Friday, 8 April 2011

Fri: Prairie Beds

Today, time to clip the edges of the Prairie beds. The clients have managed the first mow of the year, and it looks lovely, except for the edges, so I spend the first 25 mins or so going round with my edgers, and cursing them for being new ones that are just NOT AS GOOD as the old ones, which finally gave up the ghost at the beginning of this year.

Usually, with long-handled edgers, it's more a case of tightening them than sharpening them, but I tried that and still couldn't get them to cut, so I had to go and buy a new pair. I thought this would be lovely, having new tools, but they are really not very good. I picked Fiskars, formerly Wilkinson Sword, and they looked nice: spongy grips, anti-concussion bumpers, lightweight aluminium tubes etc. But, and this is becoming a theme, modern tools are just not as well made as old ones. They may be lighter to carry, but they don't have the same heft to get through the cutting. It also feels as though they don't cut right down to the points, which makes doing sharp corners a bit tiresome.

I've spent the last couple of weeks using these new ones and grumbling about them, and searching through other people's sheds to see if they had an old un-used pair, so that I could make them an offer for them.

In fairness to Fiskar, at this point I have to say that I abuse all my tools horribly, as I am paid (as it were) by the minute so I don't waste time: I often use a tool for more than it's intended purpose rather than putting it down, going back to the car to get the bigger tool, using it for 2 seconds, taking it back to the car etc. I use my edging shears not just for clipping off the "fringe" of newly-grown grass, but also for chopping back minor overhangs or slight errors in edges of beds.

So, my task for this weekend is to find someone who can re-sharpen the old ones for me...

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