Gardening: Tool Box: A snip at this price

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THE Leicester-based company Damar International supplies tools for all manner of applications. Brian Martin, the managing director, is interested in the needs of people with physical disabilities. Earlier this year he attended an exhibition where many visitors to the company's stand voiced a need for easy-to- use garden implements.

The decision to import the wood-handled Solingen 715 lightweight hedge shear from Germany is a direct result of that prompting. The shear looks and feels almost toy-like, because the steel blades are only 5in long and the weight is less than half that of a conventional model.

The Solingen clips well and has good balance, but shorter blades inevitably mean more snipping. Mr Martin is aware of this. 'An able-bodied gardener might not give it a high rating,' he says, 'but making it available will be worthwhile if it gives some help to less fortunate


Wilkinson Sword's contender in the light shear market has 6in blades and curved handles that make clipping exceptionally easy. But it weighs 150 per cent more than the Solingen and is relatively expensive at pounds 25.49.

Damar's usual price of pounds 16.39 (including post and packing) is reduced to pounds 12.95 for Tool Box readers.

Damar International Ltd, 45 Humberstone Drive, Leicester LE5 ORE (0533 764144).