Gardening: Tool Box: Shears - a snip at the price

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The Independent Online
My next-door neighbour is a wonderfully lugubrious farmer. He hates Christmas - because it epitomises winter, when the land is asleep - but loves this time of year. He rubs his hands and chuckles: 'Things are growing and I'm making money.' Things growing in my garden tend to cost money rather than make it. They need to be either encouraged or trimmed, so this is a season for buying equipment.

I had hoped to write about the Hozelock Premier Plus sprayer this week, but attempts to assemble it were thwarted, first by a component that didn't fit and, second, by the manufacturer's failure to react to an appeal for help. Watch this space . . .

In literally sharp contrast, there

has been nothing but praise for the award-winning Wilkinson Sword Classic shears. The wishbone-shaped nylon handles make sense in terms of ergonomics and durability. The balance is good and they have neat little grips for thumbs and index fingers.

The eight-inch blades of chromed, heat-treated carbon steel incorporate an efficient notch for cutting stems that would otherwise require a snip with secateurs. The list price ( pounds 27.49) includes a five-year guarantee.

Fiskers Ltd, Brocastle Avenue, Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan CF31 3YN (0656 655595).