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The rake that's a saw; and other interchangeable-head garden tools.

The rake that's a saw Interchangeable-head tools with convertible handles may be the perfect solution for small-space gardeners, new homeowners who are just getting started in gardening, or experienced gardeners who want versatility without clutter.

Engineered in Europe from steel, plastic, wood, or fiberglass, most multihead sets are hand tools that become lightweight, long-handled implements when extensions are screwed, snapped, or twisted on.

Tools with options

Easy to maneuver in small garden spaces, these tools are also easy to carry; rather than struggle to the vegetable patch with a big armload, all you need is a bag of tool heads and one long handle. Using standard tools for the same range of jobs would be much more expensive--and unwieldy.

These tools are versatile: compact heads such as the weed knife, flower rake, and claw hoe allow careful gardening around plants, while the larger heads enable you to do tougher pruning and cultivating.

Depending on the brand, extension handles come in various lengths from 15 to 63 inches. The shorter handles are designed to increase the reach of the hand tools. If you want to garden standing up, be sure to get a brand that offers a long handle.

While handy for small-scale gardening, these tools are probably not your best choice for rugged daily use. If all you need is a durable pruning saw and a rake, you may be better off buying those specific individual tools.

Where to get combination tools

Many garden and hardware stores now carry combination tools. But if you can't find them locally, you can order them by mail. Handles range from $6 to $12; tool heads cost $5 to $25 each, depending on their size and complexity.

J. Collard, Box 7000A, Redondo Beach, Calif. 90277; (800) 541-4550. Sells a set with nine hand tools and a 29-inch handle (two handles are needed to reach full size), and one with four heads and 12- and 63- inch snap-on handles. Catalog free.

Langenbach, Box 453, Blairstown, N.J. 07825; (201) 362-5886. Sells a set with five hand tools and a 30-inch handle, and one with six heads and a 52-inch handle. Both sets are interchangeable. Catalog $1.

Smith & Hawken, 25 Corte Madera, Mill Valley, Calif. 94941; (415) 383-2000. Sells a hand rake and crack weeder with a 30-inch extension handle. Catalog free.

Walt Nicke Company, 36 McLeod Lane, Box 433, topsfield, Mass. 01983; (508) 887-3388. Sells a set with seven heads for pinpoin garden work and 15-, 30-, and 38-inch handles. Catalog free.
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Article Type:Directory
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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