Winbag gives installs a lift

We see lots of new products that are full of sophisticated new technology, but sometimes really simple things can have just as big an impact on the work. The Winbag is just such a product. When I saw it at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta in August, I couldn’t help thinking, “What a great idea!” Now, after having used it in a wide variety of tasks, I just keep thinking of more uses.

So, what is it?

The Winbag is a heavy-duty vinyl air bag with a short hose, a valve and an inflator bulb. It looks very much like part of a blood pressure testing cuff. You pump it up with the bulb and release the pressure with the push-button valve. The idea is to use the Winbag any place you need controlled moving pressure. Think of it as a substitute for pry bars, wedges, extra helpers, you name it.

Manufactured in Denmark, the Winbag is rated to lift up to 220 pounds. If you are installing kitchen cabinets, for example, put a Winbag under the cabinet, pump it up to level the box, then adjust leg levelers or add shims as necessary. No damage from prying or hammering. The same principle applies for almost anything that needs to be shifted into position for level or plumb, such as windows, appliances, workbenches, whatever.

Does it really work?

The heavy-duty bag works in spaces from 3/32 inch to 2 inches, but other than that, I found few limitations for the device. One of first things I lifted with the Winbag to test it was the 125-pound blacksmith anvil in my shop. No problem. I was installing T1-11 siding on a cabin and needed help to shift notched panels in place around timberframed beams. No problem. I was even able to lift a corner leg of my upright grand piano. No problem.

This is the kind of tool that once you have it, you’ll think of lots more uses for it. Prices for the Winbag range from $20 to $30 each depending on source and quantity. You can learn more at

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.