Monday, July 05, 2010

Yard Mateys! Part: the second

As I figured that i couldn't really do a true review on the new yard tools ifin I haven't used them, I decided that I should try them out to give you an idea on how well they REALLY work. Because, as we all know, sometimes Shawn thinks things are all unicorns and rainbows when really they aren't. Take linux for example. While I like linux and I willingly use it at home, the vast majority of the world does not use linux and thinks people who do are computer nerds (which, yes. that's true), and are a tad masochistic (that may also be true).

So, are the aforementioned Skil Shrub Trimmer and the Fiskars Momentum Reel Mower so easy to use, that even a baby could do it?

Today I will review the Skil, and I'll have the Fiskars post tomorrow or something.

And as I edited in last time, I'm doing this of my own volition and was not paid or compensated in any way by Skil or Fiskars. We paid our own hard earned cash for these products, so they damn well better work.

It's kinda hard to see in the pictures on Amazon, but the Skil, as with any other motorized, sharp bladed/pointy tool that could require a visit to the emergency room if you decide to use it while on valium, ambien, or some delicious adult beverages, has a safety switch. Now then, this safety switch doesn't require that you hold it down the entire time the tool is in use (like a gas powered lawn mower), but you do have to hold it down and pull the trigger to get the tool to start up, then you can let go of the safety switch and the shrub trimmer can trim the shrubs as desired. Every time you let off of the trigger, you will have to hold the safety switch down again in order to re-start the blades. Doing this action isn't too difficult, and I could easily do this all one handed, but I do have the habit of just holding down the safety switch (essentially treating it like a gas powered lawn mower)...which requires some hand strength. Hand strength which I do not posses. I guess it could also be larger hands which would making holding down the safety switch easier as well since I had to stretch my finger to do it. OR maybe I could avoid being a dork and only press down the safety switch when it's actually needed.


I tackled the Scourge Released Upon Central Texas by an Idiot aka Asian Jasmine. I actually did quite a bit in the amount of time it took Shawn to mow the lawn, and was quite proud of myself. With the regular pruners we used to use, I would MAYBE finish going around the berm in the amount of time Shawn mowed the yard. With this little Shrub Trimmer though I got both Hell Strips, the Berm, and partway through the Rosebush area all in the amount of time it took Shawn to do half of the front yard and the entire back yard. [Insert picture of front yard here - see? I get so used to linux that I can't find any of my photos if I'm not using it. So I have to put notes to myself to do anything other than check my email on this silly windows machine]. I wanted to continue working and do the two crepe myrtle bush areas too, but Shawn told me to wait until next time.

Now then, as you can imagine, since I insisted on holding down the safety button, my hand started getting tired. so I switched hands. Only I'm not as dexterous with my left hand so I had to use both hands to hold the shrub trimmer. This worked out quite well, though as I was STILL stretching one of my hands to hold the safety switch, pull the trigger and still be able to hold onto the tool, I did end up with sore hands. Specifically a sore left hand. My right hand is perfectly fine.

After using the shrub trimmer for about an hour, I was finding it tougher and tougher to hold down the trigger. But this, I'm sure, is due to my wimpyness and not the Skil itself. Shawn's suggestion is that we should get a rubber band and put it around the trigger to hold it down. Yes, THAT sounds safe. Next weekend when I'm in the ER, you'll know why.

Overall: I'd give the thing 4 of out 5 stars. The battery lasted the whole hour, it's a much better design, and more powerful than the little edge trimmer thing I used to use as a kid. The thing is just top heavy enough that I find it helpful to use both hands to hold it.

I'll be interested to see how the battery holds up.

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