Troy-Bilt TB22 Gas String Trimmer, Not quite ready for “Prime Time”

I’ve had quite a bit of experience with string trimmers. Gas, corded & cordless, I’ve used them all, my current outdoor tools are cordless. We wanted to see if we’d been missing out not using gas. I can say with no hesitation I’m sticking with my Ego Power+ Cordless tools.

I learned the hard way the grass isn’t always greener, pardon the pun. What moved me into cordless tools was the ease of start-up, lack of fumes & noise. Gas tools sometimes need many yanks on the cord to get going. Same with this one. This one took more than a few. With each successive stop, more yanks were needed. Then it started to sputter and stall out when idling, then I couldn’t get it started again at all. I checked the fuel mixture provided, & emptied and refilled, thinking I’d fouled the line somehow. I adjusted the choke. No go. I let it cool & went back to cordless to finish the front. When I tried to start it up again for the side yard, it took a lot of effort to get it running. By the time I got to the back grass, I could not get it to start or stay running. It’s brand new, it should not have given me these kinds of problems.

Hubby tried to fix it, as he can usually fix anything. He disassembled, cleaned, & reassembled the user serviceable parts & tried again, following the start-up instructions to the letter. It started up after some effort. He handed it over back to me & when I tried to get it started, it wouldn’t. I gave it back to hubby to try again, he couldn’t either. We were forced to give up. I went back to my Ego Power+ String Trimmer, which started up and ran like a dream, as it always does.

We used the provided & recommended pre-mixed fuel. The unit was new, had barely been used when it started giving problems. A online search to troubleshoot showed we’re not the only ones. I liked that you could build around the engine base with attachments like a blower, hedge trimmer, etc, but if the motor unit is this unreliable, all you’re left with is a bunch of stuff that doesn’t work. It’s loud, and creates a lot of fumes. It has good power to trim grass and weeds, beats corded by a mile in that regard. But it’s unreliable, even when it worked was difficult to start & keep running. I’m sticking with Ego cordless tools. They’ve never failed me. Troy-Bilt has now twice.

I received the above product(s) free of charge for the purpose of evaluation and testing for a review. 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.

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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.

**Promo Alert!!**

SAVE 10% OFF when you purchase 1 or more Premium Titanium Pruning Shears offered by Haus & Garten. Enter Code HGNRZX7V at checkout.

 

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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.

 

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.

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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