What Power Tools To Choose

Are power tools just Boys' Toys or useful implements that complete a range of garden jobs more quickly, more efficiently and better than traditional methods? Martyn Loach delves into the pros and cons.

Created by Martyn Loach on Friday, 28th of August, 2015.


Of course there's traditionalists who insist on using hand shears for cutting hedges and rakes on the lawn. But they are hard work, and the best thing about power tools is in the name, it's their power and muscle that's used, not yours.

Faced with a 10ft laurel hedge most people would reach for the trimmer rather than the shears. Of course the latter still have their place, clipping box, topiary or small hedges, but then so do pedal cycles – great for short journeys but, when you go to Scotland, a motorcycle might be a better choice.

Hedge Strimmers

If you have a hedge, clearly an electric hedge trimmer is a good idea. The length of the blade will depend on the size of the hedge and how fast it needs to be cut. You also have to take into consideration weight, cutting a large hedge can be hard work using a heavy trimmer.

The type of hedge determines tooth spacing, small leaf hedges require approx 14mm, larger and thicker hedges like laurel require 20mm and leylandii will demand something like 27mm.

As with most garden power tools, check the cable length – you may need an extension lead. It's also advisable to use goggles, gloves and perhaps ear defenders.

A cordless model might be an good alternative, so that you are not restricted by the length of the cord. Less powerful and more suited to a small hedge, an 18V battery pack will run for 35 mins.

After trimming the hedge, a garden shredder will turn the cuttings into a nice mulch. Taking twigs up to approximately 40mm diameter, one of the most important considerations is the noise they make. Specially designed quieter models are available if you don't want to annoy the neighbours.

Shredders won't handle large branches, for these and other larger cutting jobs you require a pruner or chainsaw.

These definitely need respect and safety equipment, perhaps specialist trousers and heavy duty footwear. Make sure the chainsaw length is greater than the width of the branch and let the chain do the cutting, don't apply too much pressure. Be careful that the chain has stopped before putting it down and remember it's difficult and dangerous to cut above head height.

Lawn Mowers

Many people's pride and joy, a lawn can consume an inordinate amount of time and effort, so it's sensible to have a good quality mower. Rotary mowers feature a horizontal cutting blade and wheels make it suitable to achieve straight lines. Hover mowers are more for small gardens where they are light and easily maneuverable.


Key aspects to look out for are adjustable cutting height, decent sized collection box, good cutting width, folding handle for easier storage and safety switch/blade brake.

For smaller, awkward to cut, or uncultivated areas, a grass trimmer or brush cutter is useful. Similar to the hedge trimmer, the larger the cut the shorter the job and look out for these features: a telescopic shaft, adjustable support handle, tilting head, edging roller guide, twin cutting blades and double line feed.

To efficiently remove leaves from the lawn, a leaf blower or vacuum (these can be combined) will save a lot of time and effort, and an electric lawn rake or scarifier will remove matted grass, moss, leaves and other material that prevents healthy grass growth.

Finally, make sure the patio is spruced up with a pressure washer, even the most robust and powerful machines are portable and light to use and the difference in the appearance not only of slabs but garden furniture and ornaments is marked when cleansed of moss, lichen and algae.

Related Articles

Party Night with Forest Garden Products at Hampton Court

Party Night with Forest Garden Products at Hampton Court

Robert Hall was recently invited to the party night at Hampton Court as part of Forest Garden Products demonstration event. There they presented their exciting new gardening products, some of which are available now to purchase on GardenSite and others coming relatively soon ready for the next season.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Tuesday, 4th of July, 2017.

Supplier Spotlight: Forest Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show

Supplier Spotlight: Forest Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show

As a yearly visitor to the Hampton Court Flower Show, I'll be enjoying much of the show's inspiration and fabulous florals this year, but I'm equally excited to see the fantastic gardening range provided by Forest Garden Products.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Friday, 23rd of June, 2017.

What To Do In The Garden in June

What To Do In The Garden in June

At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Wednesday, 17th of May, 2017.

Garden Storm Damage And What You Should Know

Garden Storm Damage And What You Should Know

With high winds increasingly affecting most parts of Britain, many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Friday, 28th of April, 2017.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

Martyn Loach

Editor in Chief

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

GIMA Results 2017

GIMA Results 2017

Robert Hall was delighted to present Westland Horticulture with an award for Best Consumer Product Packaging for their product Westland SafeLawn at the GIMA awards 2017 and who went on to win its top award the GIMA Sword of Excellence.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Monday, 17th of July, 2017.

GardenSite Donates Products To Love Your Garden

GardenSite Donates Products To Love Your Garden

Many of you will have seen the latest episode of the popular ITV series 'Love Your Garden', but did you spot the three items that Robert Hall from GardenSite donated to help transform a Salford garden from wasteland to English cottage garden?

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Thursday, 6th of July, 2017.

Party Night with Forest Garden Products at Hampton Court

Party Night with Forest Garden Products at Hampton Court

Robert Hall was recently invited to the party night at Hampton Court as part of Forest Garden Products demonstration event. There they presented their exciting new gardening products, some of which are available now to purchase on GardenSite and others coming relatively soon ready for the next season.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Tuesday, 4th of July, 2017.

Review of Barlow Tyrie Equinox Range of Garden Furniture

Review of Barlow Tyrie Equinox Range of Garden Furniture

Robert Hall, Senior Partner at GardenSite has been selling Barlow Tyrie furniture since 1952 and so has had his fair share of experience of Barlow Tyrie's products, including the popular Equinox range. Robert shares his review of the Equinox garden furniture range for those interested in knowing a little more about this collection before purchasing.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Tuesday, 4th of July, 2017.