At my age, and as an experienced gardener and a man who loves his tools, I think I am reasonably well qualified to give advice on what are the best garden tools to purchase. I certainly have made mistakes in the past but have learnt from those, some have been expensive failures and some have been terrific purchases.
I do review garden products through my Garden Product Reviews site and tell anyone that sends me a product that I will be fair and honest. If you go onto my website you can see I have posted a couple of really bad reviews.
The bad reviews are of course for products I have had problems with, but it’s not only the product, sometimes it’s the company that will not exchange or even answer you when you make a complaint.
A good example was a review I did on a Stanley wheelbarrow. Stanley has been making great tools for a long time and I thought this would be no different, how wrong I was. The wheelbarrow turned out to be a very poorly made Chinese product and when I complained to Stanley Australia they said that they had NO responsibility as they had licensed their name to the company that made the wheelbarrow. Over 2000 people have read that review. I wonder how many sales they lost?
I love Fiskars products, most of my garden tools are made by Fiskars. The product I like the best is the Telescopic Tree Pruner, and the ergonomic fork and spade are good along with loppers, axes and rakes. A big bonus is that they are made in Finland and are a quality product.
Garden saws: I will only use Japanese made saws. The Japanese have centuries of history making quality swords, saws etc. I think Silky are the best brand but other Japanese brands are not far behind.
Secateurs: this is a no brainer, I only use Felco number 2, great for all type of pruning, made in Switzerland and spare blades ect are readily available.
Mowers: I use a Honda HR216 self propelled, always starts first time and being Honda very reliable. My ride on mower is a Husqvarna 26 hp with a rear grass catcher, again very reliable, I find the rear grass catcher to be the best as it does not clog up unlike the side chute models.
Brush Cutter: do not buy a cheap one, basically when looking for one just make sure it is made in Japan then you can be assured of quality, mine is a Shingu brand.
Blower: mine is a Hitachi with a purefire engine, a great machine that starts first go every time – again a Japanese made machine.
Stay away from Chinese cheap imports. I bought a back pack motor sprayer; I thought it would be great for spraying/misting my fruit trees. I found that as soon as the nozzle was brought upwards the machine stopped spraying liquid. After a big fight I received a refund.
Another cheap Chinese product I bought is a long shaft petrol hedge trimmer, I still have this machine and do use it but, I think it will fall apart very soon as it sounds a bit loose inside the motor, another cheap Chinese copy of a Honda motor.
So overall you only get what you pay for, so my advice is to pay the extra for a quality product that will last you and give you years of good service.