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Top 10 Grip Gear Tools for Film Grips

A Chicago film grips job is to handle everything from lighting to rigging on set and let’s face it, this is not the easiest task to take on.

Understanding the ins and outs of adjusting equipment on set to making sure there is no danger to anyone on-set is a big task, so it’s important that professional Chicago film grips are fully prepared with the best tools in their arsenal.

Everything from the best gloves to the right wrench will make a difference in how smoothly everything goes in production, so to help you be as prepared as possible, consider these following 10 tools that ever grip should use in their toolbox.

1. Gloves – Leather Work Gloves & Fleece Gloves Too

Many grips use leather work gloves to protect their hands from anything from hot lights to potential hazards. They do a great job of keeping one’s hands safe, so if you’re considering not using gloves on the job, don’t.

Another thing to consider is how cold Chicago winters can be, with snow and blizzards being the norm during the cold season.

This is when you may want to consider fleece gloves that not only keep you safe on the job but they can also help to keep your hands from going numb while you have to do things like change lighting or adjust camera rigs. They’ll keep you warm and safe, so don’t forget a pair in your toolbox.

2. Wrenches – A Lighting Wrench & Crescent Wrench Set

Lighting wrench and crescent wrench- Transparent

Setting up lighting properly can require various types of gear. Grips that are prepared will know that wrench sets can be ideal for when you to make quick changes or adjust on various pieces of equipment.

The best type of tools for this purpose could be lighting wrenches, crescent wrenches, as well as a small one that has a large variety of options so that you can easily fix anything that’s needed at a moment’s notice. The most prepared Chicago film grips will always have wrenches ready on hand.  

3. Gaffer Tape – At least a Couple Colors

Gaffer tape- transparent

Most grips like to have gaffer tape ready for anything they may need it for, whether it’s for anchoring cables or corns on the set during production, or simply for fixing equipment last minute.

There are a variety of options to choose from in various colors which can be used for different things. Make sure to have plenty available for the job, because you’ll never know when you’ll need it.  

4. Utility Knife & a Multi-Tool

multi-tool and Utility knife-transparent

Grips can benefit from having a utility knife on their belt at all times because any experienced one knows that there will be plenty of things that will need cutting on the job, from ropes to ties, boxes, and cords.

One option is having a versatile multi-tool that can help you to stay put and cut or fix what is needed without having to run back to your toolbox. A last-minute adjustment typically requires a quick fix, so a multi-tool like the Porta Brace SK-3 Side Kit is always a great idea for a grip that wants to be ready.

5. LED Flashlight & Batteries

LED Flashlights offer a more balanced light and are typically brighter than a regular filament light. LEDs can also (most of the time) be submerged in water and hold up to elements much better than your typical flashlight could.

Another great benefit found in suing a LED light is that it has a long battery life, so you can be sure to get the job done on-the-go.

You’ll want to make sure to have one good LED flashlight and likely several (1 large, 1 medium, and a few small) to use on the set. It’s wise to not only have one LED flashlight but two, as well as extra batteries, so you’re always ready to go—just in case.  

6. Tape Measure & Level

Grips should have a tape measure in their tool belt, as well as a level.

It happens often that a grip will need to measure anything from distance to height while on the job, and without a tape measure, it can be nigh impossible to get the right measurements.

There are plenty of options available on the market but the best Chicago film grips usually go for a self-retracting model that offers at least 50 feet for the bigger jobs.

7. Laser Pointer

laser pointer

Working on set as a grip will mean that you’ll find yourself needing to improvise often. You’ll often need to point out things or spots where you need something to happen or a specific item.

A laser pointer that is red or green can help you to show where work or focus is necessary. When the set is dark, red can be an ideal color for your pointer. In spaces with a lot of sun or light, green laser pointers are ideal and also easy to see.

8. Chalk & Permanent Markers

chalk and markers

Top grips will typically have chalk or permanent markers in their pockets or tool bags. These items are necessary for everything from updating a clapper to marking gear and containers.

Chalk can also be used to mark spots on-set and also to affix gaffer tape. Permanent markers are handy for writing on the tape as needed so you can keep everything organized.  

9. Headset for Two-Way Communication

on set headset

Not all grips will carry a headset but you’ll want one that is reliable and comfortable to wear so you can use it while working on set. A headset means that you can easily stay in touch with your team while still working the job.

It helps you to stay on the job and move comfortably while still taking care of things. Whether it’s a single ear or dual-ear, in-ear or over-the-ear, there are various options for you to choose from.

If you don’t care about having a handsfree option, you can use the PTT option headsets that make replying as easy as pressing a button, without you having to worry about your headset always being on.

10. Bubble Level

bubble leveler

A bubble level is an item that many grips find useful but you don’t always have to be carrying it.

You may have an app on your phone that can allow you to set a level without having to carry added gear but if not, a bubble level is a great option to have in your tool bag.

A lot of tools can get pretty heavy so just having a lightweight one can be beneficial for top Chicago film grips. You don’t have to carry around a heavy one.