Henchman tripod ladder review 2019

Why use tripod ladders ? – a Henchman tripod ladder review

Tripod ladders are used where ordinary ladders will not be safe. Like a milking stool, the tripod ladders have three legs to ensure their stability. With three legs, it is impossible for a tripod ladder not stay in contact with the ground.

Basic tripod ladders usually have one adjustable leg but the more professional ones have three adjustable legs. This makes them much more suited for uneven ground or for use on a sloping surface.

  • Unlike a normal ladder, Henchman tripod platform ladders have a special 7 inch (18cm) wide platform step to stand on. This step supports both feet leaving the remaining three feet above the step to lean on. There is room in the top part of the ladder to tuck your legs in so improving your stability.

The triangular footprint, which gives you much more stability than a standard ladder, is almost certain not to wobble. Having just three legs also allows for greater access in difficult areas which is why tripod ladders can be used for hedge trimming, pruning, topiary work as well as fruit picking.

They are often used by house painters and the shorter versions are ideal for maintenance in and around the house for little jobs like changing a light bulb.


Henchman Basic 1.8m (6ft) Tripod Ladder with built-in platform
This basic tripod ladder is made from lightweight aluminium, has one adjustable
leg and is ideal for hedge and fruit tree maintenance around the small to
medium size garden. It only weighs 7.1kg so it is easy to move around the

The feet have gripping claws built in. A rubber foot kit (pack of 3) is available
as an extra.

The Henchman ladders are designed with your safety in mind. There is a handy
top rail you can use to support yourself which you can also use to lean on if you
are working with both hands and a handy platform to stand your tools on.

There is also a safety chain to stop the legs from spreading too far.

The waist working height is 1.8m and the shoulder working height is 2.2m.

This Henchman tripod ladder is very stable, even on sloping ground. The adjustable leg, with a wide footprint, means that the tripod ladder can be used on the roughest ground or the steepest slope (without wobbling) in complete

You will be completely safe and comfortable working at the top of this tripod ladder even if you are afraid of normal ladders.


Henchman Professional Tripod Platform Ladders
All of the Henchman professional tripod ladders have three fully adjustable legs with an 18 inch variation in height. This means they will be ideal for use on sloping ground and different levels like stairs.

The Henchman tripod ladders are made from quality aluminium and are fully
welded to the appropriate British Standards. Henchman tripod ladders are made with your safety in mind.

The three adjustable legs (46cm (18” adjustment) enable the tripod ladder to be set so the top is level and remain stable. The single leg allows you to work in tight spaces and could even be placed inside the edge of a hedge to give you more reach on wider hedges.

The tripod ladders come in four different heights: 1.8m (6Ft), 2.4m (8ft), 3m (10ft) and 3.7m (12ft), and are suitable for many different jobs around the house and garden.

The tripod ladders are weight tested and will support a 150kg (23 stone) load safely.

The extra wide 7 inch platform rung enables the user to stand safely and comfortably while working. This allows you to lean against the top rail leaving both hands free to work.

All Henchman tripod ladders have a safety chain to stop the legs spreading too
far apart and claw feet to stop the tripod ladder from sinking into the ground or
slipping on the soil.

Sets of rubber feet (in packs of 3) are available for use on smooth surfaces and to protect carpet and wood flooring if the tripod ladders are used indoors.

The Henchman tripod ladder is very stable, even on sloping ground. The adjustable legs, with a wide footprint, means that the tripod ladder can be used on the roughest ground or the steepest slope (without wobbling) in complete safety.

You will be completely safe and comfortable working at the top of this tripod ladder even if you are afraid of normal ladders.

Protective Rubber Feet for Henchman Tripod Ladders

Although Henchman tripod ladders have non-slip claw feet there will be occasions where you want to use the tripod ladder on a smooth surface or indoors.

Henchman sells sets of rubber feet (in packs of three) for their professional range of tripod ladders. They will stop the built in claws from slipping and protect surfaces such as carpets and wood flooring.

Best Ladder For Cutting Hedges In 2019 Faster, Safer, Smarter

One of those jobs.  You either hate it or you love it. Trimming the hedges and shrubs.  The best ladder for cutting hedges needs to be strong and very safe.

Sure you could simply stand on top of your dustbin , wobble about on the small lid, bend the lid and risk falling off, but that’s not really ideal, especially when you’ve got hedge cutters in your hands.  Here we outline the ladders you need, and the obvious reason for using safe ladders.

The best ladder for cutting hedges are adjustable leg professional tripod ladders.  These garden ladders account for outdoor gardening work.  They will be 1: lightweight,  2: have adjustable legs, 3: have a safe platform, 4: have a grab rail to hold on to, 5: three points of contact ideally.  Brands include “Henchman”, “Henrys”, “BPS Access Solutions” and “Ladders Online”.

best ladder for cutting hedges
The best ladder for cutting hedges is one that will give you safety with a firm grounding.

Let’s discuss ladder safety “real quick” and then move on.

The health and safety executive explain that falls from ladders account for as much as 40% of all the “falls from heights” statistics.

They also state (here for reference) that if you are to be physically on a leaning ladder for more than 30 minutes at a time then a ladder shouldn’t be the way to go (scaffolding would be better).  So take regular breaks.

So if you are going to cut your hedges 2 to 3 times a year then you should hire out good quality tripod ladders or invest in some ladders that will stand strong for many years.


What are the main points to consider when buying hedge cutting ladders?


  • Uneven ground – not every garden is super flat so you need to adjust at least one leg to account for this.
  • Different heights – hedges and shrubs don’t all grow at the same height
  • Safety – your life is in your hands when up ladders with sharp tools in hand – allow for “3 points of contact”
  • Storage – The physical size of these ladders means you need to have a large enough space to house them.
  • Rubber feet – consider purchasing extra rubber feet that can slip over the bottom, for when working on hard surfaces for extra grip.
  • Weight – while not a deal breaker, the lighter the better.  This makes each job so much easier.
  • Durability – due to the size you might be storing these outside when not in use – so rust-proof ladders are a must


Why bother with uneven ground?

Every garden is different, there will be small bumps, hollows and undulations.  If your ladder leg is in one of these it can all end in disaster as you come tumbling down, hedge cutters in hand.  Simply put the ladders just won’t be very stable.

Not good.

You could wedge a piece of wood or garden sleeper under one leg, if you really want to.  But honestly do you think it’s a good idea because I’m not sure I’d agree with you if so?

Ladders are going to last many long years, so it certainly pays to get something safe.

SIDE NOTE: Have you seen Laddergrips?

These appear to be a product that will last for tens of years and certainly help make a set of ladders “stick” to a surface as opposed to be simply just resting against a wall etc.

They are available on Amazon.co.uk here if you want to know more.

So which ladder brands do we recommend then?

There will always be new brands cropping up, cheap foreign brands trying to get into the market at a cheaper price, but if you care about safety then consider some of the brands that already have a good reputation.

These include:

  • Henchman
  • Henry’s
  • BPS Access Solutions and
  • Ladders Online

The best thing you can do is to look at lots of Tripod ladders online over on the Amazon website (click here to see the full list).  Remember to find ones with good ratings and as many of the features above as possible to fit in with your budget.


What size ladder do you need to buy?

Naturally it depends on the size of each job, so try to think about the jobs you might use.  Remember you won’t be stood right on the top of your ladders.  You will want to keep a few rungs down for safety reasons, but you will have the added arm reach height, and the extra reach from the hedge cutters.

Choosing the right ladders depends on the type of ladders you are getting.  For this writeup we are naturally discussing Tripod ladders which are far more stable than other forms of ladders like extension ladders or step ladders.

Typical step ladders would involve you standing no higher than 2 rungs down from the top step, and we suggest you adopt a similar strategy wherever possible, but with Tripod ladders it’s important that you have the adequate safety measures in “up there at the top end”.

So ultimately choose some that have a safety rail and a solid platform to stand on if you are to stand right at the top.  Some premium models also have a safety rope you can close behind you while up there so you are fully “locked in” to the top platform (but sadly most platform ladders do not have this).


What price will it cost you?

The old saying of you get what you pay is especially true.

  • Expect to pay anywhere from £150 to £200 for basic lightweight tripod ladders.  You won’t always get all 3 legs adjustable, it might only be one leg that adjusts.  You might not also get a platform or places to place tools, but maybe you can live without these, especially if your work is literally going up the ladder for 5 to 20 minutes then back down, and moving the ladders along, in which case a platform isn’t really necessary.
  • You can literally move upwards in price to £500+ for taller ladders and ladders that have more features.


Here’s a few picks from each price range:

£150 to £200

£200 to £300

£300 upwards

(don’t forget your rubber feet (here’s some for henchman / henry’s)


Why tripod ladders for hedge trimming?

What’s wrong with normal ladders you might ask.  The simple answer is safety.  3 legs is better than two.  Each leg is independent, whereas with a normal ladder it’s just two feet fixed to each other with a ladder rung.

With a normal ladder you are 1: relying on the ground being even,  2: having to lean against the hedge.  This doesn’t give you the room to reach forward with your cutters safely, instead you have to lean back, look up and reach up and try to balance while hoping for the best.

With tripod ladders all that is taken away.  You can put your body at the right height so you simply hold the cutters out and cut.  If there is a grab rail you can lean against it.  With a tripod ladder you get the extra stability that this gives as well.

How easy are tripod ladders to use?

  • Really easy and easy to move.  The light weight makes it easy to move, and the adjustable legs are easy to adjust.
  • First of all they are light enough to carry (most of them for most purposes are anyway).
  • Get to the appropriate place by walking with the ladders under one arm (you can put your arm through one of the gaps).
  • Open out the third leg and make sure everything is locked in place and level for the ground.
  • Don’t forget rubber feet if on a hard surface.
  • Prepare your tools with the right fuel and start them running if petrol and don’t overload yourself.
  • Ensure your steps are free from any wires or branches that could affect your steps.
  • Make sure you have the right eye, ear and hand protection on.
  • Climb to the cutting area slowly and make sure you are happy with your position and position before you start the actual cutting.
  • When cutting, make sure there is nobody around the base of the ladders in case you drop any tools.
  • Try to ensure that the cut material doesn’t fall directly onto the steps as you will need a safe passage down when getting off the ladders.
  • Don’t over-reach.  It’s not worth it.  Far safer to go down and move the ladders along another metre.


Can they go in the back of your van?

This does depend on the size of the van.  A 1.8 metre set of tripod ladders will be 1.8 metres long and as much as 1 metre wide at the base.  The third leg will fold in so it’s literally a flat set of ladders that is narrow at the top and arched out at the bottom.  So this would represent an internal space of 6 feet long inside the back of your van and a metre wide or high (for the 1.8 metre set).  You could opt for roof mounted ladder clamps as an alternative.

Other close alternatives

If a Tripod ladder is really not your thing then a normal folding step ladder is better than a standard ladder.  it provides some stability but is not ideal on uneven ground.  It also stores away easier than tripod ladders.  If your ground is straight then these are a good second consideration.

We particularly like these BPS ones for their versatility:

Or for ladders with a bit more versatility, telescopic ladders will be a good compromise and can be used for lots of other tasks too, but the safety aspect will not be 100% geared up for hedge work.  We reviewed 10 of the best telescopic ladders here if interested.

In Summary

However you decide to cut hedges is your choice.  Many people make do with simple step ladders, but without a doubt, the best ladder for cutting hedges is a Tripod ladder set.  More so important is that you choose a set with adjustable feet that can be adjusted up or down to ensure the ladder stays firm when your garden is not level or flat.

Tripod ladders can be put really close to the work area too, as the single third leg can be placed really close to the shrubs / hedge, and often you can slip the leg covertly inside the hedge (if there are gaps), to get you right up to the work.

The main take away from this is that you do give consideration to your safety.  Thousands of people are injured from falls every year, and several have sadly died from even small falls.

I have personally witnessed friends using hedge cutters who didn’t take the right safety advice (and wear head protection hard hats) and cut their head when pulling the cutters backwards.  I’ve also personally had a several “near misses” while using normal step ladders in my garden, hence the reason why I looked at these ladders.

Hope this helps!

10 Best Log Splitters For 2019

best log splitter

Looking for the best log splitter might not be something you do everyday because when you find one, you never change it. To make things nice and easy for you, I’ve taken a look at 10 of the best so that all you have to do is choose your favourite.

Beats standing in line at the store or returning something you’re not happy with!

ImageLinkProductBrandLowest New Price
Electric Log Splitter | 7 Ton Wood Cutter With Work Stand | Hydraulic Logsplitter Titan ProTitan-Pro
6 Ton Hydraulic Electric Log Splitter Machine, Splits Green and Hard Wood Logs In Seconds with Stand, 2200W by LogmasterLogmaster£289.99
Logmaster 7 Ton Hydraulic Log Splitter Machine, Electric Powered with Stand, Cuts Timber Up to 520mm / 20.5", 2200WLogmaster£299.99
Petrol Log Splitter | 8 Ton Vertical Logsplitter from Titan ProTitan-Pro£840.00
Swedish Log SplitterAGMA£80.95
Charles Bentley 8 Ton Log Splitter - Heavy Duty Hydraulic Foot Operated Wood CutterCharles Bentley
Forest Master Electric Log Splitter 5 ton hydraulic wood timber cutter stand and duobladeForest Master
Forest Master Ltd Log Splitter, OrangeForest Master£176.99

Let’s now delve a little deeper into each of the above log splitter machines, for the facts.

Forest master 8 ton
Split those logs like an expert

1: Forest Master 8 Ton Splitter

This 8-ton splitter has been making a lot of noise for all the right reasons. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to take it for a spin!

2-speed operation means you can get the job done the right way with little difficulty

The 2-speed operation is convenient because it allows you to change things up as and when you need to. By being able to adjust your speed when working with different sizes and types of wood, you can avoid sheering and ensure plenty of splitting. Ideal if you want a multi-purpose splitter that takes care of everything.

A 3-year warranty comes as standard, but is it long enough?

The warranty is long enough in my opinion. Most of what you find on the market will be 12-month or 2-year warranties, so to have something this long in place as standard seems like a real blessing. Great for those of you who really want peace of mind.

Forrest Master Final Thoughts

This is a robust and easy to use splitter that will show no signs of letting you down. The warranty period is also first class which will be music to the ears of those of you who make a living, splitting logs and selling firewood!


Titan pro vertical splitter
A real heavy duty professional log splitter

2: Titan Pro Vertical Splitter

With a name like this, how could I not put it on my list at the earliest opportunity? There’s been a lot of good things said about it, so I was excited to put it through its paces. Here’s how it got on…

10-ton splitter ensures you can power through the biggest pile of logs in time for winter

The great thing about having a splitter with such high tonnage is that it really can get the job done in all weathers. Even damp or green wood is no problem for this beast which was great news if you fit into that user profile.

9 HP petrol engine is excellent, but is it too loud to work with for extended periods of time?

The petrol engine does make this one of the louder pieces of kit to use on this list. If you’re somewhat sensitive to these types of things and don’t want to have to work wearing ear defenders, then this may not be for you. If you can work around it though, you’ll be amazed at what it can do when you put it to the test.

Titan Pro Final Thoughts

The design is indeed on the strong side what with the 9 BHP engine and 10 Tons of pushing power. In my opinion, it’s ideal when nothing but brute force will get the job done quickly.


Titan Pro 7-Ton
An affordable log splitter that won’t break the bank

3: Titan Pro 7 Ton electric log splitter

This 7 Ton electric model is next up on my list. I hadn’t heard all that much about it until I gave it a once over, here’s what you need to know.

Quiet operation means you can use it all day long and still hear your colleagues

The beauty of electric splitters like this one is that you can use them without feeling like your ear-drums are going to explode. Electric motors are so much quieter that, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they don’t pack the same amount of punch. Of course, you’d be very much mistaken…

At only 7 tons does it still pack a big enough punch to get the job done?

In my opinion, it more than does the job in this respect. Of course, if you want the strongest splitter on the market, then a 7-ton splitter isn’t the best choice. But if you want anything else, then I’d strongly recommend taking a closer look.

Titan Pro 7-Ton Final Thoughts

A well-made piece of kit that is smooth and quiet to use. Ideal for those of you who want to be able to talk easily while still working on a copious amount of wood.


Logmaster 6-Ton
Great low price log splitter

4: LogMaster 6 Ton hydraulic, electric log splitter

6 Tons may sound like a step in the wrong direction, but I was amazed at what I found.

Compact design means you can use it anywhere with minimal fuss

If you’re looking for a road towable log splitter, then this could be just what you need to get the job done. It is impressively designed to be easy to move and set up, and it provides adequate power to work its way through a mountain of logs. The assembly was easy to level and felt stable at all times. Job done in that sense!

Only comes with a 12-month guarantee: one of the shortest on this rundown

The 12-month guarantee is something of a drawback if you’re someone who puts a peace of mind above all else. There are a few splitters on this list with considerably extended warranties so you may want to bear that in mind for future reference. That said, I have seen no mention reliability or performance issues during my research on this particular product!

LogMaster 6 Final Thoughts

A highly compact splitter that you can take anywhere. It works virtually as well as the full strength static models on this list.



Logmaster 7-Ton
A brilliant mid range log splitter that works extremely hard.

5: LogMaster 7 Ton hydraulic splitter

LogMaster has been producing products for in this niche for a long time. So, it feels natural that they would be making multiple appearances on this list. As for the product itself, take a look below it’s a worthy piece of kit!

Can split green and hardwoods with little difficulty

The most impressive thing about this product is how it gets the job done with only 7 tonnes of splitting power. Its prowess comes via how efficiently it channels and delivers this force to just the right spot on the log.

Are 7 tons of pushing power enough when there are 10-ton splitters on the market?

I have to say that it is, which is more proof that precision beats power every single time!

If you want the kudos of having the splitter with the most grunt, then this won’t tick that box. But it will easily be one of the most accurate machines of its kind you’ve ever used. Ideal for when you want to get the job done with a minimum of fuss.

LogMaster 7 Final Thoughts

I found the loading system so reliable and stable that it’s no wonder this is one of the most accurate splitters I’ve ever used. And that’s saying something!



Titan Pro 8-Ton
Another masterpiece by Titan pro. Split logs easier than ever before.

6: 8 Ton petrol log splitter by Titan Pro

Back to petrol power and the eye-catching range from the team at Titan for my next entry. Here’s what I thought of it when I put it through its paces like never before.

Quiet operation ensures you can use it all day safely and comfortably

The operating sound levels were actually, impressive and frequently below 83 dB during impact. That means, you can work with it all day and still be able to converse with your colleagues. In my mind, that’s perfect if you want to ensure that everyone working nearby can get your attention safely.

Is the 2-way splitting head more hassle than it’s worth or a great piece of design?

I have to say that it’s, without a doubt, a great piece of product design! The innovation speaks for itself, and the additional functionality that it gives you is something that I think you’ll get an awful lot of use from. If you’re shopping for a multi-purpose tool, the Titan Pro is perfect and can tackle almost anything.

Titan Pro Final Thoughts

It’s a versatile splitter that may just have rewritten the rule book thanks to its smart 2-way splitting head. Seriously, if you want something that gives you an edge, this product is it!



manual log splitter
Low cost affordable manual action log splitter

7: Manual Smart Splitter

Manual splitters may sound like something from a bygone age, but there’s always a time and a place for hardware like this. Here’s what I thought…

An affordable option that will allow you to get things done without sizeable noisy machinery

If you want to keep your outlay low then clearly a manual tool will be a more attractive option than some giant motorised splitter. The only drawback is that you will, quite literally, have to put your back into it if you want to see a meaningful level of output.

Manual operation may be a nice throwback, but you may work up a serious sweat!

The manual side of things may be a nice touch, but if you want a motorised option, then I wouldn’t change your mind. Manual splitters are certainly capable of getting the job done and are a good source of exercise. However, unless you’re a strong man/women, you may only split enough wood to keep the living room fire going. Alternatively, you plan to earn money doing it you are best considering one of the larger alternatives.

Manual Option Final Thoughts

A nice alternative for those of you who want to do the occasional bit of heavy work in the back garden. But, I would not recommend it for those who want to get through large amounts of wood!


Charles Bentley 8 Ton
A great tool for making light work of heavy log splitting

8: Charles Bentley 8 Ton splitter

Hydraulically powered, and foot operated this domestic product requires no electricity at all! However, don’t let that put you off as it is more than capable!

Foot operated means you can save your back by not continually bending down

While some prefer big powerful petrol or electric devices, foot operation combined with hydraulics makes a difference. How? Being foot operated ensures that you’ll never experience backache or chronic inflammation from continually bending. If that sounds like just the kind of labour saving device that you need, then, by all means, give it a try!

A 12-month warranty period comes as standard

I’d liked to have seen a more extended warranty, but you can’t have everything. I saw no evidence of any systemic reliability issues during the lengthy research period which certainly helps me to give this splitter a big thumbs up.

Charles Bentley 8-Ton Final Thoughts

A well made and ergonomic piece of kit that could perhaps do with a better warranty period. Additionally, and somewhat more negative is the lack of a safety cage. Without one, logs can suddenly split and fly around. My advice to you if using this machine would be to do so away from children and pets. In fact, protect your face and legs.



Forest master 5 Ton
Tough and hard working

9: 5-ton electric splitter by Forest Master

Nothing impresses people more than the tonnage and horsepower of a device, so why choose this when it has neither? Well, this Forest Master although an entry level model is still more than capable. It can split logs up to 370mm in length, and unlike other small electric splitters, it has a 2200 watt motor giving it 5-tons of force.

Compact design, but does it pack enough power to do the job?

Yes, it’s small, but that isn’t a big drawback, no it doesn’t have the brute force splitter. It obviously can’t push as hard as some of the 10-ton petrol monsters I’ve talked about. But it more than makes up for it by delivering its full-force blows precisely where you want.

Forrest Master 5-Ton Final Thoughts

A classic example that shows you that you don’t have to rely solely on brute force when you want to get the job done.

Commonly referred to as the FM8, don’t be fooled into thinking this is just for beginners! Yes, if just starting out it’s perfect. But, if you have a small, medium, or even a large log burner, it can cut logs up to 37cm long and 25cm in diameter.



Forest master 10 Ton
With a little effort you can split logs easily and affordably

10: 10 Ton Forest master

Last but not least is a seriously heavy duty bit of kit again from Forest Master, think twice the force of the previous, and you know what to expect!

The hydraulic operation allows you to split anything, but how precise is it?

The hydraulic rams are well sealed and reportedly show no sign of leakage even when cranked up to full force. That is great for those who need to run at maximum power and capacity for an extended period. I was also really impressed with the simplicity of the loading system.

Often with hardware like this what you find is that the feed-in systems are so elaborate and over-complicated when you increase the power that they become more hassle than they’re worth. Certainly, something that doesn’t apply in this case.

Forest Master 10-Ton Final Thoughts

A classic brute-force splitter that could be just what you’re looking for if what you want is something that never compromises on the force of each log splitting blow.


Finding the best log splitter is a matter of considering your needs and comparing those that fall within your budget. Of course, there’s the choice of Manual, Petrol, and electric too, but don’t let that be your primary concern!

I hope that my list has given you plenty of food for thought and that by only showing you good quality products I’ve simplified your search somewhat. Enjoy the rest of your shopping experience, and I’m sure you’ll find the right tool for your needs.

The Best Orbital Sander List 2019

best orbital sander

Finding the best orbital sander available is all about keeping your options open and knowing what to look for. With experience with these tools, I am going to share my thoughts. Below are some of the best orbital sanders currently on the market and everything you need to know! Give it a read, and you will know what to look for and be happy with!

ImageLinkProductBrandLowest New Price
Bosch PEX 300 AE Random Orbit SanderBosch£49.99
Orbital Sander, Tacklife 350W 13000 RPM 125mm Random Orbital Sander with High Performance Dust Collector, 6 Variable Speeds, 12Pcs Velcro Sanding Discs, 3M Power Cord, Ideal for DIY/PRS01ATACKLIFE£27.99
DEWALT DEWDWE6423 Random Orbital Sanders, Yellow/BlackDEWALT£98.56
Makita BO5031/2 240V 125mm Random Orbit SanderMakita£84.95
VonHaus 430W 125mm Random Orbit Sander with 3 Polishing Pads & 9 Sanding PadsVonHaus£34.99
Makita M9204 Random Orbit Sander-Red/Black, 125 mmMakita£61.46
Makita BO3710 110 V 1/3-Inch Sheet Orbital SanderMakita£55.00
Bosch Professional 0601372771 GEX 150 AC Corded 240 V Random Orbit SanderBosch Professional£161.95
Bosch PEX 400 AE Random Orbit SanderBosch£83.00

So with that, let’s now go into each of the above Orbital Sanders and find out a bit more about each of them.

Bosch PEX 300 Sander
Trusted and tough.

1: Bosch PEX 300 AE

This Bosch random orbit sander is all about precision and power. Let’s see how it stood up to the ultimate field test!

Variable speed settings and ergonomic handle ensure smooth and easy operation

The first thing I noticed was an array of speed settings, which is great! They allow you to work with a load of different materials with no issues whatsoever. Another plus is the handle/grip; it’s effortless to get to grips with (see what I did there.) In fact, it makes the user experience a pleasure from start to finish.

If you’re in the trade and are going to be using it every day, then it’s a fantastic tool to consider!

Does the low weight design pack enough of a punch when working on rough surfaces

Yes, it’s light-weight, but because of motor efficiency and gearing ratios, it has enough power to get the job done. That’s music to the ears of those looking for a lightweight and powerful piece of kit.

Bosch PEX 300 Final Thoughts

A clever piece of design that allows you to get the job done without resorting to a big chunky unit. Highly recommended for those of you that want something that fits nicely in your hand and never stops working.


Tacklife 350w Sander
Hard working and reliable

2: Tacklife 350W

Next, we have the Tacklife 350 W. It may not be a well-known brand, but don’t let that stop you. A new name always brings new ideas so let’s see how it got on when I took a look.

13K RPM operation ensures you can smooth out even the very roughest of surfaces

The RPM is right up there with the very fastest sanders on this list. Fortunately, that’s good news for those of you who want something that will work on any surface. I’m pleased to say that it achieves such high-speeds without resorting to over-clocking the gear ratios. That means you should avoid the early burnouts that are a hallmark of lesser sanders.

Have velcro discs had their day, or is there a better way to go about things?

Velcro discs are all well and good provided you know how to handle them. You’re going to want to avoid pushing down with the edge of the sander during use! Why? Because that’s what ruins the pad! It’s a tricky habit to get out of because we all do it when one marker or dent doesn’t shift, However, it is a must if you’re to prolong the life of your latest purchase.

Tacklife 350 Final Thoughts

Possibly the best orbital sander you will find; provided you heed my advice about protecting the velcro pads. Do that, and you’re all set for a lifetime of reliable usage.


Dewalt 6423
The dewalt name, synonymous with strength

3: Dewalt 6423

This Dewalt random orbital sander is the next entry on my list, and for good reason! I’d heard a lot about it, so decided to share with you what I know!

The ergonomic and compact design has been shown to be highly reliable and robust

The design is very compact, but it doesn’t feel tiny when it’s in your hand. That is good news because as someone with big hands I often struggle with the smaller sanders. In fact, I know plenty of other people that do too. By designing something that can be used with ease and in comfort by many, Dewalt is on to a winner in my opinion!

At 280 W it’s not the most powerful sander on my list

I agree power is a little on the low side compared to some of the entries on my list. So let me give you two reasons why that’s not a big deal.

Firstly the efficiency with which that power is transferred through the moving parts is second to none. And secondly, you’re looking at a compact unit. If power is all you care about, get a belt sander. But that was an option; you would not be reading this orbital rundown!!

Dewalt 6423 Final Thoughts

In my opinion, it is a serious piece of hardware that should be your compact orbital tool of choice. Don’t just take my word for it, take a look at the reviews via the link below!


Makita BO5031
Works as hard as you do

4: Makita BO5031

This manufacturer knows a thing or two about making first-class hardware. So, I couldn’t wait to share my thoughts on this latest piece of kit…

Ensures a constant speed under load for when nothing but pushing down hard will do

The feature of most importance here is a unique motor!

It generates continuous speed irrespective of the load. Not sure if that is very important?

Imagine the type of finish you’d get if the speed changed every time you pressed-down on your sander, even a little. Unfortunately, the results and no doubt your work would be ruined! And that’s why this motor is such a big deal; it’s a first-class piece of engineering in my opinion!

Could do with a wider selection of tools and accessories

From a positive to a slight negative – I would have liked to have seen Makita provide more than just a dust bag and a disc. However, as I just shared you get the basic requirements.

In fact, I would like to see just one of the established players on the market include a few extra accessories.

Makita BO5031 Final Thoughts

A serious piece of hardware that should be a orbital tool of choice contender for the serious DIY user. Well.


VonHaus 430w
Vonhous orbital sander – made to last

5: VonHaus 430w

I hadn’t heard all that much about this brand, and its ergonomically designed sanders. However, as you know by now, I like to try new things, so here is what I discovered.

430 W motor makes this one of the most powerful sanders on the market today

The sheer power of this is something to behold! If you’ve never used an orbital that breaks the elusive 400W barrier before, give this one a try.

It comes with in-built mechanisms which provide astounding dampening making it comfortable to grip. For you, that means, despite the brute force of the motor your hand won’t numb and forearm not fatigue. Two things that are vital if you want to use it on a daily basis without developing repetitive strain.

At only 2m long the power chord isn’t the longest

This is such a minor niggle that I feel bad for even mentioning it, let along writing it down. But, to be fair, that is what this article is all about! The cord is too short which will be a downside for many. Especially, those of you who don’t want to trail an extension cable when working on a wooden floor.

VonHaus 430w Final Thoughts

A great piece of hardware that packs a serious punch. The only way that I can see it being improved is by increasing the length of the power chord.  Other than that, it’s a real winner in my opinion.


Makita M9204
Makita, excellence as standard


6: Makita M9204

150mm random orbital sander reviews just wouldn’t be complete without a look at some of the smaller 125mm varieties. Here’s one of the best on the market, and is definitely worthy of your consideration…

Rubberised soft grip allows you to control every inch of the 125mm sanding area with ease

The great thing about the grip is that it sits so naturally in the palm of your hand. By being able to accommodate all types of grips and hand sizes, it allows you to put it through its paces. But what’s more impressive is you can wave goodbye to cramping and fatigue. Perfect if you’re looking for a tool you can use all day long on that must finish project.

How often does the dust collection system need to be emptied to ensure optimal performance?

The dust collection system should be cleared at the end of a day of heavy sanding. If you forget, then you won’t damage your new Makita sander, but you will notice a distinct drop off in performance. Its ability to keep dust to a minimum will be greatly reduced. Which in turn means, more mess for you to clean up. Play it safe and clear it out at the end of each day, and you won’t have issues.

Makita M9204 Final Thoughts

A classic piece of design from one of the best known, and most trusted brands. As long as you look after it with the odd bit of routine maintenance it should last for years and years.


Makita BO3710
Makita, working as hard as you do

7: Makita BO3710

As one of the most well known professional and DIY tool brands you should not be surprised to see Makita, again! Like the previous, this too is an Ergonomic tool designed to be easy to use, comfortable and powerful.

11K orbits and 22k strokes per minute ensure powerful performance at all times

The above stroke and orbit numbers are more than enough to deliver uncompromising power and precision at all times. Great news for those of you who want to invest in a tool that you can use for years.

For me, I was most impressed with the B03710’s heat dissipation abilities. Why? Because, it’s an indicator of how hard the motor is working, and consequently how likely it is to burn out. Verdict: highly unlikely to die on you!

How reliable is the onboard dust collection system in the long term?

You will need to keep on top of it because once its full its full. There’s no way of getting around that one. It’s quick and easy to empty though so don’t worry! Oh, and don’t forget, as, if you do performance quickly deteriorates.

Makita B03710 Final Thoughts

Another fantastic option from one of the most reliable manufacturers. Along with its focus on comfort + power, you will be surprised by the lack of vibration and noise.


Bosch GEX 150
Bosch, you can trust the name

8: Bosch GEX 150

This model is part of Bosch’s professional range, meaning it comes with low vibration tech. Plus, best-in-class dust removal, which when combined leads to superior finishes. Here’s what else I discovered about this fantastic piece of hardware.

One of the more compact sanders on the list, but is there enough space for a comfortable grip?

We’re going to put the stats to one side with this one and talk about the grip. For me, it’s all about the way it fits in your hand and doesn’t fatigue your grip. It does such an excellent job of damping down the vibrations that you feel back off the floor; you’ll soon make it one of your go-to tools.

Yes, as a compact orbital it’s easily outgunned when it comes to speed and power by the full-size models on this rundown, but that’s beside the point really.

Bosch GEX 150 Final Thoughts

This Bosch feels like quality in hand: the speed selector, switch and cable, even the speed dial are all high-quality. In my opinion, if you’re looking for a comfortable, ergonomic, and compact orbital, consider it!


Bosch PEX 300 AE
Work hard and safe with Bosch

9: Bosch PEX 400 AE

Here we are then, the final entry on my list and what do we have, another Bosch. Just like Mikita, it is one of the best-known brands on the market, so no surprise there! What you’re probably wondering is, have I kept the best till last? You, be the judge…

Variable speed and comfortable in hand, but is the compact design powerful enough to get the job done?

I have to answer this with a resounding ‘Yes!’ It’s such an easy and lightweight piece of kit to use, in fact, it almost takes care of itself. Compact pieces of equipment can give the impression that they don’t pack a punch, but because of the precision with which the power is transferred to the surface, you have nothing to worry about.

Bosch PEX 400 AE Final Thoughts

A great option for those of you looking for a compact and affordable orbital that will last for years to come.



Finding the best orbital sander is all about considering what you want to use it for and then going out and finding it. By giving you nothing but knowledgeable thoughts and opinions of 10 of the best I hope I’ve set you off in the right direction.

The 10 Best Tool Box Units For 2019

best tool box

Ok so you’re on the hunt out for the best tool box and it has to meet your needs.  Tool boxes can be all kinds of sizes, but for this write up we will try to address what we believe to be the best in each of 3 categories we have chosen.  We’ve chosen categories that make the most sense for most people.

Our category choices are:

  • * Regular sized tool boxes you would typically carry with you
  • * Affordable tool chests that can be moved on wheels and finally
  • * Premium quality “best you can buy” for the money under £1000
ImageLinkProductBrandLowest New Price
Stanley FatMax 1-93-935 Waterproof Toolbox 28inchSTANLEY£31.35
Makita 821551-8 MakPac Type 3 Connector CaseMakita£21.99
Stanley STA194858 Metal Latch Toolbox, 20 inch - BlackStanley£13.62
Hardcastle 9 Drawer Red Lockable Topchest Tool BoxHardcastle£59.99
Popamazing Metal Tool Chest Cabinet with Lockable Drawers and Handle on Castors Wheels RedPopamazing£159.99
DJM Direct Pro Heavy Duty Tool Box Storage Stack System - 9D Top Chest + 7D Rollcab + 3D Middle Add-OnDJM Direct
Motamec PRO94 Large Roller Cabinet + Top Tool Chest- RollCab Box Stack RedMotamec£845.00

Category 1: “best small tool box”

What makes a good small sized tool box then?

It needs to be one you can carry most of your tools in for a start but also:

  • * Strong
  • * Portable
  • * Easy to use

How we chose

We reviewed the current overall market and picked out 3 contenders for this category.

We have already discounted many that weren’t at the top of their games, so any of these 3 would be great

It’s a personal taste decision ultimately.

Price wise, most of these kinds of portable tool boxes are typically under the £50 mark.

Our top 3 small sized portable tool boxes are as follows:

best tool box
The Stanley Fatmax – a waterproof toolbox that has one of the sexiest names on the planet.
  • Strong
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Holds most common tools
  • Measures 71 x 30.8 x 28.5 cm

Makita 821551
The Makita 821551 – handy to know, it is part of a small family of storage boxes that can all be latched together when stored.
  • Strong
  • Collapsible handles
  • Stackable
  • Buy as many of these as you want and you can stack and lock them together(look)
  • Measures 39.6 x 29.6 x 21 cm


Stanley STA194858
The Stanley STA194858 – a tough toolbox with metal locking clamps. It also has top sections suitable for small items like screws etc.
  • Very strong
  • Features padlock eye for additional security
  • Removable tray
  • Metal locking clamps
  • Measures 25.5 x 24 x 50.5 cm


Our winner for best small tool box is a joint effort, and not surprisingly it’s both of the Stanley toolboxes.

The two Stanley tool boxes get top recommendations in this category because:

Best small toolbox winners:
Stanley fatmax small tool box

The Stanley Fatmax is perfect for all your larger tools.  Pop the bigger tools and and you’re good to go.

  • * The half sized tote tray inside is good for a few small bits.
  • * This tool box is not ideal for storing lots of smaller tools as it will get messy.

The Stanley STA194858
The Stanley STA194858 then fills the gap for the perfect tool box for your smaller items.

  • * It’s a more compact size, yet tough, with metal latches and has waterproof capabilities.


Category 2: “best tool chest on wheels”

Our thoughts we had when choosing which ones stood out

We wanted to look at and identify possible leaders in this area. Obviously on wheels, and must be easy to pull, move and offer good solid drawer action as well when fully loaded.  Lockable drawers is also a must have feature.

Price wise, we found that most of these kinds of tool chest are typically under £300, some even under £100.  For this money you get what you expect.  A tool chest on wheels that does what it’s supposed to and does it fine.  (If you really need the best you’ll have to look at the next category for the premium tool chests under £1000 as they are the “no holds barred” models).

How we chose:

  • * We were on the look out for as many features as possible, but all while retaining solid build quaility.
  • * We then identified these 3 and made our purchase.
  • * We filled each drawer and performed a series of opening and closing tests.
  • * We then looked at their overall appearance and the wheels.
Dirty pro tools tool chest on wheels
Dirty Pro Tools extra large tool chest with roll cabA strong tool chest with 14 drawers helped by US ball bearings that won’t stick when loaded.  We have featured Dirty pro tools before (on our cement mixer page) and they are doing good things with tools.
  • 14 strong lockable drawers
  • US bearings on the drawers
  • Heavy duty castors with a locking wheel
  • Anti slip mat inside the drawers
  • Measures Width: 616 mm x Depth: 330 mm x Height: 1146 mm

NOTES: It has two castor wheels that freely spin and two that are fixed.  In an ideal world all 4 castors would freely spin but this isn’t a deal breaker to be honest.

Good for a domestic use for most of your tools, but if you are hoping to use this professionally don’t expect to get a full set of pneumatic tools in it.

hardcastle 5 drawer tool chest

Hardcastle 5 Drawer Gloss Red Lockable Tool Chest Roller Cabinet

Features 5 deep powder coated drawers with a smooth ball bearing movement that won’t stick when fully loaded (here is their 7 drawer model instead).  Each drawer has an anti slip foam layer inside and can be locked.

  • A thick bar helps you to easily move the tool chest around your garage or home workshop.
  • A good solid tool chest at a low price
  • Ultra smooth drawer runners with smoothmove ball bearing technology
  • Comes with two keys for locking when not in use
  • Measures 68.5cm x 33cm x 79cm
  • Each drawer measures 51cm x 29cm x 9.5cm

NOTES: The overall dimensions do NOT include the handles.  Handles and castors will need asembling when you receive your tool chest.  You coould leave the handles off if you were putting these drawers under a worktop for example.

popamazing tool chest with 5 deep drawers and 2 smaller drawers

Popamazing Metal Tool Chest Cabinet with Lockable Drawers and Handle on Castors Wheels

Here is a tough tool chest that features 7 drawers (5 large and 2 small), that are lockable, and there are two lockable wheels to help it stay fixed when at your side.

  • Very strong tool chest
  • It comes with 2 keys to lock it when not used
  • Anti slip EVA mats in the drawers help stop slipping and help mop up any oil spills
  • Metal locking clamps
  • Measures 79 x 68 x 33 cm overall
  • Case Size: 62×33×66 cm (LxWxH)
  • Small Drawer: 51 x 28 x 3.5 cm (LxWxH)
  • Large Drawer: 51 x 28 x 8 cm (LxWxH)
  • Handle Length: 33 cm
  • Wheel Diameter: 10.2 cm

NOTES: In terms of a rolling tool chest this pretty much is the one to go for.  It’s taller than the 5 drawer one above and has 2 locking wheels.  It’s also the accepted “Red” colour.

Our winner for best tool chest on wheels is the Popamazing 7 drawer tool chest.

The Popamazing tool chest gets our top rated recommendation for this category because.

The Popamazing brand have consistently good real life consumer reviews across all their Amazon departments.

The build quality is very good.

Best tool chest on wheels winner:
popamazing tool chest with 5 deep drawers and 2 smaller drawers

The Popamazing 7 drawer tool chest is perfect for your workshop storage needs.

  • Good sized drawers
  • Easy to move and lock
  • BRILLIANT value for money


Category 3: “best tool chest under 1000”


Here we have looked carefully at professional tool chests under £1000

(if money is no object you can review higher priced tool chests here).

In this category the tool chests have to be far superior.

So, we found the ones with high end components and top notch build quality and below are our findings:

How we chose:

  • * They had to be heavy duty
  • * We then identified the ones with quality components
  • * We filled each drawer and performed a series of opening and closing tests.
  • * We then made an overall decision to find the best 3.
DJM direct heavy duty tool chest
DJM Direct multi drawer combination unitsHere we have the brilliantly affordable totally versatile setup from DJM Direct. You can choose a number of different combinations of units.  This combination is the 9 drawer small top section, plus the 3 drawer bigger mid section and the 7 drawer larger lower section.  Put them all together for a great set up!  You can mix and match different configurations too.
  • Smoother stronger ball bearings
  • Tough barrel locks for safer storage when not in use
  • Rear locking bars for extra security
  • Top Chest Overall Size (W x D x H): 600 x 260 x 380mm
  • Middle Add-On Overall Size (W x D x H): 604 x 262 x 252mm
  • Rollcab Overall Size (W x D x H): 618 x 330 x 830mm
  • Anti slip mat inside the drawers
  • Tough metal construction with hi-gloss triple baked enamel finish.

NOTES: There are no drawer liners with these tool boxes however you can buy your own liners and cut them to size.  This is also not 100% “professional” as it is made using thin metal, but we included it because it is very low cost and offers great value for money for a lightweight unit.

Motamec Pro94 large roller chest

Motamec Pro94 large sized heavy duty tool chest

Through and through this is a very high quality tool chest as used by race teams and professional garages.

  • Premium grade thick welded steel construction (solvent and rust resistant)
  • The two parts can be split if desired.
  • The drawers feature a “soft” shut lock mechanism so no trapped fingers.
  • Heavy duty castors and side bars
  • Gas struts make opening of the lid a nice and easy affair
  • Lock all drawers with a single turn of the key.
  • Comes supplied with two keys
  • Every drawer comes with anti slip matting liners

Rollcab Model No: MT6911RC-RD
Specification (W x D x H):
Overall Size with wheels: 1067 x 472 x 1007mm
Top Drawer (x1): 937 x 410 x 122mm
Small L/H Drawer (x3): 570 x 410 x 75mm
Small R/H Drawer (x3): 313 x 410 x 75mm
Large L/H Drawer (x2): 570 x 410 x 153mm
Large R/H Drawer (x1): 313 x 410 x 153mm
Net Weight: 99kg

Top Chest Model No: MT6908TC-RD
Specification (W x D x H):
Overall Size: 1051 x 412 x 553mm
Small L/H Drawer (x3): 570 x 370 x 74mm
Small R/H Drawer (x3): 313 x 370 x 74mm
Large L/H Drawer (x1): 570 x 370 x 153mm
Large R/H Drawer (x1): 313 x 370 x 153mm
Net Weight: 56kg

NOTES: The heavy nature of this product means it will be delivered on a pallet.  You will need to be able to move it yourself into position and will need to be available to accept delivery.

US Pro tools heavy duty tool chest

US Pro Tools heavy duty large tool chest in Red

21 drawers and a top section allow you to organize all your tools very efficiently.

  • Very strong tool chest
  • Heavy duty side handles. Tool drawer labeling.
  • Internal security key locking system for extra security.
  • 10 year warranty.
  • Ball bearing sliding locking drawers
  • 2mm drawer liners included
  • Overall dimensions (with castor wheels) 1067mm x 458mm x 1007mm


Our winner for best tool chest under £1000 is the Motamec Pro94 heavy duty tool chest.

The Motamec tool chest gets our top rated recommendation for this category because.

The build quality is exceptionallly good.  You can see this will last a very long time.

Best tool chest on wheels winner:

Motamec Pro94 large roller chest

The Motamec Pro94 tool chest is our highest rated tool chest under £1000.

  • Rock solid construction
  • Easy to move and lock
  • Designed to last many long years


Tool box buyers guide


First up, ask yourself “will it fit”?

Look at your biggest tool you want to put in the tool box or chest and look at the  tool box size.  See if it will fit.

Do you need to move it around?

If so then be sure to get wheels.  Locking wheels are a useful addition.

Are locks a MUST HAVE ?

For many businesses the ability to lock tools is a requirement of an insurance policy

Heavy duty or lightweight?

For spanners and sockets a lightweight model will be easier to move around.  For anything heavier then a heavy duty chest will be needed.

Prioritise your “most used” tools. 

There’s little point putting a tool in the box that only gets used once a year.

The best tool box for you might not be the same for others.

You need to look at your own personal needs and what tools will be used the most.



The majority of boxes and chests on this write up are actually inexpensive.  Even the high end premium units can be classed as affordable (especially when you look further afield at units that cost £4000 and upwards).

Each unit on this page was very carefully selected for it’s strengths over competing products.

Questions?  Please comment below.