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Review & demo of the Grabo lifter

Lift and carefully position paving slabs of up to 170 kilos with the mightily powerful Grabo lifter. Landscaper Mark Talbot reviews both models of this superior strength, handheld vacuum suction device and demos how it can be used to lay and remove slabs with precision and ease.

Review and demo of Grabo lifter
Mark reviews and demos the Grabo in the video below

Do I need a vacuum suction lifter for paving?

Vacuum suction lifters are essential time-saving tools and can diminish on-site damages to paving slabs to zero.

If you’ve ever accidentally dropped a paving slab or struggled to slot one into place without damaging the bed or adjacent slabs (let’s be honest, it’s happened to us all at some point), a vacuum suction pump would be a wise investment.

What’s more, suction lifters like the Grabo take the pressure off hard-worked arms, shoulders, backs and legs, which is great news if you want to reduce those aches, pains or even injuries from a hard day’s graft.

Paving vacuum lifters come in all shapes and sizes, from handheld, electric grabbers to large two-person operated lifters to elevate and move large-format slabs.

Mark, who’s been landscaping for 30 years and is Director of MPave Ltd in Nuneaton, shares in his video review and demo below that quality handheld suction lifters like the Grabo will stop you from trapping your fingers or having to roll the slabs into place. He also demos how to use the Grabo to quickly remove defective slabs and to lay textured steps.

What is the Grabo lifter?

The Grabo is a portable lightweight vacuum suction lifter and an essential tool for many landscaping and paving contractors.

Small and handy to use, the Grabo is easy to take on site and perfect for use on both smooth and rough paving surfaces, including large-format paving slabs of up to 170 kilos.

It can also be used to lift rough, damp paving slabs, plasterboard, glass, metal, plastic and wood. In fact, any type of non-porous flat surface.

You can even use the Grabo to lift furniture, as Mark explains in his video.

If you do paving for a living, you’ll see how beneficial the Grabo is. I’m old and stick to my ways, but they have given me a new insight. They are dead handy with certain aspects of paving. I’ll certainly be keeping them, using them – and I do rate them.

How does the vacuum suction work?

The Grabo battery-powered vacuum lifter has an incredibly strong vacuum pump that boasts a pumping capacity of 20 litres per minute, plus a long-lasting battery to boot.

With a foam rubber vacuum seal, the pump is resistant to losing vacuum pressure offering peace of mind that you won’t drop or damage expensive materials.

Just turn on the unit and place it straight on the surface. Once the pressure pump is activated, it creates a strong suction hold. This suction grips and firmly attaches to any non-porous flat surface so you can lift, move and place your item with ease.

The clever Grabo Pro (the new, upgraded model for 2021) automatically monitors the suction. If vacuum pressure is lost, the pump automatically powers up until the vacuum pressure is restored.

The upgraded Grabo Pro is ergonomically designed and monitors suction pressure

What can the Grabo lift?

The Grabo can lift all types of materials with solid, non-porous surfaces – of weights of up to 170kg. These materials include:

  • Paving slabs, including granite, limestone, slate, sandstone, porcelain, travertine and clay
  • Tiles, including porcelain, marble, ceramic and vitrified 
  • Glass 
  • Metal 
  • Plastic 
  • Wood 
  • Rough concrete
  • Plasterboard

This handy vacuum lifter can be used on both smooth and rough, riven surfaces. It can also be used on dusty, semi-porous materials, and rough, damp surfaces.

The seal on the Grabo is just under 7 inches wide (175mm) at the outside edge. The device needs a minimum surface size of 6–7 inches for the suction to work effectively.

Does the Grabo battery last?

You also get 1.5 hours of constant use out of the Grabo battery.

Having used the Grabo for plenty of paving gigs, Mark says the battery is “phenonenal”. In fact on a recent job, Mark laid 600 x 31kg slabs off a single charge.

We used our GRABO’s to lay 600 Marshalls perfecta slabs 450 x 450 x 70mm, each weighing 31kg. The Grabo’s still had loads of battery life left at the end of the day, both had the first batteries in them, & only showed one bar of energy used! Great product!

Once the battery has gone flat, it takes two hours for it to fully recharge until the device can be used again.

What's the difference between Grabo Plus and Grabo Pro?

Although the Grabo Plus and Grabo Pro share mostly the same features and benefits, the Grabo Pro model was launched in 2021 with improved functionality and design.

The Grabo Pro has three main differences from the older Grabo Plus model: 

#1 Automatic on/off switch

Once turned on, when the Grabo Pro reaches maximum vacuum capacity it automatically turns off. But don’t despair, the new built-in pump automatically powers up to restore any loss of pressure.

Sensors monitor and maintain the required pressure to provide the optimum level of suction.

#2 Smart digital gauge

More than just a digital version of the analogue gauge on the Grabo Plus, the digital gauge on the Grabo Pro shows pressure in Bar and PSI. 

The new digital display on the Grabo Pro shows the maximum weight (in both kilos and pounds) that the unit can safely lift at that very moment in time.

#3 Ergonomic handle

If you’ve used the Grabo Plus in the past you may have been disappointed that the handle wasn’t the most comfortable to hold.

Now the handle on the new Grabo Pro is a smaller diameter and has a new ergonomic shape to provide better grip and less fatigue when moving heavy objects.

Grabo review and demo by a landscaper

After 30 years in the trade, Mark was stoked when he came across the Grabo for lifting and laying paving slabs – so much so that he agreed to do a video to share the benefits of the device with other landscapers.

Mark has been involved with many commercial and domestic projects over the years and loves the handiness and ease of using the Grabo vacuum suction lifter.

In the video below, Mark outlines the difference between the Grabo Plus and Grabo Pro. He then demonstrates how to use both devices to lay slabs, together with using the Grabo to remove defective slabs (without damaging the bed or adjacent slabs) and laying a textured slab on a step unit.

Grab a Grabo and save with The Paving Experts!

We’re offering a one-time only special offer when you can buy either a Grabo Plus for £190+VAT or a Grabo Pro for £250+VAT.

Use this link to claim the deal:

The offer includes free, next day delivery within mainland UK (working days only, normal price £12.50) when you order before 1pm on a working day.

What’s included with each purchase?

Both the Grabo Pro and Grabo Plus come with:

  • 1 battery (already on the tool)
  • 1 multi-socket charger
  • 1 seal (fitted onto the tool)
  • 1 heavy-duty, Oxford fabric carry bag
  • A 12-month warranty from the manufacturer

Additional batteries, hard cases and seals can be purchased seperately. Contact our team for more details on 0330 122 1025 or by emailing

The Grabo device itself weighs 1.5kg and its dimensions are 297mm x 181mm x 115mm.

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