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Getting a Grip

Product Review: They Gypsy Gripper

By Lynn Holland

Itís always good to get a grip. This is especially important when rotary cutting, because failure to do so can result in anything from inaccurate strips to lost fingertips. However, those rulers are as pesky as they are a miracle, because sometimes they have a way of slipping out of place. My slippage usually occurs at the very end of the fabric when my weak fingers tend involuntarily to ease up on the pressure and the ruler wiggles a 1/16 of an inch of more.

So when I saw the picture of the Gypsy Gripper I was excited. It looks like an oversized telephone receiver, more like a lavender plastic toy than a tool.  Itís extremely uncomplicated, featuring large suction cups and a giant plastic handle.  There are two moving parts, the latches that snap the suction cups into place on the ruler and lock the gripper down so that the ruler almost becomes one with the gripper. The handle is sculpted to conform to human hands, so itís very comfortable.

When I got my gripper out of the box, I ran right back to the sewing room to give it a try. The only problem I had was getting over my fear of breaking something when I tried to snap the latches into place.  Other than that, thereís not much else except results. Even using the flat of my hand to steady the handle, I got an un-slipping cut. Again and again. Also, my hand fatigue was much less than usual. This gripper works on rulers that are four inches or wider, and may have to rely on just one end being locked down on smaller rulers. In order for the suction to work, the rulers should be smooth and not have holes. I tried mine on an Olfa and it worked fine. Removal of the Gypsy Gripper is straightforward Ė just unlock the latches and pop (literally) it off!

If youíve tired of being frustrated by last minute ruler wiggling ruining your accurate cutting and are serious about avoiding repetitive stress on your hands, then this is well worth the investment. Furthermore, itís large enough not to get lost in a pile of fabric.

You can buy the Gypsy Gripper in the Planet Patchwork Store!

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