Here are some highly recommended lawn and gardening tools!

Best Pole Saw

Best Pole Saw

The best pole saw is an invaluable tool for the homeowner that has tall trees or shrubs. A pole saw is a long handled stick with a saw on the end of it. You can choose between a manual pole saw or a motorized one.

These are basically a lightweight long reach chainsaw, they have a small engine that is powered with gasoline, a battery, or by electricity. They are extremely beneficial since they allow someone to stand safely on the ground (instead of precariously balancing on a ladder) and prune tall branches or vines easily.

Best Pole Saws

Here are the best pole saw recommendations. A manual pole saw is great but requires much more physical effort, so to keep it easy this list is only for motorized versions.

For more in-depth information on why these are recommended keep reading.

Considerations when Choosing the Best Pole Saw

Like regular hand saws, there are many different types of pole saws available for purchase. When it comes time to choose one for your landscaping/gardening arsenal there are some things you need to ask yourself first.

Function

First and foremost think about the size and scope of work the saw will need to perform. Is this going to be a piece of equipment that is used extensively or just occasionally? What sized branches will you be trimming with it?

After thinking about the function, you can begin thinking about some other aspects and what is important to you in terms of specific features.

Bar length

The length of the saw blade (the steel bar in which the chain spins around) will determine the size branches the pole saw can cut. Bar lengths are typically measured in inches and should always be longer than the diameter of the biggest branch it needs to cut. A longer bar length will need greater power to drive the chain.

Power source

This is ultimately going to determine if the saw is strong enough to cut through the branches you need trimmed. A gas powered engine will have the most power, followed by an electric engine, and then one that is battery powered. You can also use a manual pole saw but then you become the power source:) Each one comes with advantages and disadvantages. Gas powered engines will be heavier, louder, and require more maintenance.

Electric are much lighter and have less vibrations but you will either need a generator or constantly be attached to an electrical cord; they are also unusable in wet weather. Battery powered pole saws are the most convenient with their rechargeable batteries but they are the least powerful and in turn have the shortest bar lengths.

Pole length/reach

The saw is only as good as the length it can reach. If it doesn’t reach all of the branches it needs to be trimmed it isn’t serving its purpose. So it’s important to take into consideration the height of the trees needing to be pruned and buy the appropriate pole length. If you have multiple tree heights, a telescoping pole may work well as you can adjust the length for different projects.

Top 5 Best Pole Saw Recommendations

With so many options available to choose from, it’s always helpful to have some specific product recommendations to take a look at

Black and Decker Pole Saw

Consider the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Pole Saw, 8-Inch (LPP120) if you are looking for a high quality cordless saw. Black & Decker products are always a good, solid choice and this easily makes it onto our best pole saw list. The lithium battery will hold a charge capable of cutting approximately 100 branches 1.5” in diameter, reducing your downtime for charging.

The adjustable pole length spans from 6.5 to 10’ allowing you to easily cut branches up to 14’ off the ground; an 8” bar length will handle a maximum diameter of 6”. Weighing in at just over 6 pounds, arm and shoulder fatigue is less than heavier, gas powered models. The Black & Decker LPP120 also disassembles easily for compact storage — a nice feature if you are short on space.

Pros: Lightweight and easily portable. Telescoping handle lets you work at varying heights. Breaks down for easy storage.

Cons: Saw does not rotate on handle, no automatic oiler for chain. Battery power means you have less power than a gas or AC model limiting the size/thickness of branches it can handle. This model also needs the chain tightened periodically to keep it from loosening too much and slipping off the bar.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Pole Saw, 8-Inch (LPP120)


Sun Joe Pole Saw

The Sun Joe SWJ802E 9 FT 6.5 Amp Electric Pole Chain Saw with Adjustable Head which has an adjustable head angle. It can cut branches at 0°, 15° and 30° angles allowing you to easily trim limbs without having to contort yourself into strange positions. When you are working with your arms above your head this is a nice feature to have.

A telescoping pole allows you to reach safely up to 15’ in height, and the electric 6.5-amp motor has a built in safety switch to prevent accidental starting. An electric powered motor cuts down the weight of the pole saw considerably; the SWJ802E weighs less than 8 pounds cutting arm fatigue significantly when working.

Maintenance is easy too with an auto-oiler that keeps the bar and chair lubricated during use. You can easily cut through branches up to 7.5” in diameter with this saw making it a great option for anyone needing to remove overhanging limbs and cut thin logs.

Pros: Adjustable head angle makes trimming limbs and branches less cumbersome.  Telescoping extension pole allows for flexibility when working with trees of varying heights. Safety switch on motor prevents accidental starting.

Cons: Electric motor means you have to be tethered to an extension cord or generator for power, and you cannot operate this model in wet conditions.

Sun Joe SWJ802E 9 FT 6.5 Amp Electric Pole Chain Saw with Adjustable Head


Greenworks Pole Saw

The Greenworks 40V Cordless Pole Saw, 2.0 AH Battery Included 20672 offers an instant start/stop, which gives you added peace of mind when working with this power tool. A simple press of a button and the power is cut to the motor immediately, allowing you stop the chain instantly to avoid damage or injury. An automatic oiler applies oil to the chain as needed, which is a great time saving feature.

The automatic oiling of the chain and bar means it’s not necessary to periodically stop and do this yourself, cutting into your work time. It also comes equipped with an easy-adjust chain tensioning system that quickly tightens the chain without the use of any special tools.

The aluminum, telescoping shaft extends up to 8’. The instant start/stop, automatic oiler, and tool-less chain tightening make this a good option for mechanically un-inclined homeowners with shorter, smaller diameter trees.

Pros:  Automatic oil keeps chain lubricated, reducing the maintenance you need to perform while cutting limbs/branches. A telescoping pole allows you to adjust the pole length to fit the project you’re working on. Battery power allows you to move easily around the yard without worrying about fuel or an electrical cord.

Cons:  The motor on the Greenworks saw is battery powered, resulting in a saw that is not as powerful as gas or AC units. Telescoping pole only extends to 8’ limiting reach and can be somewhat wobbly when fully extended.

Greenworks 40V Cordless Pole Saw, 2.0 AH Battery Included 20672


Remington Pole Saw

The Remington RM1035P Ranger II 8-Amp Electric 2-in-1 Pole Saw & Chainsaw with Telescoping Shaft makes the best saw list because it provides the features and benefits of an electric chainsaw and pole saw in one. Quickly convert between the two implements without the need of additional tools when using the Remington RM1035P, allowing you to easily trim limbs and then cut the downed branches into manageable sized pieces.

A 10” bar cuts through small to medium branches with minimal kickback using the 8-amp electric motor. The electric motor means no stopping in the middle of your project to charge batteries or refill gas, while keeping noise and vibrations to a minimum reducing arm fatigue. The handle and grips are designed to make handling the Remington RM1035P pole saw as easy as possible.

This is a great product for someone that needs the power of an electric pole saw and chain saw functionality but doesn’t want to purchase two different implements.

Pros:  Saw and chainsaw in one allowing you the quick flexibility to cut down branches and then saw them into smaller pieces. The electric motor means minimal noise and vibrations, causes less arm fatigue in the user. No need to worry about having batteries charged or gas on hand.

Cons:  Requires an electrical source, without a generator you’re limited to the length of extension cords.

Remington RM1035P Ranger II 8-Amp Electric 2-in-1 Pole Saw & Chainsaw with Telescoping Shaft


WORX Pole Saw

The WORX WG309 8 Amp 10″ 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw with Auto-Tension features an auto-tensioning system and auto-oiler take the guesswork out of using the WORX WG309 Electric Pole Saw while prolonging the life of the bar and chain.

The 10” bar length makes quick work of limbs up to 8” in diameter. Bring branches down to the ground and then quickly detach the chain saw to cut them into easy to work with, smaller pieces.

Equipped with an 8” stationary extension pole you can easily reach the hard to get to sections in the middle of your tall trees. The powerful motor and unique detachable design make it a great choice for light to medium pruning/trimming work.

Pros:  Auto oiler and auto tensioning system cut down on maintenance and interruptions during work. A rotating handle allows you to adjust the direction of the saw blade to work comfortably.

Cons:  Pole is stationary and doesn’t have as long a reach length as some adjustable poles limiting the size trees you can trim while safely standing on the ground. It is also heavy and somewhat cumbersome to use when at its full length due to the weight. The electric motor limits mobility and can not be operated in inclement weather.

WORX WG309 8 Amp 10″ 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw with Auto-Tension


Top 5 Best Pole Saw Conclusion

This is a great gardening/landscaping tool to have in the garage or shed if you have tall bushes or shrubs to prune. Their long handles allow you to stand safely on the ground and trim branches without the aid of a ladder or a professional tree-trimming service. With many different options to choose from, you can easily find the best electric saw that fits your needs. If you need to do some trimming close to ground level check out the best weed eater list.

Best Pole Saw2020-01-10T23:29:13-05:00

Best Mailbox

The best mailbox is a matter of opinion and you have a lot of choices. Residential mailboxes come in a variety of styles. You can choose a plastic mailbox, metal mailbox, wooden mailbox, decorative mailboxes, wall mount mailbox or a locking mailbox.

I could easily list the top 10 best mailboxes and give a small review of each of them like every other website, but I want to go much further than that. I am going to tell you what I think is the best mailbox and post combo, but then show you exactly how I installed it.

Choosing a Mailbox

I did tons of research to ultimately decide which mailbox to get. Originally I was going to get a locking mailbox, but after thinking it over I really didn’t like the small mail slot size and I didn’t like having to worry about always taking a key with me just to get the mail.

Now of course if you live in an area where mail theft is a problem I would absolutely recommend getting a locking mailbox, they are pretty great. I ultimately decided to go with a traditional mailbox with post.

There are a lot to choose from so that took much further research but I eventually found the one for me. In my days of research (more like weeks) I discovered an amazing way to install the mailbox post without concrete.

What is the Best Mailbox and Post Combo?

In my opinion the best mailbox and post combo is:

The Salsbury mailbox is a heavy duty aluminum mailbox. It is nothing like the cheap plastic ones you find at the big box stores. This thing is sturdy and feels and looks very well made. It comes in a variety of colors. You can choose beige, black, green or white. I picked the black mailbox.

One feature I really like is the mailbox door has a strong magnet that holds the door shut. It is a really nice touch, no more mailbox doors hanging open. I also used large 3″ inch mailbox numbers, Hy-Ko Products MM-5N Self Adhesive Vinyl Numbers 3″ High, Black & Gold, 26 Pieces. This is where I had only a slight issue with the mailbox.

I wanted to place the numbers on the side of the mailbox, the area on the side of the mailbox to place the numbers only had room for about 3″ inches. Two ridges run along the side of the mailbox, which limits space for the numbers.

I like the ridges because they make the mailbox look good and they give the mailbox added strength. I applied the numbers on each side of the mailbox, the numbers didn’t quite fit and overhung the space ever so slightly. This is purely cosmetic.

I could have left it but I decided to get some scissors and trim a very small amount at the top of each number to fit it into the roughly 3″ inch area. After I did that they fit perfectly.

Best Mailbox Post

I think this is a great mailbox, but with the mailbox you also need the best mailbox post to go with it. The Salsbury Industries Designer In-Ground Mounted Decorative Mailbox Post is the companion mailbox post for the mailbox. I think this is the best mailbox and post combo.

The mailbox post comes in three styles and several colors. The post is just as high quality and heavy duty as the mailbox. It is 81 inches tall and is made of aluminum. The inside of the post is hollow but do not try and put a 4×4 piece of wood inside the post when you install it.

The mailbox post is designed to be installed into the ground as is with nothing inside the post.

After doing extensive research I think this is the best mailbox and mailbox post combination you can find.

How to Install a Mailbox Post Without Concrete

For the mailbox installation I was originally going to take the traditional route. This involved sticking the mailbox post on top of a 6 inch deep bed of gravel and filling the hole with quick set concrete. I was all set to do this until I came across a unique product that I hadn’t seen before.

It is called Sika Post Fix Fence Post Mix, this is a foam used to install posts. When I first came across Sika Post Fix I scoffed at the idea of installing anything in foam, it seemed ridiculous that it could ever work. I thought to myself, I’ve used foam in a can plenty of times to fill holes so I am familiar with foam and how easily it breaks apart.

This of course is not the same foam you get in a can. Sika Post Fix is a high density foam which makes it very tough. Intrigued by this I decided to just try the foam. If it was terrible and didn’t work I could easily just rip the mailbox out of the foam and go get some gravel and concrete and do it the traditional way.

I also did it on a Saturday so if it was a complete disaster at least I would have Sunday to try and fix it and I wouldn’t have to worry about the mail carrier showing up trying to deliver mail and finding no mailbox.

Being extremely skeptical that this foam would actually work. I watched a lot of videos and read all of the instructions about how to properly use the foam. Eventually I felt pretty confident that I could at least apply it correctly.

I really wanted this to work, if it didn’t work it was going to be a real pain to have to start over and I really wasn’t very excited about having to lug bags of concrete and gravel around.

Using Sika Post Fix

Before you dig always make sure to call 811 to mark any possible utility lines in the area.

The Sika Post Fix instructions say the hole must be 8″ inches in diameter and 36″ inches deep for a 4 x 4 post. After ripping the old mailbox out I was left with a hole 9″ x 10″ inches in diameter and 33″ inches deep.

The old mailbox post was stuck into the ground without any concrete over 20 years ago. We have heavy clay soil and since it was almost three feet deep it certainly seemed like it was installed with concrete. It was extremely difficult to remove from the ground.

Mailbox Rules

The Salsbury mailbox post is a 4 x 4 post and is roughly 62.5″ inches from the floor of the mailbox to the end of the post. I could not install the mailbox post 36″ inches deep per the instructions since it would sit far too low and not meet USPS specifications.

Here are the USPS requirements https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm

Post office specifications state the mailbox should be between 41″ to 45″ inches from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or mailbox entry point. The mailbox also needs to be 6″ to 8″ inches back from the curb.

I decided to back fill the 33″ inch deep hole up to about 19″ inches deep. I tamped it down using part of the old mailbox post I broke off when I removed the old post. At 19″ inches this made the floor of the mailbox sit at about 43″ inches high which complied with the mailbox rules.

Pouring Sika Post Fix

After following all directions on the bag I placed the mailbox post into the hole. I made sure everything was nice and level and braced it with Irwin Tools QUICK-GRIP Clamp Set and pieces of wood I found lying around. I made sure everything was level using the IRWIN Tools Magnetic Post Level.

I then poured the foam liquid around the post. The instructions say to actually pour the liquid onto the post not just into the hole. Making contact with the post allows for a better bond with the post and also helps protect the post from rot if you are using a wooden post.

Despite the fact that my hole diameter was larger than 8″ inches and the depth was only 19″ inches I felt confident the foam would fill the hole just fine. After pouring the foam it quickly started to rise and after a couple of minutes it began to overflow the top of the hole.

After the foam stopped flowing it easily filled the entire hole and came up and out of the hole quite a bit as well. Everything worked nicely, the instructions say to wait 2 hours before doing anything to let it fully cure.

Mailbox Installation Results

After waiting a little over 2 hours I checked the results. Everything looked good, I pushed on the post a little bit to see how well it was holding.

I was pleasantly surprised that it seemed to be working quite well. Satisfied with my little quality control test I proceeded to take a hand saw and a small knife and cut off the excess foam that had overflowed out of the hole.

This turned out to be more difficult than I thought, the foam is pretty strong and it took some effort to cut it back. I even cut down a little into the hole so that I could place soil on top to hide the foam.

I then attached the mailbox and made sure everything was still sitting level and checked my measurements one more time. Everything looked good. So far it seems to be working very well. Of course time will tell how long this will last.

I have read that utility companies use foam to install telephone poles so that gives me confidence that this will work just fine.

The other benefit I see is if for some reason I ever need to remove the mailbox post it should be much easier to remove the mailbox post secured in foam rather than secured in heavy concrete. That benefit alone makes it worthwhile for me to use the foam.

Mailbox with Post

Mailbox with Post

I think this is the best mailbox and post combo. It is a great looking setup and the foam made installation very simple. If I was going to do it all over again I would do it exactly the same way.

So that is a great way on how to install a mailbox post without concrete. Make sure to take a look at the Best Weed Eater reviews so you have something to trim the grass that will grow around your new mailbox post.

Best Mailbox2020-01-10T22:36:37-05:00

Tools Used For Gardening

Tools used for gardening come in many varieties. Any homeowner knows that the key to successfully completing a project is having the correct tools to use. This is as important with gardening as it is when doing plumbing work, carpentry, painting, etc.

Tools Used For Gardening

Having some basic tools used for gardening will help make things easier and more productive in the long run.

With every project, there are tools that you absolutely need to have and then the list of tools that are nice to have since they make your job much easier.

This breakdown will help to give you a better understanding of what tools you need, what ones you might want to acquire as your budget allows, and what you should look for when buying them.

Don’t forget about power tools for jobs around the house such as weed eaters, pole saws and lawn mowers.

Tools Used For Gardening – Must Haves

Hand Trowel

A hand trowel such as the Fiskars Ergo Garden Tool Set is probably the single most important tool you need for gardening. They make quicker work of planting garden flowers and bulbs, as well as weeding and digging small holes.

A garden trowel has a pointed, scoop-shaped metal blade with a short wooden, plastic or metal handle. Look for brightly colored trowels that can be easily seen when laid down in the garden or paint wooden handles with bright paint to make them more visible.

Shovels

Shovels like the Spear Head Spade – Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel with Cushioned D Grip – Award Winning Shovel are important to have on hand when you need to dig big holes for transplanting shrubs/bushes/trees, turning over the soil, or moving bulk items like compost or rock.

Look for a shovel with a steel scoop as opposed to aluminum for durability. Scoops are slightly curved with upturned edges to hold materials; they come in either a pointed or flat tip.

Pointed tip shovels are typically used for digging and planting in softer ground that has been tilled. Flat tip shovels are more useful in hard packed ground that needs added force to penetrate the soil surface.

Garden Rakes

Garden rakes like the Bully Tools 12-Gauge 16-Inch Bow Rake are stronger than leaf rakes, and play an important role in gardening. They can be used for turning over soil, spreading ground cover, removing weeds, gathering garden debris and tamping soil.

Look for a rake that is appropriately sized for your height; ideally the handle rake should reach the bridge of your nose from the floor. Choose a soft grip handle if your hands tire easily or you are prone to blisters.

Pruners

Pruners such as Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears are an essential tool to have for the garden to handle a variety of cutting jobs. Look for a pair that has a safety catch to hold the blades closed together when not in use, and bypass or crossover blades.

Bypass blades cut with a motion similar to scissors where two sharpened blades slice together. Often times one of these blades is curved to allow you to get into tight spaces.

Tools Used For Gardening – Nice to Have Tools:

Loppers

Loppers like the Fiskars Bypass Lopper are larger than pruners and will help to prune branches and suckers that are too big for basic pruners. Long handled varieties will reach higher branches with ease.

Wheelbarrows

Wheelbarrows like the Gorilla Carts Poly Garden Dump Cart make moving heavy items in the garden much easier. They are a back saver when moving rock, mulch, or compost to the garden and hauling garden debris away.

When choosing a wheelbarrow first determine your needs; wheelbarrows come in capacities ranging from 2 square feet to 6 square feet. Steel wheelbarrows are heavier to move and can rust but they can carry more weight.

They are more suited for moving rocks, or large plants. Plastic wheelbarrows are lighter and typically less expensive to purchase. However they can crack from temperature fluctuations, improper handling, or being loaded with too much weight.

Tiller or Cultivator

A tiller or cultivator like the Earthwise 12.5-Amp 16-Inch Corded Tiller/Cultivator, Green will come in handy if you have a larger garden space, saving you time when you need to work the soil.

A cultivator is a smaller piece of equipment and works well for loosening the soil in an existing garden, weeding between rows, and mixing compost into the soil. The smaller stature makes them easier to maneuver and have a cheaper price tag.

Tillers are more powerful, and have heavy duty tines to work the soil. They will cost more but have a wider stance and can work ground more quickly.

Best Tools For Gardening

Gardening work will go much more smoothly when you equip yourself with the best tools used in gardening for the job. Having a good quality hand trowel, shovel, garden rake and set of pruners gives you a great basis to your tool collection.

Then if money allows, and you’d like to expand you can add items such as a wheelbarrow, a set of loppers and a good garden tiller based on your garden size.

Tools Used For Gardening2020-01-07T14:03:39-05:00