The Risks of Improvised Garden Tools

Gardeners are very savvy when it comes to garden tools. We know which one performs the task the best and how hard a job becomes when you don’t have the right one. We can probably even list the exact ones that our collection is missing.

Yet when a job just needs to get done it needs to get done. So we’ll often substitute another tool in its place knowing full well the risks associated – from blisters to broken tools.

The concern now is partly related to the Financial Crisis that seems to be ebbing its way into our lives. While most times a substituted tool will perform a task quite well, the risk now is that gardeners may opt for improvising some of their collection to get even more “mileage” out of them. And nothing is more concerning when this involves power tools.

This concern became a reality when a UK man was killed after modifying his angle grinder. The man had fitted an angle grinder with a toothed circular saw blade in an attempt to remove a tree stump in his yard.

The inquest into his death finished this month with the coroner concluding, “He chose to use that circular saw blade instead of a chain saw, which would have been the more appropriate implement…” An even better tool for the job might have been a stump grinder with a professional attached to the control panel but when you’re trying to save a few dollars it makes improvising your own tools a little more tempting, doesn’t it?

And herein lies the concern – the temptation to save a few quid will often justify our actions to make our garden tools attempt tasks that they were never created to perform.

To avoid this the options then become;

  • Take the most expensive route and hire a professional.
  • Buy the tool that’s needed.
  • Borrow, or hire, the tool – provided it hasn’t been compromised, or
  • Leave the job for another day when you may be a little more flush with cash.

Considering the alternative – death or at least serious injury – the risk of improvising your garden tools takes a definite back seat to the options above. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Additionally, we participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.