Rorabacks “Premium” 45mm Rotary Cutter

Since rediscovering my “crafty” nature, I’ve found there’s a world of tools and accessories that passed me by in the many moons that I was away. One of them, that has become nigh indispensable, is my Rotary cutter. And anyone who’s come to rely on a tool knows, you can never have too many of them lying around for the if/when one fails. I’m please to say the Rorabacks cutter should do nicely for most folks.

DSC_1441

Made from injection-molded plastic, with a rubberized “no-slip” grip, the Rorabacks cutter fit nicely in my hand, and the ergonomics felt good. The blade release slide was placed well, and can be reached easily without having to constantly adjust one’s grip. It’s large enough to get a sure hole on, but no so large to cause had fatigue with long or large products. The standard 45mm blade is sharp and cuts almost everything I threw at it with just one pass. The blade also has a coating of titanium (though it lacked the usual tell-tale gold-ish tint that most titanium coated blades have) should help with edge retention and keep the cutter sharp. It also accepts the plethora of “notched” 45mm blades for replacements. The price is decent (I not the lowest) for the quality and Rorabacks has a “replacement or refund” offer of indeterminate length, so they should stand behind their products.

DSC_1443

There’s a few caveats here, though. The blade has a fair amount of “wobble”, which could lead to losing your line on precise cuts, and anyone who’s worked with rotary cutters knows, once it wanders off that line, running it back can lead to disaster. Next is the blade cover. While the blade safely and securely retracts back to avoid any accidents, I tend to put a thin coat of machine oil on my blade when it will stored for a prolonged period of time (Thanks to Hubby’s almost obsessive oiling of his tools, it rubbed off on me). Putting the cover on is a great way to keep the oil from staining things in my craft box. But putting the cover on and off means your fingers come in contact with the cutting edge of the blade to seat the cover properly, and that can lead to cuts. Lastly, and it’s a common grip of mine, is that the Rorabacks Rotary Cutter is more expensive that the industry-leading Fiskars. Like them or hate them, they set the bar here (and elsewhere) for quality and reputation. and while it’s only a dollar or so, I can’t understand why you would be charging more than the one everyone knows and loves to get your foot in the door? And everyone knows every Fiskars product is guaranteed for life, no problems or questions asked. I can’t see ever recommending Rorabacks over Fiskers for those reasons alone. It’s a good tool and functions well but for the reasons stated above I would rank this item about a 3 & 1/2 star, rounded up to 4 because you can’t give 1/2’s on Amazon.

DSC_1442

Connect with Rorabacks:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Rorabacks. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Hori Hori Digging Knife by Ezy Garden Tools

We just recently covered a type of this knife here, and I was surprised at how useful a tool like this is for little ‘ol me. Not something I would have picked up of thought about before trying, and now not something I can imagine gardening without. So I won’t spend too much time going over what it is and what it does again, and instead do a compare and contrast with the last one I reviewed.

DSC_0408

Like the previous product, it’s a stainless steel tool with a concave or curved blade so it can double as a garden trowel. It is also marked with depth indicators, has a sharpened straight blade on one side and a serrated blade on the other. It’s not quite as high-polished as the last Hori Hori Kife, but that is a plus to me, because it’ll show damage and wear a lot less that way. What I didn’t like about either tool is the lack of a full-tang blade. A full tang is when the metal in the handle extends to the end of the handle, and not about 1/3 of the way like with both Hori Hori knives. DSC_0409It makes the tool stronger, and it will last longer that way too. Where the last version did better, though, was that it was an injection molded handle with a decent bolster so you don’t have to worry about your hand sliding down the handle and being shredded by the blade. This Hori Hori Digging Knife by Ezy Garden is a smooth, riveted wood handle with hardly any bolster to speak of, and no texturing on the handle at all. So while the wood may hold up to impact better than the plastic, it’d be very careful about any stabbing action while digging.

DSC_0410

Another area that Ezy Garden excelled with their Hori Hori Knife is the sheath, or holster, included. It’s a genuine, thick leather with a sturdy belt loop, not the flimsy whatever that was with the other version. It, like the Hori Hori Knife from Ezy Garden, is designed to last a long time. No worries about cutting or stabbing through the sheath. Like the last knife, the Ezy Garden Hori Hori Knife is backed by their 30-day, 100% money back no hassle guarantee, but the Amazon page states “Lifetime Guarantee”, so I’d get clarification from the manufacturer which one they plan to honor before buying. So in the end, this is a decent garden tool with multiple applications, and is sturdy and well made, though not without it’s flaws. I still recommend it, but I would use it with extreme care.

Connect with Ezy Garden Knife:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ezy Garden Knife.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Hori Hori Garden Digging Knife by Sensei

Every once in a while, you get a hold of a tool you didn’t know you needed, one that has become so useful you don’t know you got by without it before. Sensei’s “Hori Hori” Digging Knife is one such tool. At first glance it seems to be a shiny monotasker, and it’s so, so much more than that. Let me share why.

IMAG3242

 

Pickaxes, hoes, shovels, and garden spades all have their place, but it when you’re trying to dig up (or through) tough roots, or you have a very limited digging space (like up against a wall), you come to appreciate a single handed tool that cuts smooth, fast and clean. Sensei’s Digging knife does just that, and more. It has a razor-sharp side that slices and dices just about everything so clean you’d think it was brand-new Mach-5. But flip it over, and there’s serrated side that’ll go through almost anything like butter, in ground or out. Like cleaning up our yuccas. The fronds on those guys also have their own micro-serrations, so trimming them back can lead to a couple of handfuls of papercuts and a box of band-aids in your future. Not with Sensei’s Hori Hori Knife, as it made short work of the fronds and left clean, smooth cuts with no effort.

IMAG3241

Through old rosebush roots, no problem. Cleaning up our sago palm trees? A snap. cutting though grass to lay sprinkler lines? Done and done. With it’s 7.5″ high-polished stainless steel blade, it’s big enough for big jobs, and small enough for ones that need a little more finesse. It’s concave design means it’s also good for just plain-old digging, through even the toughest soils. The contoured, textured handle is injection-molded high-impact ABS plastic, and the tang of the blade runs about 1/2 way up the handle. It feels sturdy and near indestructible. But should something go pear-shaped, Sensei backs their Digging Knife with a 90-day no-hassle guarantee with 100% of your money back if you’re not satisfied.

IMAG3243

Connect with Sensei:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sensei.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

%d bloggers like this: