Gardening / Tool Box: And it trims hedges, too

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The Independent Online
Pruning snipped a sentence from my report last month on the versatile Mantis Precision Gardening System's efficiency as a tiller. It said: 'I will be reporting on other facets of its character during the next few weeks.' Now, I am.

The basic tiller costs pounds 330 and is powered by a very compact, two-stroke engine that's easy to start. It can be removed and attached to a hedge trimmer. The 30in version, which I have been testing, is listed at pounds 123.50 (only pounds 6.50 more than the 16in alternative).

Making it work took longer than expected, because the small bolt securing the engine to the trimmer sheared as it was being tightened. I have no reason to believe that this was anything other than a freak flaw.

The machine, it is claimed, will slice through 'just about anything' up to half an inch thick, but it is more of a trimmer than a cutter of 'woody' hedges. The 30in attachment's obvious advantage - it trims more with each sweep - is offset by the inevitable and considerable weight penalty.

'One function too many,' is the verdict at Tool Box Towers. But we have been impressed by other attachments. Watch this space.

G W Thornton & Sons Ltd, Grether House, Crown Royal Industrial Park, Shawcross Street, Stockport, Cheshire SK1 3HB (061 474 1525).