This is, hands down, the best gaffing systems I’ve used

Tips & Techniques

Any Gaffers out here? You will immediately get this system. For anyone who is new to this, let me share a bit of an intro. (Gaffers, feel free to skip to the good stuff).

As a gaffer, my main job is rigging things in the three-dimensional space. The director and DP decide on the lights they want, but getting it into position is my job. Same goes with rain machines, flags, gobos, diffusers, reflectors and basically any gear you’d need to execute a shot.

There is a lot to be said about this job, but today I want to talk about that magical tape that got us our name. Gaffer’s tape (Gaffer or gaff for short). Gaffer’s tape is that magical tape that gaffers use to stick things into position. “Give me enough gaffers tape and I can move the world” -Archimedes. Gaff tape It comes in a whole lot of colors and widths, but the common ones are black and white, 2″ and 1″. See, Gaffers constantly have to use gaffer tape. A lot of gaffer’s tape. Being able to easily use, dispense and tear tape is crucial to my work. This is why I love ToughGaff.

The kit I used had four parts: A nylon belt, two gaff holders (1″ and 2″) and a set of kicka$$ magnetic gloves.

The Belt

The Nylon belt ($8.99) is the base of the system. You can probably use any other best too, but I like the look of it, and I like how it feels like a full system with the accessories attached. It is made from woven nylon and closes down with Velcro. It feels incredibly solid and resistant to wear and tear.

It is also a very long belt. I am size 30 and the belt looped around me once and half. (I also think that the belt is going from right to left instead of from left to right but this is just nitpicking).

The one thing this belt is missing are some D-hooks or carabiner loops.  Moving on..

The Gaff Holders

OK, this one really got me excited. The Gaff holder ($10.00 and $14.95) is a device designed to hold and dispense gaff tape with extreme ease. Think of a rigid square loop that easily attaches to your belt. It uses a spring and tiny-tiny teeth to latch on. The bottom of this loop is spring-loaded and you can load a roll of gaff tape on it. Or, you can load several narrower rolls, say two one-inchers on the 2″ holder. This gif explains it best:

Since the bottom of the holder is wider than the roll, you can use one hand to pull gaff.

Depending on your team and your workflow, others may also have easy access to the gaff on your belt. Though the system is definitely cheap enough that each one should have their own belt.

The Gloves

I use gloves a lot. To handle hot lights, to move things around, and basically to handle anything that may cause skin injury. On the other hand, there are times when I need to delicately handle things. On those times I need no gloves. The gloves from Tough Gaff ($29.95) are good quality gloves, and they feel great. A good mix of protection while keeping relatively flexible. There is also a special feature. They magnetize to the belt. That means that they are always there when you need them, and are easy to put on or take off.

The Rundown

I love this system, and I am hooked. On the good side are the build quality, the affordable price (the entire set is about $50.00), and the ability to handle gaff tape super easy. The only drawback is the lack of D-rings. For those, I may switch to another belt, but I will never let go of the gloves and gaff holders.

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