I've been giving the Midwest products a really good workout over the last couple months, using them both with terrestrial and also marine species of snakes.
Collapsible tongs - these are an absolute must when doing field work, the small size when collapsed yet decent length when put together make them extremely convenient yet useful. They are not in the gentle giant style but for some species (such as Cerberus rynchops (bockadam)) this is actually preferable. With proper usage the risk of damage to the snakes is minimal. Gentle giants - I have been using the short and regular sized. The short are great for getting snakes out of the cages and the regular ones for working with them outside the cages or in walk-in cages. I absolutely love the GG tongs, particularly since everything is internal. Thus, there is no wire for the snakes to tangle themselves up in. This is particularly important when working with aggressive arboreal species.
Super-long (non-GG and GG) - I've been using these for getting sea snakes off from the bottom of the tank and also for field collecting snakes in estuarine areas where the soft mud greatly limits how far I can walk out. I use the non-GG style for the narrower bodied snakes and the GG for the thicker ones. The super-long GG tongs have also been used with the 4 meter king cobras I'm milking now-a-days.
Collapsible hook - another staple item. The advantage these have over ones I've used in the past is that the hook doesn't rotate around. A huge plus.
Restraining tubes - Midwest has a very handy set that all nestle together. Very useful when doing basic vet work (i.e. deparisitising, etc..)
Animal grabbers - quite useful for very stroppy monitor lizards or crocodilians.
Pinning stick - a rubber tubing style. Much gentler on the snake than a simple hook. Control the body with a gloved hand to prevent the snake from writhing too
much and getting out from under the tube.
Gloves - my favorites!!!! I have both the regular and also the staple gloves. The regular ones have been chewed on by death adders, butler's snakes, monocled cobras, vipers and even king cobras. Absolutely amazing. They go all the way up to the elbow and a high amount of finger dexterity is still retained. Care must be exercised when working with thin agile species like mambas, the slight loss of dexterity may result in the snake getting loose and inflicting a bite to the chest. Thus, for these species I use a bare hand for the initial holding of the snake after pinning and hold onto the neck with a gloved hand. That way the chances of it slipping out while milking are less but if it does, at least one hand is protected. I cannot stress enough how useful these gloves are.
Pro-bagger - a very very close second for favorite. This system is brilliant. I have even used it on the big (pushing five meter) king and it is a rather amusing site to watch it disappear into it. This system makes working with the snakes a breeze, not only is it easy to get them in there but once they are in there they settle down peacefully.
All of this gear has made working with the snakes much safer. I don't feel that I am less of a man by taking some prudent precautions. Casualness breeds casualties.