A Simple Guide to Garden Machinery and Tools

Sometimes visiting a garden centre or gardening website can be complicated. Stranded amidst a tidal wave of technical jargon, you become unable to tell the difference between a scarifier and a rear-roller lawnmower. Or you might know the name of the tool while being clueless to its purpose. Not for much longer! Today we will be looking at a variety of garden machinery and tools, explaining briefly what each is for. This is a simple guide to garden machines and tools.

Lawnmower

A lawnmower, arguably the most common garden machine, is designed with the purpose of cutting the grass to a reasonable length. It is the machine which will take your garden from an unruly, overgrown jungle, transforming it into a perfectly-trimmed haven. Did you know that there are a number of different lawnmower types? I'm not just talking about petrol vs. electric. Here are a few lawnmower species, and what makes each so special:

  • Rotary vs. Cylinder - These are the two main types of cutting system. Rotary Mowers are fitted with between 5 and 12 exposed blades which rotate to cut the grass as they move. A rotary mower does not fare well in long grass. A cylinder mower is more common and consists of one spinning blade at the base of the deck. The cylinder system can handle most lengths of grass.
  • Push Mower - The push mower is powered by physically pushing it, not by a motor or engine. As the mower is pushed, a set of rotary blades will spin, trimming the lawn.
  • Hover Mower - A hover mower is ideal for smaller gardens. What makes it so special is the way it glides effortlessly across the lawn. This is due to a cushion of air created by the mower, propelling it in a similar fashion to a hovercraft.
  • Rear-Roller Lawnmower - This lawnmower is fitted with a "grass rolling pin" which gives your lawn a pristine, 18th century stripped finish.
  • Ride-On Lawnmower - All the power of a petrol-push lawnmower with none of the effort. This lawnmower gives the same great cut but is driven, not pushed. They are ideal for large gardens and commercial use, such as on golf courses.

Strimmer

A strimmer is designed to neaten the grass which a lawnmower cannot. This means trimming off the edges of the lawn or cutting the blades in impossible-to-reach areas and tight corners. A strimmer can also be used to hack at ultra-long grass or entangling weeds. It really is a vital tool for finishing off the lawn.

Hedge-Trimmer

There are two reasons to buy a hedge-trimmer. Number one, it allows you to carve beautifully intricate hedge-sculptures and mazes. If this is not your style then it can be repurposed for cutting, trimming and beautifying out of control hedges. Like many garden machines, they can be bought as electric or petrol powered. To put all of this simply, the hedge-trimmer is a lawnmower for shrubbery.

Chainsaw

The chainsaw has one simple purpose: cutting wood. This can be turning logs into firewood or felling branches from trees, all of which require skill and safety gear.

Pole Saw

A pole saw is similar to a chainsaw and hedge trimmer, except that the blade is mounted on an extended rod for getting to those hard to reach areas. It can be used for pruning or trimming, and provides the means to keep high-up places as neat as everywhere else.

Log Splitter

A log splitter is similar to a chainsaw. It is a machine designed to cut wood, although in a slightly different way. Where the chainsaw fells branches, the log splitter splits pre-cut logs into sizable chunks, depending on their use. A log splitter is particularly handy when cutting extensive amounts of firewood, as it reduces the strain which a chainsaw would eventually induce.

Scarifier

A scarifier is a surprisingly overlooked tool but one which should be vital in your gardening arsenal. The job of a scarifier is to remove weeds and moss from within your freshly-mowed lawn. Similar in shape and structure to a lawnmower, the blades of a scarifier work deep into the roots of your grass, ripping out the unwanted shrubs.

Rotavator/Tiller/Cultivator

All of these machines serve one purpose: to break up soil. This is generally done towards the end of winter, when the weather begins to get warmer, in preparation for the planting and growing season ahead. Broken up soil is much easier to plant in, and releases more nutrients for flowers.

Pressure Washer

A pressure washer is composed of two parts: the hose and the air compressor. An engine (whether petrol or electrical) powers the water pump and pushes the water from the hose at great speed and quantity. This force creates the pressure referred to in the name. Pressurised water leaves the hose at such a speed as to potentially cause damage to whatever it makes contact with. This makes pressure washers exceedingly good for garden cleaning jobs.

Leaf Blower/Vacuum

A leaf blower is designed to blow away fallen leaves and other light debris. It is perfect for clearing out the driveway, especially in those autumn months. A leaf vacuum serves the same cleaning purpose but, rather than blowing the mess away, it sucks it into a convenient bag.

Turf Cutter

A turf cutter makes the job of lifting turf and grass (not just the blades but the soil it is grafted to) simple. Instead of cutting chunks with a spade, the turf cutter glides along the grass, taking strips as it goes. Shaped similar to a lawnmower, and operated like one, it ensures an even, precise cut.

Shredder

A garden shredder completely tears apart garden waste until it is mulch. This puts in it the perfect position to become compost, as the material will break down more easily now that it has begun this process already.

Chipper

A chipper is designed to turn logs, branches and sticks into wood chippings. These chippings can be used for a bio-mass generator or to pave a driveway or flowerbed. The chipper is a convenient way to get rid of, and put to good use, old wooden waste.

And that's a short and simple guide to garden tools and machinery. Follow this and you'll find the right tool for the right job, every time.

By Dylan Blyth.

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We sell and service all types of Agricultural and Horticultural Machinery, from lawnmowers for small gardens to tractors. We are approved dealers for many brands including Stihl, Toro, Hayter, Mountfield, Cub Cadet, Stiga, Iseki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Scag, Jenz, Major

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