|Review by knotscott||posted 04-01-2011 09:44 PM||4400 views||2 times favorited||21 comments|
The Grr-Ripper from Microjig is a hand held holddown/push device intended for use with woodworking machinery as an added line of protection between hands and the cutter. It essentially replaces traditional push sticks and push pads, and can be used for most table saw, router, jointer, shaper, sander, bandsaw, and probably several other operations. It allows good control of the workpiece during close cutting operations with less risk to human flesh. The Grr-Ripper is an elegant and improved solution to other hold down and push devices. I’d call it a “better mousetrap”.
The Grr-Ripper is constructed primarily of strong polystyrene resin, with rubber grips at the base, and brass threads to receive various attachments. Instructions are fairly good and assembly of the basic unit can be done in under 15 minutes. It’s clever features afford this seemingly simple device a great deal of flexibility in it’s application. It’s basic shape is best described as a moderate size push pad with a sturdy handle on top that attaches to catamaran style runners that can straddle a cutter if necessary, or can act simply as a hold down to control a workpiece when perform edge cutting operations. There are actually three hold down runners…two fixed outer runners, and a third adjustable runner that can slide fully from one side to the other for added adaptability. The handle is also adjustable and can slide from side to side as needed. The GR-200 includes some add-ons that aren’t included in the basic GR-100, but I’m finding I use mainly just the basic jig anyway.
In practice, I’m finding all kinds of uses for the Grr-Ripper and have gained alot of confidence in it. It was unnerving at first to be passing a hand directly above a spinning cutter even with the Grr-Ripper in between, but in time, I adjusted to the new mind set, and have found the Grr-Ripper to be incredibly convenient and safe. Not only does the Grr-Ripper act as a barrier, but the increased control of the workpiece should significantly reduce the opportunities for an accident by reducing kickback. This is a huge safety factor in my view, since many accidents and amputations are the result of a misdirected reflex reaction to kickback. It’s especially handy for long thin rips where the stock was prone to “chattering” or lifting off the table such as tapered cuts with a jig. I use my Grr-Ripper on the jointer as a push pad, and on the router instead of using my hands…it’s great for controlling smaller pieces. There are alot of adjustments and add-ons that add to the Grr-Ripper’s flexibility that I haven’t even tried yet. Getting two Grr-Rippers would allow you to keep two different setups without having to make any adjustments.
My biggest complaint with the Grr-Ripper is price (~ $45 for the basic unit). It isn’t that it’s not worth the added capability it provides or the safety improvements it offers, it’s more my perception of how much hardware and mass I get for the money spent…after all, it’s just a plastic push pad right? ...Not a great deal if purchased by the pound, but if you look at the value of it’s function it’s a good deal (it probably wouldn’t be too hard to make your own version of it). The Grr-ripper is a functional device that does things that other shop hold downs and push devices can’t do.
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