All Things Gardening forum: Worst gardening tool??

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ajfdesigner
Jul 17, 2015 12:32 PM CST
Hello

I'm a product design student in Portland, OR. I am currently working on a project to improve the gardening experience for those 50 years and older. Here is my question. Out of all the tools you use for gardening, which one is the worst to use and why? Is one of your tools painful to use or not work as it should? Basically, what is your least favorite gardening tool/product and why? Any feedback you can offer me will be useful.

Thank you for your time!,

Andrew
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Jul 17, 2015 1:53 PM CST
Any tool with a wooden handle that loosens with time is highly annoying.

Shovels that lack rivets that go all the way through...the bowl of the shovel comes off (or breaks off) much too soon.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 17, 2015 2:14 PM CST
Big ratchet loppers that don't ratchet properly for pruning branches.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 17, 2015 2:29 PM CST
Any gardening tool that is green in color and gets lost in the vegetation. My favorite color may be green but there are times when a bright orange or yellow is the better choice.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 17, 2015 3:32 PM CST
A dibble. We all need one. We all have one. But buy one?? It's a STICK!!

dib·ble
ˈdibəl/
noun
noun: dibble; plural noun: dibbles

1.
a pointed hand tool for making holes in the ground for seeds or young plants.

verb
verb: dibble; 3rd person present: dibbles; past tense: dibbled; past participle: dibbled; gerund or present participle: dibbling

1.
make (a hole) in soil with a dibble.
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Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Jul 17, 2015 3:59 PM CST
This shovel is the worst tool I have ever purchased. It is marketed as an ergo tool.

Well it might be, but it is so heavy that I never use it. I leave it not on the fence line to clean up dog dung:)


Thumb of 2015-07-17/frankrichards16/9c1a4a

Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jul 17, 2015 5:23 PM CST
Shadegardener said:Big ratchet loppers that don't ratchet properly for pruning branches.
I agree I have two of these that often do not work properly.

Garden tools also have to keep smaller, weaker women in mind when being designed. I am short 5' 3" and have never found a hoe that is truly comfortable and easy to use for any length of time.

If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jul 17, 2015 7:34 PM CST
I agree with Greene! No green handled tools! Make them orange, and glow in the dark.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jul 17, 2015 7:57 PM CST
Cheap plastic hand tools that fall apart.

Cheap hose sprayers and wands that fall apart.

Gloves that fall apart.

Expensive wheel barrows that fall apart.

"Kneelers" that are too flimsy to hold my weight.

(There is a theme: cheap tools fall apart quickly and never work well. But many people buy the lowest price item. Every year! I understand that manufacturers would rather make the cheapest thing they can, and then make $10 profit on it every year when people have to buy new ones every year. if they made a better, more expensive model, they might only be able to make $9 profit on it ... and only sell it to me every ten-twenty years.)

Irrigation tubing and fittings where every manufacturer makes them a FEW thousandths of an inch different from every other manufacturer, hoping that everyone in the world will be "trapped" into buying only their parts forever.


Black and Decker String Trimmer Model # NST1018. That ding-dang furshluginer model number is totally WELL-HIDDEN inside the very long, ultra-fine-print "Caution" warning. (can you tell that I recently needed to figure out how to re-string a trimmer that was given to me without any Owner's Manual?)

OK, I'm old and my eyes stink. But maybe a LOT of customers are old.


Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Jul 17, 2015 8:21 PM CST
I forgot to add something to my earlier post. This post is not political; it is about survival of families.

The tools should be made in the USA, of materials from USA, assembled and packaged in the USA and the workers should be American citizens.
Why should we all be skimping and saving to grow our own high quality food just so some manufacturing company can save 3 cents per unit?
Each country should be able to employ its own people before sending any jobs overseas. When the USA has 100% employment then, and only then, should the work be done elsewhere.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Jul 18, 2015 5:11 AM CST
By-pass pruners never work as advertised. Junque!

Front-tine tillers are only slightly faster than a fork and many times more noisy.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 18, 2015 11:13 AM CST
Those itty bitty floating triangle hoes, forget what name they have. Mine is in the garage sale pile.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jul 18, 2015 2:56 PM CST
"By-pass pruners never work as advertised. Junque!"

I'd like to find some that will hold an edge for more than 15 minutes ! Even the high quality ones have to be re-sharpened before I finish a pruning session. A real PITA.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 18, 2015 6:58 PM CST
The worst for me might have been the "Garden Weasel." But in all fairness, that was because our soil was so heavy and full of rocks... I suspect it would work pretty well in my garden after working on the soil for the last 25 years.

And, as Frank said (more or less), heavier is NOT better -- we bought a rake a couple of years ago that I absolutely refuse to use, the thing is so heavy that I'm worn out by the time I carry it from the shed to the garden ! Hilarious!

Of course, there are also the cheap hand trowels that bend when you try to dig... I have a couple now that are made of (I think) cast aluminum, with a coated handle, that I've had for years; if I ever lose those I am going to be devastated!

Oops, almost forgot to say Welcome to All Things Plants, @ajfdesigner !
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[Last edited by Weedwhacker - Jul 18, 2015 6:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Jul 19, 2015 9:14 PM CST
I also agree with the handles on the small tools; especially my hand pruners (which are usually black coated). I would like to see a vivid color that I can readily find as I'm apt to set them down in the garden bed while pruning and after I've put the stuff in the bin, I sometimes have to waste time looking for them. I know I should carry them on my person -- but that's not always practical. Again -- Bright Colored Handles !!!
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jul 20, 2015 8:05 AM CST
Elfie - I agree with you: if we all carried every tool we'd be using, we'd be weighed down with all of them and be unable to do a thing. Seems like a great idea to wear tools on a tool belt but highly impractical. They do need a GPS locater so we can find them without all the hunting.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jul 20, 2015 8:28 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing GSP for each tool. A most excellent suggestion! That would also help if we loan a tool to a neighbor/friend/relative who 'forgets' to return it. Whistling
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jul 20, 2015 9:02 AM CST
You're right!

But even more confusing for me would be explaining to our neighbors what gardening tools are and why we use them.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
Frogs and Toads Birds Roses Region: United States of America Peonies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Hostas Garden Art Echinacea
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daylilydreams
Jul 20, 2015 9:31 AM CST
We painted some of our garden tool handles a bright red to make it easier to find them when we lay them down, works good for us and doesn't take much paint.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jul 20, 2015 10:11 AM CST
There is a product, like paint, to dip handles. I bought a can in yellow but haven't tried it yet.
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=38069&gclid=C...

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