Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tool Time 1 - What works and What Doesn't

Spray nozzles - something has to go on the end of the hose. The metal one on the left came with the house and has been working fine. We had another metal one that had a part pop off or rust off so we tried the green, cheap, plastic one on the right. Don't do it - plastic cracks where the metal is and they don't function correctly. My favorite is the nozzle in the middle for a couple reasons. Price is right. It is brass so it doesn't really rust. No parts to hinge or pop off. Easy to operate because you can grip the twisty part with gloves on and it twists to adjust the spray and you don't have to hold it or loop a metal loop (that falls off) to hold it open. It is a hands down winner. Walmart has them for a little over $2.

Rakes (rostrillos) - the one on the left is Jeff's favorite despite the fact that the tines have bent. He pulls vines with it and moves twigs and plant material around. We got the thatch rake on the right first, and it is wonderful for really heavy thatching or "pull everything out of the ground" clearing. Note that the tines are really bent. It has an adjustment so you can adjust the angle the tines are to the ground which is great when you are on a slope. It is too heavy for me but would be a good tool if it were lighter and smaller.

We have had 3 shovels. The first one had a wood handle that snapped where it joined the metal. We got the one on the right next, with a fiberglass-type handle. I like it because it is light for a normal size shovel. It is about to break though so there are certain things to use it for and other things I don't use it for. Jeff got the one on the left with the beefed up handle. Note that the metal is much longer and puts the stress point in a less stressful spot! Unfortunately it is too heavy for me.

These are great pruners but they have design flaws. On my first pair the handles simply fell off! Yes I was pruning things too big, sure I was swinging them to knock twiggy dead stuff off the orange trees, but the handles? I returned them and got another pair. This time the handles were designed a little differently. The grippy part is shorter (first pair had long ones that pulled out when they shouldn't have). What is nice about these pruners is the gearing. It makes a big difference. You can prune bigger stuff than you should with them and not feel it in your hands as much. Unfortunately the handles still fall off unless you duct tape them!

Good gearing. Bad for the handle to pull out. The shorter grip was an improvement, but come on - the handles still pull out. Even with the problems I can say this is a very useful tool and the gearing is what makes it great.

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