Haus & Garten Titanium Pruning Shears

 

There’s always gardening to be done in this household, and an essential part of that is good, sturdy, sharp garden shears. Haus & Garten understands this and sent me a pair of their titanium coated pruning shears to try out, and I’m a fan, with some qualifications.

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We’ve always used Fiskars tools in our yard, because in our experience their tools are the perfect intersection of cost, quality and reliability. So Haus & Garten has a high bar to meet to get a 5 star review for their shears. For build quality, they are on par with the better pruning shears we’ve used. The cast aluminum handles are strong, and have a rubberized non-slip coating to ease hand fatigue. The rubber grips didn’t slide around on the handles either, like some of the cheaper brands. The lock mechanism is a little rough, because the rubberized coating on the handles doesn’t allow it to actuate as smooth as it should, and it’s on the smaller side so locking the shears closed without looking will take practice. It also appears to vary from unit to unit, as some don’t have the longer runner coating that block the lock mechanism, while mine did. The blade has a titanium coating that should inhibit rust, corrosion and sticking. The pivot is strong and adjustable. The action is butter smooth and the cuts are clean and sharp every time.

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Where things fall apart is price and warranty. At $29.90 they’re more expensive than the Fiskars Pro Titanium pruners at my local home improvement warehouse, and you simple cannot beat Fiskars 100% lifetime no hassle, no questions asked warranty. I’m sure Haus & Garten will stand behind their products, but I like the ability to send a company a picture of a failed product and have them send out a replacement immediately, and Haus & Garten doesn’t say that’s their policy. In fact, I couldn’t find their warranty policy anywhere, short of the mention of their “Ironclad Quality Guarantee”. So if you see the value here, than Haus & Garten’s hand pruning shears are well made, ergonomic clippers that cost more than some, but less than others.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Haus & Garten. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Gentle Giant Garden Tool’s Titanium-coated Bypass Pruner

I do plenty of gardening, and an absolutely essential tool is a good bypass pruner. A bad one will make the job take forever and give you horrible results. A good set will make whatever task you have fly by. The last one’s I covered here were the former. These Gentle Giant Garden Tool’s pruners are most certainly the latter.

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With a soft and ergonomic grip, these Gentle Giant pruners rocketed to the top of my garden tool list, and are right up there with my Fiskars pruners. They have an adjustable grip that will accommodate small hands like mine or giant man mitts like Hubby’s. The aluminum alloy handle is lighter weight that steel while not sacrificing strength to power through tough, dried rose wood. The steel blade has a coating of titanium to help maintain a sharp cutting edge and resist corrosion. What they market as a selling point, but one that I’m not 100% sold on is the “auto rotating handle”. Supposedly, the idea is that the handle rotates so as to not cause friction on the hands that leads to calluses and blisters. Maybe I just need to get used to it but I found that the rotating handle cause me to not maintain a sure grip on the pruners while cutting larger branches. Plus, I’m always of the opinion that the less “moving parts” on a thing, the less likely something in it will fail.

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Lastly, I must touch on the price. These are fantastic pruners, and I like them a great deal, and they have a “lifetime guarantee” (full disclosure, their website says it’s a 45 day warranty, and you must mail the product with receipt back to them. Compare that to Fiskars who just wants a picture of the damaged item and they ship you a replacement…for the lifetime you own the product. FOr a third of the cost.), but $35 is absolutely bonkers. You can get really good pruners for half that price on Amazon, big box stores, and home and garden centers. For a third of that price you can get some really decent ones with a lifetime, n0-hassle replacement warranty. I don’t see any good reason to charge that much for simple, non-anvil, no ratcheting bypass pruners. The rotating handle might be neat, but I think they have a product that will give the bigger companies a real run for their money if the just knock $15-$20 off the price. And clarify their warranty coverage. At $34.95, they’re shooting themselves in the foot. They’re great pruners, just not $35 great.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Till Harvest.  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.

Ohuhu Bypass Garden Pruning Shears

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Oh, boy. You know when you have high hopes for a product, and that product not only doesn’t come close, but actually starts to make you angry and far from good it is when it didn’t have to be? That sums up my experience with these Ohuhu Bypass garden pruner. This could have and should have been a slam dunk product, but instead it misses by a country mile and I don’t know what can be done to fix them.

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For starters, the all metal construction should have been a big plus. That means no cheap pot metal or zinc or plastic to fail when you’re deep into a project. Instead, because of the extremely poor ergonomics of the handles, it makes them become heavy and awkward after a short while. Next is this aforementioned handles. The plastic grips twist and slide right off. At first glance the look like molded rubber, but instead they’re just plastic sleeve which offer no palm cushioning and frustrate you no end trying to keep them on or in place.  Next, and most infamously, is the latch that locks the pruners closed. It is so incredibly poorly designed that what it end up doing is getting caught on the spring, or locks the closed at inopportune times, or pops up and keeps the pruners from being able to work properly. After 30 minutes of pruning I had to get my old Fiskars pruner because I wanted to hurl the Ohuhu ones across the yard. It’s just terrible, incredibly frustrating, and amazing that Ohuhu continues to make them this way. They don’t cut through anywhere near the 3/4″ branch size advertised, and it’s due to the poor design and all the flaws and defects. One thing that went from a plus to a minus was the spare blade/spring that came with the Ohuhu Garden Pruner. Unless the blade is broken, I don’t recommend replacing it. The retaining pin, once out, does not stay in for any reasonable amount of time, causing what could amount to a very dangerous situation. These pruners just failed on every point.

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I feel terrible doing this, because Ohuhu makes some truly amazing products that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and used over and over again. But for $12.99, you could do a whole lot better. There’s a plethora of pruners available from bigger companies at lower price points that don’t have the problems these have. I cannot recommend them and in fact recommend you avoid them entirely. It makes me sad that company like Ohuhu, who’s started to make a name for themselves in my home, put out such a poor product, but every once in a while, even the best companies put out a stinker. It’s a bad product from a good company, and they’d do well to stop offering this product lest it drag their good name down.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from .  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.

LifeWell Technologies Aluminum Garden Trowel

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Going back to the garden, I like hand tools best. Not only are they easier for me to use and control but they are a little more intimate than Hubby’s larger, more rugged tools. And when LifeWell Technologies offered me their aluminum Garden Trowel, I was thrilled. I’ve had a few different garden trowels, of various materials and build qualities, and almost all were found to be lacking. They’d bend, break, rust, or just plain fall apart and fail me. Usually mid-job, and nothing will frustrate a gal more. LifeWell Technologies claims this is “The Best Trowel You’ll Ever Buy”. Bold words. Let’s see if they live up to them.

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LifeWell Technologies Garden trowel looks to solve all of those previously mentioned issues. Rust? Pffft. It’s made of aircraft grade aluminum, polished to a flawless chrome-like finish. The edge is sharp enough to dig clean through rocky, uneven ground with no issue. Bending? A thing of the past, what with the thick, robust neck and full tang handle. Break? Did I mention that it’s made of aircraft-grade aluminum? This LifeWell Technologies trowel shouldn’t break even under heavy loads and stresses. So now that we’ve established that this trowel is better than all my past trowels, lets get into how it’s been so overbuilt that it became my favorite.

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A lot of trowels I’ve owned have been just a straight wooden handle, with little thought given to ergonomics or comfort. This LifeWell Technologies Garden Trowel has a handle clearly made by someone who has used the before and knows exactly when one puts their fingers and thumb. It has a rubberized non-slip coating too, that not only reduces hand strain my being slightly padded, but means your damp or wet hand won’t go sliding down the handle and crash painfully into the spade. It even has a slightly elongated tip if you need to pound the trowel past a tough root or two. It’s even a bright and attractive neon green that means your not going to lose it in the grass or tall shrubs. It’s not so heavy that you get hand fatigue but not so light that you think it’ll break on the first rock it hit. “Built like a brick ‘out’house” Hubby would say, although not so politely. I think I’ve found the garden tool I won’t be sharing with Hubby. This green beauty is all mine. As for LifeWell Technologies boast of this being the best trowel I’ll ever buy, it might well be, as well as the last  trowel I’ll ever need to buy. Well done, LifeWell Technologies.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from LifeWell Technologies.  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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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