Tool Box: A new set of teeth

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The Independent Online
WINDS worthy of the Roaring Forties are the price we pay for living in a house whose views embrace 90 miles of England and Wales. This winter's victims have included two apple trees. The need to reduce them to logs inspired a spate of jokes about the Shropshire Chainsaw Massacre.

'To buy or not to buy?' is a key question. Black & Decker's new GK435 electric chainsaw has a pounds 99.95 price tag, which includes a pair of safety goggles. The quotes from Domindo Tool Hire and HSS Hire Shops averaged pounds 35 for a day.

Chainsaws are inherently dangerous, but the GK435 is designed to minimise the risk of getting into the DIY amputation business. A safety switch has to be pressed before the saw will start. It is solid, well-balanced and has a brake that is claimed to stop the chain automatically within 0.15 seconds if it snags something that's too tough to cut.

A warning not to use the implement in wet weather highlights one of the electric chainsaw's main drawbacks. But there are none of the starting problems that can bedevil petrol-powered tools.

The value-for-money GK435 made our old apple trees appear no tougher than tapioca.

Black & Decker Ltd., Westpoint, The Grove, Slough, Berkshire SL1 1QQ. Tel: 0753 511234.

(Photograph omitted)