Tag: gardening tools

AussieGreenThumb on Camera – Ryobi Electric Hedge Trimmer

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Welcome to my *NEW* Series which I am calling ‘AussieGreenThumb on Camera’. I will aim to provide you with a video post once a month, showcasing various aspects of gardening. Sometimes I will be reviewing a product, as I am this time and other times I’ll be giving hints and tips on gardening. So sit back, relax and I hope you learn a bit about Electric Hedge Trimmers!

Ryobi 600W Hedge Sweep Electric Hedge Trimmer Review

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHBXAJnDepk?

If you want a smaller video size, go here

Product Review – Fiskars Easy Reach Pruning Wand

easyreachpruner

Recently I held a competition where my readers could win a *FREE* Fiskars Easy Reach Pruning Wand. As part of the deal I myself received one of these tools to review.

(Disclaimer – I am under no obligation to give a strictly positive or negative review.) Since receiving the tool I have been testing it out so that i can inform you, my readers, on the merits of whether or not you should consider buying this tool.

The day I received the pruner i raced home looking forward to trying it out. My housemates and I went outside straight to a problem palm tree right in front of where I park my car.

Since we moved in I have had to drive through a branch which was dangling down over the driveway. Though this didn’t cause any damage, it was really quite annoying.

I grabbed the Easy Reach Pruning Wand and set to work. I aimed it towards the highest point I could (some 2-2.5metres above) and in 2 simple cuts I was able to remove the troublesome palm branch. This left me with an immediate liking for the tool.

Since then I have used it at nearly every customers place and it has worked with absolute ease.

Tree limbs which previously were out of reach are now a case of simple removal and this has left many customers very happy.

I even allowed one of my customers to test it herself. She suffers from arthritis and so I knew this would be a real test of the tool.

Her report back to me was that she had been unable to do any serious gardening for a long time due to her condition but this tool enabled her to trim up a few area’s she’d been longing to fix.

A big tick from this front.

 

Fiskars describes the tool as follows;

Fiskars Tree Pruner, Easyreach Pruning Wand is a multi-use tool with excellent accessibility to tree crowns and dense bushes.

Trim overhead without a ladder or at ground level without bending or kneeling.

Activate the great cutting power with a mere slide of the orange handle or when used at maximum height, pull the orange end knob.

When you need to reach higher branches, try the telescopic version.

The adjustable head and the light cutting mechanism ensures fast, easy and safe pruning.

Features;

• Cutting reach vertically about 3,5 m
• Adjustable cutting angle (up to 230°)
• Can be used together with extension pole 110460

Awards won by the Fiskars Easy Reach Pruning Wand

FISKARS Easy Reach Pruning Wands have won a number of international awards including – “iF” Industrial Design Award (Germany) “Good Design” Award (US) “Reddot” Design Award (Germany), Best of the Best “Trophee de la Nouveaute” (France) “Popular Mechanics Award” (US)

I am very, very happy with the Fiskars Easy Reach pruning wand and definitely recommend it to anyone who has high, hard to reach tree’s that need pruning.

Score – 9/10. Priced from $119.00.

 

Fiskars Easy Reach Pruning Wand

Written by Mick Gillies – Competition winner

I test ran the Fiskars Easy Reach Pruning Wand on my fruit trees just to see how well it handles a hard days work.

The tool is very light weight and also perfect for those who have problems with their hands as it doesn’t employ a scissor action, only a pull (slide) action along a long pole.

Using only light force the tool easliy pruned my trees with little muscle power on my behalf. The razor sharp “secateur” blade slices cleanly and easily through branches of around the 1/2? diameter or less.

The “ball” handle does tend to slip from your grip if you tire or apply to much force but when i put on a pair of “rubber” palmed gardening gloves this annoyance was quickly fixed.

The day’s pruning went very well and with little energy use on my behalf.

A few things i would like to note are:

  • * If you consider increasing the jaw strength by adjusting the knot position-don’t.The chances of breaking the cutting mechanism is very high due to its lightweight construction so if bigger branches are the target, opt for the saw and let the Fiskars tool do what its designed to do, prune smaller branches.
  • * Keep an eye on the clamping screws as they tend to loosen and so will need re-tightening. This may only be during the “breaking in” phase so it may not be a permanent hassle.
  • *The metal that makes up the jaws is very sharp but has that “brittle” look about it so don’t over stress it and if the jaws jam don’t move them sideways to release.Open the jaw and move back and forth as your would when freeing a knife.

All in all a very satisfying tool to use that’s both simple in design yet quite capable of performing the task required.

Once again I would like to note that its shouldn’t be used on branches over 1/2? as I personally don’t feel the instrument can handle bigger and stay in working order.

When the jobs finished always remember to clean and lubricate the cutting blades for long life and reliability.

Tree Pruner, Easyreach Pruning Wand

” href=”http://eng-au.fiskars.com/var/fiskars_emea/storage/images/frontpage/products/plant-care/universal-cutters/115360-universal-garden-cutter/7829-51-eng-EU/115360-Universal-Garden-Cutter_product_main_large.jpg”> 115360 Universal Garden Cutter
Description

Fiskars Tree Pruner, Easyreach Pruning Wand is a multi-use tool with excellent accessibility to tree crowns and dense bushes. Trim overhead without a ladder or at ground level without bending or kneeling. Activate the great cutting power with a mere slide of the orange handle or when used at maximum height, pull the orange end knob. When you need to reach higher branches, try the telescopic version. The adjustable head and the light cutting mechanism ensures fast, easy and safe pruning.

FISKARS PowerGear Lopper

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This is the last of the three FISKAR tools that I have to review. If you missed the others, I reviewed the FISKAR PowerGearTM Hedge Shears and the FISKAR PowerGearTM Medium Pruner.

fiskarsloppersFISKARS PowerGearTM Lopper

My first impressions of the Lopper were that I had finally found a pair of loppers I could rely on and the more I tested this tool, the more I felt this way. Lets have a look at a few features.

What kind of Lopper are they?
The FISKAR PowerGearTM are bypass loppers. They work by having two blades which bypass each other in a similar way to scissors.

How do they feel in your hands?
One of the biggest strengths to the FISKAR PowerGearTM Lopper is their weight, they are extremely light but they also feel solid, they are nice and strong.

There have been times I have picked up loppers that were really light but felt like they’d twist in your hand with their first use. I am pleased to say this is simply not the case here, this tool proved to display good strength when in use.
8/10

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Gardening Product & Review – Stihl Brushcutters

UPDATE – I now recommend Husqvarna Brush Cutters. Check out my review of some of their new additions by clicking here or go direct to their website here.

Last month I reviewed lawnmowers, in particular I recommended that when you go to buy a lawnmower that you buy a Victa lawnmower. However when it comes to making your grassed area look good, mowing is only one aspect.

When it comes to keeping your grassed area’s and your garden beds separate one of the quickest and easiest tools to use is a Line Trimmer or a Brushcutter.

When it comes to buying a Line Trimmer or Brushcutter in Australia I believe there is a brand that stands head and shoulders above the rest and that is Stihl.

So why should you buy Stihl line Trimmers or Brushcutters? Read on to find out.

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Buying Garden Tools – Garden Rake

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When it comes to gardening tools, many decisions have to be made. Often there are various ‘types’ of each garden tool, some of which I have covered throughout this series.

However, in my opinion there is no garden tool whereby the different ‘types’ are so different than the humble garden rake.

As is often the case the ‘names’ for the various types of garden rakes differs depending on where you are but for the sake of this article I’ll be talking about 3 different types, leaf rakes, lawn rakes and garden rakes.

his last type is a little confusing, given it shares its name with the overarching type but I think you’ll understand the difference by the end of the article.

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Buying Garden Tools – Garden Fork

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One tool that has become less and less common in the gardeners shed in recent years if the garden fork. However I strongly believe that it is an absolutely pivotal tool for any gardener to own. Garden forks are used for many different tasks. They can be used for shifting mulch and leaves, they can be used to help uproot difficult plants and they can be used to aerate or turn over soil. This is but a small number of the tasks that garden forks can be useful for.

What to look for
A lot of the tasks that you would use a garden fork for require a lot of force to be exerted on the tool and so it is imperative that buy a good quality garden fork. As garden forks have become less and less popular the market has been flooded with cheap and nasty alternatives. Just last week I was helping a friend out and so using their tools. The fork was brand new. I placed it into the ground in a common manner, placed a mild amount of force on the tool and the plastic handle snapped right off.

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Buying Gardening Tools – Pruning Saw

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Another must have tool for any gardener is a pruning saw. Sometimes plant or tree limbs are even too thick for loppers and you need to break out the saw. Now in theory any old saw would do, they all cut ‘wood’, but gardening pruning saws are designed to work best on living plants.

When living plants are cut, they secrete a sticky residue, or ‘sap’ and this can cause difficulty for an ordinary saw.

Pruning saws are designed with this in mind, made with either non-stick or low-stick teeth that will keep on cutting even when covered by tree sap.

Pruning saws also generally come with a curved handle.

This makes getting in and around tree limbs easier which is important because unless you have shaped your tree it is often the most difficult to get to or most awkward limbs that you are trying to remove.

Another big bonus of a proper pruning saw over an ordinary saw is size and portability.

Pruning saws often fold (though not always) and this is beneficial for 3 reasons;

1. Takes up less space;

2. Is safer, you won’t risk cutting yourself reaching into your gardening tools.

3. Helps better protect the teeth, helping the tool to last longer.

As such the first tip for anyone looking to buy a pruning saw is to spend that little bit extra and get one that folds up. Another very important aspect to shopping for pruning saws is buying one which has a replaceable blade.

Though pruning saw blades can generally be sharpened, eventually a new blade will be needed. If the blade cannot be replaced then you will have to spend up big again on a new tool. However if the blade is replaceable this will significantly cut down the long term cost of maintaining your pruning saw.

A relatively recent improvement to the pruning saw range are blades called ‘tri-cut’ or something similar. Basically these are sharpened on 3 edges, like a triangle, and reportedly cut twice as fast.

I myself have never owned a pruning saw with this kind of blade yet but every review I have read has strongly recommended them, so I’ll recommend you look for a pruning saw with a tri-cut blade also.

I am probably beginning to sound like a broken record but try and stay away from pruning saws with lots of plastic pieces. Plastic makes the tool cheaper but it is also rare for tools with plastic to go the distance and last many years.

In fact in many cases, manufacturers make tools out of plastic BECAUSE they won’t last for years, forcing you to once again buy another tool in a couple of years. It makes sense for manufacturers, they need the business, but it is a shame that there are fewer and fewer top quality tools.

5 Different Pruning Saw To Choose From:

1. Bosch Cordless Garden Pruning Saw Keo

Bosch Cordless Garden Pruning Saw Keo
Source: Amazon

 

Easily cuts branches up to 80 mm with one push of a button.

 

2. Black+Decker PSL12-XE 10.8V Lithium Pruning Saw

Black+Decker PSL12-XE 10.8V Lithium Pruning Saw
Source: Amazon

Patented clamping jaw gives users an unparalleled amount of control for accurate pruning.

 

3. Model 600 Pruning Saw

Model 600 Pruning Saw
Source: Amazon

Can cut branches up to 4 inches in diameter.

 

4. Felco Folding Saw (F 600) – Classic Tree Pruning Saw with Pull-Stroke Action

Felco Folding Saw (F 600) - Classic Tree Pruning Saw with Pull-Stroke Action
Source: Amazon

The Felco 600 folding pull stroke pruning saw’s conical blade and skillfully designed teeth geometry removes clogging and sap build-up for high-performance cutting of large diameters.

 

5. Spear & Jackson Folding Pruning Saw – SJ-4948PS

Spear & Jackson Folding Pruning Saw - SJ-4948PS
Source: Amazon

Built with Sk5 carbon steel blade for long lasting sharpness.

 

Cost
Pruning saw range in cost from about $20 right up to $200. To get a folding pruning saw with a tri-cut blade you are probably looking around the $50 mark.

Spending $60-70 will get you a top notch tool, spending $30-40 will get you a serviceable tool. Spending less than $30 and you are probably getting a tool that will last a season or two before you have to spend another $20-$30 on a new tool.

Aussie Green Thumb garden tool buying guides:
Buying guide: Shears
Buying Guide: Secateurs
Buying Guide: garden rake
Buying Guide: loppers
Buying Guide: garden trowel
Buying Guide: spades and shovels
Buying Guide: pruning saw
Buying guide: garden fork

So You Want A Better Garden?

All my best articles have been collected into what I’m calling the ultimate gardening toolkit – make sure you take a look, there’s a heap of great gardening advice available. I’ve also published a series of gardening ebooks that you might be interested in. Good luck!