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I have a number of Good Grips products in my kitchen. They are of such good quality that if I now need to replace a utensil and Good Grips make one, they are my first choice. At the moment I have a garlic press, a tin opener, a pizza cutter and an ice cream scoop from their range of products. The handles on Good Grips utensils give you the clue as to why they are so called. They were originally developed by an entrepreneur called Sam Farber whose wife suffered badly from arthritis and found holding ordinary kitchen tools difficult. Farber wanted to design utensils that were not only comfortable for those with less dexterity but would also appeal to the mass market. With this in mind, he set up a company called OXO in 1989 to develop comfortable and easy to use kitchen utensils. Today, the result of all his hard work is a range of over 500 products. In my opinion, Good Grips are not only good looking but are also high quality utensils that are comfortable in the hand. They are generally more expensive that similar utensils by other manufacturers, but well worth the extra. When out shopping, they are easily distinguishable as they have large, black silicone handles. They are usually attached to a hanging piece of cardboard that says Good Grips in large black lettering. The handles are slightly chunkier than normal making them easy to grip, however, they are not so big that they are uncomfortable. I have quite small hands but have no problem holding them. I obviously cannot comment on all the products that Good Grips market but I will offer a few observations on the items I do own. Firstly, I'll talk about the garlic press. It is solidly constructed and works very well. As is normal with other presses, there are two compartments, one in which to put the cloves and the other to crush them. One of the things I like is that it can hold approximately 3 or 4 large cloves which is more than other presses I have owned. The drawback, however, is that it never seems to completely crush the skin and I end up having to use a sharp pointed knife to remove it. Even washing it doesn't remove the skin completely, hence the reason for the knife! All Good Grips products are supposedly dishwasher safe. however I found that the garlic press showed slight signs of rust if put in the dishwasher. I now prefer to handwash it. My Good Grips pizza cutter is a vast improvement on my previous cutter which was made of plastic. The 4 inch cutting wheel is bevelled and made of stainless steel. This means the size and sharpness enables you to cut through the deepest of pizzas without difficulty and your hand doesn't end up being covered in topping. A feature I like is the thumb guard. Basically this is a circle of metal at right angles to the end of the handle and prevents your thumb from being cut by the blade. The can opener is very easy to use and opens a tin first go. No need to go round the rim twice to catch all those bits that usually get missed on the first pass. This is no doubt due to the sharp stainless steel cutting wheel and the large knob which makes it easy to turn when opening a can. Although a very efficient piece of equipment, it is very light and only weighs about 9 ounces. I also like the fact that it has a built-in bottle opener as dual purpose utensils saves me space in my very small kitchen. As mentioned earlier that are a large number of products in the Good Grips range so it would be impossible to mention them all. However, of the ones that I own I find them really comfortable to hold and thoroughly recommend you consider them next time you have to purchase a new kitchen utensil. Prices can vary considerably from shop to shop, hence the reason I haven't mentioned them in my review, so best to shop around before purchasing.
I purchased a Good Grips garlic press one year ago and the hinge snapped after about 9 months of usage. Sure, it feels substantial, but the tensil strength of the hinge does not equal that of the handles. My mother-in-law had the same thing happen to her Good Grips garlic press. I don't mind paying more for quality kitchen tools, but I am sorry to say that I can not recommend this product based on such a short lifespan. I also purchased a Good Grips whistling tea kettle at the same time for $50 USD, and the whistle stopped working after about 6 months! The tea kettle has a clever design, since you don't have to lift or push a lever to lift the whistle and pour the water but while Good Grips products SEEM well-designed, especially because of their ergonomic design, the quality is perhaps not equal to the price.
Good Grips kitchen utensils first came about in 1989. They were the idea of Mr Sam Farber. He had previously founded Copco, a cookware company, in 1960. After he retired, he and his architect wife, Betsey, rented a holiday home in the south of France. It was while they were there that Betsey's arthritis flared up. Noticing her inability to use a potato peeler properly, he wondered if it was possible to invent kitchen utensils to help her and the other 20 million arthritis sufferers in the US (why didn't he just peel the potatoes for her and tell her to go and put her feet up?!). So, that is how it all began. The products became a huge success, used not only by arthritis sufferers, but by people who had other disabilities. But the winning factor behind the designs is that these chunky, easy to use, well-made utensils reached the able-bodied market, too. They were suitable for everybody, and made everyone's life easier. The Arthritis Foundation and the Industrial Designers Society of America have awarded them design prizes. I had often seen these utensils in the shops, but never bought one. They are generally more expensive and much larger than other products. But when my garlic press snapped in my hands several weeks ago, I wanted a much stronger replacement. Good Grips Garlic Press looks solid and sturdy. When you pick it up, it feels really meaty. You can see by the thick metal hinged joint at the top that this little baby would take some abuse to break it. You can see a picture of it at the John Lewis website (cut and paste this link: http://www.johnlewis.com/stores/product.asp?sku=230133814&str=901). The dimesions of the garlic press, when folded up, are: Total Length 17cm. Handles: length 10.5 cm, width 3.3cm, depth 2cm at its widest. Actual perforated garlic pressing area: horseshoe shape of height 3.5cm x width 2.5cm. This garlic press really IS the business. You can fit around 3-4 medium sized cloves in the press, to be crushed all at once. The crushing plate is thick heavy metal. From a usability point of view, it is a dream. The thick handles are covered in a non-slip rubber sheath which is useful when your hands are wet and slippery from food preparation. It is also very gentle on the hands. The smooth hinged top allows for easy movement so that all your pressure is used in crushing the garlic and not overcoming any friction of the utensil itself. Garlic crushes very easily due to this, as well as the heavy duty flat crushing edge. One of the big problems I have found with garlic presses in the past is their cleanability. If you don't instantly clean them, or leave them soaking in water, then the garlic residues set rock hard, and you can spend hours with a brush cleaning the thing. Well, with the Good Grips garlic press, once you have finished crushing, you can remove debris from inside by complete folding the garlic press the other way. This will enable some plastic red prongs to slot directly into the perforations and push out any debris. See the picture if you are confused! Not only this, but all Good Grips utensils are completely dishwasher safe. The price of this item is £8.95, available from John Lewis stores and online at www.johnlewis.com, as well as many other outlets. A typical garlic press may cost you half of this. Yes, Good Grips products are expensive, they are chunky, and they take up much more room than other utensils. I certainly wouldn't buy the whole range, but the Garlic Press is a fantastic product. (If you want to read a couple of articles on Sam Farber and the Good Grips company, then here are the links: 1. http://www.cdf.org/cdf/atissue/vol2_1/kitchen/kitchen.html 2. http://www.id.iit.edu/news/farber_atissue.html )
Good Grip Cooking Utensils are a joy to work with in the kitchen. Like any good cooking utensils, the forks and knives are sharp, and the spoons sturdy for heavy-duty scooping. However, where these cooking utensils really differentiate themselves is in their soft, easy grip. This improved grip is vitally important, as I will explain for each of the three major types of utensils - forks, knives, and spoons. The forks are made of stainless steel, and have sharp, striaght points that can pierce the toughest and hardest of pot roasts (like my mother-in-law's!). And it is when you are dealing with the toughest of meats that the enhanced grip comes into play. As you stab into a tough piece of meat, the grip cushions the force of the blow more than a conventional fork would, allowing for repeated stabbing without pain. The knives, also made of stainless steel, are extremely sharp as any good knives should be. They are able to cut through just about anything with ease. I can even get through a frozen-hard burrito with one of the knives, although it does take a bit of strength on my part to force the blade through, but it works where other knives have broken on me. Here, the absorbing power of the grip is important, but not nearly as vital as the no-slip aspect of the grip. Once you have a hold of the knife, your hand doesn't slide easily on the handle. You hand stays in place unless you purposefully move it. Thus, one needn't fear cutting one's fingers with the very sharp blades. The spoons, again made of stainless steel, have very sturdy constructions. You can penetrate the hardest of ice creams and still get a decent scoop without little trouble. Here, the grip is both non-slip and absorbs the pressure of the scooping action. Also, I am simply very impressed by the strength of the handle. It doesn't bend at all, no matter how hard the ice cream that you are scooping out. Overall, the Good Grip Uten sils are fantastic and well worth the extra money you have to dish out for them. They should last you several years and reduce the wear and tear on your hands with their great grips.