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kitchen/bbq tools for arthritics

msmarm Jul 12, 2010 02:29 PM

Hi. I'm a 60-something with arthritis in my hands (especially thumb joints) and find it hard to use conventional spring-loaded tongs for more than a few seconds at a time.

One item I've been looking for to no avail is scissor tongs with silicone tips for use with non-stick finishes. Can you help with a source?

The activities with the desired tongs range from turning burgers/chicken pieces to turning finer-sized and delicate items in a frying pan/on a sheet pan.

Any help would be extremely appreciated!

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  1. johnb RE: msmarm Jul 12, 2010 04:04 PM

    I don't have any specific suggestions for you, but in my experience tongs are quite variable in the amount of pressure needed to squeeze them (even within the same brand???), so perhaps just some checking around and trying various ones might yield some that will be more comfortable for you. Wish i could be more specific.

    1 Reply
    1. re: johnb
      msmarm RE: johnb Jul 16, 2010 01:46 PM

      johnb, good idea to just try out tongs in several brands from several places. I'll report back with successes!

    2. s
      Shaw Oliver RE: msmarm Jul 12, 2010 04:28 PM

      This is kind of an "out there" post but perhaps you could enlist the help of a handy neighbor or even local high school shop class. They could reduce the size of the spring pretty easily as it's often just a slip of metal or perhaps even help you craft something more custom. Worth a shot if you have the time and gumption.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Shaw Oliver
        msmarm RE: Shaw Oliver Jul 16, 2010 01:35 PM

        Shaw, my husband says the connection joining the 2 parts where the spring is can't be opened without destroying the tongs. Darn. Thanks for the suggestion.

      2. Paulustrious RE: msmarm Jul 13, 2010 02:34 PM

        I have seen a pair of tongs that may suit you. Long, narrow and do not open very wide. They are made of a composite material and they flex - ie no spring. They could be grasped between the fingers and the palm. They were something like this..


        ...but they weren't silicon.

        I wonder if salad tongs would do the job?


        2 Replies
        1. re: Paulustrious
          msmarm RE: Paulustrious Jul 16, 2010 01:44 PM

          Paulustrious, grasping between fingers-and-palm and fingers-and-thumb is what I can't do easily. A scissor motion allows me to use other muscles around the thumb joint to turn pancakes, and stand at the stove and turn red bell peppers to blacken.

          The reason I want silicone tips is to avoid scratching my Circulon.

          The idea of salad tongs, scissor-style, is great, but melting (plastic) or scratching (metal) would be prolematic.

          Thanks for your ideas.

          1. re: msmarm
            Paulustrious RE: msmarm Jul 17, 2010 06:07 AM

            I thought of you when I was in Home Sense. (Canadian arm of TJ-Home Goods) They had a bargain bucket with the self-same tongs. (Kuhn-Rikon) Bought a pair as they were knocked down to 7 dollars. They work well.

            Sorry I misunderstood the grasping side. A quick google highlights your dilemma - nothing comes up that matches your requirements.

        2. s
          Shaw Oliver RE: msmarm Jul 17, 2010 02:59 PM

          Be sure to keep us informed on what you find. We're not all young forever ;-) and I'm sure this is a very common problem for many cooks. Best of luck!

          1. k
            kariface RE: msmarm Jul 17, 2010 03:04 PM

            You may look for something by oxo, the company was started to help arthritics.

            1. Chemicalkinetics RE: msmarm Jul 17, 2010 09:27 PM


              I know you did not ask for knives, but in the case you are going to look for knives in the future, Dexter-Russell has a line of knives called DueGlide which has won a few awards including being the recipient of the Arthritis Foundation's Ease-of-Use Commendation.


              You can buy them cheaper at the distributors instead of directly from Dexter-Russell.

              I am not 100% sure which joint you are having most trouble. I use the same muscle to close my tong and my scissors.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                Dexterknifeguy RE: Chemicalkinetics Jul 20, 2010 08:31 AM


                Thank fo mentioning DuoGlide knives in this thread. I wanted to point out to the readers that we have a separate website just for these knives (http://dexterduoglide.com). If you are interested in finding one of our DuoGllide dealers you can search on our website or call our Customer Service Dept. at 800-343-6042. Thanks again fro spreading the good word! :-)

                1. re: Dexterknifeguy
                  Paulustrious RE: Dexterknifeguy Jul 20, 2010 09:39 AM

                  Just fixing the above link....


                  1. re: Dexterknifeguy
                    johnb RE: Dexterknifeguy Jul 20, 2010 07:24 PM


                    Are the duoglide knives NSF rated? Some of the early pictures I have seen show the NSF seal, but later production seems to omit it. I'm certain they must qualify, but why is the seal missing?

                2. e
                  E_M RE: msmarm Jul 18, 2010 06:30 AM

                  I'm not sure I understand everything written here, but...

                  Could you fashion a loop to one of the tong arms and slip it around your thumb? Then, your thumb would be stationary and you could use your other four fingers to do the work.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: E_M
                    msmarm RE: E_M Jul 20, 2010 07:09 PM

                    E_M, the problem is consistent use of a tool.

                    The primary problem area is the pad of the palm at the base of the thumb - the area you use to compare doneness of meat. If, say, I'm roasting cauliflower and want to turn over an entire 1/2 sheet pan-full, the tongs are used consistently for a minute or 2. After about 15 seconds of consistent pressure/use, that thumb joint hurts.

                    Using a scissor-like tool, somehow I can avoid putting pressure on that thumb joint.

                    I've tried changing hands, but, being right-handed, my left hand behaves like it's about 5 years old.

                    1. re: msmarm
                      _jj_ RE: msmarm Jul 21, 2010 11:16 AM

                      I found a link to tongs with different style handles - don't know anything about them but they sound like they were designed for this type of reason: They have a "trigger" grip to allow different ways to hold them...

                      I guess the other option might be to move away from tongs to different types of tools that don't require squeezing - using a fork or turner instead.

                      article: http://tastecincinnati-food.blogspot....
                      amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_kit...

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