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Gripper Brands

Beef Builder gripper vs. Captains of Crush gripper.

Heavy duty hand grippers are produced by a variety of manufacturers. While the basic training tool is the same, variations across manufacturers do occur. Characteristics of the most popular grippers are as follows:

Captains of Crush – Produced by Ironmind, these are the most popular heavy duty grippers and the standard by which all other grippers are judged. Knurling on the handles is middle of the road, with average gripper spread between 2.75” and 3”. Spring durability is high, with limited seasoning impact on gripper strength and spread.

Beef Builder – Hand made by Warren Tetting and distributed by Weightlifters Warehouse, these are the most popular grippers for bridging the gap between the Ironmind grippers. Knurling on the handles is more aggressive, with average gripper spread between 2.75” and 3”. Spring durability is high, with limited seasoning impact on gripper strength and spread. The following models are typically used to bridge the gap between Ironmind grippers:

  • COC#1 to COC#2: Beef Builder Super Advanced; Beef Builder Master
  • COC#2 to COC#3: Beef Builder Super Master; Beef Builder Grand Master
  • COC#3 to COC#4: Beef Builder Elite; Beef Builder Super Elite

Warren Tetting originally produced the Ironmind grippers and has been hand making torsion spring grippers longer than anyone. He may be contacted personally to order custom grippers with any possible variation, including narrow spreads, extended handles for negatives, and steel handles to reproduce the feel of the original Ironmind grippers.

Heavy Grips – The gripper for those on a budget, Heavy Grips can be purchased new in sets for as little as $13 a gripper. The spread is narrower than an average Ironmind gripper, typically seasoning down to 2.25”. The knurling is quite a bit smoother than any of the other gripper manufacturers. Spring quality is lower, resulting in greater variance of gripper difficulty and spread as a result of the seasoning process.

Baraban – Produced by Robert Baraban in Austria, these hand made grippers provide the most extensive range of options for those looking to customize. Grippers can be ordered with steel handles, brass handles, colored handles, chromed springs, and engravings. Knurling is similar to the Ironmind grippers. Baraban gripper handles do have a slightly larger diameter than other gripper models. Spring variation after the seasoning process is greater than found in the Ironmind or Beef Builder gripper lines.

PDA SOS – Produced for a limited time by PDA, the SOS grippers were an attempt at producing a line of grippers with consistent, predictable ratings. High engineering tolerances were used in an effort to solve the problem of gripper variance. It didn’t work. PDA no longer sells these grippers, but they may be purchased used online. Quality of finish tends not to be as high as the Ironmind grippers, but they are a piece of grip history.

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