Detachable Fruit Picker and Basket - Improved

After initial success picking fruits with the homemade fruit picker, I felt that the fruit picking tool can further be improved by giving it an increased catching and gripping capability. Although the first version is adequate in most cases, something's amiss.

Fruits that have a very smooth surface have a tendency to slide out from the Catch part of the fruit picker. Fruits like canistels, apples, mangoes and the like have this tendency. An apple picker for instance, would find that when the pole and the apple picking tool are almost vertical, the the catch wouldn't grasp the apple at all.

The added feature is a couple of prongs that extend at the front and top of the fruit picker. These are just like the prongs of a garden rake. These metal prongs are thick and are mounted on a rigid frame that any fruit can be pulled easily without deforming the prongs or the frame.

With proper positioning, these prongs can grasp a fruit from behind. The prongs can grip the fruit firmly and then pick it firmly after a slight pull.

In this version, I also decided to paint the fruit picker frame. When we picked canistels, it was after a rain and all the tree's foliage was wet. When I harvested the fruits from the fruit picker, everything on the fruit picker was wet - the net, the metal ring and the pole. This, eventually, would likely be the cause of rusting.

Improved Fruit Picking Tool - DIY

The materials and tools for this DIY project are similar to the ones used in the first part of this article.

  • Steel rod (or rebar): 4 mm thick, 6.5 inches long
  • Metal wire: gauge #20
  • Oil-based paint
  • Pliers with cutting tool
  • Vise-grips
  • Paint brush

Making the Fruit Harvester Improvement

  1. The steel rod will be formed into the prongs piece. See the first part of this article on how to bend and form metal. The prongs piece will then be set on the catch part of fruit picker. With a pair of pliers and vise-grips, bend and form the steel rod into the shape as shown below.

    The bar in the front is 1" wide. The length of the bars forming the "U" is 1.5" and the length of the diagonal bars is 1.25". The slant of the diagonal bars is around 70 to 80 degrees to the horizontal.

  2. The dimensions and form of the fruit picker prongs should roughly match the dimensions and shape of the catch of the fruit picker.

  3. With a pair of pliers, tie the prongs piece with the catch by using the metal wire. At least tie them together in 3 places: one at the front and one on each side of the "U". Be sure the tied wires are tight. Any looseness in the ties may let the prongs piece slip out of the catch.

    Here is the top-front view of the attached prongs piece.

    And another view from the back.

  4. Finally, paint the entire fruit picking tool with an oil-based paint to prevent rusting.

    Notice how the added feature in the prongs piece now gives the fruit picker greater gripping and pulling capability when harvesting fruits.

I've created a lightweight apple fruit picker made from ordinary and scrap materials.


Homemade Fruit Picker with Net - Part 1
Homemade Fruit Picker with Net - Part 2
DIY Apple Fruit Picker with Basket - Part 1
DIY Apple Fruit Picker with Basket - Part 2
DIY Apple Fruit Picker with Basket - Part 3
DIY Apple Fruit Picker with Four Catch Prongs

Go ahead, post your comment below!