Some door and board lifters have added features which should improve their effectiveness for certain jobs. The features you’ll find most beneficial will depend on what you use the lifter for, and how often. Lifters with additional features are usually more expensive than standard lifters.
Door and board lifters with a ratcheted lock
These are sometimes called lift and lock lifters. They lock in position when you remove your foot, and remain at that height. This allows you to move around and leave the sheet while it is kept in place. The lock is released by simply pressing the release lever.
Door and board lifters with a roller pivot point
Lifters with a roller pivot point can move a sheet back and forth across a surface, as well as lift it. This should save you time if you have to make slight adjustments to the position. Standard lifters will usually need to be moved by hand to get them into the correct positions.
Door and board lifters with a swivel pivot point
These lifters allow you to pivot a sheet from left to right, as well as up and down. This should make adjusting the position of the board easier than with a static lifter, but in different way to that of the roller lifter. These also have the advantage of having a tilt-compensating lift shelf, which means the sheet will always be supported vertically, whereas other lifters may tilt the sheet slightly as it is lifted.
Door and board lifters with an extendable lift shelf
Some door and board lifters have a lift shelf which can be extended. When the lifter is extended it can be used to lift a sheet of material higher than it would when set at its original length. However, extending the lift shelf moves it further from the pivot point, which means a bit more effort is required to lift the weight.
Door and board lifters with foot guards
Quite a few door and board lifters will have a strip of metal which goes over the lifter and acts as a foot guard, sometimes called a foot clasp or strap. This should help to keep your foot in place when operating the lifter. Some foot guards can be adjusted, to suit different sizes of footwear.
Door and board lifters with non-slip footpads
Quite a lot of door and board lifters have some kind of non-slip surface on their footpad. This should make it easier to hold the lifter in place with your foot, reducing the chance of slipping.
Door and board lifters with built-in accessories
Some door and board lifters have built-in accessories which will allow them to be used as different tools, not just lifters. This includes lifters which have a built-in plasterboard rasp, for smoothing cut plasterboard edges, and even a bottle opener, for when you need a refreshment break.
Other accessories include a plasterboard hook, for adjusting a sheet of plasterboard into place when fitting. The hook works as an extension of your arm so you can reach the edge of a board easier. You can hook the edge of a board with the lifter and us it to pull it into place.
Door and board lifters with a hanging hole
Many door and board lifters have a hole at the footpad end. This can be used to hang the lifter, so it can be stored safely and out of the way.