There’s no doubt about it, gardening is becoming an increasingly popular pastime across the globe. In fact, it’s thought 77% of all American households now spend considerable amounts of time cultivating their garden space, whilst ornamental horticulture and landscaping in the UK was also worth an estimated £24.2 billion in 2017.
This sector also accounts for an impressive 568,700 job roles nationwide, which is equivalent to one in every 62 opportunities created in the labour market.
As gardening becomes increasingly popular in regions such as the UK, people are also investing more money in the tools that they use to work on their gardens.
Garden multi-tool kits are particularly cost-effective as they can perform a number of different functions, but how can you identify the best product to meet your needs?
Here are some pointers to get you started…
The Power Capacity
The same principle applies when shopping for a garden multi-tool kit, as this will be required to handle a number of heavy-duty tasks such as cutting grass, trimming back hedges and cutting down the branches from trees.
If you own a relatively large space or have areas of high-density growth in your garden, we’d recommend that you invest in a power tool with a 52cc 2-stroke engine. This should provide enough power to cut through even the thickest growth after the winter, whilst it will also help to safeguard the longevity of the engine and its individual components.
Look at the Number of Accessories that are Included
The garden multi-tool market is incredibly competitive, and packed full of product options that include a number of different accessories.
Whilst there are some product offerings that offer nine separate tools in a single unit; however, these will typically come with a price premium that offers questionable value if you’re not going to get the most out of each accessory.
In our experience, 5-1 in multi-tool kits are more than sufficient for most residential gardens, as they include accessories such as a hedge trimmer, a chainsaw blade, a strimmer and a brush cutter.
These enable you to cut back thick grass in hard to reach areas, whilst also removing thick vegetation and cultivating flower beds.
In addition, having the ability to switch easily between tools will save you a lot of time, effort and money because you will not need multiple different tools.
One consideration when it comes to cordless power tools is battery life. If you are using the tool for multiple tasks and plan to do them back-to-back, you will need to ensure you have more than 1 battery pack.
Most cordless products come with 1 battery, but you can often purchase a 2nd one. Usually you will get around 25 minutes run-time from one full battery so have a think about how long you will need to use the tool for.
Consider the Finer Details of the Specification
Aside from the engine capacity and the number of accessories included with a multi-tool kit, you need to consider the finer details of the specification before making a purchase.
With accessories such as the hedge trimmer, for example, you need to consider the ergonomic nature of its design and ensure that it offers 90-degree angles for safe and accurate cutting at height.
Long reach hedge trimmers have extendable poles which allow you to reach up without a step ladder and the angle allows you to cut straight across the tops of the hedgerows.
You should also review the cutting lengths of specific blades, especially if you’re a seasoned gardener who has very specific expectations when working in your garden.
Ideally, your tool kit should also include accessories that have been designed for safety and comfort, including a shoulder harness that eases the burden placed on vulnerable muscle groups.
We’d also recommend prioritising kits that include ear defenders, safety glasses and work gloves, as this reduces your cost further and enables you to work more securely at all times.
Having said that, however, usually the safety kit provided is of a less than satisfactory standard when compared to what you would purchase yourself.
Comfort is key so make sure your safety kit is comfortable to wear so you don’t end up not wearing it at all!