10 things for a Gaffers Box

May 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

A Gaffers box can be one of the most important things that a photographer can place in his vehicle for location shots or housed somewhere in a studio. While traditionally the word "Gaffer" has applied to electrical supplies, it can much more.  Although your camera specific lenses and supplies will often be housed in one bag, materials in your Gaffers kit are typically much more general in nature. Although the exact content will vary from person to another, below are some ideas as where you may look to pick them up.

  1.  Gaffers tape (Tape that adheres to many surfaces well but leaves no sticky residue)
  • ​​​Cost: varies from $7-$30 per roll depending upon width and length of tape (2" typical)
  • Where: Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama as well as many other supplier​​

​     2. "A" clamps (Many uses including holding backdrops to stands) - Plastic or metal

  • Cost: A bag of various sizes plastic clamps may be obtained for about $10. Metal clamps typically sold seperately
  • Where: Most hardware and home improvement stores and well as photography supply stores

​     3.  Leatherman "type" tool. This are multifunction tools that often have pliers, screwdrivers, knives, etc. all integrated into                     one tool.

  •  Cost: Varies significantly from $20  to $80 (brand name will cost more)
  • Where: Hardware stores, department stores. Typically you will not need a high end tool if used for general photography needs

     4.   Measuring tape (Many uses)

  •  Cost $5 - $20
  •  Where: Most hardware and home improvement stores

​     5.  Twist ties/Cable Ties (Single use, reusable,) MANY uses

  • Cost: $3- $6 per pack (depending upon size and quantity)
  • Where: Most home improvement store. Also look for sturdy reusable/bendable ties

​     6. Scissors (Many uses)

  •  Cost: $3-$5
  • Where: Most department stores; Also consider EMT style scissors which can cut through heavier objects

      7. SuperClamps or Grip Heads (Useful for attaching things to lightstands)

  • Cost $18- $ 40
  • Where: Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama as well as other photo suppliers

​     8. Absorbent and or Wet towels (For surface cleanups and dirty hands)

  • Cost: Less than $5
  • Many locations

      9.  Multi-Plug electrical outlet/extension cord

  • Cost: $5 - $10
  • Where: Most department or home improvement stores

​    10.  Weight Bags (to weigh down stands outdoors or heavy traffic areas)

  • Cost: $10- $12
  • Where: Amazon, B&H photo, Adorama and other photo suppliers

Although technically not part of a Gaffers kit, consider the Vagabond Mini from Paul Buff, Inc. In many places where electrical outlets may be limited this device can be valuable ( $239)