I just became aware that Black & Decker makes a whole series of telescoping lawn and garden tools. These tools, like the trowel or mini shovel shown here, have “lightweight steel handles” that extend out from 25″ to 37″. Most if not all of the tools look to have 5 year warranties.
On one hand, extendable tools help to save space. They might also be easier to use when you’re working closer to the ground and could benefit from a tool sized between handheld and full-size ones.
But on the other hand, I have had terrible experiences with extendable and telescoping tools. I tend to bend or break extendable tools fairly quickly, regardless of whether the handles are made of plastic or metal. There are exceptions to this. My Voile avalanche shovel has lasted 4 winter seasons now as my portable auto shovel, with no signs of frailty in the handle.
Black & Decker’s telescoping garden tools, which includes a trowel, small fan rake, combination “culti-hoe,” angled cultivator, and a 5-tine cultivator, sound really good on paper. The tools all feature rust resistant powder coating, steel construction, and comfort grip handles.
That these have “lightweight steel” handles makes me think they’re made of hollow thin-walled tubing, which is something that doesn’t usually work well with extendable tools. A few reviews are positive, others seem be negative, with complaints focusing on the telescoping handles. A lot of the reviews I’ve seen are from unverified buyers, which is just something to keep in mind.
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A quick search shows that there are actually a number of brands besides Black & Decker that make telescoping garden tools. If you’ve tried these tools, or any other brands’, would you recommend them? Or are my concerns about the handles being weak and light duty valid?