Hand garden tools: why electric wins every time

Choosing the right electric garden gadget can get those tedious outdoor chores done in minutes rather than hours

Ligo Electric Pruning Shears
(Image credit: LIGO)

Remember the bad old days before electric hand garden tools? I certainly do, because tackling anything gardening-related with manual kit was a mammoth task. I’m not talking about push lawnmowers, which have thankfully been superseded by the best cordless lawn mower models and suchlike. 

No, the really tedious jobs were things like pruning back bushes, or trimming grass borders. Everything had to be done manually and, boy, was it tedious and time-consuming. Times have changed though and garden gadget manufacturers now have a wide range of options open to the gardening enthusiast.

In fact, take a look at the following models I use and you too may get a renewed enthusiasm for taking on your green spaces…

1. Lawn edger 

I always used to find that doing the edges around my lawn had to rate as one of the worst gardening jobs imaginable. Now though, I’ve got an electric lawn edger and in the case of the Black and Decker LE750 it’s one of the best there is. These little beauties make light work out of tidying edges and this model is even more impressive as it has the ability to cut trenches too. Granted, it’s a corded model, but if your garden isn't that big – like mine, it’s perfect for the job. 

2. Leaf blower 

I have to admit that until I tried one I used to look at people with leaf blowers and laugh. However, after buying a Bosch ALS 2500 model, which is a corded number though cordless are available, I have to say I’m a real convert. This is a lightweight gadget that feels nicely balanced and it gets into corners with ease thanks to its nicely crated nozzle. The power feels just right too, so you’ve got control over those pesky leaves and other garden detritus, so everything doesn’t go all over the place.

3. Hedge trimmer 

The same goes for my Bosch EasyHedge Cut 12.35, which I use very regularly to tackle the foliage along the side of my garage. Again, if you pick the right gadget you should get a machine that can get the job done with ease and doesn't feel like it’s a ton of weight to handle for any amount of time. I’m also surprised with how well the cutting blade has lasted in the time I’ve had this machine, although I do make a point of cleaning the (unplugged) appliance and putting a little bit of light oil onto the cutting surfaces to stop them from getting all gunged up. So far, so good.

4. Pole saw

A good cordless pole saw can be a real boon for your garden too. These are long-handled cutters that can be used a little like a strimmer, but upwards instead of downwards. They’re great in that you can get to higher bushes and trees without needing to stand precariously on a stepladder or chair. Of course, they do have their limitations, so if you’ve got anything chunky to tackle it may be better to contact a tree surgeon. Nevertheless, something like the Spear & Jackson 20cm cordless pole saw has proved perfect for my needs. Better still, there’s no cord so it offers total freedom to roam. 

5. Pruning shears

Going electric is another thing that has made the powered pruning shears gadget a thing of joy. Pruning can be dull and quite hard work on your hands and fingers, especially if you suffer from something like arthritis. So, why not let an electric hand garden tool take the strain? I’ve gone for the Ligo Electric Pruning Shears, which is a model that suits me down to the ground. It’s powerful, efficient and currently seems to cut through just about anything. I’m sure the blades will eventually go dull, but for a relatively affordable garden gadget this makes a sound investment. 

Adding it all up 

I’m definitely more productive in the garden since investing in these powered hand garden tools. Even if you add up their total cost, the expenditure really isn't that much. Besides, time is money and, if you’re looking to shave off some hours from your weekly garden maintenance schedule then some, or indeed all of these great garden gadgets will fit the bill. 

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital, he has run the Innovation channel for a few years at Microsoft, as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of Stuff, TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working, he's usually out and about on one of the numerous e-bikes in his collection.