There are fun DIY projects that you can do like build a swing set for you kids or grow tomatoes in a vegetable garden and then there are chores that you need to get done. Seems like I’m doing a lot of chores lately and haven’t had much time for the fun projects. For example this weekend I was power washing pavers for about 10 hours.
One of the best presents that I got this past Christmas was a garden machete. I was expecting something like socks or other boring necessities. One year my daughter found one of my old hockey pucks in the garage and wrapped that up for me. But opening up a garden machete on Christmas morning was definitely one of the most unexpected treats of the whole year.
So what do I need a machete for anyway? Beside killing zombies, I also plan to get a lot of use out of the machete in the garden. Every spring I usually split a dozen or so hostas. In the past I’ve used an old kitchen knife or a shovel but now I can yell, “Hassan Chop!” and look much cooler doing it. Every year the hostas keep getting bigger and I keep splitting them. And now I have the proper tool for the job.
Another great use for my garden machete will be chopping down my musa basjoo every fall. I like to grow hardy banana trees that need to over winter in my garage. For banana trees they’re pretty hardy but New Jersey winters would be too much for them. So in the fall, I chop off the leaves and if necessary I chop the pseudostem (the trunk) to fit them in my warmer garage.
The machete I got is made by Gerber. They make pretty good multitools so I would think that this machete should hold up well. It even comes with a sheath. I checked some of the reviews on Amazon for this particular machete (Gerber 31-000758 Gator Machete with Sheath) and there were a few people who gave it one star. That worried for until I read between the lines and saw that these people were trying to cut down trees and chop firewood and crazy stuff that you’ll see Bear Grills or Survivorman do. For use in the garden I don’t think that I’ll have any problems with it snapping in two. I don’t have any rock hard hostas so I should be okay.
One of the most exciting new trends in tools is the Skeleton Multitool. How much a multitool weighs is an important selling point for consumers so companies like Leatherman and Gerber have tried to reduce the weight of their tools as much as possible. The technique most often used is to replace the solid metal shells with a skeleton shell. Not only do the “holes” lighten the total weight of these multitools but they also look really cool.
Both multitools have a lockable blade that can be opened one handed with a little practice. The usual pliers that most multitools feature are also found on both the Skeletool and the CX. And the universal bit driver is always a welcome feature on both of these multitools.
The only real difference between them is that the Leatherman Skeletool CX is made with some carbon fiber and that gives it a more aggressive looking handle. You would think that the carbon fiber would make it lighter than the regular Skeletool (all stainless steel) but they both weigh in at 5 oz.
So whether you should opt for the multi colored CX or the completely stainless steel Skeletool, really comes down to taste. Which one do you like better? You really can’t go wrong with a Skeleton Multitool.
Gerber Suspension Multitool
The Gerber Multitool is one of my favorite tools. Whether I’m doing a home improvement project or working in the garden the Gerber Multitool is always in my pocket. Not only can you cut or screw or strip or whatever you’re trying to do with it but it’s also a good looking tool. You really can’t beat the cool looking skeleton design of this multitool.
Now that the Leatherman Skeletool is out, the Gerber isn’t the only Skeleton Multitool on the market anymore. But the Leatherman Skeletool is over $50. That’s not a lot of money but if you’re looking for a bargain, you can get the Gerber for well under $30.
The actual product name is the Gerber 01471 Suspension Butterfly Opening Multi-Plier, with Sheath but no matter what you call it, you won’t be fumbling around for a tool when you’ve got this in your pocket. It comes fully loaded with the following:
- Needle-nose Pliers
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Wire Cutter/Stripper
- Straight Blade
- Serrated Blade
- Large and Medium Flathead Screwdrivers
- Lanyard Ring
- Bottle Opener
- Can Opener