Skip to main content

Vacuum suction cups or glass jacks are devices capable of gripping a smooth surface and holding it for a long time. Most often, such devices can be seen at glaziers, but builders and ordinary consumers have also managed to appreciate this method of transportation.

Article on topic: Best Hand Vacuum Cups & Suction Lifter

Are suction cups just for glaziers?

It is not quite fair to call suction cups a glass jack, because they can attach to any smooth or even grooved surface. Sheet metal, tile, tile, plastic – these units will do an excellent job of carrying them as well. The convenience of such a device is hardly necessary to explain – it is very difficult to move a sheet of glass or metal alone, and not because it is heavy, but because it is very inconvenient. Suction cups, on the other hand, are designed like convenient handles that can be attached to any material with a smooth and airtight surface.

In addition to the construction industry, these devices are in great demand in the automated production of glass products, in the automotive and automotive service industries, in the printing, woodworking and food industries, and, of course, in the production of windows and doors. Vacuum suction cups, but of a completely different design, allow the automation of many processes for packaging and transferring finished products in factories. But you can not argue with the people – if so-called the tool glass jack, so be it! Especially because it is really difficult for a glassblower to do without it, as well as without glass cutters of different types.

Design of the tool – glass jack from the inside

The construction of the tool can be compared to the well-known rubber suction cup, which is so convenient to attach various toys to the windshield of the car. And even children know that such a suction cup will not stick if the surface is dirty or not smooth. The same applies to vacuum suction cups, although they still have more capabilities than car toys.

The construction of the tool is quite simple, plastic or aluminum body handle on the backside has a rubber diaphragm, which is connected through the rod to the movable tab on the handle. By the way, high-quality plastic is not at all worse than the same aluminum, so you should not treat plastic devices as amateur ones – many masters use plastic ones.

When there is a need to use the device in the case, the master puts it to the surface and, if possible, presses the diaphragm tightly against it. At the same time, it is necessary to pull back the tongue and flip it to the other side of the handle. This creates a vacuum between the diaphragm and the surface of the material, and the glass jack is securely attached to the object. The object has a convenient handle with which you can easily carry or hold the sheet material in the desired position. To unhook it, all you have to do is return the tab to its original position.

Safe transportation – what if it comes off?

Don’t think that this method of transportation is not reliable enough. There is a certain risk with vacuum suction pads with only one diaphragm, but in
You won’t find them in a professional environment. Firstly, the lifting capacity of a glass jack with one suction cup varies within the limits of 40-50 kg, and secondly, no matter how manufacturers advertised their products, the rubber diaphragm can fail at the most inopportune moment.

That is why in a professional environment single vacuum suction cups are not in favor. There should be at least two diaphragms. A double glass jack can hold a weight of up to a hundred
kilograms, and there are also two handles. In addition, you can be sure that in case one diaphragm fails, the second will serve as insurance, and you will have time to carefully place the material in a safe position. Quite often masters buy a triple glass jack, in which the suction cups are arranged in a triangle – with such a device it will be not only convenient to carry sheets of the same glass from place to place, but also to turn them on the desired side.

There are also devices for all four suction cups! These “monsters” can easily hold even 150-kilogram sheets of glass. Some glaziers trust these devices so much that they even transport insulated glass panes to considerable heights without any insurance. However, this should be a decent margin of the device – for example, if you decide to lift a load of 100 kg, trust it to the glass jack, designed for 150 kg.

Quick repair of the device and some tricks of use

Using such a tool, always keep a soft, lint-free cloth near you, which is very convenient and safe to wipe the surface of materials. Otherwise, the suction cups may simply not stick! From time to time you should also wipe the suction cups themselves.

By the way, the diaphragms still need to be replaced periodically, at least once every three years – you can also easily find repair kits at the construction market.

Suction cups can also fail earlier, for example, if their inner surface is scratched. However, seasoned glaziers know how to repair a diaphragm without too much expense and almost instantly. To do this, always keep a jar of cyanoacrylate glue, such as Cosmophen, nearby. Lubricating the inside surface with this glue will not only allow you to continue using the tool without any problems, but you can even grip uneven or grooved surfaces!

Choosing vacuum suction cups

As already noted, try to choose a tool with a load capacity reserve. The second point is the body. Metal ones do not have to be heavier than plastic ones (if it is aluminum), plastic ones do not have to be worse than metal ones. Although, of course, the metal ones will be more expensive. The cost may also be affected by the design of the body – many modern jacks have hinges that allow you to narrow the distance between the suction cups or set them in an uncharacteristic position, for example, when there is a need to move a stepped structure.

Pay attention to the date of manufacture of the tool as well. Although for most devices this does not play a special role.

It would seem that the number of suction cups and handles has not changed, but the ease of transportation has changed. With two or three suction cups you can not carry the load by two people anyway, firstly there are not enough grips, and secondly, it would be very inconvenient to carry the load. But the same goes for a device with 4 suction cups – even though the handles will be enough, they are still not conveniently located for two people! After all, the cost of such devices is quite democratic, even the most expensive professional models rarely go over $100.

Max Welder

Max Welder

Hi! I'm Max Welder ( I always wanted to work with my own hands, repair something, do things. Now I combine my knowledge with computers and my own knowledge in the field of mechanics in order to understand which tools I like the most. I hope to convey some knowledge and experience.