Friday, February 11, 2011

Carrying Plywood and Sheet Goods with Gorilla Gripper

Plywood is a very useful material for building stuff, but at 8' x 4' (or 5' x 5') for full sheets they can be very difficult to carry by yourself. I'm not a very big guy and I have a hard time trying to span my arms across the width of the board in order to haul it. I recently felt the pain (literally) when I brought home 5 sheets of 3/4" ply using a rented truck. Sliding the sheets off the truck was easy but moving them into the garage and to where I can hold them was tiring, frustrating and left my arms feeling sore the next day.

I then came across a product call Gorilla Gripper which is a handle like device with a clamp that you clip on top of the plywood. It's a pretty simple device and I wondered if it really work as well as advertised, but if it can allow me to carry the plywood myself without the pain I endure using my bare hands then I'm all for it.

The device is very well constructed and feels hefty and solid. The handle has a foam cushion and is thick so as not to dig into your hand. Unlike other ply handles that you put under the sheet and lift (thus requiring that you can reach across the width), Gorilla Gripper grips the sheet from the top. You simply put it on the plywood so that as you push up the clamp exerts more force to grip the ply tightly.

It just so happened that I got it just before I brought home another couple of sheets of ply and so it was time to test to see how well it work. Well, I have to say that I'm darn impressed. It worked as well and as easily as it advertised. Once I took the sheet off the truck and put the gripper half way along the length, I was able to simply lift the sheet and walk it right to where I wanted to put it. Took me 30 seconds as opposed to 5 minutes trying to drag the sheet over. It's important to put the grip half way to ensure balance weight distribution and remember to lift with your legs and not just your arms to protect your back.

It's an excellent product and highly recommended if you find yourself having to carry sheets of plywood yourself.

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