If you’ve landed here, then you’re already curious about the Giffin Grip. I’m here to tell you, you’ll be SO happy to read on and learn all of the reasons why this incredible Potter’s trimming tool is on so many Potters’ wish lists! I’ll admit, when I first considered this purchase, I had a bit of sticker shock at the cost. But once you’ve used this gadget, there are plenty of Potters who don’t want to go back to the old tap-center method for trimming. Read on for a full Giffin Grip review, as well as our thoughts on the Giffin Grip mini!
We’ll review both the Giffin Grip and the Mini Giffin Grip, and explore all the reasons why it pays to invest in this magical tool for your pottery studio! But do keep in mind that a set of quality trimming tools is equally key to your pottery trimming success!
What Is A Giffin Grip – An Overview:
A Giffin Grip is a handy gadget that’s intended to fit over the wheel head of a pottery wheel, to secure a piece of pottery in the center of your wheel for trimming. While the standard method for trimming is a tap-centering method that take a LOT of practice to perfect (and time!), there IS a better way!
With just a simple twisting motion, the Giffin Grip enables you to place a piece of pottery on the wheel head, center it, and secure it in place for trimming; all within a matter of seconds. That’s right… I said seconds!
Once this tool is assembled and adjusted to fit your wheel head (a relatively simple, one-time adjustment)… you can use it again and again to make the process of trimming your leather hard pottery pieces so much more efficient!
What can you use a Giffin Grip for besides trimming?
The primary use of a Giffin Grip is for the trimming process (final shaping and foot rim / base shaping).
However, in addition to trimming, this handy gadget will hold pottery pieces in place for many other activities in the studio! Consider uses like creating banding designs, adding glaze details (like banding with oxides), and also applying wax resist! It’s also useful for simply cleaning up the base of a pot to prepare it for firing (without having to over-handle it)!
Giffin Grip Review – The Original
There are several tried and true methods for centering a pot on the wheel for trimming, so you certainly don’t need a fancy tool for doing so effectively. But we think that once you’ve tried the Giffin Grip, there are few Potters who want to go back. It just makes it SO much simpler and efficient! It’s quite the gadget.
Giffin Grip (Original) Model 10
This newer model Giffin Grip comes complete with sliders and rods, giving you the most versatile options for holding your pottery in place while trimming!
This gadget truly makes it SO simple and quick to center and trim. It’s sure to please any potter who is ramping up production in the studio! You can use just the inner sliders, or pair with the taller rods to hold taller objects in place with less risk of tipping!
Giffin Grip Mini Review
Giffin Grip (Mini)
This smaller (and cheaper!) version of the original Giffin Grip is the perfect solution for the vast majority of trimming and banding needs in the studio.
While it’s smaller in size, this is a workhorse! The mini is easy to maneuver, and you’ll barely miss having the larger size, except maybe for your largest pieces.
One bonus to this model, in my opinion, is that it gives a bit more space around it for clay trimmings to drop into your splash bin (as opposed to landing on the floor).
Ready For All The Dirty Details On The Giffin Grip + The Giffin Grip Mini – We Review All The Pros and Cons Below!
Top Benefits Of Using A Giffin Grip For Trimming Pottery + Creating Foot Rims In The Pottery Studio
While the old school way of ‘tap centering’ and securing a pot before doing the final shaping and trimming is a tried and true method, it DOES take some time to accomplish. Depending on how frequently you are trimming pieces, the time savings of the Giffin Grip is worth the cost alone.
Near Perfect Centering
The ability of the Giffin Grip to center your pot, with the simple twisting motion required to secure the pottery in place guarantees a nearly perfect centered position on the wheel head. This will make trimming go more smoothly, and will result in a more professionally finished pot (and foot rim).
Fewer Damaged Pots
There is always the chance that your pot will go flying when you’re trimming. We’ve all been there. Securing your piece of pottery in place with the Giffin Grip will give you added confidence and stability when trimming, and will likely result in many fewer damaged / ruined pots resulting from trimming mishaps.
If you’re starting a home studio, or starting out as a production potter, this gadget really will improve your consistency in the trimming process. You’ll be able to perfect each pot more quickly and consistently, creating uniformity in your work and pottery overall.
Downsides To The Giffin Grip
It Makes A Mess
One of the main complaints Potters have about this tool relates to the way it raises up the wheel head height (since it fits right over the top. Especially with the original model, this leaves very little space for clay shavings to land in the splash bin as they fall. More often than not, they end up on the floor.
Cost is certainly the other most frequent complaint. It’s hard to justify a gadget that’s pricey, when there is a tried and true method that works with no gadget (like tap centering and securing with lugs). However, when you reach a higher level of production, the efficiency of this tool will make it more and more attractive.
How To Remedy The Most Frequent Complaints Associated With The Giffin Grip?
My advice is to simply opt for the Giffin Grip Mini model!
There are 2 reasons why this is a nice remedy for the most common complaints:
- The price is lower, so cost is less of an issue.
- The smaller width gives more space for clay shavings to land in your splash bin vs. on the floor.
With the Giffin Grip Mini, you get all the benefits of the Original model, at a lower cost, and with a reduced chance of the added mess on the floor (that is by far the most frequent complaint associated with using a Giffin Grip!)
A Complimentary Gadget To Consider
The Clay Shield by WiziWig
If the mess is really the only factor that is keeping you from enjoying the benefits of the Giffin Grip, then this Clay Shield might be worth considering. While I find this product to be a bit unnecessary… it does give you a nice way to easily guard your clay shavings from ending up on the floor.
If you really can’t stand using a broom, and you’re not willing to fashion your own version of this out of cardboard, for example, then splurging on this item will solve your woes. Personally, I’d rather get out the dustpan… but I thought it was worth mentioning.