Garden Product Reviews

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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elainerukelaineruk Forumite
96 Posts
Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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!
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  • elainerukelaineruk Forumite
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    Fourth Anniversary 10 Posts
    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 :rotfl:
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    elaineruk wrote: »
    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 :rotfl:
    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
  • 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?
  • elainerukelaineruk Forumite
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    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
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    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!
  • elainerukelaineruk Forumite
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    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!
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    elaineruk wrote: »
    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!
    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.
  • elainerukelaineruk Forumite
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    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!!!)
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    elaineruk wrote: »
    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!!!)
    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! :rotfl:
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