Gardening: Tool Box: Lightweight cutting power

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'ESPECIALLY suitable for ladies and those with a weaker grip' is the sort of statement that risks drawing accusations of male chauvinism. But it perfectly describes the CK 5674 ratchet-action pruner.

It weighs only 4oz, but the lack of heft should not be equated with poor cutting power. Thin stems are severed with a single snip. The ratchet design enables you to lock on to something much thicker, then squeeze and release the spring-loaded handle until the blade, which has a non-stick coating, has completed its task. Little effort was needed to endorse the maker's claim that stems up to 0.75in (20mm) thick can be cut as clean as the proverbial whistle.

Bright-yellow plastic makes the CK 5674 difficult to lose. Plastic is also used for the part of the jaws that acts as the 'anvil' for the steel blade. It is unlikely to last as long as a steel surface, but helps to keep the weight down.

This convenient, efficient, value-for-money tool is listed at pounds 7.50 and guaranteed for a year. After that, the spring, blade and closing clip can be replaced for next to nothing.

CK Tools, Pwllheli, Gwynedd LL53 5LH (0758 701070).