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Top 10 Grip Gear Tools for Film Grips

The grip’s job is to take care of lighting and rigging a set and believe us, that’s not always that easy.

A top grip knows what it is needed at a moment’s notice to ensure that everything runs successfully and safely.

So, the best grips will make sure to have the right tools on the job, from gloves to wrenches, and flashlights to ensure the job is done right.

We’ve put together a list of what we think every grip should use on the job. These are the top 10 grip gear tools that every film grip on Washington D.C film crews should include in their toolbox.  

1. Gloves – Leather Work Gloves & Fleece Gloves Too

No matter what time of year it may be, whether it’s hot summertime in Washington D.C or it’s during the cold winters of the north, you want to use gloves.

For the cold weather, it’s important to use gloves that keep you warm as numb fingers won’t be very useful on set. Fleece gloves ensure you stay warm and protected.

Now in the hot weather of the summer, using leather work gloves can ensure that you don’t hurt your hands on the job, as you work with everything from knives to electricity.

2. Wrenches – A Lighting Wrench & Crescent Wrench Set

Lighting wrench and crescent wrench- Transparent

When it comes to setting up the lighting and lamps, you’re going to need a variety of equipment to do the job right.

Grips that are experienced know that they need to have wrench sets on hand to do changes or adjustments with various pieces of gear.

You don’t want to hunt through your toolbox to find the right wrench size, so instead make sure that you have the most-used ones on hand to avoid wasted time.

Many grips consider the crescent wrench, lighting wrench, and small wrench to be must-haves on the job.

3. Gaffer Tape – At least a Couple Colors

Gaffer tape- transparent

Most grips on Washington D.C film crews like to use gaffer tape so that they can easily anchor cables and more on set, which is important for safety and more.

With the option to choose different styles or colors, you can pick what will work best for you, whether it’s bold and bright or neutral and balanced.

It can also help you fix gear or mark containers or supplies on-location. Make sure to have plenty on hand so you can always have it whenever you need it.

4. Utility Knife & a Multi-Tool

multi-tool and Utility knife-transparent

Professional grips like to use a utility knife and carry it with them at all times so they can cut everything from plastic zip ties to ropes and boxes, and more.

A versatile tool, you can always make sure to have everything from a knife to screwdriver, so you can make those last-minute adjustments that happen all the time.

We really like the Porta Brace SK-3 Side Kit so you can keep your tools in one place, so you can make sure you get the job done quickly and effectively with no wasted time. 

5. LED Flashlight & Batteries

LED Flashlights offer a balanced light and are a lot brighter than your regular filament light.

LEDs can often get wet without any problems and definitely stand up to the elements much better than your typical flashlights.

The battery life lasts a lot more than a regular light, making this a great option for busy grips.

In fact, we always suggest that grips carry a few flashlights, including at least one reliable LED flashlight. Having extra batteries is also a great idea.

6. Tape Measure & Level

Grips often need to measure areas while on the job so it’s not uncommon that you’ll want to have a tape measure on your tool belt.

Whether you’re measuring the distance between a camera and light or flag and equipment, it’s going to be night impossible to accurately measure without one.

Many tape measures are different, so we recommend getting a self-retracting model that offers at least 50 feet of tape.

7. Laser Pointer

laser pointer

Will you need to point out an area from afar to a team member? Or, perhaps you’ll want to improvise on the spot to show where items are needed.

Using a laser pointer in red or green means you can pinpoint the exact spot so there’s no question where work needs to be done. In bright places, green is a good option whereas, in dark rooms, red is ideal.

8. Chalk & Permanent Markers

chalk and markers

From needing to mark areas on set to keeping things organized, you’ll always find a use for permanent markers or chalk (when you don’t want your writing to be permanent).

Chalk can be used in places where you’ll later use gaffer tape whereas markers can be used on that tape when you want to be sure that everything is organized.  

9. Headset for Two-Way Communication

on set headset

Not all grips on Washington D.C film crews use headsets but if you want to use one, it does help to make communication comfortable and easy.

Choose one that is lightweight and easy to wear, so that you can move efficiently without disruption while on the job.

Whether you use a single-ear or a dual-ear set, there are various options that you can decide on according to what your preference is.

If you don’t want to use a handsfree set, you could like PTT, which has a button that ensures you only have the mic on when you’re ready to be heard.

10. Bubble Level

bubble leveler

A bubble level is something that the best grips like to have on hand. While it’s not always necessary, it’s nice to have it on hand when you do need it.

If you’re not the type to carry your phone and use apps for leveling, a small bubble level could be perfect.

Top Washington D.C film crews know it’s best to be prepared while working as a grip on set.

So, consider investing in these top tools for the job to make sure you always do the job right.