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  • FIRST POST
    • elaineruk
    • By elaineruk 26th Apr 17, 3:25 PM
    • 57Posts
    • 132Thanks
    elaineruk
    Garden Product Reviews
    • #1
    • 26th Apr 17, 3:25 PM
    Garden Product Reviews 26th Apr 17 at 3:25 PM
    I spend hours browsing online whenever I need to buy new gardening stuff (spent about 8 hours getting confused over which is the best petrol lawnmower for me browsing on Amazon/Ebay on Sunday). Are there any "top 10" style review sites for gardening equipment that anyone uses?

    Cheers!
Page 1
    • Justagardener
    • By Justagardener 27th Apr 17, 4:28 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Justagardener
    • #2
    • 27th Apr 17, 4:28 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Apr 17, 4:28 PM
    There are many... try
    http://theperfectgarden.co.uk/
    http://goto4gardening.co.uk
    • d0nkeyk0ng
    • By d0nkeyk0ng 27th Apr 17, 4:56 PM
    • 460 Posts
    • 168 Thanks
    d0nkeyk0ng
    • #3
    • 27th Apr 17, 4:56 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Apr 17, 4:56 PM
    I use http://www.fredshed.co.uk
    • elaineruk
    • By elaineruk 28th Apr 17, 1:17 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    elaineruk
    • #4
    • 28th Apr 17, 1:17 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Apr 17, 1:17 PM
    Thanks for your suggestions - GoTo4Gardening looks the best to me - good product summaries, categorisation, presentation and ease of use - I actually emailed them and asked them to review 10 best gardening books, loppers, bbq's and hedge trimmers - all gardening products on my shopping list this summer.

    Maybe we should make a top 10 of best review websites lol
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 29th Apr 17, 8:46 AM
    • 23,314 Posts
    • 88,903 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #5
    • 29th Apr 17, 8:46 AM
    • #5
    • 29th Apr 17, 8:46 AM
    Thanks for your suggestions - GoTo4Gardening looks the best to me - good product summaries, categorisation, presentation and ease of use - I actually emailed them and asked them to review 10 best gardening books, loppers, bbq's and hedge trimmers - all gardening products on my shopping list this summer.

    Maybe we should make a top 10 of best review websites lol
    Originally posted by elaineruk
    They don't look that great to me but perhaps I'm more cynical than most. There are only ever up-sides and the blurb reads like bad advertising copy of the sort one sees on t'internet every day, peppered among the dumbed-down news.

    The reviewers .....well, who are they? How are they qualified to make judgements, and how did they test whatever it is? Did they test it, or did they just read some manufacturer's blurb? It ain't clear m'dear!

    Also, one read of their privacy policy means I'd never submit my details to them.

    Which? is the only review site I'd half-trust....and that costs.

    Failing that, Amazon users sometimes give decent insights....and often over-praise their own choices too, so care is needed. If something looks too good to be true on Amazon, there's a great site to feed the reviews into called Fakespot. Sometimes, it's reported as much as 95% certainty that reviews are faked.

    There are lots of 'helpful' people out there, and most of them want your money!

    MSE is different.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • mysterymurdoch
    • By mysterymurdoch 29th Apr 17, 9:58 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    mysterymurdoch
    • #6
    • 29th Apr 17, 9:58 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Apr 17, 9:58 PM
    Forget review sites. Ask people who use these tools every day in a harsh manner, such as myself! I've broken almost everything you could find on the shelves of a garden centre, and have a few things that haven't broken! And I'm not a monster, 6ft, 12st. Loppers - Fiskars for comfort, Bahco for durability. Hedge trimmers - do you mean electric? Petrol? Budget?
    • elaineruk
    • By elaineruk 2nd May 17, 4:32 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    elaineruk
    • #7
    • 2nd May 17, 4:32 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd May 17, 4:32 PM
    Thanks Davesnave and Mysterymurdoch - I really appreciate the time you've given to help me.
    I take the points in both of your email - the reason I like goto4gardning is that they narrow down a top 10 list - I know they are not Which style, but i don't want to pay Which - I liked them because they summarise what's available on Amazon which saves me hours of browsing myself - and like mysterymurdoch says "forget review sites" - correct - all i wanted was a summary for which i think goto4gardening is very good
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd May 17, 6:28 PM
    • 23,314 Posts
    • 88,903 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #8
    • 2nd May 17, 6:28 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd May 17, 6:28 PM
    I garden in a way that's quite hard on many of the tools I use, but really I'm no different from anyone who has a few acres in the country and needs to stay on top of it all. My experience is that many of the tools I've bought are junk, especially the powered ones.

    I'm thinking here of a huge, dual-bladed mulching mower produced in the USA, which must have cost at least £2k at todays prices. It's totally useless. Show it a mole hill and it'll snap its drive belt. Thank you, that'll be £60 for a new one. No fear, back on eBay it goes!

    Then there's the wheeled brushcutter, also manufactured in the USA. It won't take a line larger than the one I put on my ordinary hand-held brushcutter, nor will it cut half as well, so what's the point of it? That's another one destined for the Bay. Thank goodness I only paid a fraction of the £600 it costs new....and that's the cheap version!

    There are two tools that work really well, though. One is my 8 year old Honda brushcutter, which just keeps going. Honda can't make a head for it that will last more than a few months, but others can, fortunately.

    The other great tool is my Honda mower, which is around 35 years old and burns no oil. It cuts and bags just about anything, any time, and starts first pull. Cost me £100 on the Bay. That's much better than my Mountfield ride-on, which can only cut grass when it's not been raining for a good few days. Fortunately, I got that for around 1/5 of its current cost. Yes, they still make it, but I bet they don't sell it with the specially adapted hoe, which I have, so that I can un-block the thing about 5 or 6 times every session!

    Research and Development? Don't make me laugh! If Honda could make a mower in the 1980s which works better than most of those being sold today...... But of course they made it too well. It didn't break, so no profits from spares or selling folks a new machine!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • elaineruk
    • By elaineruk 4th May 17, 10:43 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    elaineruk
    • #9
    • 4th May 17, 10:43 AM
    • #9
    • 4th May 17, 10:43 AM
    Wow - that is so true about things being made not to last - just happened to listen to this program on radio 4's "costing the earth" last night http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08nq5x3
    I think you'll enjoy it!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 4th May 17, 3:00 PM
    • 23,314 Posts
    • 88,903 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Wow - that is so true about things being made not to last - just happened to listen to this program on radio 4's "costing the earth" last night http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08nq5x3
    I think you'll enjoy it!
    Originally posted by elaineruk
    I know one of the researchers/writers for that programme. I'll give it a listen. Thanks.

    The above is a bit of a rant, but all based on real experience with real machinery in good condition. The only consolation is that I didn't pay new prices for the duff items.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • elaineruk
    • By elaineruk 9th May 17, 9:32 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    elaineruk
    Did you ever listen to that program (it really annoys me too - just had to chuck out a washing machine after 5 years - my parents had their's for over 30 years!!!)
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th May 17, 11:41 PM
    • 23,314 Posts
    • 88,903 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Did you ever listen to that program (it really annoys me too - just had to chuck out a washing machine after 5 years - my parents had their's for over 30 years!!!)
    Originally posted by elaineruk
    Yes, I did listen to it. I'd heard the beginning live, either in the polytunnel or the van.....

    I learned that phrase, 'planned obsolesence,' as a very young child in the 1950s. I remember visiting a scrapyard full of American cars and my Dad using the term to explain why modern vehicles were sitting there, abandoned. We only had a very dodgy old Ford 8 at the time.

    I think my hatred of bad design and sloppy manufacture started right there.

    I'm not going to say for how many decades our washing machine has run for without a service visit in case I jinx it, but it is one of the expensive ones...well, expensive initially, but not in terms of electric used or spares. The same goes for one of our two Japanese vacuum cleaners, which has been totally abused for 3 years of building work after 20 years of normal cleaning..... and still it refuses to die!

    Its machines like these, and the Japanese car I had for 6 years, which show what's possible and why we shouldn't put up with duff equipment. Apart from consumables like tyres, brake linings etc, that car needed only a bit of hose costing 60p during the our ownership from 55k to 110k miles.

    By contrast, my ride-on has just packed-up again; petrol dripping out all over the exhaust box. One can't help thinking that the Americans who designed the engine had a funny sense of humour, mounting the carburettor just above all the hot bits!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • elaineruk
    • By elaineruk 19th May 17, 9:42 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    elaineruk
    I think it's got something to do with economics - manufacturing, services, jobs etc - stuff politicians pretend to know about. I once head a marvelous quote "Economic theory is like a stopped clock - which is right twice a day - so too economic theory is correct - it's just down to timing"
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 19th May 17, 9:58 AM
    • 23,314 Posts
    • 88,903 Thanks
    Davesnave
    "Economic theory is like a stopped clock - which is right twice a day - so too economic theory is correct - it's just down to timing"
    Originally posted by elaineruk
    As someone who got £60k less for his house than he'd have achieved the year before, I'd agree.

    However, selling at a bad time, makes buying again rather exciting.
    As economist, Alvin Hall, said, "Buy when others are fearful."

    It worked for me. Now I live in a place where the local garage mends old things and doesn't give up on 15 year old cars. They will source 2nd hand bits and get just about anything running again, as they have to, with farmers and their pick up trucks from the early 1990s.

    The mower lives!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
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