ShareThis Page
New tools carry more of the load for gardeners |

New tools carry more of the load for gardeners

Gardeners can lighten the load of their work by using the right tools, says rehabilitation therapist Joe DeLuca.

Scott Buck, owner of a Charleston, S.C., firm that specializes in garden hardware, agrees and says “a trend in manufacturing has led to the production of tools aimed” at a growing, aging group of gardeners.

DeLuca works for Excela Health out of Westmoreland Regional Hospital in Greensburg as the manager of rehabilitation services for Barclay Rehabilitation.

Some issues are easy to grasp. He says using shovels with longer handles lets gardeners avoid bending, and thus avoids an aching back.

Buck, owner of the 3-year-old Garden Hardware Co., says some new shovels also have other ergonomic features. He has one model that has a shock absorber in the handle so when a user strikes a rock, there is some cushioning.

“It’s not going to move like a pogo stick,” he says, “but it will help ease the shock.”

That shovel has some subtle features, too, he says, such as a handle that is angled slightly forward to provide better leverage.

Buck says changes in the handles on pruners make them fit various size hands better and some can be adjusted for right- or left-handers.

DeLuca says it is important to be aware of handle thickness. When a handle is too narrow, it is difficult to grip because the hand doesn’t fit well enough around it.

He also sees advantages in pistol-grip trimmers that are easy to operate by the fingers and keep the wrists in a better position than the traditional ones with a lateral handle.

“Any time you allow your wrist to be in a neutral position, you are in a good position,” he says.

DeLuca also says it is unwise to wear gloves that are too thick. That makes it difficult to feel what is in the hands and forces tighter, wasteful gripping.

“If you grip harder, you can lose 25 to 30 percent of your gripping strength,” he says.

— Bob Karlovits

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.