Ian WintleGarden tool advice

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.

Strong, reliable Fiskars tools

Strong, reliable Fiskars tools

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?

My range of Fiskars garden tools

My range of Fiskars garden tools

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.

Fiskars axe

Fiskars axe

 

Felco No2 secateurs

Felco No2 secateurs

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Honda HR216 self propelled mower

Honda HR216 self propelled mower

My ride on mower is a Husqvarna 26 hp with a rear grass catcher

My ride on mower is a Husqvarna 26 hp with a rear grass catcher

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.

Hitachi leaf blower

Hitachi leaf blower

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.

Using my Fiskars telescopic pruner

Using my Fiskars telescopic pruner

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.

 

 

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Ian Wintle

About Ian Wintle

I retired to the garden in 2010 after 20 years in the RAAF and 22 years with the Queensland Probation and Parole Service. Judy and I have been married for almost 45 years and we have 2 sons, 3 granddaughters and a grandson, plus 2 grand-dogs. We're passionate about our subtropical garden and open it through Open Gardens Australia and for special charities. It's a great weekend and you get to meet and talk to some wonderful people. We were proud to receive a Golden Trowel in ABC Gardening Australia's 2009 'Gardener of the Year' competition and have 2 blogs - SubTropical Queensland Open Garden and Garden Product Reviews.

5 thoughts on “Garden tool advice

  1. Julie Parker on said:

    Ian, thanks for your reviews. Have you ever reviewed electric mulchers? Got any hints when choosing one?

    • Hi Julie
      Sorry I cannot give you much advice on an electric mulcher.
      I have a petrol powered Greenfield 6.5 hp and it’s a great machine.
      Electric would be too small for my needs.
      Happy Gardening.

  2. RATB on said:

    Hi Ian,
    You seem like a real Fiskars fan! Have you tried the Fiskars Staysharp Max Reel mower? Let us know if you’d like to test one out.

  3. Barbara on said:

    Great reviews from a hands on gardener, thank you Ian. What are your views on the Fiskars quick drill digger. Have you tried one?

    • Yes I do have the ‘quick digger’ and it is quite a useful tool. I imagine it would be great for planting bulbs and seedlings.

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