The Handy $9 Tool I Discovered at My Dad’s That Makes It Easier (and Safer!) To Reach Tall Cabinets

updated May 19, 2021
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Credit: Sarah Crowley

A few weeks ago, I was looking for birthday candles in the kitchen at my dad’s house, and I spotted them on the top shelf of one of the cabinets. As I hastily started to hoist myself onto the counter (because why get the stepstool out when you can risk serious injury?), I heard my dad yell at me to stop. I rolled my eyes, annoyed to be treated like a child by an overly cautious parent, but he wasn’t stopping me because he was nervous; he had a much smarter, safer solution. He handed me a tool I’d never seen before, and I soon became obsessed with the Reacher Grabber from U-House.

This ingenious invention makes high-up — and low-down — places actually accessible. Extending 32 inches, the grabber has a lightweight aluminum neck with a handle and trigger on one end and a claw-like contraption on the other. Push down on the trigger and the claw closes around whatever you’re trying to grab. Lock it in place, set your item down safely, and release the lock. Easy!

U-House is just one of many grabbers on the market, but what sets it apart are its enhanced features that make it incredibly efficient and practical. Most notably, unlike many of its competitors, U-House equips its grabbers with flexible suction cups that conform to the shape of their target object and hold it in place so that the spring-loaded claw doesn’t have to work as hard. Without the need for an iron grip, the chance of damaging your hard-to-reach items goes way down, as does the likelihood of dropping them at any point in the process.

This handy tool weighs just seven ounces but can support as much as five pounds. And it’s a small-space dream! While narrow enough to store in the space between your fridge and the wall or on top of the freezer, a joint in the middle of the arm enables you fold the grabber in half to make it even more compact.

After my success in my dad’s kitchen, I walked around the house looking for other ways to put this device into action. I pulled out a book I’d been eying on the top shelf of the library, rescued a trove of lost items behind the dresser in the guest room, and got towels down from the top of the linen closet. While I used the grabber for convenience more than anything (and because it puts the fun in functional), it is truly life-changing for people who are recovering from surgery or suffer from arthritis and other painful conditions that make it difficult to move around or grip things.

At just $9, buying a grabber for myself was a no-brainer. In fact, I’m contemplating ordering another one to keep in the car. (Mine is definitely coming with me the next time I play disc golf — no more climbing into the bushes to retrieve my frisbee after an errant throw!) Since it’s made from corrosion-resistant materials, it’s great for indoor and outdoor use. As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes father really does know best.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: The Handy $9 Tool I Discovered at My Dad’s That Makes Every Day So Much Easier