Canning-jar lifters are designed with a variety of grabbing mechanisms and can be used as glaze tongs (1). Lifters are sized to fit canning jars (about 2½ to 3½ inches in diameter), but they can open larger and some can close smaller. Traditional glazing tongs are perfect for simultaneously dipping the inside and outside of a pot or for grasping the top of a pot to dip upright. My goal was to grasp a pot at its foot (see 3), then glaze the outside by dipping it upside down into a bucket of glaze. 

1 Various canning-jar lifters.2 Slide-type, one-hand vintage lifter.

3 The shape of this foot is easiest to grab with this variety of lifters.

Some factors to consider when choosing a canning-jar lifter:

  • Rigidity/flexibility: Some lifters are rigid like glaze tongs, but the teeth or prongs are oriented parallel rather than at 90° (preferable for some pots) and could open to 7 inches. Others (including slide-style lifters (2)) have prongs or wires attached to thick wires, some of which are flexible enough to bend to narrow or widen the gap between the prongs.
  • Areas of contact: Points, short sections of wire, or curved bars are the most common designs. Some grab both inside and outside of a wall, some at various points around the pot.
  • Types of contact: Some canning lifters have points, while others have a wire/bar that makes contact with as much as 2 or 3 inches of the pot during use.
  • Clamping mechanism: Some lifters require one or two hands to press the handles together; others have a sliding wire that clamps the prongs and can be held with one hand. 
  • Cushioning: Dipping the contact points into a liquid rubber or silicone can lessen the stress exerted on delicate pots, although it will increase the surface area that will not be glazed (and will need to be touched up).