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Can You Handle It?

Can You Handle It?
Posted on 07/06/09 | Posted by The Fat Gardener

Most of us have broken a spade or fork handle at one time or another; it is usually during normal use and is always inconvenient.

Over a year ago Quality Garden Tools started stocking a couple of replacement fork and spade handles, which instantly became very popular. This led to many other types of replacement garden tool handles being added to the range including: pick and mattock handles, axe handles, hatchet handles, scythe handles, sledge hammer handles and various T and YD shovel and spade or fork handles.

All replacement handles should be made of Hickory or Ash, which are hardwoods with a straight grain that offers both strength and flexibility. We are now seeing low cost hardwood alternatives in the UK market, but these can be dry and brittle. Fibreglass pick and sledge hammer handles have existed for a number of years and what they lose in price they make up for in reliability – they are seriously hard to break!

Unfortunately, even though green issues seem to be at the forefront of gardening news and recycling tools should be encouraged, Quality Garden Tools find it harder with each passing year to find suppliers of handles. It is now almost impossible to find specific handles for border spades and forks which are traditionally ⅛" narrower than the standard 1⅜", this means that you will have to remove more wood to make it fit your border spade or fork.

Each year our customers ask us about the sustainability of our handles. In the case of our Bulldog tools, all handles are currently made from Grade ‘A’ German Ash certificated by the PEFC from renewable plantations. Our replacement handles are made from Hickory and Ash grown in the USA and Germany in certified mixed renewable plantations. It is particularly important to buy timber from mixed plantations as the diversity of tree species not only strengthens the timber, but can also sustain a much broader ecosystem.

Putting new handles on garden tools is nothing new and many of us have an old spade or fork which we wouldn’t be without. However, over recent months Wyevale and the RHS have been collecting broken tools which, in conjunction with The Conservation Foundation are being renovated by HMP Wandsworth and then given to London schools. This means that repairing old tools is not only environmentally sustainable, but also is going towards teaching young children how to garden.

So before you throw away that old tool think about replacing the handle – it will be as good as new and you will be helping the environment. Can you handle that?

See the whole range of Quality Garden Tools replacement handles at:

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