I really haven't had much of a problem lifting cake layer until lately. The cakes that I normally bake are all round cakes, and I've grown rather used to the shape, size, strength, and durability of the cake so I have no issues with that. My hand can - almost - cover the whole top of the cake, thus making it easier to lift and flip...or whatever. But in my last two cake decorating classes I had to bake 9 x 13 inch cakes, which required a little finesse on my part. In our first class we learned to torte (cutting a cake in half horizontally to make 2 layers) and ever since then all my cakes are like that. Well the 9 x 13 was no exception, but it was so much longer and not quite as durable and sturdy as the round cakes so it was a little more difficult. Here comes the finesse.....The first one I made I ended up having my fiancee help me out with the lifting, using 4 spatulas....and it worked, but I knew there had to be a better way. Then I remembered the cake lifter.
It was much easier to use than I would have imagined.
If the above picture doesn't convince you I took a picture of me lifting it higher above the carrying case.