Sturdy Tools – What to Buy in Canberra?

Known_only_as_Jack 1 January 2012 36

I have made the most common mistake that any novice landscaper can make:

I assumed that ALL TOOLS ARE CREATED EQUAL

I went to that big green warehouse and picked up some basic gardening tools (at the cheaper end of the price scale) and used them for all of 15 min before the handle of the first shovel snapped off and blade to the second bent permanently out of shape.

Now I need a new set. I am happy to shell out some coin but need them to last years not minutes. Can anyone give me an idea where to go and what to buy (i.e. good brands).

I am looking for hand tools (long & short handle shovel, mattock, wheelbarrow, and edger) and some basic electrics (drill, jig saw, hedge trimmer and whipper snipper).

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Jack


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36 Responses to Sturdy Tools – What to Buy in Canberra?
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Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:28 am 20 Feb 13

smashedcrab said :

Just wanted to revive this thread with some updated information. Fisher Discounts looks like it’s closing down…

Don’t come Friday, you’ll be too early!

Don’t come Monday, you’ll be too late!

🙁

LSWCHP LSWCHP 10:03 am 20 Feb 13

Total Tools (great name!) recently opened in Gladstone St Fyshwick. If you want high quality tools of all varieties then check them out.

RadioVK RadioVK 9:05 am 20 Feb 13

smashedcrab said :

Just wanted to revive this thread with some updated information. Fisher Discounts looks like it’s closing down – they’re not putting any new stock on the shelves. This is a shame as I really liked what they had going on and had a very wide range of quality gear.
Business is apparently waning because of Bunnings (with their awful Ozito budget brands) and the opening of a new place called United Tools. I checked them out yesterday and they seem to be the builder’s equivalent of Super Cheap Auto. ie: Cheap, nasty and don’t really seem to be advertising themselves as a purveyor of quality brands.

Can anyone point me in the direction of a retailer with good quality wood hand tools? I can’t find a decent chisel in this city, let alone a fancy saw.

I thought that Fisher Discounts might have been in trouble. The stock on the shelves upstairs in the modelling section has been disappearing without being replaced for months now.

I wanted to order a few bits for my airbrush, but the guy that runs the modelling section told me he’s currently unable to order stock from anywhere.

Reading between the lines, they’re in serious trouble by the sounds of it.

Girt_Hindrance Girt_Hindrance 7:32 am 20 Feb 13

Girt_Hindrance said :

johnboy said :

For electricals it’s hard to go past Fisher Discounts.

From my experience, even some of the staff are tools.

Actually, my apologies all- not the place to grind my axe, so to speak.
Fantastic shop, have spent many hours in there- it would suck it they were closing- maybe a chance of another huge sale tho?

Girt_Hindrance Girt_Hindrance 11:57 pm 19 Feb 13

johnboy said :

For electricals it’s hard to go past Fisher Discounts.

From my experience, even some of the staff are tools.

gazket gazket 9:40 pm 19 Feb 13

Trash n treasure and garage sales are good places to find strong old school shovels.

Sandman Sandman 9:21 pm 19 Feb 13

Bugger! Oh well, at least now I won’t have the problem of walking in there to get a $40 hammer and instead walking out with a $750 Paslode Cordless nail gun. I will miss those big weekend tent sales though. They were better than Christmas day.

Russ Russ 8:59 pm 19 Feb 13

That’s terrible news if Fisher’s is closing down. Their range of Bosch stuff is/was particularly good, and they’d move on price – something you don’t find at Bunnings/Masters.

As for other power tool / tool shops, Combine Electrical and Workshop services in Newcastle St has been there for a hell of a long time – they sell some of the pricier stuff such as Festool, but also Makita and other decent brands, and they know their stuff – they used to be the repair agents for a bunch of power tools (dunno if that’s still the case). There’s also M&G Industrial tucked away in Wiluna St.

The United Tools place does stock some quality gear, and will do deals, so they are worth checking out.

rosscoact rosscoact 6:01 pm 19 Feb 13

smashedcrab said :

Just wanted to revive this thread with some updated information. Fisher Discounts looks like it’s closing down – they’re not putting any new stock on the shelves. This is a shame as I really liked what they had going on and had a very wide range of quality gear.
Business is apparently waning because of Bunnings (with their awful Ozito budget brands) and the opening of a new place called United Tools. I checked them out yesterday and they seem to be the builder’s equivalent of Super Cheap Auto. ie: Cheap, nasty and don’t really seem to be advertising themselves as a purveyor of quality brands.

Can anyone point me in the direction of a retailer with good quality wood hand tools? I can’t find a decent chisel in this city, let alone a fancy saw.

No, no, no, no. This can’t be happening. Knowledgable people with a great product and proud of what they do.

No sir, I don’t like this at all.

smashedcrab smashedcrab 5:52 pm 19 Feb 13

Just wanted to revive this thread with some updated information. Fisher Discounts looks like it’s closing down – they’re not putting any new stock on the shelves. This is a shame as I really liked what they had going on and had a very wide range of quality gear.
Business is apparently waning because of Bunnings (with their awful Ozito budget brands) and the opening of a new place called United Tools. I checked them out yesterday and they seem to be the builder’s equivalent of Super Cheap Auto. ie: Cheap, nasty and don’t really seem to be advertising themselves as a purveyor of quality brands.

Can anyone point me in the direction of a retailer with good quality wood hand tools? I can’t find a decent chisel in this city, let alone a fancy saw.

kambahkrawler kambahkrawler 9:30 am 03 Jan 12

EvanJames said :

Gerry-Built said :

I thought so too, until I discovered the “Littl’ Juey”… now I love using my Whipper Snipper to wage my war on weeds and anything else that gets in the way of my gardening prowess… and rarely have to change line (and NEVER have to deal with frickin’ correct tension on the lines)… EVERY Trimmer should come with it…

Yep. Got one! Makes life much simpler. I’m hoping I can cut my old roll of line into lengths to use in this thing, use them up.

Au contraire. As an ex grass chopping professional you can’t go past a Tanaka 4 way trimmer head: http://www.indmowing.com.au/catalog/popup_image.php?pID=568&osCsid=a3a10c3416441b37ba4bb7f8ea596ba8. No fannying around with cutting little bits of cord, and you’ll never replace one of these in 10 years…

Not much else to add to the actual discussion except that I happily buy Ozito electrical stuff for the little bits of DIY I get up to, but when it comes to gardening tools, the more you spend the longer it lasts.

One word of advice though – apart from mowers, never buy a 4 stroke petrol gardening tool. 2 stroke rools.

gazket gazket 10:13 pm 02 Jan 12

If you want good tools don’t go to Bunnings to buy them. nearly all their stuff is weak/cheap home use stuff and there salesman aren’t much better. Even there Makita / DeWalt range is the home use stuff. plastic chucks , plastic gears.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 9:08 pm 02 Jan 12

Known_only_as_Jack said :

Thank you all for your input; it is greatly appreciated. I will be heading out this weeks end to start establishing my workshop.

As for the return; well – ‘no receipt – no return’. Rest assured it will be the last time that I make that mistake as well.

Thanks again
Jack

Really? I’ve returned plenty of stuff to the big green shed without a receipt, and have never had any problems at all – including stuff that had broken. The only limitation was that I’d get store credit, rather than an actual refund.

If you paid using a card – EFTPOS or credit – they should be able to pull your details out of their sales system as well, and print out a duplicate receipt.

It’s actually one of the things that makes me come back there (well…aside from there being no alternative in the Belconnen area these days…) – their return policies are very friendly.

Known_only_as_Jack Known_only_as_Jack 9:00 pm 02 Jan 12

Thank you all for your input; it is greatly appreciated. I will be heading out this weeks end to start establishing my workshop.

As for the return; well – ‘no receipt – no return’. Rest assured it will be the last time that I make that mistake as well.

Thanks again
Jack

molongloid molongloid 8:58 pm 02 Jan 12

Any opinions on the Hitachi Lithium Ion stuff that Magnet Mart stock?

poetix poetix 7:41 pm 02 Jan 12

Kerryhemsley said :

No all tools aren’t created equal. A good sturdy one will help but you need to know how to use it. Ladies?

Anyone says ‘stud finder’ and I’m shooting them with my nail gun, quick as.

Kerryhemsley Kerryhemsley 4:14 pm 02 Jan 12

No all tools aren’t created equal. A good sturdy one will help but you need to know how to use it. Ladies?

thatsnotme thatsnotme 2:07 pm 02 Jan 12

Gerry-Built said :

I worked for the tool section in the big green warehouse back when they only had one store in Canberra; and even before it became green…

Re power tools: I used to suggest the cheap brands (like Ozito’s cheap brand; XU1) for one-off or weekend DIY jobs, but if someone wanted to be able to use the tool in the longer term, or for larger jobs, a Ryobi at minimum, but more likely Makita. Most of my own tools are makita, though I have some cheaper brands for my less used items (ie now defunct GMC). Generally I didn’t sell DeWalt to anyone but tradies as they are more costly for what you get than most DIYers require – and OP sounds like a DIYer. It is worth buying plastic, sealable tubs for the more expensive power tools, both to keep moisture out, and to keep bits etc located with them. Don’t forget a good set of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); goggles, earmuffs, hat and respirator mask – do not skimp on these.

With a wheelbarrow, get steel handles… Every wooden handled barrow I’ve owned; the timber has been of such a poor grade, it splinters and warps – badly…

I agree re Makita, the Makita stuff I’ve got (some handed down after a lot of use) is still going strong, and has never missed a beat.

I do have an Ozito angle grinder, and it’s never been any trouble either, still going strong. I think that with cheap power tools, it’s worth sticking to simple stuff – things like angle grinders or circular saws, which are basically an electric motor spinning a shaft, with a cutting disc manually screwed in place. I think that where the cheap tools can end up running into trouble is with things like chucks on a drill, or other more complicated mechanisms.

AEG are a brand I like as well. Their non-professional stuff is probably fairly similar to Makita for quality, perhaps a bit better sometimes. They do seem to have a fair bit of stuff that fills the mid range “better than the cheap stuff, but cheaper than the pro stuff” price point.

I do do a reasonable amount of DIY around the house and garden though, so appreciate tools that just work. My philosophy is that if I need a tool for a job, there’s a good chance I’ll need it again at some point in the future, so I’ll buy something that will still be working down the track. YYMV!

EvanJames EvanJames 11:34 am 02 Jan 12

Gerry-Built said :

I thought so too, until I discovered the “Littl’ Juey”… now I love using my Whipper Snipper to wage my war on weeds and anything else that gets in the way of my gardening prowess… and rarely have to change line (and NEVER have to deal with frickin’ correct tension on the lines)… EVERY Trimmer should come with it…

Yep. Got one! Makes life much simpler. I’m hoping I can cut my old roll of line into lengths to use in this thing, use them up.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 10:43 am 02 Jan 12

I worked for the tool section in the big green warehouse back when they only had one store in Canberra; and even before it became green…

Re power tools: I used to suggest the cheap brands (like Ozito’s cheap brand; XU1) for one-off or weekend DIY jobs, but if someone wanted to be able to use the tool in the longer term, or for larger jobs, a Ryobi at minimum, but more likely Makita. Most of my own tools are makita, though I have some cheaper brands for my less used items (ie now defunct GMC). Generally I didn’t sell DeWalt to anyone but tradies as they are more costly for what you get than most DIYers require – and OP sounds like a DIYer. It is worth buying plastic, sealable tubs for the more expensive power tools, both to keep moisture out, and to keep bits etc located with them. Don’t forget a good set of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); goggles, earmuffs, hat and respirator mask – do not skimp on these.

With a wheelbarrow, get steel handles… Every wooden handled barrow I’ve owned; the timber has been of such a poor grade, it splinters and warps – badly…

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