Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Flexrake® 8" Ratchet Bypass Pruners - A Review

When I attended the Independent Garden Center Show (IGC) in Chicago this past August, there were over 1000 vendors there, showing their products to those that would hopefully buy them or write about them. It was a fabulous experience for me - my first time there - and there were a number of products that caught my attention.

I was immediately drawn to the vintage-looking tools by Flexrake® and I wanted one of each. Of course, I was basing this on appearance only, but that's many times the first thing we notice and what makes us want to know more. As I talked to the representative, he offered me my choice of tools to try for review.

I chose the 8" Ratchet Bypass Pruners. (Item #CLA349)

I really wanted to like these pruners. I love the design - the way the handle wraps around your fingers. In a closed position, they feel good. But that's where the goodness stops.

The very first time I tried to prune with these, before I ever took them to the branch, just opening them up told me they weren't going to be comfortable to use. My hand isn't particularly tiny, nor is it large, but in an open position, these pruners are way too large for me. My hand can't spread widely enough and still be able to squeeze the pruners closed. My husband, who is 6' 1" tall and has long fingers found them to be equally uncomfortable to use, for the same reasons.

This is literally stretching it...

The next issue I had with them was their cutting ability. They definitely work better on the larger diameter branches (up to ¾-inch), but on smaller ones, the carbon steel's cutting blades were almost useless. In all cases, there was shredding and no clean cuts. I was surprised at this and disappointed, because as I said, I really wanted to like these pruners.

The suggested retail price is $18.99, which is more than reasonable in the world of pruners, but that's money that could be better spent on a different pair of pruners or on one of Flexrake®'s other tools in the Classic line.

For more information on Flexrake® (family owned and operated since 1945), visit their website.

At Flexrake® we are committed to American manufacturing. We continue to employ Americans in manufacturing and do everything in our power to retain jobs in America. Our top selling garden and pet products are “Made in America”, here in Temple City, California. We believe that we can be competitive in America and we intend on continuing that philosophy. Our customers and our associates are and will remain our top priority.

The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.


teresa said...

Love the honesty.good to know.good puners are a great find. I like my felcos best so far but always looking for great tools. Thanks

Jan Bills said...

Darn, I was hoping you liked them! In any event, it's good to know, Kylee! Thanks!

Lona said...

They do look like they would be awkward and hand cramping to use Kylee. Glad you gave a honest review of the pruners.

Layanee said...

Good to know Kylee. I have many pruners but no ratchet pruner. I will not be purchasing this one.

Garden Lily said...

Too bad they didn't have you test out the prototype, they could have avoided that design flaw. Thanks for sharing.

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