THE POWER PILL GRINDER
© 2010 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Many of us, at one time or another, have had to grind down pills. Perhaps they are too large, or simply, too hard to swallow. Up to now the only way to accomplish this task was to use a hammer, or a manual twist masher found on many pill splitters. In either case these methods leave large clumps and are difficult to operate, especially for seniors with wrist problems.
(TIP: Before crushing any pill, discuss which pills may be crushed with your physician. Remember, this gadget is for powder based pills & tablets only.)
Variant Products, Ltd., has developed the VitaCarry®, an electric pill crusher powered by three AAA batteries. This device, about the size of two stacked cell phones, is small enough to travel with you. Operation is simple. Slide the upper pill compartment lid away from the device, now revealing the crusher’s blades and pill chamber. Place one, or two pills in the chamber making sure that they do not exceed the height of the compartment since the lid needs to slide back over the chamber before it will function. If necessary, reduce the pill size by splitting it. Never use time-release, liquid filled capsules, gel caps, or hard coated pills. Such medications will loose their effectiveness, not to mention the mess and damage that may occur. Now, slide the lid back in place and press the blue power button below the lid. You can observe the pulverization process thru the round window. Once all the powder has dropped thru to the chamber below, press the power button again to stop the crushing cycle. Directly below the pill compartment is a slide-out collection tray now containing the pill powder and ready for use. Pet owners can remove the collection tray and replace it with a flat lid. Sliding this lid open allows the grounded medication to be spread over their food.
(TIP: All removable parts are dishwasher safe. Be sure to place these items in a dishwasher basket designed for small items, and in the top section of the washer for minimum heat exposure.)
I tested the VitaCarry® with several large pills, none of which required reduction in size. In several seconds the desired result was achieved. Cleaning the device, however, is another story. While I had little difficulty, I could see someone with arthritis may. The process requires complete removal of the lid, a plastic trim strip and the cutter module. The cutter module could prove to be the difficult one as it does require a good grip. When reinstalling, care must be taken to match up the small plastic guides with the chamber. Since they are white, the same color as the device, they too, may create a problem for some.
(TIP: Once a pill has been crushed it may be necessary to thoroughly clean the device before reuse. Other meds may not mix with the previous med and, if used by different people, or pets, they may ingest part of the previous med as well. Discussing this issue with you physician is a must.)
I can definitely see the value of VitaCarry®. It appears to be well built, a good design and people/pet friendly. My only suggestion is that some form of pill splitting feature be included making it even a more useful tool. VitaCarry® is available at retail and on line at: http://www.powerpillgrinder.com/
GADGETEER’S RATING: H H H H H
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer.