Gardening: Tool Box: Let the tongs take the strain

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The Independent Online
MY PAL, John O'Brien, is an orthopaedic surgeon with a world-wide reputation for dealing with all manner of dorsal disasters.

'Jack the Back' will be invited to pass judgement on the Super Grab next time he visits Tool Box Towers. A favourable verdict is predicted, because this is a simple and effective way to pick up just about everything, from leaves and grass to twigs and stones, while standing as straight as a Grenadier Guard outside Buckingham Palace.

Just under 3ft high, it looks rather like a cross between a pair of giant, two- handed scissors and a pair of sugar tongs. The big 'grabs' that do the actual gathering and lifting can be opened to 180 degrees, if you have to scoop up really large quantities of light garden refuse.

In essence, it is a 'back- friendly' alternative to the two pieces of board or two hands that are used by most gardeners.

The Super Grab is made of aluminium. Although not the toughest of metals, it is free from rust and light enough for this useful implement to be lifted with one finger. It is not unreasonable to relate the list price of pounds 16.30 to the daunting financial and physical cost of slipping a disc.

Standard Manufacturing, 55 Woods Lane, Derby DE3 3UD (0332 43369).