Hand Tools

March 25, 2013 in Machinery

Vintage hand-tools covers more than just a collection of garden shears or grandad’s pre-war spades and forks in the allotment shed.

There is a vast and eclectic range of tools, powered by electric, petrol or human power. Although the term hand-tools tends to automatically refer to smaller items like shears used in the garden it does also cover a broader area including pushed hoes, garden sprayers, insecticide dusters and lawn edgers to name just a few.
Garden sprayers

An excellent and interesting display of garden sprayers. These are all hand-powered with some being small for domestic garden use and around the greenhouse and the larger wheeled versions for larger application or commercial use.

This is a fascinating and growing collectors area where superb collections of items can, mostly, be gathered relatively easily. These are sometimes exhibited or displayed as a group of items such as secateurs through the decades, or perhaps as a collection produced by a single manufacturer such as the 1960’s range of Black & Decker hedge-trimmers. These displays of hand-tools appeal to the viewing public who can often remember using them or recall their grand-parents having them many years ago.

Collecting hand-tools can be a great hobby especially when one has a manufacturers brochure or a catalogue and the challenge is on to find the one elusive item advertised!

Many vintage hand-tools in the UK were made by UK companies rather than being imported from the US or Europe. So it is very easy to find UK engineered items at vintage auctions or even car-boot sales.

A selection of secateurs and cutting tools

Some of the most well known companies in the UK are Jalo (push hoes), Sheen of Nottingham (flame guns), Fisons, and Sisis (both making lawn fertiliser spreaders in the 1950’s & 60’s), There is quite a long list of manufacturers and a wide range of products they manufactured too.

Although there are many Uk manufacturers there are US manufacturers that imported their tools into the UK like the Planter Junior company . Their wooden-handled hoes were incredibly popular and sold in huge numbers from the 1930’s onwards. Some of their hoe models were available with a small plough and a seeder too. These are collectible, can be found quite easily and make a good exhibit.

Most hand-tools are items in their own right but some hand-tools can be attachments or additional to a much larger machine. For example the Wolseley Merry Tiller had attachments which could include a hedge trimmer and chainsaw – both of which worked via a flexi-shaft from the Merry Tillers petrol engine. Similar items were available for other makes too such as an electric-powered hedge-trimmer running from an Allen scythe and the range of implememts manufactured by the Tarpen company.

1 response to Hand Tools

  1. It is also worth remembering that many hand tools such as Billhooks, Brush hooks, Hoes and Scythes etc would have have been made by the village Blacksmith so may not carry any identification marks to tell us who made them.

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