David Wilk






Getting a Grip on a Ironic Problem 




It is one of the great ironies of gardening:


By the time a person accumulates enough wealth to own a home and take pride in accomplishing good things in the garden, the body is no longer what it used to be.  Almost every chore results in some amount of aches and pains.  Much of gardening involves plain, old-fashioned work  --  and it can be hard, especially on the aging back.


Luckily, help is on the way! Stout’s BackSaver Grip™, the inexpensive attachment that makes it easier to work with shovels, rakes and any other long-handled tool, is now available throughout the United States. The patented, ergonomic grip easily attaches to any long-handled tool to increase efficiency and save on back pain and strain.


The BackSaver Grip allows an individual to grasp a tool higher on the shaft, eliminating the awkward bending that is the primary cause of back strain. It improves the productivity and performance of garden and lawn shovels, snow shovels, rakes, hoes, pitchforks, push brooms and numerous other long-handled tools. The grip provides a more comfortable way to hold a tool and allows the user to stand up straighter, using leg muscles instead of lower back muscles for power, control and lifting.



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Stout’s BackSaver Grip

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“Stout’s BackSaver Grip has helped a lot of people ease the strain associated with long-handled tools,” said Ron Stout, inventor of the product. “It helps alleviate the pain caused by arthritis, back problems and just getting up in years. It provides the user with better control of the tool, more leverage and more power.”


The perpendicular grip positioning also reduces stress to the wrist, arm and shoulder and eliminates the chronic blisters people develop between the thumb and forefinger. For overhead tools, such as paint extension poles and tree trimmers, the BackSaver Grip substantially improves control and stability.



Tools commonly used with Stout’s BackSaver Grip

§         Garden shovels

§         Transfer shovels

§         Rakes

§         Push-brooms

§         Lawn edgers

§         Hoes

§         Pitch forks


§         Mops

§         Paint extension poles

§         Tree Trimmers

§         Heavy (saltwater) fishing rods

§         Pool skimmers

§         Dip nets

§         Other long-handled tools



Stout’s BackSaver Grip first appeared in retail stores in Alaska in 2000, and was met with exceptional demand. In fact, in America’s 50th state, it has become something of a sensation and is commonly seen on snow shovels, rakes, push brooms, heavy duty saltwater fishing rods and the long dip nets used for netting salmon from rivers and streams.



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“What I love is the versatility,” said David Wilk, co-owner.  “When the weather starts to warm up after winter, it takes two minutes to move the BackSaver from your rake to your hoe to your garden shovel.  As spring progresses, you have a dozen other tools that benefit from the grip.  Plus, it easily adjusts up and down the tool shaft to be just as effective for someone under five feet tall or well over six feet.”


Handyman Club of America, the National Home Gardening Club, and the North American Fishing Club have all endorsed the BackSaver Grip after testing by hundreds of members each. It is currently being tested as a worker-safety device in 26 state Departments of Transportation and 14 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts.


Stout’s BackSaver Grip was designed and patented by Ron Stout, a diesel mechanic and avid fisherman living in Anchorage. He first tinkered with a device to make it easier to haul in the region’s 100+ pound halibut. It was successful, and he then tried it on his snow shovel, also with success. Soon family, friends and neighbors were clamoring for the new “Grip.”  Word spread. And after several improvements, it is as common as snow in Alaska. BackSaver retails (MSRP) for $9.99 to $11.99.  Retailers include the national hardware chains Ace Hardware and Do it Best, regional chains like Fred Meyer and Meijers Stores, plus hundreds of lawn and garden centers throughout the U.S.



Stout’s BackSaver Grip is manufactured in the USA by Mercantile Buyers Service of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Comes with a lifetime warranty.  For more information, visit, or call 1.800.752.7874.



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