Picture of Claw Machine Picker-Upper
Claw from arcade machine on a stick with a handle for picking stuff up.

October 2013

*** September 2013  **
I have a project running on   for a real claw machine kit.

**** Kickstarter ends July 2nd  *****

Here is a video of it in action:

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Step 1: Get Stuff  

Picture of Get Stuff   
The main thing is the claw.  I had a hard time finding these and had to go to a supplier in China. 
I've posted them on amazon here:
Claw Machine / Crane Game -- Actual Claw  (note: this is a link to my own thing on

The other parts are:
  • 1" PVC pipe
  • Stiff wire
  • A spring (optional)
  • A nut and bolt (size 10-24, length is not critical, a  little smaller diameter is okay)
  • Electrical tape
  • Thin strips of wood - for handle (or something better)
  • Plumbers strap - for handle (or something better)
  • Black spray paint

Step 2: Take apart claw

Picture of Take apart claw
The claw comes with some guts, a big solenoid, a string, and a cable.
  • Undo the two screws
  • Pry off the top cover
  • Remove the solenoid coil and string

Step 3: Remove center post

Picture of Remove center post
Undo the crew that holds the center post (that would be going through the solenoid)  to a metal triangle at the crux of the claw.

Step 4: Replace with wire and new bolt

Picture of Replace with wire and new bolt
  • Cut a length of stiff wire, maybe 3 feet, it should be longer than the final length of the picker upper.
  • Thread this through the hole created when you removed the center post and screw
  • Put a bolt in the hole
  • Loop the wire around the bolt, such that it is held in place at the crux
Note: this shows copper wire.  A stiff steal wire, 'mechanics wire' is better.

Step 5: Test that out

Picture of Test that out
When you pull the wire the claw should close.  Release the wire and it opens.
abbas10152 years ago
blizatrex2 years ago
nifty instructable. i did find claws a bit cheaper on
adale1232 years ago
too much green..aka money
marc.cryan (author)  adale1232 years ago
Yeah I know -- this is pretty big claw, maybe I can find a smaller/cheaper one....
marc.cryan (author) 2 years ago
I can't get the video to show up.....
In YouTube, click the 'share' tab, then click 'embed' and copy that code. Then, paste that code into our editor with the 'embed media' button in the rich editor.
marc.cryan (author)  mikeasaurus2 years ago
thanks -- the video shows up in the android app on my phone, it is just blank space using chrome on an ubuntu desktop pc .... must be time for an update.