Portable support device takes the weight of heavy tools
By Ben Coxworth
October 14, 2010
If you’ve ever tried holding something heavy out in front of your body, then you’ll know how much strain it can put on your arms and shoulders – there’s a reason that heavy loads are usually carried perched on top of the shoulder, or strapped to the back. But when you’re using handheld power tools or working with shovels, hedge-trimmers, chainsaws and the like, you usually have no choice. That’s where the Portable Support Tool Balancer comes in. The device is designed to take up to 95 percent of the weight that would be supported only by your arms and shoulders, and redistributes it throughout your torso.
The Tool Balancer was invented by a Canadian landscaper, who ended up with torn shoulder tendons after years of using a 22-pound hedge trimmer and a pole chain saw.
It consists of a back brace-like harness, with a swiveling vertical pole attached that sticks up above the user’s head. At the top of that pole is a spring-loaded take-up reel attached to a cable which extends down in front of the user. The cable attaches to the balance point of a hedge trimmer, shovel or other tool, and takes almost all of its weight. The idea is that users only need to use their arms for guiding their tools, not lifting them.
As an added bonus, the harness promotes bending at the knees, instead of the back.
The Tool Balancer obviously wouldn’t work in environments where overhead clearance or potential entanglements are an issue. There might also be situations where the cable in front of the face might become annoying, but it's a great idea with the potential to save time and significantly reduce injury.
The developers are accepting purchase inquiries online. Check out the video overview below.
Via Dragon’s Den (Canada).