Reinventing the Bucket

Reinventing the Bucket

Carrie McBride
Jan 9, 2014
(Image credit: The Library of Congress)

Some designs don't feel like designs at all. It's just how something is or has always been. They are so basic and integrated into our daily lives that we rarely stop to consider them and whether they can or should be improved. One everyday tool recently received some innovative design tweaks: the humble bucket. Before you click through - think for a few seconds about what tweaks you might make.

What is a bucket anyway? A vessel with a handle, sometimes a spout. Pretty simple stuff. For fun, I Googled "history of the bucket" and learned that plastic buckets, most common today, weren't even manufactured until 1967. And their design hasn't changed much in the following decades.

Home improvement super store Home Depot, who no doubt has sold millions of buckets, commissioned Scot Herbst of Herbst Produkt to take another look and see how it could be improved. The end result is The Big Gripper:

Another feature not shown above is that there are measurement markings on the inside - smart. To me, the best feature is the "grip pocket" shown more clearly here:

All of these updates aim to give the user more control and make the task easier and more ergonomic. What is most impressive is that the end result isn't a super fancy, expensive bucket. The intent was to upgrade the basic bucket. The Big Gripper is made in the USA by Leaktite and costs $7.48 which is a few dollars more than some of the other 3.5 gallon buckets I see on the Home Depot site, but still very reasonable as a home purchase.

What other everyday objects or tools would you like to see revisited and redesigned? Chopsticks, the mug, the paintbrush?

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