Christmas is a good time to make reference to those gifts you would really like to receive! Here are some Fiskar gardening tools we have tried this year and recommend highly.
Fiskars X17 Splitting/Felling Axe £59.99
600 mm long this is a beautifully made axe, well balanced, a nice weight and with a hand stop at the end – important for a good, accurate swing. The shaft itself has an anti-shock soft grip. The shaft is fibreglass with a good feel and easily cleaned. The blade is mortised into a tenon joint in the fibre glass shaft. The blade itself is double hardened and has an excellent safety cover with a carrying handle, or can be hung from a loop passed through to the eyelet at the end of the shaft. The fibreglass design eliminates the weakness of the older style hickory-shafted axes, where the blades becoming loose have the obvious danger of flying heads.
Fiskars X5 Trekking/Camping Axe £39.99
A light fibreglass shafted hand-axe, ideal for chopping firewood – wish I had the use of one of these when I was in the Scouts! It will do well for chopping brushwood in the garden too. Light, it is easily kept in the back pack. Comes with a neat safety cover and is easily hung up using the loophole at the end.
Fiskars Patio Broom £19.99
This broom head is absolutely excellent. The bristles are tough enough to get out weeds from between our paving slabs and does an excellent job when collecting leaves. With its QuikFit handle which you can use for other tools, it means less space is taken up in the shed and few handles to trip over! Be sure to choose the right length of handle/shaft £18.99 for you, there are several to choose from. It might be best to buy at a garden centre than on the web.
I was intrigued by the novel appearance of this trowel, and then sceptical. Familiar only with the metal variety, I felt sure that the lack of a metal cutting edge doomed it to failure, but I was pleasantly surprised. It performed very well in the extremely dry soil of my garden this summer, and has continued to be perfectly satisfactory so far this autumn, but due to the continuing lack of serious rainfall I haven’t been able to test it in genuinely wet, heavy soil.
Perversely, one of its good points is also a weakness. It weighs almost nothing, which has led me to forget its presence several times and throw it into the compost heap. I think it would benefit from being produced in a brighter colour as at the moment it’s only too easy to lose if it’s lying on the ground, or in a heap of weeds. (A red ribbon fed through the hanging hole would work (Ed)).
So, it’s Fiskars for us this year and for some of our friends in 2012!
Reviewed by John Reynolds, Katie Longland & Janet Hamer, contributing authors