Long Handle Tool Control:

I feel it is important to help around the house, inside and out, as much as possible. It makes me feel useful and that I am a contributing member of our family. As a result, I often find myself trying to control a long handled tool. In the house it may be a broom, mop, etc. while outside it is a rake, weed whacker or pruning tool. The turning of the tool in my hands frustrates me to no end. I have used several different adaptions to help me control them. A rake is of little use if it turns over when one goes to use it.  In order to stop the roll over I drill a hole in the end of the handle, if there is not already one, and insert a piece of dowel, round pieces of wood of varying diameters. A piece of tape on either side of the shaft will hold the dowel in place. In the picure below I am loading the wheelbarrow with straw. Holding on to the dowel prevents the rake from rolling over in my hands. On a tool with a long handle you can also place a "Stop" where your other hand will be. What I call a stop is where friction tape is placed on the handle and then you just keep wrapping the tape over the previous pass. You end up with a knob which will stop your hand from sliding any further up or down the handle. Several stops placed on a long handled tool will allow you to lift the tool up even when there is some weight on the bottom or if your ability to raise your arms is compromised. Compression wrap or friction tape can be placed below or above the stop to increase your ability to hold it.

Putting grass in the wheelbarrow

When working with heavy tools used outside one can use a loop made from a bicycle tire inner tube that will allow you to support the weight without gripping the tool at all.  You can usually get old bike tire inner tubes at any bicycle repair shop for nothing.  Cut the inner tube to twice the desired length and tie the ends together with an overhand knot.  Place the loop on the handle of the tool using the Prusik Knot shown at the right.  Place your wrist through the loop and now you have much better control over the tool you are using.

Inner tube loop on trimmer

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Dowel in handle

Making a stop

Hand position on the push broom

Push broom set up

Using a push broom

Inner tube loop on the weed-whacker

Prusik loop

Using a weed-whacker

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