Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for Best extension grabbers

An extension grabber can give individuals with mobility challenges — and those without them — access to objects outside their normal reach without taking risks with their balance.

Extension grabbers are long, slender tools that can be used to increase your reach by as much as three feet. You can use one to reach an item on a high shelf or keys that have fallen on the floor. Some are designed for heavy-duty tasks, as well. Extension grabbers can reduce your reliance on unstable step stools and save you from having to get down on the floor. The pincer grip of an extension grabber mimics the work of an opposable thumb and index finger or a closing hand, making it unbelievably handy.

Most extension grabbers are made of lightweight aluminum, but they come in a variety of lengths, and some are specialized for different tasks. Which one would serve you best? Keep reading to learn more. When you’re ready to buy, be sure to check our recommendations for the best extension grabbers on the market.

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Extension grabbers aren’t just for those with mobility challenges. Many people use them for activities like roadside trash cleanup and putting up Christmas lights.

Key considerations

Weight limit

Before you buy an extension grabber, think about the size and weight of items you’ll be lifting. Some grabbers have weight limits of five pounds or less; others can handle as much as 10 pounds. While clothing and keys are light, many cans, bottles, and tools have some heft to them. It’s also important to be realistic about whether you can safely manage the weight of the grabber and the weight of the item you’re lifting.

Trigger style

Different grabbers have different trigger styles. One trigger style may be better suited for you than another. Basic extension grabbers have a trigger that you activate with your thumb and index finger. If you have arthritis in your fingers, neuropathy, or other hand strength challenges, this type of trigger could cause you pain. Other extension grabbers have triggers that you operate with multiple fingers. This helps reduce stress on individual joints. Other extension grabbers use a sliding system or two-handed operation.

Expert Tip
Stop using a grabber immediately if it shows signs of damage. You could be injured if the grabber fails and objects fall.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Type of grip

The grabbing method also varies. Basic models feature a light pincer grip that mimics the motion of a thumb and index finger. This is useful for picking up small, lightweight items. It may even be more useful than a larger grabber for picking up keys, coins, papers, and clothing, but it may fail when it comes to heavier use.

Other extension grabbers imitate the grasp achieved when you wrap a hand around an object, such a can or bottle. This “horseshoe” style is great for reaching cylindrical objects in your pantry or garage, but it may not provide great results for the retrieval of everyday household items.

When shopping, consider the width the grabber achieves opening and closing as well. Some grabbers have jaws that open wider than others.


Extension grabbers vary in length. Many are two to four feet long; some are even longer. Are you simply looking to extend your reach a bit, or do you plan to use your extension grabber for heavy-duty tasks like yard work? If so, a longer grabber may be a better choice. If you’re not sure, look for an adjustable reacher. Many have telescoping shafts that you can tailor to your needs on a case-by-case basis.

Expert Tip
Zip ties can be added to handles to make the extension grabber hang on a workbench wall, a walker, or a wheelchair.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert


Once you decide on the basic features you want in an extension grabber, it’s time to look at the specific features that can make a difference in your life.

Magnetic tip

It may be small, but a magnetic tip is one of the most useful tools on a standard grabber. A magnetic tip allows you to easily lift pins, paperclips, and other metal objects that are frequently dropped. Most magnetic tips aren’t strong enough to lift the screwdriver or pliers you fumbled, but they will handily retrieve a nail or screw.

Swivel head

Dropped items rarely stop exactly where they land. Some extension grabbers feature movable heads that can swivel to fit underneath furniture or in tight spaces. This is a convenient feature you will mostly find on grabbers that grasp in a horseshoe shape rather than a pincer grip.

Expert Tip
Don’t forget to clean your grabber regularly. Soak the end in disinfectant if needed or wipe it down with disinfecting wipes, especially if you use it outdoors.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Comfortable handle

If you suffer from arthritis of the fingers and hands, you should look for a handle that isn’t painful for you to grip. In addition to offering different trigger styles, some handles offer ergonomic styling or extra padding to help ease pressure on painful joints.

Rubber jaws

A grabber only helps if you can keep hold of the item you’re lifting. Some grabbers feature rubber-coated jaws that help you keep items in place without dropping them. Some have serrations that act as little teeth to help you keep a grip on whatever it is you’re lifting.

Locking jaws

Some grabbers rely on hand strength alone to keep a grip on an object. Others feature locking jaws that keep objects steady in the grabber until released. This is especially important in grabbers used to lift heavier objects that could break or injure someone if dropped.

Other features

  • If dressing is a concern, look for an extension grabber with a metal post that can help lift clothing by a sleeve or belt loop.

  • Some extension grabbers fold up for travel or have a telescoping shaft. This type of grabber is often easier to fit inside a purse.

  • A handful of extension grabbers are equipped with LED lights so you can better see where you’re reaching.

Expert Tip
As a retired RN, I recommend that if you are giving an extension grabber to a senior, you should practice using it with them. Set up commonly used items on different levels and see how much weight they and the grabber can hold. Rearrange cabinets or closets to meet the ability of both the tool and the user.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Extension grabber prices


You can find quality budget extension grabbers for $10 to $15. In this price range, extension grabbers tend to have simple trigger mechanisms and pincer grips. Most extend between 20 and 24 inches and have a lift limit of five pounds or less. Many have magnets, although they are often not particularly strong.


Extension grabbers in this tier generally cost $15 to $20. You will find both pincer grasps and horseshoe-shaped grasps in this price range. Grabbers may have weight limits of five to 10 pounds and reach 24 to 48 inches. Many have ergonomic padded hand grips, grippy jaws that swivel, higher-quality magnets, and posts for reaching clothing.


The highest-quality extension grabbers cost $20 to $30. Grabbers that cost this much should be heavy-duty and possibly adjustable in size. Many can lift weights up to 10 pounds using a wide, swiveling jaw. If you decide to purchase from this price range, you are more likely to find choices with strong magnets, dressing posts, and trigger styles that don’t aggravate painful joints.

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Did you know?
Many individuals use their grabbers to get wet clothing out of the bottom of a deep washing machine or out of the back of the dryer.


  • If you regularly use a walker or rollator, look for an extension grabber that can be hung conveniently from one of these mobility devices. That way, you’re more likely to have your tool in the room where you need it.

  • If you plan to use your grabber outside, look for something that will not rust or otherwise corrode with moisture.

  • Pay attention to your grabber’s weight limit. Items that approach or exceed the weight limit could cause the jaws to fail or become misaligned.

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Buying multiple grabbers for different rooms of the house can help prevent you from losing them.


Q. How long of a reacher do I need?

A. It’s tempting to get the longest reacher possible, but most customers find models measuring 24 to 26 inches to be most practical. Longer styles (ranging from 30 to 48 inches) are challenging to control for those with mobility challenges, especially with heavier loads. If you’re not settled on a size, look for a gripper with an adjustable telescoping shaft.

Q. Which is better: a pincer grip or a horseshoe grip?

A. It depends on what you’re lifting. A pincer is better if you’re primarily going for small objects like pills, coins, pill bottles, or even clothing. This style, especially when tipped with rubber, makes it much easier to secure small, thin objects. However, if cans, bottles, and even weighty wet towels are on your list, a horseshoe opening would be more helpful.

Q. How wide does the jaw need to open?

A. A pincher grabber really only needs to open two inches or less to grab the kinds of objects for which it was designed. The jaw of a horseshoe-shaped grabber needs to be wider, as it’s designed for larger objects. Most disposable water bottles are about three inches wide, while 15-ounce food cans are roughly four inches wide. A jaw ranging from four to five inches should suffice for picking up almost anything you can reasonably lift with a grabber.

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