First of all I have to admit that before I recently bought my first home, I was never interested in gardening at all and just the thought made me yawn! But now that I have my own house I couldn't be more keen to keep my garden looking beautiful and tidy as I am very house proud! I regularly cut and strim the garden lawns but I still felt like my garden didn't look as tidy and perfected as some other lawns I'd seen which seemed to be scarily neat and tidy. I was having a whinge and a moan to my partner one day about the subject when he said "you need an edger" .... a what? I'd never heard of an edger before! He went on to explain what they were and how they worked and I was sold on the idea straight away so went out to a local Garden/DIY store to buy one.
Having very little experience with gardening in the past I had always assumed that all garden tools were expensive and so I was shocked to find how little this Edging tool actually cost me. I had naively gone into the shop expecting to pay between £20-£30 and delighted to find that that 'Faithfull' tool was only £9.99! When I picked it up it was very lightweight which was ideal for me as I tend to struggle with heavy objects and being so lightweight I figured it wouldn't tire me out too much when doing the gardening.
Once I'd brought my new tool home I was keen to get started at working some magic on my lawn and with some help and instruction from my partner I started going around the edge of the loan, perfecting it into a square shape. I was oddly amused by the cleverness of this tool and thought it was a brilliant invention, it's amazing how such a simple design can make such a big difference to the appearance of your garden. The edging iron stayed very secure even when I was getting stuck into some very tough & hard areas of ground so I was pleased with its quality. On some of the harder parts of ground I had to use my foot to press down hard on the iron to get it to edge properly and still the iron stayed in place, it even had foot treads handily in place.
The only niggle I have about the tool is that the handle is quite small which may not be so bad for a female with small hands like myself, but my partner found it tricky to get a proper grip when he was using it as his hands are a lot bigger than mine. The height of the tool is perfect though at about 54 inches, I am 5'6" and my partner about 5'9" and it was suitable for both of us.
The results I achieved from using the edging tool were great, my lawn is seperated nicely from the garden path and edged into a neat square shape just like all of the other lawns I'd seen! This is definetely a handy tool to own and I'd reccomend it even to garden beginners like myself as it is easy to use and makes such a difference to the appearance of your garden.
With definite signs of Spring in the air, certainly in my part of Berkshire, my thoughts have been turning to the garden which is in desperate need of some care and attention before it can look its Spring best. With that in mind, I've been checking out my garden shed and replacing some of the tools which have seen better days, many of which were inherited the best part of thirty years ago when we moved into this house.
One of the tools which, although not quite broken, won't last the coming gardening season, is my edging tool. This was given to me by my Dad, long departed this life. As this is the last link with Dad and I can't bear the thought of it breaking and having to be thrown away, I checked out Amazon for a replacement and as it was currently selling at a very low price, the Faithfull Edging Iron seemed the best tool for the job.
Price and availability:
This edging iron is currently on offer at Amazon for £6.29 plus free shipping, reduced from its normal retail price of £13.02. This is also available from My Tool Shed, also at a reduced price of £8.19 plus postage.
About the company:
Faithfull produce tools for many different trades and they claim all are made to craftsman standards and come with a five year guarantee. Their head office is in Dartford, Kent but their tools are not distributed directly from the manufacturer but exclusively through Toolbank, a nationwide distribution company.
Faithfull claim that their tools are "for the discerning tool buyer who prefers lower prices but isn't prepared to compromise on product quality and reliability."
Having placed my order with Amazon on the Sunday evening, I was delighted to take delivery the following Tuesday morning which is a great turnaround time by anybody's estimation, so on Tuesday afternoon, despite the light rain, I put the lawn edger through its first paces in the garden. For me an edging iron is a necessary garden implement for tidying up the lawn edges where they butt up against paths, patios and flowerbeds. The area of lawn (and moss and bare patches) hereafter referred to as my grass, is sort of semi-circular and surrounded by a paved pathway and patio on two sides with the other by flowerbeds and if the lawn was left to its own devices, these would soon become very overgrown as my grass seems to grow sideways!
~ Tool description and dimensions ~
The total length of the Faithfull edging iron is 100cm (39.5 inches) which incorporates a fibreglass shaft ending in a semi-circular cutting blade which has two flattened areas along the straight edge for the feet to give added leverage when cutting through grass roots. This cutting head is made of hammered and coated steel and provides a 20cm (8 inch) cutting area. The whole tool is topped off by a plastic T-shaped handgrip secured to the shaft by a metal screw. Despite the metal head, this tool is very lightweight, weighing in at 760 grams or thereabouts. (The approxite weight is because the shaft is round and I had great difficulty getting it to stay still on the kitchen scales!) The tool feels very well balanced when lifted and the fibreglass shaft is unlikely to rust or warp, although possibly the metal cutting head may rust if the coating on the steel is badly damaged.
~ Use ~
I was feeling very pleased with my purchase until I began to use it when I encountered a couple of problems and I've yet to decide whether they are insurmountable.
At a little over 5' 2", I'm not the tallest of people and my original edging tool had a wooden handle which over time had warped into more of a bow shape making it the perfect size for me to use. The Faithfull edging iron measures quite a bit more than my previous one and is slightly difficult to manipulate when making the initial cut, largely because the length of the shaft puts the handle at a good couple of inches above waist height and means my elbows need to be lifted well above the horizontal. This makes it slightly uncomfortable to use although I can still get enough heft from using my foot to cut through and the blade is certainly sharp enough to deal with even the toughest of grass roots.
The second problem I encountered, and which is likely to prove more of an issue, is the size of the handgrip. It's too small. My hands aren't particularly large and yet I couldn't fully grip the T shaped handle which is only 13cm (5 inches) across and has two ridges on either side, presumably for fingers to rest in. I can't imagine anyone is expected to use this garden tool with only two fingers from each hand and holding it with only one hand doesn't feel right, so I'm at a loss to know quite how I'm supposed to hold the edger when in use. It certainly doesn't feel comfortable holding the tool with half of each hand unable to grip onto anything solid and for men, this would be an even greater problem.
Although the edging iron will be used regularly throughout the summer months, admittedly it won't be used every day so possibly I can learn to live with these minor drawbacks. Only time will tell.
~ In summary ~
For delivery time, quality of manufacture and current retail price, I can't fault this tool but taking the two minor points I've raise into consideration, had I seen this edging iron in a shop rather than bought it sight unseen from the internet, I probably would have made the decision not to buy.
I may well get used to this garden implement over the course of the next few months and I certainly can't blame Faithfull for making a tool which is too long for me because it's obviously been designed to suit male and female gardeners, many of whom are a good deal taller than me. However, currently I can't foresee my feelings changing about being unable to comfortably grip the tool to use it and I suspect that by the end of the summer this may well have been replaced for something with a better designed handle.
Because of these issues, I don't feel I can wholeheartedly recommend this edging iron, certainly not for male gardeners who would have even more difficulty using this than me. I'm afraid, despite its price and quality, the design leaves a good deal to be desired
Lightweight half moon shape edging iron securely fixed to a Fibreglass handle , lightweight with maximum strength