- 1 Gorilla Gripper ‘GP’ 0 to 3/4” (0 to 22mm)
- 2 Gorilla Gripper 44010 Panel Carrier, ‘Contractor’
- 3 Gorilla Gripper Door Gripper, 44011
- 4 LegUp Table Saw Panel-Lifter
- 5 Gorilla Gripper ‘Advantage’
- 6 Other accessories for transporting stock
- 7 Conclusion
How do you lift and carry sheetrock and plywood? Do you stoop down, then heft it? Are you feeling the strain at the end of the work day? Then it’s time to give your back a break, and we know just the thing you need.
In 2002, a man named Landon Worthington invented the Gorilla Gripper. Working in construction from the age of 14, he began having problems with tendonitis by the time he reached his 30s. To save himself a lot of pain and suffering, he put together the prototype panel carrier which became the Gorilla Gripper. Soon after that, other contractors recognized what a genius labor-saving device it is, so business took off.
But Landon and the company didn’t stop innovating when they made the Gripper. They continue to release new products like the LegUp panel lifter for table saws, the WoodPecker for marking measurements on wood, and the Belt Hook for carrying around any tool. The Gorilla Gripper now comes in a new, lightweight, and less expensive version called the Advantage. The Advantage holds up to 100 pounds, half what the original aluminum Grippers can support.
Now we’re going to look at these contractor-grade panel carriers. Let’s see what features make these an essential tool for anyone working with plywood, particle board, melamine, and sheetrock.
Gorilla Gripper ‘GP’ 0 to 3/4” (0 to 22mm)
Take a close look at the Gorilla Gripper and you’ll see a simple device. You may even wonder why you didn’t think of this yourself. Slip the wide jaw with two rectangular pads over the edge of a sheet of plywood. Grip the handle and lift. Set the sheet down and the handle releases. There are no latches, no clips, nothing to slow you down. You don’t need to stoop or bend over. This is the ultimate in labor-saving tools!
The Gorilla Gripper is made from aircraft aluminum for super durability. The jaws are covered in a rubberized pad so they don’t mar the surface you’re gripping, and so your hold is secure. Each aluminum Gripper supports up to 200 pounds of weight. The cushioned handle serves as a lever to close and open the jaws, while the weight of the item you lift provides the clamping force.
This particular tool, the GP, fits panels up to ¾-inches thick, but the Contractor version below holds stock up to 1-1/8-inches in width. There’s even a Door Gripper that can grab up to 2-inch thick material.
Gorilla Gripper 44010 Panel Carrier, ‘Contractor’
The Gorilla Gripper Contractor panel carrier self-adjusts to carry thicknesses between ½-inch and 1-1/8-inches, or 12 to 29mm, which means it can handle wider items than the GP, or General Purpose model we reviewed above. Like the GP model, the Contractor is built from aircraft aluminum to make it nearly indestructible.
What can you lift with the Contractor Gripper?
- Plywood sheets
- Flooring panels
- Sheetrock (even two sheets at once)
- Martial arts and wrestling mats
- MDF medium density fiberboard
- Metal sheets
- Particle board
- Cement board
- Plastic sheets
- OSB oriented stand board
- Animal feed bags
- Bags of fertilizer or soil
- Whatever you want, as long as it fits and doesn’t weigh over 200 pounds
Once you realize that this kind of panel carrier exists to help you with your work, you may start seeing different brands and styles from other companies. One reason why Gorilla Gripper stands out from their competition is that they offer an unconditional lifetime guarantee on their panel carriers.
How the Gorilla Gripper works
It’s super simple to use the Gripper, no matter which version you have:
- Place the jaws over the edge of the material you want to carry. Shift the handle and the jaws lever closed. The wide cushioned handle is ergonomically shaped to feel good in your hand even while you haul heavy sheets around.
- The weight of the item keeps the Gripper clamped shut on the edge as you lift upward.
- The rubberized grip pads in the jaws hold items securely without marking them. You can now carry the sheetrock or panel when before you would have had to heft it over a shoulder or drag it along the floor.
- When you’ve reached the place where you want to deposit the sheet, put it down and the Gripper will release its hold.
Take a look at the Gorilla Gripper in action. This video is made by the company and features the inventor himself using the tool. He demonstrates how easy it is to climb a ladder and move heavy sheets with just one person. It’s also possible to use two people and two Grippers on one item.
Gorilla Gripper Door Gripper, 44011
If you have thick items to move around, try the Door Gripper. It can handle sheets between 1-1/4-inches to 2-inches in thickness, or 31 to 52mm. That covers the width of most door panels. When you need to haul doors inside a home you’re building, and you don’t have a dolly, save your back with the Door Gripper. You can lift and carry up to 200 pounds of weight right next to your body, perfect for navigating tight spaces.
Climbing stairs with solid core doors isn’t fun, and dragging them can damage the doors, the stairs, and the walls. The Gorilla Gripper makes this kind of job much easier and safer.
LegUp Table Saw Panel-Lifter
Let’s change gears for a moment from carrying panels to lifting them. The LegUp is another Gorilla Gripper invention ideal for contractors who work with table saws. It makes lifting up stock sheets to load a saw much easier and much less awkward, especially if you’re working by yourself. It’s also safer since you’re less likely to get hit with kickback from the saw.
How does it work? Fasten the LegUp to the table or the saw fence rail. Slide the edge of the sheet you plan to cut into the hook at the bottom. Then just flip up the sheet onto the table. The LegUp acts as a lever to help you lift and guide the material smoothly into place. Once the sheet moves toward the blade, the LegUp falls back down out of the way. Check out this video to see the LegUp in action.
The LegUp can support up to 120 pounds of weight. It’s built from steel and powder-coated against rust so you can tackle tough jobs without thinking twice about it.
Gorilla Gripper ‘Advantage’
If you’re a homeowner doing some remodeling, you may not want to invest in a contractor-grade tool. In that case, take a look at the Advantage panel carrier. It’s covered by a lifetime warranty, and it’s made from a lightweight material that holds up to 100 pounds. The self-adjusting jaw holds stock from paper-thin thickness up to ¾-inch, or 22mm. This means you can use it to transport a wide range of materials, from sheets of Plexiglas to HardiBacker board and sheetrock.
The Advantage is built from glass-filled nylon polymer gripping pads mounted on epoxy-coated steel arms. Of course, it has a cushioned handle just like the aluminum Grippers have. Its durable construction weighs about a pound less than the other models do.
Other accessories for transporting stock
It’s nice to be able to move one or two sheets at a time, but if you have a lot to move around, you might need something with a larger capacity.
Little Giant Steel Panel Truck with Swivel Casters and Carpeted End
Little Giant’s Steel Panel Truck hauls up to 1000 pounds at a time. It’s made from powder-coated steel so it will stand up to lots of hard work. The casters are rugged, but you may find it easier to keep this cart moving on paved areas.
Little Giant AF-2460-BK “A” Frame Sheet and Panel Truck, 24″ x 60″, Gray
The A-frame sheet and panel truck from Little Giant might be better suited to your needs if you have taller stock to transport. It holds up to 2000 pounds of weight. The brakes on the wheels keep it steady while you load and off-load.
Cosco Shifter Multi-Position Heavy Duty Folding Hand Truck and Dolly, Green
Sometimes you just need a dolly. Hand trucks are useful for just about any kind of hauling, from moving feed bags to transplanting that file cabinet into your new office. The Cosco folding dolly supports up to 300 pounds, plus it transforms. You can use it as a hand truck, or fold it into a 4-wheel cart.
MARSHALLTOWN The Premier Line 790 12-Inch
When you need to lift drywall to nail it, but you’re working alone, the Marshalltown panel lifter solves the problem for you. It slips over your work boot so you can use the power of your leg to get the panel into place. Then it easily kicks out of the way when you don’t need it anymore.
We hope the Gorilla Gripper makes your work easier just like it does for users around the world. Check back with us again soon to see new reviews of the best gadgets on the market.