REVIEW – Cleaning gutters is like a dentist appointment: nobody likes it, but it’s a thing that must be done. The Gutter Sense gutter cleaning tool is here to help with a solution that simplifies the process. It’s simple. It’s clever. And did I mention inexpensive? Let’s get to work. To the review!
What is it?
The Gutter Sense gutter cleaning tool is an attachment that you screw onto a pole to scoop the stuff out of your gutters. Pole is not included.
What’s in the box?
You’ll get the Gutter Sense attachment & the pull rope pre-assembled for immediate use. You’ll also get an extra length of the replacement monofilament cable.
Design and features
The design of the Gutter Sense is brilliantly simple. The “tongs” are 10″ long, each ending in a curved paddle that is 2.5″ wide. They’re spring loaded to remain in the open position until closed. You’ll also get a plastic loop to keep them closed when not in use.
There’s a monofilament cable that runs from the base of the unit and through the paddles, connecting the two just above the paddles. Close up here for reference.
A rope is strung up around the monofilament cable at the base of the unit. The Gutter Sense comes with an 11″ rope, pre-installed and ready to go. You can swap this out if you need a longer length for a longer pole.
The base also includes a wingnut/bolt that allows you to adjust the angle of the tongs if needed. Loosen it to change the angle, and tighten it to lock it in.
You’ll screw the unit onto any standard threaded pole. You could use a broom handle or an extendable utility pole. I’m using my 6′ extendable painting pole for this test.
Get all that together and you’re ready to go. You’ll insert the tongs into your gutter in the “open” position…
… then simply pull on the rope to close the tongs and grab the stuff.
The build is plastic and super lightweight, with only a few moving parts. It is lightweight, however, made for clearing loose material. It’s not built for heavy duty digging through muddy sediment. Gutter Sense recommends attaching a wire to your pole first and running it through the gutter to loosen up that stuff if you have it.
It should also be noted that the GutterSense is designed for flat bottomed “K” gutters, with a minimum 2.5″ width at the base so the paddles can get into them. It will not get everything out of round gutters.
In the fall of last year, I remembered that I needed to clean my gutters about 12 hours before we were expecting a massive storm. I was using a hockey stick and, in some cases, a hockey stick duck taped to a pole.
It was a mess. My wife was amused. I was not. I wish I had this thing at that point in my life.
The Gutter Sense is wonderfully simple to operate, but it does take a few minutes of practice. You’ll probably need to work around some of those support rods in your gutter, and spend a little time getting used to positioning the tongs properly. Fortunately, the lightweight unit is easy to maneuver, and the tongs respond with a simple light pull.
Once you get your angles down, however, you’ll get a feel for getting it into the gutter and grabbing the stuff. A bit of a pull…
And look! I found stuff that I thought I got cleaned out in the fall cleaning!
It really is simple to operate. GutterSense recommends laying down a tarp to collect the stuff you’ll pull out. Those curved paddles do a nice job of gripping the stuff so that you can get it to the desired destination. Note the look of horror on my face in this picture. Yuck.
As I mentioned above, using the Gutter Sense gutter cleaning tool does take a little practice to get the hang of it. I also found that the GutterSense tends to get loose when knocked about on my metal pole while I’m fishing in the gutters. A plastic pole or wooden pole would probably get more grip (or maybe a bit of tape on the threads).
The lightweight design is great for leaves and branches (even the occasional tennis ball), but it won’t budge impacted materials. You’ll need to loosen those up first. I’d love to see a slightly sturdier version in the future. A little more beef would easily handle most gutter cleaning duties, methinks.
I should also note that the 11″ rope that comes with the unit will work fine for first-story gutters. Second floor gutters will need a longer pole and rope. Or a ladder, if you’re being extra careful. I’ll get a longer pole & rope for next season.
What I like
- Simple design
- Easy to use with a little practice
What needs to be improved
- Build could be a bit beefier for impacted material
The Gutter Sense Rain Gutter Cleaning Tool is a simple, clever, and efficient solution to a common problem. It’s lightweight, easy to operate, and has a minimal learning curve. And you can get one for under $30! I’m a fan, and I’ll be looking forward to putting it through its paces next season. It’s a keeper.