Plates can be heavy and hard to handle especially if you have a disability or health condition that affects the strength in your arms, hands or wrists. Our writer and editor Lucy Currier reviews the Buckingham Coolhand, a handy kitchen gadget to make getting plates out of the microwave easier.
Eating food is something we all need to do but if you have an illness or a disability eating and preparing food can be difficult. Buckingham Healthcare has created the Buckingham Coolhand to make transferring plates in and out of the microwave easier for people who find plates challenging to hold and lift.
My plates always wobble when I lift them. This is due to a lack of strength and fine motor skills. The Buckingham Coolhand was created with arthritis in mind but could also help people with a range of hand, wrist or arm issues.
What is the Buckingham Coolhand?
The Buckingham Coolhand has a soft handle and a funny-shaped head with one prong on the top and two underneath. These prongs, which have blue rubber grips, are what attach to your plates.
Opening up the packaging, pictured below was hard. The cellophane came off easily enough but the cable tie holding the product to the packaging was very tight. If you do have hands that lack strength or movement you may need someone to help you.
Using the Buckingham Coolhand
The Buckingham Coolhand is for use with microwaves only. The packaging instructions warn against oven use, which is a shame but I’m guessing that is because the product is made of plastic and high temperatures would melt it!
To use, position the product slightly above your plate with the two prongs on either side underneath the middle one, located in the centre. Then slide the Buckingham Coolhand underneath the plate with your thumb in the thumb groove.
This helps distribute the weight of the plate throughout your hand and arm, which keeps it stable. Slide the prongs underneath the plate as far as it will go.
The Coolhand is really comfortable to hold, the grip is soft but surprisingly firm and non-slip. It did take me a few tries to get the angle right to get the maximum hold on the plate above.
The packaging states not to use on plates thicker than 8mm. I have no idea how thick my dinner plates are so that might’ve been why it was harder. After a couple of tries, I could successfully lift the dinner plate off my desk but it was definitely easier with a smaller plate.
I left my microwave door in the photo as when getting plates out of a microwave as opposed to practising on a desk surface. It is important to remember to angle yourself so that you have somewhere to put the plate down.
The Coolhand helped enormously with my grip but plates, especially with food on would be far too heavy to carry to a table so plan ahead.
Who would benefit from using this product?
This is a handy product that is easy to use, lightweight and assists with grip and strength. Anyone who has limited hand or arm function would benefit from this product as long as they have the dexterity to hold it and can move quickly enough to transfer plates to and from a flat surface.
This is why I didn’t attempt to hold a plate with actual food on it. My movements are slower so I was finding the plates heavy by the time I set them down empty.
If you are finding that plates are hard to grip then this is the product for you and is a thousand times better than struggling with oven gloves.
Transferring bowls with the Buckingham Coolhand
The product instructions state it is for use with plates only. However, as I mostly use bowls as I find it easier to hold onto the edges of them.
I wanted to try and it is possible. I think they say plates only because the product is designed to be used on a flat rim. To use with a bowl you have to hold it at an angle and leverage with your thumb a bit more.
If you can see my photo above, you will see that I have it positioned almost like a spoon in a bowl. I do not have my hand in the correct position as I needed my good, right hand to take the photo and I do not have the dexterity in my left to hold the handle effectively.
Would I recommend this product?
Absolutely, it’s small, lightweight and therefore easy to handle. It protects your hands from hot food and removes the strain of using a microwave. It may even improve pain and fatigue as you will not be using so much energy when moving food from A to B. Now we just need an oven version.
You can buy the Buckingham Coolhand hot plate holder from our shop for £5.95.
By Lucy Currier
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