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A Better Mousetrap

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Review by knotscott posted 04-01-2011 09:44 PM 3321 views 2 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A Better Mousetrap No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

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.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....




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knotscott

5463 posts in 2032 days



21 comments so far

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Don Niermann

209 posts in 2628 days


#1 posted 04-01-2011 10:51 PM

One of the best tools around. I have a pair and would not give them up for anything

-- WOOD/DON (...one has the right to ones opinion but not the right to ones own facts...)

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dpark

13 posts in 1314 days


#2 posted 04-02-2011 12:51 AM

I think it’s a great tool. It lets me make a lot of cuts that would otherwise be more dangerous or less accurate. I’ve found myself a few times making a cut, and halfway through realizing it would have been safer with the GRR-Ripper, meaning I should probably be using it even more.

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ellen35

2570 posts in 2088 days


#3 posted 04-02-2011 01:29 AM

I own one… great addition to the shop. Adds a measure of safety to cutting.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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mrg

521 posts in 1655 days


#4 posted 04-02-2011 01:39 AM

I bought the advanced set at the woodshow a few weeks back and really like them so far.

-- mrg

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Beginningwoodworker

13341 posts in 2329 days


#5 posted 04-02-2011 06:34 AM

Scott, thanks for the review!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

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jsheaney

141 posts in 2644 days


#6 posted 04-02-2011 07:33 AM

I got the full set, too. It was years ago, so I don’t remember what was extra. There are a number of extra pieces I have never used, but there is one part the connects to the side and can step down to ride on the table top. I think that is the one significant extra that I use. I also have a skinny side leg. I don’t remember if that was part of the basic set.

Anyway, I use it quite a bit when ripping. I think it is great. It actually saved my hand once. Some of the parts got chewed up pretty bad. I was able to order those parts separately and I was good to go.

It’s worth every penny.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

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jsheaney

141 posts in 2644 days


#7 posted 04-02-2011 07:37 AM

I just noticed that the piece I was talking about is in the picture (the black part). I guess that is part of the basic set, too.

-- Disappointment is an empty box full of expectation.

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wseand

2258 posts in 1698 days


#8 posted 04-02-2011 09:28 AM

Excellent review Scott. If any one is interested David Bethune has giving instructions on how to build one of these. HERE

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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mafe

9547 posts in 1745 days


#9 posted 04-02-2011 11:06 AM

Wish I could get one in Denmark.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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TopamaxSurvivor

14752 posts in 2332 days


#10 posted 04-02-2011 02:20 PM

Thanks for the review Scott.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Vicki

938 posts in 2000 days


#11 posted 04-02-2011 05:53 PM

“It was unnerving at first to be passing a hand directly above a spinning cutter even with the Grr-Ripper in between….”

This is the problem I have. I have the GRR-Ripper, but have yet to assemble it or use it. I wonder if anyone has had a bad experience with it. I did read the post the other day where it rode up on a gentleman and his gripper got scarred. Do you guys use it with 2X lumber or just 1X?

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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Verna

202 posts in 1430 days


#12 posted 04-02-2011 07:14 PM

Vicki, I use mine with 1x lumber, which is what I use most of the time. Yes, it is scarey passing my hand over the blade. Come to think of it, I keep forgetting I have the GRR-Ripper…..I need to get back to using it again because I did finally get comfortable using it.

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

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TopamaxSurvivor

14752 posts in 2332 days


#13 posted 04-02-2011 09:35 PM

I didn’t realize you pushed with you hand over the blade. I may do a few wild and crazy things, but I don’t like that!! ;-(( I may do things that are closer than others are comfortable with, but never directly into or over the top of the blade.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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TopamaxSurvivor

14752 posts in 2332 days


#14 posted 04-03-2011 08:31 AM

Thanks deke, Now I’m wondering if that is better than the Magswitch feather board I just got? Doesn’t look like a feller needs both ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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knotscott

5463 posts in 2032 days


#15 posted 04-03-2011 06:26 PM

You don’t have to push with the Grr-Ripper directly over the blade. With wider boards, and/or some of the gizmo’s installed, it’s possible to push from off center a bit.

!http://www.incrementaltools.com/v/vspfiles/photos/MJGR-100-2T.jpg!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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