’t scratch the surface.
The cups open around 4.5 inches, which is wide enough to grab medium-sized objects but holding large objects might be a problem. They can withstand a weight of up to five pounds. The soft rubber padding on the handle feels comfortable even when holding heavy objects and there is no stress on the wrist and hand.
Generally, everything about this VIVE is great. It’s strong, comfortable and gets the job done very well. It may not be able to carry very large objects, but it will grab almost anything including coins, rings, jars, water bottles, paper, bulbs and even phones.
4. RMS 32” Grabber with Rotating Gripper – Best Rotating Head Grabber
The most intriguing feature is its rotating head. It feels very natural and can swivel 90 degrees on either side. It’s very easy to grab things that are located in tight areas as you can reach them at almost any angle.
The jaws have a locking ratcheting action, so when you grab something, they tightly hold it in place. You don’t have to squeeze it continuously; this is particularly beneficial to those who have limited hand strength or grip.
Moving on, if you are going to lift something that’s substantially heavier, then this too might not be a good option. The maximum weight it can hold at a time is 5 pounds. One more thing you will appreciate about this RMS grabber is its ergonomic handle. It fits snug in hands and does not irritate the palm. The grip is also comfortable and doesn’t feel like it can slip.
There is really very little to hate when it comes to RMS products, and this model proves that once again. The unit provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to grabbing both high and low objects.
5. RMS 32” Grabber with Magnetic Tip (2-Pack) – For Short People
Its length is well-balanced to suit tall people, but it can also be used effectively by short people. You can move with it around the house without issues. It’s among the lightest grabbers on the market, and it comes with yellow clip fasteners, so you can fasten it to your scooter, wheelchair or walker.
The claw does a great job when it comes to picking up objects. It can open up to 2½” wide. That’s not enough to hold a large object like a jar but it works well when dealing with medium-sized items. It has interlocking tips, so you get a secure grip on objects. The unique clothespin design of the claw makes it even easier to pick up items such as keys and tools.
The magnetic pickup tool included in the tip of the claw is another thing that adds more functionality to this RMS grabber. You can easily pick up very tiny objects that have fallen in tight areas like behind furniture or that are high above. It’s fantastic for picking up coins, keys, paper clips and other light metal objects.
The handle is easy on the hand and comfortable to grab. You only get to exert a small amount of pressure to hold an object firmly. Generally, when handled properly, this is a grabber tool that can serve you for a long time. It’s well-made and functions as expected.
Actually, it comes as a two-pack, so you can interchange them on a regular basis to prolong their lifespan.
Before Buying a Reacher Grabber Tool
All reacher grabbers perform almost the same functions, but they differ greatly when it comes to build quality, design, and ease of use. So, in light of this, here are key factors you must consider when looking for the best reacher grabber to buy.
1. The Material
The materials used to make a grabber tool plays a major role in its functionality. You want a grabber that’s strong but lightweight at the same time. The shaft also needs to be strong so that it doesn’t end up bending when you lift heavy objects. If it bends, it can break or put extra stress on your arm.
In this case, you should consider reacher grabbers made from aluminum because it’s strong, lightweight, and durable. Those made from steel and other heavy-duty materials are the strongest, but the setback is that they are too heavy and will put unnecessary strain on your arm.
They are definitely not the right choice if your arm is weak or you are planning to use the tool on a regular basis. There are also plastic reacher grabbers but these are heavier than aluminum, and if you find one that’s lighter, then chances are the shaft is not strong and might break easily.
The bottom line here is to find a unit that’s made from a lightweight material that’s also strong enough to handle medium to heavyweight items. The best option here would be grabbers weighing 8 to 12 ounces and made from aluminum or any other heavy-duty material.
2. The Length
The main purpose of a reacher grabber is to extend your reach. Therefore, it’s vital to check the length of the unit too. It should be long enough to suit your abilities and address your needs, which is to reach the things that you want to be picked up.
The lengths vary in a wide range. So, it’s a matter of finding one that’s most suitable for your needs. Shorter grabbers are 18” to 24” long. They are ideal for close-range use like getting something from a table while seated or retrieving items from the nightstand while in bed.
They tend to be strong and a bit heavier than longer grabbers. The heavy part is not a bad thing because the weight is not overwhelming. In addition, it’s more concentrated closer to the handle, making it very easy to hold and control the grabber.
The Different Types of Lengths
The most versatile category is the medium-length grabbers, and they range from 26” to 32”. They strike a good balance between weight and length making them ideal for small and more robust tasks.
The medium grabbers are ideal if you are looking to access high storage areas and picking up items from the ground while in a standing position. They are the best option if you have back problems or you are in a wheelchair.
Long grabbers, on the other hand, are 34 inches long or more and are ideal for retrieving items that are stashed far away or in some very hard to reach location like behind furniture. Due to their length, long grabbers can be difficult to maneuver. Nonetheless, they are the best for accessing things that are tucked far away, very high or very low.
Generally, reacher grabbers range widely when it comes to length. However, it’s important that you pick a model that strikes a good balance between weight and length.
If you are short or your shelves are overly tall, then a long grabber is a good fit. You might also want to consider a reacher with an adjustable length, and there are few good models you can find in the market.
If you use a wheelchair, then you can buy a long and short grabber to interchange as needed.
3. The Jaws
The holding power of a grabber is another vital thing you should take into consideration. There is nothing more frustrating than buying a grabber that can’t hold objects firmly. Therefore, you should look for a unit with sturdy jaws and are well secured. If they are weak and poorly connected, they will not grip objects properly which means they will drop and get damaged.
The grips inside the jaws or claws should be made from a non-slip material preferably rubber. Rubber is ideal because it offers great traction hence objects are not likely to slip out and drop. The claw/jaw opening can also have a major impact on the usefulness of a grabber tool. Here, you want to ensure that the grabber of your choice has a wide jaw opening.
The wider it is, the larger the object that you will be able to grab. Low profile jaws are great but only if you are planning to pick small items. Thereby, consider a model with wide-opening jaws/claws to maximize its use.
Aside from the rubberized tips, you will find some grabbers that also have a magnet included in the gripping tips. This is a very useful feature, and you should highly consider it when searching for a grabber tool.
More Reasons to Pay Attention to the Jaws
A magnetic tip will allow you to grab the smallest of items, especially ones made from metal which are usually hard to pick up with normal claws. Plus, very little effort is required from your end because all it takes is hovering the magnetic tip over an object to pick it up.
There are also some grabbers that utilize suction cups instead of rubberized jaws like the VIVE Suction cup reacher above. Like the rubberized jaws, suction cups offer a firm hold, and the best part is that they don’t damage the surface of the item.
Therefore, they are ideal for handling fragile objects like glass, bulb, phones or iPads. However, they might not open as wide as rubberized jaws hence picking large items can be a challenge.
Finally, there are grabbers that come with adjustable angle claw or heads that can swivel. The Ettore 49036 and RMS 32” grabber with rotating gripper are good examples.
These models are the best when it comes to retrieving items that are in tight areas. There are those with claws that can adjust up to 90 degrees while others can rotate 360 degrees. Either option will allow you to swivel the claw to the desired angle and retrieve items easily.
Well, the bottom line here is to find a tool that has a well-made grabber and is well secured. If it uses jaws, make sure they have a wide opening, and the tips are rubberized. If you can find one that also includes a magnet in the tips or the head can swivel, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
4. Ease of Use
Like I mentioned earlier, the purpose of a reacher grabber is to make life easier, hence, it should be designed for daily use. Weight and length are important factors that will affect the ease of using a grabber. If they are well-balanced, then you will not strain when maneuvering the tool.
However, the main part to look at here is the handle. It should be tailored to reduce operator fatigue, discomfort or even injury while using the reacher. Most grabbers will have plastic handles. If this is the case or not, the core thing here is to ensure that the handle is soft and ergonomic. If you can find one that has cushion paddings the better.
The trigger mechanism at the handle must also be taken into consideration. It will not only affect your ability to hold the grabber but will also determine the ease of operating the claw or the gripping tip of the reacher.
Likewise, use a reliable garden kneeler to comfortably sit down and tend to your plants and flowers. This tool is especially useful for people with back or knee pain. Also, take a look at our guide for sock aids if you have mobility issues.
Pay Attention to the Mechanism
A good mechanism is one that involves very little hand squeezing. If a high amount of pressure is required to use the grabber, it will cause fatigue in the long run. We recommend two options for elderly users: a two-finger pull trigger or a full-hand pull trigger.
The former is common in most reachers, but the problem is that it splits the fingers and reduces grip strength. So it may be a little difficult to keep the trigger firmly pressed when retrieving items
Nonetheless, some models have two-finger triggers and are not that rigid. They only require little pressure to maintain a firm hold on objects.
In general, a comfortable handle and trigger mechanism make using a reacher grabber more enjoyable as they will give you the full control you require to pick up objects of different shape, size, and weight.
Ready To Buy The Best Reacher Grabber Tools?
Reacher grabbers are undoubtedly very useful equipment, and while their functions are similar, they aren’t all identical in build. To get a well-crafted model that is easy to operate and versatile in functionality, an extensive evaluation must be carried out.
This means taking all the factors mentioned above as well as your specific needs into consideration before making your final decision. However, if you find it time-consuming or confusing to go through all the different options available in the market, then you can consider one of the five reachers listed above.
They are strong yet lightweight and are very effective at picking up a wide variety of objects. Likewise, If you have kids in your home, you can install a rubber mulch mat around the plastered areas of the garden. It helps to prevent serious injuries when they play around.
Also, if your elders have back pain or other health problems related to posture, an ergonomic recliner will be a great help. If you are looking for tools that make walking and standing easier, consider buying the best folding cane seats.