• Vive Rotating Reacher Grabber

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About Reacher-Grabber Tools

  • Other Reacher Grabbers We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

vivereacher
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Vive Rotating Reacher Grabber outperformed all other reaching aids.

Best Overall
Vive Rotating Reacher Grabber

This grabber reacher is it. Its rubberized U-shaped jaw ensures it attains an effortless hold on anything you reach for. The claw opens wide enough that you don’t have to think much about lining it up with the things you grab, and it has a tight hold and easy-to-manipulate trigger that ensures you don’t drop anything, either. You can also rotate the jaw 90 degrees by pulling it gently out of its socket and twisting it—a handy feature that some other grabber-reachers lack. It adds 32 inches to your reach—plenty for both collecting items on top shelves and from the floor, but not so long it feels unwieldy, even with heavier items in its grip.

Pros

  • Easy to hold

  • Strong pincher grip around items

  • Simple to adjust

Cons

  • Doesn’t fold up

How We Tested

grabberreachertest
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Testing involved grabbing items off of hard-to-reach places.

The Tester

I’m Sara Hendricks, the Emerging Categories writer here at Reviewed, which means I’ve covered all sorts of products, from compression socks to period underwear. I’ve previously written about accessibility, such as products that make the bathroom more user-friendly for folks aging in place, so I was excited to try out reacher-grabbers, which many people use to put household items closer at hand.

The Tests

Our testing of grabber-reachers had three rounds: Two “objective” rounds, in which I tested the tools’ capability at performing various tasks, and one “subjective” round, in which I evaluated the experience of using each grabber-reacher for the various tasks.

For the first objective round, I used each tool in a series of tests that mimic its common uses:

  • Collecting a book, a can of vegetables, and a stuffed animal from a high shelf
  • Pulling a notebook and a phone charger from an unzipped backpack
  • Snagging a half-full glass of water and a remote control from a table in front of me
  • Picking up a croquet ball, a stuffed animal, and a LEGO brick off the floor

Next, I used the top four best-performing reacher-grabbers—the Vive rotating reacher, the Vive suction cup reacher, the Gopher, and the Birdrock—to perform more objective tests to determine their versatility and claw strength:

  • Crushing an empty soda can
  • Picking up vitamin pills off the floor
  • Pinching a squishy stress ball without rupturing it
  • Moving sandbags from place to place with each my dominant and non-dominant hand
  • Picking up books of varying sizes to see if the grabber-reacher’s claw had a weight limit

Finally, I reviewed the user experience of each grabber-reacher: what the handle felt like, how natural it felt to hold, how adjustable it was, and how using it differed between my dominant and non-dominant hand.

What You Should Know About Reacher-Grabber Tools

A grabber-reacher is a tool that works as an extension of the arm. There are different variations of the tool, but most have a claw-like end that grips items that would fit in someone's hand, a 2- to 3-foot long rod in the middle, and a handle with a trigger on the opposite side to manipulate the claw. These tools allow users to pick things up without bending down, or pull things off of high shelves without straining or climbing on top of things. They are also commonly used as trash picker-uppers, for cleaning up litter along the roadside or in a park.

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Other Reacher Grabbers We Tested

BirdRock Home 32 Inch Long Grabber

This is a perfectly decent reacher-grabber tool. It has a rubberized, U-shaped jaw that grips onto things well and can be rotated 90 degrees by grabbing it, pulling it out of the socket, and twisting it. However, having tested the Vive model, it’s obvious which one is better. Both have the same design and overall purpose and promise, but the Birdrock one feels flimsier. That said, if you got the 32-inch-long Birdrock without comparing it to another device, we think you’d be satisfied with it.

Pros

  • Strong grip

  • Decent trigger hold

  • Easy to adjust

Cons

  • A little flimsy-feeling

Grab It Ratcheting Grabber

This “As Seen On TV” device has three features that most other grabber-reachers we tested do not: an LED light for illuminating tight spaces, a magnet for attracting iron-containing items (like stainless steel silverware or paper clips), and a hook located above of the claws to snag pieces of jewelry and other small items. These bonus features work as promised, but its core function is where it comes up short: The oddly shaped handle is (in theory) designed with both lefties and righties in mind, but in practice, it makes it feel like you’re holding it the wrong way no matter which hand you use, or in what direction you hold it. What’s more, it’s hard to squeeze, so it may not be the best option for someone with weak hand strength.

On the other end of its 32-inch length, its claws are solid and pick things up well, so if you’re into the bonus features and not as concerned about the handle, it’s not a bad reacher-grabber option.

Pros

  • Extra features like an LED light and small bonus hook

  • Good grip around the claws

  • Folds up easily

Cons

  • Oddly-shaped handle makes grip awkward

Ontel Gopher II Pick-Up & Reaching Tool

The 32-inch-long Gopher has suction cups on the claw that create a secure grip around whatever you want to pick up, whether it’s a book, stuffed animal, vitamin, or a glass of water. The only problem: You have to put some thought into lining the suction cups up with whatever it is you want to grasp, lest you drop it—which is less of an issue with something like a remote control than it is with something heavy or potentially messy like a book or glass of water. The suction tips also make the claw end feel heavier than others, which can make it a little awkward to hold, and make some objects feel heavier than they are. Still, it’s a good tool, with a strong grip and enough dexterity to pick up small and big objects alike.

Pros

  • Suction cups on claw gives it a secure hold

  • Claw’s dexterity allows it to pick up range of small to large objects

  • Folds up easily

Cons

  • Lining up suction cups can be fussy

  • Weight distribution isn’t totally even

Vive Suction Cup Reacher Grabber

The 32-inch Vive suction cup reacher is nearly identical to the Gopher grabber-reacher in both look and function: With its suction cups, it holds onto almost any kind of item securely, but you have to be sure to line it up neatly with the object you’re picking up. It does, however, have one notably bad exception: I found that the trigger caught and pinched the flesh between my index finger and thumb (ouch!), which negated most of the utility it had for me.

Pros

  • Suction cups give it a secure hold on objects

Cons

  • Trigger can pinch the skin on the hand

Saymeto Grabber Reacher Tool

On Amazon, the Saymeto and Zayad (below) tools are listed as two different grabber-reacher tools. But when we ordered them, we received two of the same exact devices, which is evidence that they might be made by the same company, but being marketed or distributed by companies with different purposes: The Saymeto is listed as a “commercial trash picker” while the Zayad seems to marketed as more of a traditional mobility assistance tool. Either way, both of these 32-inch-long tools are just OK. Both have a decent grip on soft, lightweight items (like our test stuffed animal), but their weak triggers and untextured, unwieldy claw ends mean that smooth, heavy objects like books and glasses of water slip upon picking them up.

Pros

  • Good grip on soft objects

Cons

  • Weak trigger

  • Untextured claw ends means smooth, heavy objects can slip

Zayad Reacher Grabber Tool

As noted, this device is identical to the Zayad (above). It worked fine for collecting soft, lightweight items, but with a weak trigger and untextured plastic claws, our smooth, heavy test objects (books and a water glass) slipped out of the grip.

Pros

  • Good grip on soft objects

Cons

  • Weak trigger

  • Untextured claw ends means smooth, heavy objects can slip

Unger Professional 36″ Nifty Nabber

This Unger reacher-grabber has magnet-tipped claws and feels solid and sturdy—but its claw end feels much heavier than others, which makes it unwieldy to maneuver, particularly when you’ve grasped a weighty object. If you are looking for a trash grabber, it’s a fine option—it has a mostly metal frame which makes it seem more like an outdoor tool, anyway—but the bottom-heavy design means it’s not the best choice for everyday use, particularly for someone with strength or mobility issues.

Pros

  • Sturdy, high-quality frame

  • Strong claws grip onto objects well

  • Magnetic tips

Cons

  • Heavy, uneven weight distribution makes it difficult to hold

Sammons Preston Standard 26" Reacher

The Sammons' grasping end is shaped somewhat like a parrot beak, with one curved, ridged claw meeting a longer, straight piece with a magnetic tip. This makes it useful for picking up soft items that can be scooped or hooked, like jewelry or clothing. But because the claw is made of hard plastic—unlike the texturized rubber or suction cups of some other models—it struggled with picking up smooth items like books, even if they weren’t that heavy.

Pros

  • Can pick up soft, light objects

  • Has magnetic tip

Cons

  • Claw doesn’t hold onto anything other than light, soft items

  • Handle feels flimsy and is hard to hold onto

RMS Health 26" Long Grabber Reacher w/ Magnetic Tip

This is not a great reacher-grabber. It looks like the Sammons model with a single hooked claw meeting a straight, smooth one with a magnetic tip, but the handle felt flimsy and the claw portion failed to pick up anything other than soft, easy-to-grab items like stuffed animals. It might be useful for picking trash up off the ground, but probably not much else. If you want a reacher with a curved claw, try the Sammons version instead.

Pros

  • Can pick up soft, light objects

  • Has magnetic tip

Cons

  • Claw doesn’t hold onto anything other than light, soft items

  • Handle feels flimsy and is hard to hold onto

Meet the tester

Sara Hendricks

Sara Hendricks

Staff Writer

Sara Hendricks is a staff writer with Reviewed covering emerging categories.

See all of Sara Hendricks's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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