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6. Buying and Hiring


Hiring tools is an economic option to buying equipment we might use only once. There certainly is plenty of choice these days but what happens if you have never used a floor sander or a commercial paint stripper before?


Chainsaws are very dangerous tools in the hands of the untrained, and can cause serious injuries if the saw kicks back into the face line or suddenly cuts through, cutting the legs. If you cannot get a professional to carry out the work and need to hire a chainsaw then choose a model with two-handed control, a chain brake, chain catcher, tip guard and low profile blades. Never use one above waist height and only cut with the chain running at full speed. Keep wrists straight and the left thumb positioned below the front handle. Ensure timber being cut cannot move.

Safety wear is crucial: visor, ear defenders, helmet, ballistic trousers or leggings, ankle protectors or gaiters, ballistic gloves and boots with steel toecaps. But remember, some chainsaws (such as the ‘top handled’ variety) are only intended for use by trained operators and NOT by members of the public, under any circumstances.

Hedge Trimmers

Choose a model with two-handed controls, a blade-stopping time of less than 0.5 seconds and blade extensions. Always keep both hands on the handles. Wear goggles, strong gloves and ear defenders.

Compost Shredders

If the shredder blocks or the cutters jam when in use, always switch off the power and if petrol driven remove the spark plug cap before cleaning. You need goggles, gloves, a face mask and ear defenders.

Brush Cutters

Use a model with heavy duty nylon line rather than a metal blade, a throttle lock-off switch, a wide guard and good balance - with a lower handle, for example. Wear goggles, gloves, boots and, for petrol versions, ear defenders. For all of the above - read the instructions before use!


Wear eye protectors, gloves and strong shoes. Carry one pane at a time using cloths or pads. Do not try to catch a dropped piece of glass. Beware small shards of glass and sweep them up carefully.

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