Get A Grip is a portable plastic handle with large spring-loaded suction cups. It's designed to be attached without tools to a smooth, even and clean surface. The infomercial claims that it's strong enough to be used as a safety handle, but that promise hold up in the reviews we read.
Many reviewers take issue with the claims made in the infomercial, which depicts people using it as a safety handle in the shower. As some reviewers point out, the product's instructions say it cannot hold body weight or even maintain balance to prevent falls. "We'd feel much better knowing our grandmothers were hoisting themselves on an elegant, strong built-in rather than a pair of plastic suction cups with no mechanical connection," says Harry Sawyers of Popular Mechanics. The ad even shows a man climbing on a series of Get A Grip handles used as a ladder, yet the instructions say it's not for outdoor use.
Reviewers complain that it takes strength to lock the Get A Grip handle
onto a surface and that it doesn't always stay attached. At TV station KFVS
(Cape Girardeau, Mo.), testers find that cleaning the suction cups help,
and ConsumerReports.org notes that some versions come with larger suction
cups that hold more weight. Quite a few reviewers say that even when the
Get A Grip handle is applied to an ideal surface, testers can yank it off.
The best use for the Get A Grip handle seems to be as an accessory for pushing or pulling something. For example, a user reviewing the handle at Sears.com recommends mounting it on a glass sliding door to make it easier for someone with limited hand strength to open and close the door. At an assisted-living facility, a reviewer finds it convenient as a push/pull handle for rolling objects, but not as a permanent safety handle. Some users say they do use it as a shower handle, but test it carefully before putting any weight on it. Reviewers report that the handle may stay secure for days or weeks, then suddenly fall off.
We found the most thorough tests of the Get A Grip handle at ConsumerReports.org and at PopularMechanics.com. A review at KDKA (Pittsburgh) is also noteworthy because it reports on tests by two people over a three-week period, while a reviewer at KPLC (Lake Charles, La.) tries the handle for a variety of purposes. Reviews at KFVS (Cape Girardeau, Mo.) and at StarReviews.com test the Get A Grip for shorter periods of time. We also found useful owner-written reviews at Amazon.com and Sears.com.
Two versions of the Get A Grip handle are tested. One unit was ordered from the Get A Grip website, while another was purchased from an online retailer.
Review: Some Gripes with a Grip, May 2009
2. Popular Mechanics
Tests indicates that even when mounted properly on a dry, smooth, nonporous surface, it's possible to yank the Get A Grip handle off. Thus it doesn't provide the security promised in the infomercial. The reviewer also notes that although the ad shows the handle mounted on a boat, the directions say it's not for outdoor use.
Review: Does the Get-A-Grip Work? As Seen On TV Lab Test, Harry Sawyers
3. KDKA (Pittsburgh)
Consumer editor Yvonne Zanos and John Seitz of the non-profit group Home Safe Home test a Get A Grip unit that came without any instructions. They test it over a three-week period, applying it to several surfaces, including a fiberglass tub. The final grade is a thumbs-down; the handle may stick initially, they say, but then starts to fall off, making it unreliable.
Review: Get A Grip: Does It Work?, Yvonne Yanos, July 3, 2008
4. KPLC (Lake Charles, La.)
The Get A Grip handle is tested at an assisted-living facility, where it's judged helpful as an accessory handle or for temporary use, but not as a permanent safety handle.
Review: Get A Grip, Jeff Jumper
5. KFVS (Cape Girardeau, Mo.)
After attaching a Get A Grip handle to a tile shower wall, tester Sharon Houston finds that it does stay on well and resists hard pulls -- providing the suction cups and the tile are really clean. She gives the product an A-minus, and recommends checking to make sure it's secure before each use, since it might loosen over time.
Review: Does It Work: Get A Grip Bath Handle, Lauren Keith, Sept. 18, 2008
This video review gives the Get A Grip handle a perfect 6-star rating, finding no problems with it after testing it on a tile shower wall. The reviewer notes that it takes some force to apply the handle.
Review: Get A Grip Handle Video Review, "StarArthur", March 28, 2009
The handful of owners reviewing the Get A Grip handle here give it mixed reviews. Critics say it doesn't hold body weight or provide real security. One owner says it does loosen over time, but reattaches securely -- so that checking before each shower is important.
Review: Get a Grip, Contributors to Amazon.com
The sole user-written review here at the time of our report is quite enthusiastic, noting that the handle can also be applied to a sliding glass door to make it easier for someone with limited hand strength to open and close.
Review: As Seen On TV Handle, Suction Mount, Contributors to Sears.com