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DTR gripper life expectancy

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  • DTR gripper life expectancy

    Just a short note that may help someone. I was using the DTR off-and-on for about 2 years without ever changing the gripper. Gradually the silicone was deteriorating, turning yellow, and occasionally would slip despite repeatedly cleaning it free of dirt & oil. Eventually I was tugging, but with not near enough tension. Duh, I never bothered to change the gripper. I replaced it with a fresh, unused one I had sitting in the drawer, and wow what a difference! It is pliable, clear, and now the DTR pulls and holds like new. On Chuck's website, he generously instructs users on how to make their own starting with an inexpensive baby bottle nipple (or you can buy them from him pre-made). Silicone yellows and degrades so slowly that I simply wasn't aware of the slow decline in its effectiveness. From now on, I will be sure to replace it every 3-6 months whether it "needs it or not".

  • #2
    Ya totally, ~6 months life expectancy, ended up ordering a dozen grippers.

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    • #3
      I've been using my gripper like 5 years. It still works fine, though I don't use this device as much as others.
      Started CI-0 with no movable skin and 0% FEC

      Currently at CI-4 with 64% FEC

      See my progress gallery

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      • #4
        Yellowing, over time, happens to various plastics as well. It comes from exposure to sunlight - or more specifically, the UV rays in sunlight. Just keep that in mind if you're storing your device near a window when not in use. What's probably a bigger factor in its degradation is washing it after every use. Doing so is, of course, necessary, but eventually the surface of the silicone does smooth out to the point that it might not grip as well. Just don't use a soap that's too harsh… I suppose putting them in the dishwasher might wear them down faster, so hand washing would be better.

        These things are made from baby bottle nipples, which aren't intended to have a long lifespan in the first place. They're cheap, so replace 'em as needed, I guess.

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