Niki Preston's Monthly Review - Bypass Secateurs and Hedge Shears.

Published on: 12/10/2015

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Welcome to my very first Wolf-Garten garden tools trials blog. This is a fabulous year-long project that I am really over-whelmed to be part of. Over the next year I will trialling all sorts of Wolf-Garten gardening tools from my own unique perspective. For those of you who are new to my blog, I am a disabled gardener with an ambition to inspire everyone to give gardening a go; it’s great for your health and I hope to prove there are no barriers to gardening. I have two fingers, severe arthritis, no proper hips which makes walking and standing for long periods very difficult and painful. However once in my garden I forget all this and get totally lost in my gardening. I have tested many different garden tools over the past few years in my mission to find the best tools for anyone but also those with disabilities, back problems, visual impairments anything really and I have been so very lucky to have been asked by Wolf-Garten to trial their tools and give my honest opinions here on my blog. I hope you will enjoy this journey with me. Right then, enough waffle let’s get on with it…

Product one: Bypass secateurs.

Well what can I say? Amazing! Wow! Wonderful! And any other outstanding descriptions you can think of. I know that all sounds too far-fetched but trust me I have tried nearly every pair of secateurs I can get my hands on and have simply never been able to use them, but these were incredible. Firstly I love the Wolf-Garten colours -  vibrant yellow and red which makes them ideal for finding in the undergrowth even for anyone with sight issues. If like me you are a drop-it-and-lose-it gardener, these brightly coloured tools put an end to that; no more fruitless searching for long-lost tools as these simply shout out "here I am!". The real reason I love these secateurs is the weight and ease of use. I can actually hold them in one hand, and my hand is very small. The great addition of a rubber strip on the handle is a bonus as it aids holding and prevents any slipping. The cutting action is smooth and clean, something I have not achieved before, and usually I get a ragged cut that damages the plant but no such thing with these. They truly are outstanding. My husband James, who has good strong arms and wrists, was very impressed with the ease at which they chopped through thicker branches effortlessly, therefore less wrist and hand ache. I have had a great time chopping back our huge buddleia which I have had to leave to James in the past. Now I can do it he is feeling a bit left out but he definitely isn't missing my constant instructions of "oh not that branch, this one" or "No higher up, lower down, left a bit" however these secateurs have created a new job for him, picking up my ever growing pile of prunings.

Unfortunately there were two small problems for me. The first being the packaging. I found it impossible to get the plastic cover off. I admit though I do struggle with a lot of packages on all products as my disability makes them hard to open, so Wolf-Garten are not alone in this area. The other slight and temporary issue was the release button which I found particularly difficult to move on first use, although after three or four pruning’s the release button has loosened, although most definitely still strong enough to hold the blades closed. So all in all a huge thumbs up (if I had some thumbs to put up). These are my favourite bypass secateurs and they will be getting many, many outings in my newly pruned garden.

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Product Two: Hedge Shears

The first thing I noticed about these shears was the incredibly smooth, soft and almost warm feeling wooden handles. They are so easy to hold and, again, they are balanced really well, making chopping with them a dream. I used them unconventionally as I used them as a mass dead-heading tool for woody stems. Usually I have to do this one stem at a time and it just takes forever and becomes a laborious job that I loathe. Now I can just swiftly chop a couple of times and job done! The little rubber bobbles on the handles are great as they stop the handles coming to a fast and jarring stop. A superior hedging shear in my opinion, but don't take my word for it, as James thoroughly enjoyed using them. He tested them on some conifers which he steers clear off as they bring him out in a rash, but he braved them for this trial and was pleasantly surprised. Any way up, any angle, the shears just glided through the branches with a very satisfying chop, a noise that took me straight back to my childhood, watching my grandparents trim their privet hedge. So an all-round enjoyable experience for us both.

I could not find any downsides with these shears. The packaging was simple and the quality outstanding, what more can I say?

Niki used the RR2500 Bypass Secateurs and the HSTL Hedge Shears from the WOLF-Garten cutting range in this review. For more information about the WOLF-Garten range please visit www.wolfgarten-tools.co.uk

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