The tool I speak of is this
I've watched many a presentation on 'The Handy multicutter' and have marvelled at how easy Derek Belcher makes it look to use. His claims of easy assembly, light weight and easy start have had me hooked for some time because I've been after each of those tools for some time now.
The price is usually around £300 but no way am I paying that so when I saw it recently on air for half that I jumped at the chance to own my own Handy tool.
This land needs alot of strimming on a regular basis and I've always had to rely on Mr TG and his industrial size bush cutter - I've never dared use it because it seemed so heavy and I had nightmares about taking the legs off my dogs with its sinister looking metal blade. I wanted a petrol line trimmer!
When the tool arrived I was kind of wary about using it - what if all Dereks claims were false, it would end up being the same waste of money as the 'Vitamix' was.
Mr TG set it all up for me, showed me how to mix the petrol and oil and then gave it a fire up - that is the point where I should have realised it needed to go back. Mr TG uses these things all the time but even he struggled to get this thing to fire, when he finally got it working and handed it to me that is when I really should have sent it back - not only was it hard to start but it is not lightweight... at all!
Mr TG was doing the usual "I told you it would be rubbish" speech and of course I was determined to prove this tool worthwhile so I assembled the ungainly strap and started strimming away (with the dreaded bush cutter attachment as Mr TG refuses to believe a line strimmer is of any use to anyone) and I had to admit it felt awkward and really uncomfortable.
I decided to give it a chance though and a couple of days later I reluctantly dragged it out to strim all round the greenhouse area
Here I am all dolled up ready to fire this sucker up
This is me after 20 minutes of trying to fire that fecker up (excuse the language but seriously I was fuming by this point)
Honestly by this point I was all for boxing the thing up and sending it back. I followed the instructions to the letter and still couldn't get it going, the only reason I decided to keep trying was the thought of having to tell Mr TG it was going back and the smug look that would have crossed his face.
Eventually I got it going but it was more by sheer luck and the hardest, nastiest yank on that string I could pull, only for the darned thing to cut out and refuse to go again - great! I hadn't turned the choke off within a millisecond so I had flooded the engine! I left it for 10 mins, went back - nothing! Tried again - nothing! There was nothing in the instructions to tell you what to do if it had flooded so I stood it up, refrained from kicking it and left it a further 10 mins. When I next fired it up I didn't bother with the choke and it flew into life!
Here's what I'm hoping to tackle with it
Although I found it awkward to hold and it creased my back up I have to admit it did a really good job. The line strimmer did a good job around the rocks and the dreaded bush cutter cut through the docks and head height weeds extremely easily.
I did struggle to hold the buttons down though - I get cramped hands very easily and I had to keep releasing and stretching them. You can push a small button in that keeps the cutter going until you release it but I noticed a drop in power when I did that.
The after effects
So is 'The Handy' worth it? Will I be keeping it? The answer to both is yes but in my opinion it is only worth it at the price I paid for it not the original asking price. I will keep it because it means I can do everything myself now and not have to keep bugging Mr TG to do certain things for me and although I haven't used the chainsaw part of it yet it's going to save me alot of sawing of trees in the spring.
Have to say I was a little bit miffed to see Derek Belcher presenting another Multi cutter with a Mccullochs engine after I bought this one, especially as the sales pitch was exactly the same! I got this one because Derek put his name behind it as he owns the company and I find it a little conflict of interests that he's promoting another similar product.
Would I recommend this to a friend? No. To an enemy? Most definitely!
The reason I couldn't in all good conscience recommend it is for several reasons
- It is NOT easy to start....ever!
- It is not as light as the presenters make you believe.
- It is awkward to use and the handles really aren't thought out properly.
- The harness does its job but isn't as good as it could be.
- It has to be used on your right hand side or you'll get burned.
- The length is strange. I'm not tall but even I have to bend over to get the cutter to the floor.
- The line strimmer does a good job but when it loses line you have to physically open it to pull more out (Mr TG claims older versions of line trimmers simply had to be pressed to the floor to release more line?)
- I dread using it.
- The attachments are very easy to change over.