Purdy on… Comfort

In our second interview with Purdy, we speak to Andy Cummins, Senior Product Manager, about the part that comfort and ergonomics has to play in Purdy product design.

All our products are designed to make a decorator’s job more productive, and a key part of that is ensuring that they are comfortable and effortless to use, so ergonomics is really important. From our oldest brushes to our newest storage box system, all our products have a feature that’s there purely for added comfort and usability.

During the research and development stage, we test product prototypes first with a group of experts who provide their feedback, and then we test again with a wider field of end users. This extensive testing ensures that our products are put through their paces by a range of different customer types with varying ages and abilities. As such, any issues that may be uncovered during the trials can be tweaked accordingly – including those around discomfort and ease of use.

All our Purdy brushes have an Alderwood handle, which was a choice specifically based on comfort and usability. Alderwood is a lightweight yet durable hardwood that crucially absorbs moisture. Unlike with painted and varnished brush handles, this helps to prevent the brush from slipping out of the user’s hand, especially in the warmer months, which also helps to avoid blisters. Plus, each of our brush handles has been specifically designed to ensure ease of use for a specific application. For example, the Dale features a long, thin Rattail handle which is ideal for hard to reach areas, while ensuring the user can maintain complete control and accuracy.

Other products, like our roller frame, were designed to be lightweight and help prevent or alleviate fatigue. Our 9-inch Revolution roller frame was designed to be our lightest frame ever and also features an ergonomically designed grip that fits comfortably in the hand. Grip is something that is also key for many of our other products including the Purdy Pail which has multiple grip options including an innovative coffee cup style grip. With many of our prep tools the grip is also rubberised to prevent the tool from slipping from the user’s hand during continued use.

Finally with our storage systems, ease of use and transportation is obviously key. Our Backpack has padded shoulder straps, an air mesh back panel and waist and chest straps to ensure even weight distribution and comfort for the wearer. Likewise, our brand-new Storage Box includes large 9” all terrain wheels so that it can be easily manoeuvred in and out of any job.

If a product fits well in the hand or has additional features that aid the speed and ease of the painting process it will make a significant difference to comfort over a period of extended use and hopefully prevent or reduce fatigue. Professional painters and decorators are using their tools day in day out, and repetitive strain injury is a real possibility, so it’s crucial to consider not only how well a brush will lay down paint, or how a tool will get the job done, but how the product will feel in the hand after a day’s use.

Will they want to pick it up again the next day? That’s the question a contractor needs to ask themselves.