The Story of Woods Powr-Grip
The company’s founder, Howard Wood, came up with a simple invention that started the Woods Powr-Grip brand in his workshop in the 1960s. He invented the Valve Grinder, a product which has stood the test of time and is still part of the Woods range today.
This simple handle attached to a suction cup and vacuum pump was a great aid for handling small engine valves during the lapping process. Word quickly spread about Howard’s invention and he soon started to sell his Valve Grinder tool.
Howard took the idea of the using suction power further by working on a vacuum cup for handling glass—what would soon become the famous Woods Powr-Grip hand cups. These first hand cups featured rubber suction pads, the signature red-line indicator showing vacuum loss and steel handles made by hand.
Howard started selling his hand cups in his auto electric repair shop in 1964 and then received the patent for the products in 1966. The business really took off and Howard started selling his invention to glazing businesses across America.
The next step was to harness the power of vacuum lifting on a bigger scale, so Howard started to create the first below-the-hook vacuum lifter. His prototype was a 270kg capacity battery powered lifter with foam sealed suction pads. Here’s one of Howard’s early lifters lifting a car…
Based on the technology developed by Howard in the creation of these inventions, Woods has gone on to develop a wide range of innovative vacuum powered lifting and mounting products. The Woods business is now based in Laurel, Montana and is led by the third generation of the Woods family.