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Tool Tips

Garden Tools (7)

Garden Tools

Please take care when using all Spear & Jackson products. Wearing suitable footwear, gloves and protective clothing is always advisable, and caution should be taken with sharp edges.

  • Always wear strong, sturdy footwear
  • Wear protective gloves
  • Maintain an upright stance to avoid unnecessary back strain
  • Do not stay in the same position for long periods of time, and take regular breaks
  • Use the tool for the purpose it was designed for
  • Never leave tools on the ground, and do not let children use them when unsupervised
  • Use kneepads or kneeling mats to avoid damage to your knees
  • Do not overstretch - maintain your balance, and apply force gently and steadily
  • Taller people should select longer-shafted products

Which tools should I use to divide established plants?

For large border plants and perennials use a border spade or fork to dig up the roots and then prise apart into clumps with the aid of a pair of weedforks. The plants should then be replanted at the same depth as before. This procedure is best carried out during Spring & Autumn.

What is the best tool to use to make a straight line seed drill?

A draw hoe with a traditional swan-necked head - which can be turned upside down to make a perfect seed drill. Seeds should then be planted according to the suppliers instructions.

When should seeds be thinned out?

Seedings should be thinned out to avoid overcrowding and to give the best chance of survival. This is best done as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Useful tools are a Trowel, Weedfork and dibber.

When should I transplant young plants?

Young plants should be moved to their final growing position well before the flowering period to enable a good root system to develop. This is best carried out with the aid of a transplanting trowel.

What tools can I use to remove weeds from the garden?

The most effective way of removing small weeds is to hoe them without either a dutch hoe or a draw hoe. Deep seated weeds can be removed more easily with a weedfork or daisy grubber, other larger established weeds are best removed with a fork.

How often should you trim a hedge?

A hedge should be cut at least once a year to keep it in shape. Regular pruning throughout the growing season will encourage dense growth and therefore a much stronger hedge. Evergreens should have the top 12" removed when they are 6" taller than the required finished height. Deciduous hedges should have the leaders cut back up to a third after planting and the sides trimmed at least once every year.

A large tree at the bottom of my garden sheds leaves on my lawn and kills the grass, how can I stop this?

Fallen dead leaves should be removed immediately in order to prevent the grass from yellowing and prevent fungal growth. This can be achieved with a plastic leaf rake, which gathers the leaves without harming the lawn as the flexible tines will not scratch. The collected leaves can then be used to make garden compost.

When should I dead-head my plants?

When the blooms have died and no longer look attractive. The flowering period of a plant can be considerably lengthened if the dead blooms are removed. In order to do this you should use bypass action secateurs which minimise stem bruising.

How can I improve the look of my lawn?

After mowing, all dead grass should be removed as this can strangle new grass growth beneath. This should be done with a flexible tined lawn rake. This rake has specially angled wire tines (prongs) which scratch the surface of the lawn removing debris and helps aerate the ground underneath therefore encouraging new grass growth.

How do I achieve a nice neat edge to my lawn after mowing?

After mowing the lawn any long grass around the edges can be tidied with edging shears. If you have a tree or post to trim around, lawn shears or multi-position single-handed grass shears may be useful. To create a neat edge along a flower border you should use a half moon edging knife which will cut through the turf allowing you to create curves for an interesting border.

My lawn has weeds but I don't like to use chemicals?

You do not need to use chemicals, the daisy grubber will remove all trace of deep seated weeds such as dandelions, daisies and clover.

After rain my lawn becomes waterlogged, what can I do?

The area needs to be drained. The easiest way to do this is with a digging fork, spiking the lawn to a depth of 4 inches (10cm) to aerate the soil and then adding sand to assist the drainage.

When and how should I prune?

Roses and shrubs should be pruned after flowering or fruiting in spring or summer or when the buds are dormant in autumn. Cut cleanly 1cm above a bud in a parallel direction to the bud.

What is the difference between a bypass and anvil secateurs?

Bypass (scissor action) secateurs give a clean cut and minimise stem bruising, making them ideal for precise pruning and green wood.
Anvil (knife action) secateurs minimises the effort required to cut and twist stems, making them ideal for hardy woody stems and old dead wood.

How should I prune a tree or large shrub?

Pruning should be carried out to maintain the shape and manageability. Cuts should be made just above a bud or leaf. Depending on the width of the branch to be pruned you may use a pruning saw, bow saw or lopper. For tall trees you should use a telescopic tree pruner with cord operated jaws and a pruning saw.

Spear & Jackson goes to great lengths to ensure that our products perform to the highest standards. Using the care and maintenance tips below can help to extend the lifetime of our products, and give you years of reliable gardening pleasure. There are some tips to help keep you safe, too!

Shears

Clean your shears with a dry cloth after each session to remove sap and any moisture, and keep the pivot point on the blades well oiled. At the end of the cutting season, wipe the blades down with an oiled rag, to prevent corrosion. If cutting becomes difficult, sharpen the blade edges by carefully running a file diagonally away from you across the sharp edge, maintaining the factory bevel. Hone the final sixteenth of an inch of the blade with a sharpening stone.

Loppers

During heavy periods of use, make sure the pivot is kept well oiled and sharpen the blade if cutting requires more effort. Always clean and dry the blade with a dry cloth after each day's pruning, to remove any sap or moisture. Wipe the blades down at the end of the cutting season with an oiled rag, to prevent corrosion. Maintain all sharp edges with a medium grit sharpening stone.

Pruners

During heavy periods of use, make sure the spring is kept well oiled, and sharpen the blade if cutting requires more effort. Always clean and dry the blade with a dry cloth after each day's pruning, to remove any sap or moisture. Wipe the blades down at the end of the cutting season with an oiled rag, to prevent corrosion. Maintain all sharp edges with a medium grit sharpening stone.

Garden saws

Always carefully clean and dry the blade with a dry cloth after each use, to remove any sap or moisture. Wipe the blade down at the end of the cutting season with an oiled rag, to prevent corrosion.

Tree pruners

During heavy periods of use, make sure the spring and pivot are kept well oiled. Always clean and dry the blades with a dry cloth after each day's pruning, to remove any sap or moisture. Wipe the blades down at the end of the cutting season with an oiled rag, to prevent corrosion.

Digging & cultivating tools

General use: Remove soils during use, and wash at the end of the day. Do not leave outside during extreme weather conditions. Wipe any moisture from the tool before storage. Store in a cool dry place such as a garden shed or garage. Always hang tools head up.

End of season: Thoroughly wash the tool head. Wipe all moisture from the metal parts and wipe or spray them with oil. Wipe the hardwood shaft with a rag soaked in linseed oil at the start and end of the gardening season.

Usage: These tools are not manufactured for striking, prising or levering applications - for example, do not attempt to lift heavy paving slabs using the end of the tool.

All Spear & Jackson products are guaranteed against defects in manufacturing (subject to normal wear and tear and reasonable care and maintenance, as outlined above). This does not affect your statutory rights.

Hand Tools (3)

Hand Tools

All Spear & Jackson products are guaranteed against defects in manufacturing (subject to normal wear and tear and reasonable care and maintenance, as outlined above). This does not affect your statutory rights.

Consider your working environment

Do not expose tools to the rain.

If using tools in side, ensure your work area is well lit and that you are working in a well ventilated space.

Keep children and pets away from the work area.

Take care when using tools with blades and sharp edges.

Dress appropriately

Do not wear loose fitting clothes or jewellery when using tools.

Protective gloves, eyewear and ear protection along with non-slip sturdy footwear are all recommended.

Tie back long hair to avoid getting caught up whilst using the tools.

Use a face or dust mask if the operation is dusty.

Do not over stretch

Always keep a safe footing and maintain your balance when using tools. Maintain an upright stance to avoid unnecessary back strain and do not stay in the same position for long periods of time, and take regular breaks.

Have tools repaired by a qualified person

Should your tool need to be repaired, repairs should only be carried out by qualified persons.

Only use Spear & Jackson approved spare parts.

Storing tools

When not in use, tools should be stored in a safe and secure place, out of the reach of children.

Do not force tools

Tools last longer and operate better when used within their designed operating limits.

Always check the tool's specification before use.

Check for damage prior to use

Before using any tool, check that it is not damaged and that no parts are missing.

Do not use any tool that appears to be damaged.

Stay Alert

Never operate tools when you are tired, after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

Maintaining tools

Keep tools clean for better, longer and safer performance.

Follow all instructions regarding lubrication and changing of accessories and parts

Accessories & spare parts

Only use Spear & Jackson approved accessories or attachments.

Always refer to the instruction leaflet prior to use of any accessory.

Recycling

Please dispose of any tool responsibly at the end of it's working life.

Please Do not dispose of tools as household waste.

Help to protect the environment.

Selecting the right tools in the first place can make the job easier, quicker and improve the quality of finish. By combining our great tradition with the latest technologies, and by understanding what you actually want from your tools, we ensure that our products, over 3000 of them, help you take pride in a job well done.

Selection tips

1. Plan out a DIY or gardening task in advance of starting it. Many retailers have in store job cards for a range of tasks, which highlight what tools you need. If you are still unsure ask an experienced friend, family member or the stockist for advice. The trick is to not end up with a tool you don't need or, even worse, find yourself half way through the job minus that vital drill bit.

2. Try before you buy. Different tools perform and feel differently in the hand. It is important that the tool does what you want it to and is comfortable in use.

3. Buy cheap pay twice. Price is usually a good indication of the relative product quality, durability and standard at which it will perform. Also, check how long the product is guaranteed for - a manufacturer will not guarantee a product longer than they expect it to last for.

4. Don't buy a tool that performs at a standard much higher or lower than you need, either way it is a waste of money.

5. Wherever possible buy specific tools for specific jobs. They are designed to do the job in question and will deliver a better performance and finish. However, in some instances it is possible to buy a multi-purpose tool designed to do a range of similar tasks.

6. The perfect tool kit would consist of a mixture of both power and hand tools.

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