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What are good quality tools for beginners

Hi there,

I'm not actually the gardner in my house, my wife is. In fact I'm not allowed to make decisions about the garden at all image

She's recently started a horticulture course at college and is in need of good quality tools for the future. Being an engineer I believe in the old adage buy cheap buy twice when it comes to tools. With Christmas coming up I thought I'd help her start her collection of decent equipment. She already has decent set of secataurs but that's about it.

Would someone please help a floundering husband at Christmas with where to look what brand to buy and what to avoid?



  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...shame you can't do any gardening... meanwhile...

    I always prefer Wilkinson Sword, and I would be delighted if someone bought me any from this selection...  see what you think...

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,310

    When buying new I like Joseph Bentley stuff, it has a good feel to it and not all that pricey and they last me OK.

    Can't really beat the local scrappy though. I'm always down there looking to see what he has. Last thing I brought back was a Victorian cast iron counterbalance roller (£35), needs some restoration work but I love it. The garden center can keep their water filled flimsy ones for £90. image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,847

    Another vote here for Joseph Bentley - good mid-range quality, well-proportioned and the solid ash handles feel good in your hands - and they look good image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 8,744

    I swear by Sneerboer - v expensive, but family have bought them one by one for Christmas and birthdays.  I remember when and where every one came from - some are now very specialimageimage

    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
  • I always go for Spear & Jackson tools even the value range is spot on but the stainless steal are better.

    I have both and haven't got a bad word to say about them and I have some hard clay they have to work in.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,793

    never buy anything but Felco secateurs. You can pick them up second hand on ebay for about £20 a pair. ( I've bought a couple of pairs that way)

  • Thank you very much for your help guys, the scrappy is maybe something for the future as I quite like the idea of restoring something for her. A roller's probably a bit ambitious just now anyway, it's got to fit under the treeimage

  • My mid-range recommendation would be for Draper tools.....I've visited their original factory, which is about five miles from me.

  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,469

    what a thoughtful hubby you are Norton2. I'm with Gemma and visiting second hand places or scrap yards. 

    If there isn't one near you though there are plenty of other gifts. Some of my favourite gardening presents are;

    new wheel barrow

    cold frame

    hive shaped compost bin

    book on how to propagate

    labels (great stocking filler)

    gardening gloves

    seed trays ( good quality sturdy ones )

    kneeling pad

    good quality garden string

    arch to grow things over

    raised bed

    the wooden garden desk and the green plastic garden tidy in the photo below



    Dont forget the wrapping paper!

  • You sound just like my dad! image


    i agree tee with all of the above. I'd also recommend an azada- with two allotments, mine has been a proper back saver so far! cost about £15 on Amazon 


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