Some gardening jobs cannot be avoided. Hedges have to be cut, grass has to be mown and leaves have to be raked up. Do power tools make the job easier, or are they just expensive, tiring and noisy?
My favourite job in the garden is cutting the box hedge at the back of my house. It’s not a huge job, but with a cordless hedge trimmer it’s a breeze. It’s not too noisy either. I really dislike having my summer evenings ruined by noisy power tools – either my own or my neighbours.
So my lawn never gets properly edged because I don’t like my grass trimmer. It’s a faff to use as the cord is forever knocking over my border plants and it’s really noisy. The lawn shears come out every time, even though I don’t do a particularly neat job with them.
And leaves on the lawn get mown up or raked up – no leaf blower vac for me! My neighbour loves to use his blower-vac; not only is the noise irritating, but I’m convinced the job would be quicker and easier using a rake.
Cordless tools are a big improvement
Which? members are increasingly opting for cordless, battery-powered garden tools and I’m a convert too. After slicing through the cord of my hedge trimmer, I invested in a cordless, battery-powered hedge trimmer. It was a bit more expensive than a corded machine, but it is so much nicer to use. In fact, it got me to seriously think about buying a battery-powered lawn mower. Unfortunately, they’re outside of my price range at the moment!
Would I get a cordless grass trimmer? No. It will still be quite noisy and it’s a clumsy solution to edging. Cutting the tall grass that the lawn mower misses is a fiddly task at best, but at least with shears I can get some precision and peace at the same time.
Better to ditch power tools completely?
Some people advocate only using hand tools in the garden. They’re fans of the quiet and the exercise. But using hedging shears is too labour intensive and causes a lot of blisters for me.
My electric lawnmower is a must as well, but leaf blowers and grass trimmers? I’m definitely a fan of leaving these in the shed and going ‘old school’ with a rake and lawn shears. And I can certainly live without a garden shredder, even though it means a lot of effort to dispose of branches and other garden debris.
So what garden power tools could you do without? Is it the noise or something else that gets your goat? Are there some jobs that you couldn’t tackle without a power tool?