I was recently helping some Spanish-speaking students with something, in which they had to translate take. The translation I've learned in classes is tomar, but that was interpreted as "to drink", so agarrar was used as a synonym to ease understanding. I learned it was not technically correct, because it was related to the word for "garras", which means claws, so only an animal can "agarrar" something (although, I may have misunderstood).
I have researched the issue, and according to various sites I trust for Spanish (see Spanish Dict's article here), example sentences are given with people "agarrando" things.
Did I misunderstand? Is agarrar technically correct for people? If not, can you clarify why a person can't "agarrar" something (I was a bit confused with the "claws" argument)? If it is not technically correct, is it so widely accepted I'd be understood anywhere I used it, and would it still be correct, even in more formal writing? Is it a country-specific thing? Is there another word for "take" I could use other than "tomar" that would be better understood?