Stiletto Tools has come up with an ultra-grippy rubber tool handle cover with cold-shrink technology. Unlike heat-shrink tubing that can melt or cause you to char your tool handles, the Airgrip material simply shrinks into place at room temperature.
I applied Airgrips in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit with success. The cold-shrink method relies on the rubber material being held in an expanded state until it returns to its normal size. This is done by way of an ingenious holding tube made up of a collapsible spiral of rigid plastic. You put the tube over the tool (or shovel or flashlight) handle that you want to cover, and unzip the coil. The rubber sleeve rapidly shrinks to fit the contours of what it's applied to, from almost 2 inches down to 3/4-inch in diameter.
It comes in 8- and 18-inch lengths, and is ideal for improving your grip on heavy tools, such as sledgehammers; tools likely to twist during use, such as hatchets; and to increase the girth of tool handles that you find too thin to be comfortable.
If you're like me, you'll think of endless uses for the Airgrip. Now if I could just figure out how to get it around my nailer and circ saw handles...
Michael Springer is senior editor of Tools of the Trade.
8-inch Airgrip Ag-102