GRR-Ripper 3D Pushblock Review
Regardless of whether you are a DIY carpenter or a professional, most of the time, you will use power tools. The number one priority when working with power tools is safety. Some of the most dangerous tools are saws. To prevent accidents, there is an amazing new product, called the GRR-Ripper 3D Pushblock.
The most dangerous power tools are table and band saws. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), during 2007 and 2008, there were almost 80,000 reported injuries from table and bench saws. That is a lot.
The industry and manufacturers are doing everything to make working with power tools safer. This 3D pushblock is a fitting example of how smart technology can help to improve a working environment. The aim of the GRR-Ripper is to eliminate the use of bare hands in feeding the material over the saw. This means that your hands are a 100% protected while, at the same time, you have a steady grip on the workpiece even with jointers, router tables, and band saws.
Keep on reading to find out about the GRR-Ripper background, how it works, and about the various uses and features.
The GRR-Ripper is the newest product developed by Micro Jig. They have previously brought us the GRR-Rip Lock which is a less advanced version of the GRR-Ripper. Both have the same purpose. To keep us safe.
The GRR-Rip lock was equipped with a handle on the top, gripping material at the bottom and smart hooks at the back. The hooks would grab the back of the workpiece and keep it steady throughout the sawing process without letting your hands anywhere near the saw.
Some reviewers have described the GRR-Ripper as a very fancy push stick, but it’s much more. Before the pushblock, various items were used to control the workpieces:
- The push paddle – Safer than using your hands, but not safe enough as your hand is still too close to the blade
- Push sticks – You use them to push the workpiece from the rear but it often flips up the front due to kickback
- Push shoe – better than the push stick but there is a risk from kickback with this one too
Pushblock was developed to prevent your hands from getting near the blade and to help you to control your workpiece better. It can safely control the workpiece horizontally and vertically.
How does it work?
The first GRR-Ripper pushblock, the GR-100, was a great advancement from the GRR-lock. Micro Jig’s latest, the GR-200 is even more functional with its adjustable spacer and a stabilizing plate. Besides these, it comes with a choice of other smart accessories. The stabilizing plate gives the carpenter 250% more surface stabilization area. The spacer provides 54% more grip area for the workpiece.
The plate to the outside of the GRR-Ripper helps you to balance as you are running the workpiece over the saw. The spacer on the underside allows you to move it left and right, depending on where you need more support. It also allows the blade to pass through a channel without touching the pushblock. It’s basically a 3-footed push pad.
In addition to the gripping surface on the bottom, you can attach a couple of small add-on hooks at the back of the GRR-Ripper. This will help you to push the workpiece through if there is more resistance from the blade.
By using only these three features, you can push the workpiece along with your hand passing over the blade in a safe manner. The extra grip and balanced pushing make the cut easier and smoother. With longer pieces of material, you can even use two GRR-Rippers for better grip.
The gripping surface underneath the GRR-Ripper is called Green-GRIP. It’s a non-slip material that gives you amazing gripping power over workpieces made from walnut, oak, ebony, pine, cherry, poplar, plastics, maple, and aluminum. Tread grooves like you have on your ice-walking boots provide increased traction on the workpiece, even with sawdust present.
The GRR-Ripper is made from high-impact polystyrene, with non-slip surfaces on the three “legs.” It’s light and easy to use. Additionally, there is not much maintenance required to keep the GRR-Ripper in working order.
Experienced users recommend you clean the gripping surfaces at least once a day. Depending on the level of use, you might need to clean it more often. Manufacturer’s instructions suggest using denatured alcohol to wipe the gripping surfaces down. With regular cleaning, the surfaces will be in peak condition for a longer time. No other maintenance is necessary.
Various uses of the GRR-Ripper 3D Pushblock
Cutting long lengths
This requires the use of two GRR-Rippers; the setup is the same for both. As you push the piece along, you use a leap-frogging (hand-over-hand) technique to be efficient. Leap-frogging must be done with care; the GRR-Ripper must be correctly positioned, especially when cutting down narrower strips of material.
If both edges of the workpiece are rough, the GRR-Ripper comes to the rescue. By using the GRR-Ripper as a sliding fence against the table fence, you can sight down the cut line and cut along the line without any problems. The workpiece is controlled by the GRR-Ripper without ever touching the table fence. That’s a great time saver!
Cutting veneers on the thin stock
Sometimes, thin stock tends to ride up on the saw blade as you try to cut it. GRR-Ripper prevents this by pushing down on the stock all the way through the cut without any splintering of material.
The GRR-Ripper can be used as a tool for template routing by providing extra control while keeping your hands away from the router bit. The same applies to profile routing. There are useful video clips on YouTube which show exactly how this is done.
Band saw use considerations
When cutting veneers, the GRR-Ripper helps to push the workpiece through the blade. During this operation, you hold the workpiece on the face side. However, there is no guarantee here that the pushblock won’t apply pressure at the wrong spot. It works perfectly when you use it to provide downward pressure but can be an issue with side pressure.
Should you buy the GRR-Ripper?
The answer is a resounding yes. The GRR-Ripper 3D pushblock is a tool every workshop needs, big or small! You can retire all the other push sticks and pads you’ve used before. It even comes with a 2-hour instructional DVD which you should study before trying it out. The pushblock features many accessories you can buy, including the gravity heel accessory, the 1/8” leg accessory Micro Jig GRGH-040 GRR-Ripper gravity heel accessory, the handle bridge kit, and a set of replacement legs.
If a DVD is not enough, there are plenty of YouTube video clips showing you how to use the GRR-Ripper and various operations you can use it for. Please make sure you read and watch all the instructions carefully before using it.
The safety features are the best and predominant features of this tool. What makes it even better is that you can safely go ahead with cutting jobs that weren’t safe before; it’s a big time saver. It also prevents you from throwing away scrap you thought couldn’t be used again. Now you know they can be.This is the one tool you can’t afford not to have if you own a power tool which operates a saw blade.