Home Toolbuy News Ergonomic hand tools are tops when gardening

Ergonomic hand tools are tops when gardening

Nov 25,2008

It occurred to me this past week, as we were putting our gardens to bed for the winter, that in the past year Nancy and I, unintentionally, set aside virtually all of the hand tools we had in the shed for the relatively new line of gardening tools put out by the Radius Co.

We have been using Radius hand tools, www.radiusgar, for several years, starting with trowels, weeders, and the like. Last year came the two-hand tools with a circular head including a shovel, spade, digging fork and several others. This year came the same tools, only with a single handle called a "stick tool."

We routinely receive new tools to test so we can keep our readers up to date on what's new and what we can recommend. Nancy, sometimes referred to as the Michigan Tool Queen, has been working with all manner of yard care and gardening tools for more than 10 years. I've done the same for more than 20 years. Some products become part of our personal tool shed and others, perfectly good but not for us, are given to groups like the master gardeners.

What has really surprised us is that in the past year we have inadvertently put aside all of our gardening tools that are not manufactured by Radius. The simple reason for this development is that we feel they are the best hand tools available. Their attraction is their unique ergonomic design. The handles, which you can see on their Web site, are essentially a half circle for trowels and a full circle for digging tools. Using these tools takes most pressure off arthritic hands, wrists and elbows. Nancy and I are bothered by hand pain, and these tools do not aggravate it at all.

Besides the ergonomic benefits, these tools are well balanced and not too heavy. They are made from stainless steel, have plastic handles that are stronger than steel, and have handles that are phosphorescent green. That color makes it almost impossible for Nancy to lose a tool in the garden.

The single-hand tools like the trowel are $6 and the two-hand tools run around $30. There are four single-hand tools -- a trowel, a transplanter, a dynamite weeder and a cultivator. The two-hand tools include the regulars such as shovels and spades, but the two-hand weeder is a unique tool that is probably used by us more than any other tool in the package; it's embarrassing to admit, but, yes, we have weeds at Birchwood.

This spring, Radius will introduce two circular rakes, and you can be sure we'll report on their effectiveness as soon as we get some to test.


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