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Appl Ergon. 1991 Aug;22(4):225-30.

Ergonomics evaluation of a foam rubber grip for tool handles.

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Department of Industrial & Management Systems Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


An important consideration in tool design is the avoidance of hand discomfort and a reduction of work efficiency by using proper grip designs. To measure grip force distribution on a tool handle, Force Sensing Resistors were calibrated, placed on two different types of grip (wood and foam) and interfaced to a personal computer. The results, using six common garden tools - loppers, hedge shears, shovels, leaf rakes, hoes, garden rakes - indicated a very uneven distribution in grip force, but with the foam grip providing a more uniform distribution. Unfortunately, in most cases, the tool grip force was greater for the foam grip due to the deformation of the foam and a 'loss of control' feeling in the subjects. However, most subjects strongly preferred the foam grips.

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