Tool Balancers help to reduce operator fatigue

HOSE & CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Tool balancers; making production safer

Tool Balancers help to reduce operator fatigue

Simple ways to reduce the levels of repetitive strain injuries with lift items, achieved with zero gravity slings or commonly known as tool balancers


Tool balancers hold a hand-operated tool in a pre-set position to minimize operator effort during the use of the tool. These dynamic balancers are applied in industrial settings where the worker must frequently use a heavy hand tool in the same position. Tool balancers are often referred to as power tool holders, power tool assists or tool helpers.


There are two main types of tool balancers:

  • Tool balancer “reels” store unused support line on a reel, paying it out and retracting line as needed. This is the most common type of retractor and balancer.
  • Tool balancer “arm” supports are pivoting sections of rigid members. They allow the tool more flexibility to move in the horizontal, as well as vertical, planes.

When supporting or holding a tool, tool balancers secure the tool in place using either a suspension hook or the device can be secured in place using a lug mount. Tool balancers are similar to tool retractors, except that while the balancer holds the device in place, the retractor automatically manoeuvres the tool away from the work area when the tool is no longer needed.

Tool Balancers help to reduce operator fatigue

What do you need to know about selecting a tools balancer?

The weight that the balancer will need to control. This will be determined by the load capacity that the tool balancer can bear. Additionally, selection will be dependent on the travel or reach of the tool balancer. This details the furthest extent of movement away from the unit's zero position. For obvious reasons, it is unwise to attempt to connect a tool balancer to a device above the recommended support weight.

What type of power source is needed?

Typically, tool balancers draw their supporting strength from one of three power sources - spring, pneumatic or electric power. Spring-assisted balancers retract based on the rotational energy stored in a power or "clock" spring. Pneumatic-assisted balancers use compressed air power which is typically generated by a pneumatic motor. Electric tool balancers derive their power from an electric motor.


JSG Industrial Systems offer a full range of tool balancers,

  • The economical ‘BD’ Series (0.2 – 2.3kgs) – With its ABS housing the BD has a smooth exterior with rounded edges, designed for maximum ergonomic appeal. Hand-windable spring tension adjustment knob is flush with the housing, and a push button tension release simplifies decrease of spring tension. Making this series very adaptable to the operators and lightweight tools.

  • The heavy duty ‘BG’ Series (1.4kg – 12.2kg) – The BG features rugged steel construction with black polyester baked finish, a reinforced hanging bracket with forged clevis for ceiling mounting, and extra holes for safety chain attachment. In the BG range you also have the ability of locking, if needed. A positive ratchet lock mechanism will allow locking of the cable at a specific height; a slight pull on the cable releases the lock.

  • The ‘BH’ Series (1.1kg – 140kg) – The BH features heavy-duty construction and a tapered drum that compensates for changing spring rate. It uses direct spring power which means no motors or expensive gear trains to break or wear out. The BH Series tool balancers keep tools within reach and reduce damage to tools by suspending them out of the way above the work surface. The risk of repetitive motion injury is reduced because only a light, downward force is required to place the tool or load in the proper operating position. As the tool is lowered and the spring is wound more tightly, the effective drum diameter increases to compensate for the increased force.

  • The ‘BA’ Series – The BA air hose balancer is designed for small pneumatic tools. Integrating the air hose and support cable together keeps the work area safe and clean. These durable tool balancers provide easy handling for operators and assemblers that work with tools for long, continuous hours. The balancer allows a tool to be positioned over the work station for comfortable operation, and can be used with small air tools. The effortless handling of the balancer provides comfortable tool operation and increased production.

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