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Common pressure washer problems – Airlocks preventing pressure

One of the most common ‘problems’ we see with pressure washer is derived through airlocks in the pressure washer unit. Airlocks prevent the unit from pressurising and make it look as if the pressure washer doesn’t work properly or lacks power or pressure. Sometimes you can hear the motor looking for that pressure, even without pulling the trigger on your spray gun. Airlocks and pressure related problems can be easily avoided by reconnecting your pressure washer to the water supply. Follow the sequence below to solve these issues.

Right way of connecting your pressure washer, avoiding any airlocks:

connecting-pressure-washer-water-supply

1. Unroll your garden hose, ensuring water can flow freely.
2. Connect to your water supply and run water through the hose until there is a consistent flow of water.

connecting-pressure-washer-quick-connector    connecting-pressure-washer-water-hose

 

3. Turn off your water supply and connect the water hose to your machine (usually using a quick connector)

connecting-pressure-washer-trigger-gun

4. Turn on your water supply and run water through the machine by pushing the trigger on your spray gun, until there is a steady flow of water coming out of your spray gun.

connecting-pressure-washer-mains-supply  

 

5. Now, connect your pressure washer to the mains supply and turn on your machine. Adjust the nozzle spray suitable for the surface to clean, by pointing the spray gun away from the surface, pulling the trigger and rotating the nozzle on the lance until you’ve found the right spray for your surface. Always try on a non-visible part first.

Nozzle adjustment v.s. pressure adjustment

The nozzle adjustment is to determine the size of the spray you will clean with. The bigger the spray the smaller the pressure. Softer surfaces like wood need a bigger spray than hard surface to avoid tripping of paint, varnish or even wood. When cleaning garden furniture, always try on a non visual part first, for example under the seating or table. Once you are happy with your spray and pressure are ready to proceed. You can always increase the cleaning power by stepping closer to the surface.

To adjust the spray, turn the nozzle into the desired direction as shown on the nozzle. It takes a couple of seconds for the spray to adjust to the new setting

We hope this helps you with your pressure related issues. If you still have problems, or further questions please contact the Spear & Jackson Power technical helpline at 01904 727505

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Brush cutter blade installation in 4 easy steps

Changing your brush cutter blade is not difficult and to ensure your multi tool or petrol brush cutter performances most efficient with the least amount of vibration, its a small job with great rewards. A brush cutter blade needs to be replaced every 50 working hours or every 2 years whichever is sooner. You will notice when the cut is not as clean, or when your machine start to vibrate more the cutting job will be less comfortable and less economical.

All you need to replace a brush cutter blade:
what-you-need-to-change-brush-cutter-blade
all you need to replace brush cutter blades
  •  New brush cutter blade suitable for your machine (check the model numbers)
    • Spanner wrench (usually provided with your machine)
  • Work gloves (the blade is sharp)
  • Allen key
  • Blade nut

 

Step 1.

Ensure the shaft is disconnected from the engine.

Step 2.

Place the allen key through the slots in the flanged washer. Remove the cupped washer and retain this for the blade installation
undo-blade-nut-with-spanner-wrengebursh-cutter-blade-removed-from-gear-shaft

Step 3.

Place the new brush cutter blade over the flanged washer, making sure the blade fits flush and the raised hub of the flanged washer goes through the hole in the blade.

correct-fit-of-brush-cutter-blade-over-flanged-washer

Step 4.

Install the cupped washer with the raised centre away from the blade. Use the spanner wrench to tighten the nut clockwise while holding the hex key to prevent the blade from spinning.

tighten-undo-blade-nut-with-spanner-wrenge

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3 simple questions to find the right chainsaw for you

Spear & Jackson powerful chainsaw being used

With so many brands and type of chainsaws on the market it might be difficult to choose which is right for you.  Follow these easy steps and you could even safe some money.

  1. Where will you use your chainsaw?

    – i.e do you have access to mains power? Obviously if there is no power – mains operated chainsaws are not an option. But if there is an option to have mains supply, then electric chainsaws are your cheapest option.

    Corded chainsaws

    For some having a cable is the main issue, it’s either too short and/or there is concern of cutting through the cable.
    In terms of performance the electric chainsaw is comparable to a small petrol machine. They are quieter than their petrol bothers and much easier to start.
    The only maintenance is to keep an eye on the chain oil level and the chain tension. This you need to do with all chainsaws.  Electric chainsaws are not as heavy as their cordless and petrol brothers and therefore ideal for longer cutting like cutting fire logs for winter

  1. What thickness of logs will you be cutting?

    This is important for the bar size as well as power. The thicker and harder the wood, the more power you need.

    Petrol chainsaws

    A petrol chainsaw cut through large logs faster than any other machine and can be used anywhere without the worry of power supply.
    Petrol chainsaws  run on a 2-stroke fuel mixture on unleaded fuel with 2 stroke oil. It’s important to get this mixture right to avoid starting issues.  Modern petrol chainsaws have easy starting systems with automatic chokes which control the fuel-air supply in the engine. Starting a petrol engines requires priming and pulling the start cord firmly. It’s not difficult but might not be suitable for everyone.
    Petrol chainsaws need a little more maintenance like changing the spark plug from time to time and keeping your oil mixture fresh, but looked after properly, it will serve you years to come.
    In general Petrol chainsaws are heavier, noisier, cause more vibration causing more fatigue when the chainsaw runs long periods of time, compared to their cordless and corded brothers. But don’t let that put you off, as they are most powerful machines and will make light work of most challenging cutting jobs.

  1. How long will you use your chainsaw for?
    Cordless chainsaws

    Battery operated chainsaws have a limited running time. Depending on the strain on the battery which is influenced by the size of the log and the hardness of wood. If you like the freedom of manoeuvring with a petrol chainsaw but the ‘plug and play’ feature of a corded chainsaw, then a battery-operated chainsaw might be the one for you. Battery powered garden tools have improved massively, thus worth considering. For a chainsaw, you need at least 40V. Cordless chainsaws tend to create less vibration and are much quieter. Before you decide on a product, check the running time! 30 minutes might not be long enough to cut down the large pile of logs you have assembled for Christmas… But then, you can always ask an extra battery from Santa….

After you have made your basic decision of which type of chainsaw is right for you, you then need to decide on the features. Although most chainsaws have similar features, ensure tool less tensioning and automatic oil lubrication are included the model chainsaw you choose. We hope this article made is easier to choose the right chainsaw for you!

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New Smart-choke technology for fast and easy starting of 2-stroke petrol garden tools

Smart-choke-2-stroke-engine

Petrol garden tools are ideal for heavy duty gardening tasks and large areas, however starting can be seen as tricky and the inconvenience of flooded engines are a common occurrence. The trick is to know how much choke to use when starting and re-starting. Spear & Jackson has implemented new intelligent smart-choke technology in their new Multi-tool, which automatically regulates the air needed for the engine to start and run smoothly. There are auto-choke products on the market which still need choke settings during starting. The smart-choke system on the Spear & Jackson petrol multi-tool has only 3 steps, prime, turn smart-choke on by putting the lever in place and pull.  The 2-stroke petrol engine with smart-choke technology is not only easier to start, with the starting steps of full and half choking eliminated, it is faster too! Garden hand tools with smart-choke have all the benefits of power, unlimited running time and now for the first time very ease to use.

 

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WHICH HEDGE TRIMMER IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

600W hedgetrimmer with rotating handle

So often you hear people complaining about back ache, power tools not performing or being called ‘rubbish’. And although there are a fast number of diverse quality garden power tools around, often it starts with choosing the right tool for you. Which one should you go for? Petrol, corded, battery operated? Is it worth spending more on certain features? Follow these simple steps to choose the right hedge trimmer for you.

  1. WHO WILL DO THE JOB?

    Is that person able to lift or push heavier machinery? If the answer is no than have a look at corded and light weight battery operated tools, keeping in mind the weight of the battery that is inserted in the tool. Mains operated machines are usually lightweight with a rule of thumb that the higher the wattage, the more powerful but also heavier.

  1. WHAT TYPE OF HEDGE?

    Small, large, short, tall, formal or flowering? Start to check the biggest diameter of one of the branches that it should cut – this will give you a steer of the tooth gap you need. Larger tooth gaps can be found with more powerful machines, which are more expensive and heavier. For cutting new growth, a lighter hedge trimmer is usually sufficient.

  • Large hedges: You need the power to do it quicker, so opt for petrol (heavy) or 600W+ or higher corded hedge trimmer. You will see when the power goes up the blade length usually goes up as well. The larger your hedge the longer you would want your blade. If you prefer a battery operated hedge trimmer than go for the higher voltage or at least buy additional batteries.
  • Tall hedges: You can opt for a pole hedge trimmer, but these usually have shorter blades. Alternatively you can choose a lighter version hedge trimmer, as it is easier to lift, with a longer blade which might give you enough reach.
  1. WHERE IS THE HEDGE?

    Most corded machines come with a max of 10m cable. If you hedge is situated further away, opt for a battery operated one or petrol if it is a large hedge.

  1. BUDGET

    Compared like for like, corded machines are cheaper than battery operated. Overall battery operated are less powerful, but have the benefit of cordless operation. Petrol are on par with battery operated hedge trimmers but so much more powerful and looked after properly you have it for many years to come. Petrol hedge trimmers run on a 2 stroke fuel mixture of 2 stroke oil and unleaded fuel. The more expensive ones have easier starting mechanisms, are quieter and have less vibration.

  1. FEATURES

    Blade length: The larger the length of the blade the quicker you can finish your job, however for smaller and ornamental trees and hedges, a shorter blade of 45cm might be easier to manoeuvre.
    Tooth gap: This is the max diameter that can be cut with that machine as it refers to the cap between the teeth. If the tooth gap is 24mm than that is the max thickness of the branch it can cut. If you cut your hedge regularly you might suffice with a smaller tooth gap as you just cut the new growth.
    – Dual action blades: cut quicker and provide a cleaner finish. It’s a blade which cuts on two sides, cutting when going forward and going backwards.
    Laser cut blades – extra sharp blades makes cutting easier and provide an ultra-clean cut.
    Inline cutting: Ideal for difficult to reach areas as well as larger hedges. It means that you alter the position of the blade while holding a comfortable position, which causes less fatigue and less strain on your body, allowing you to cut for longer. Most do it via a rotating handle or some via a wraparound handle.
    Mechanical break or electric brakes: The equivalent between normal brakes and disc brakes on bikes. Mechanical brakes are stronger and quicker and therefore safer when it comes to hedge trimming.
    We hope these steps will help you to buy the right hedge trimmer to help you do the job quick and tidy, leaving you more time to enjoy the things to like most.
    – After sales support and guarantee: Check what the standard guarantee is – usually one year manufacturer’s warrantee is given but some brands offer 2 or even 3 years. Also dedicated aftersales support and the availability of spares can be useful. Retailers don’t have the specialist knowledge and especially when your products get a little older, most of the time all you need is a replacement part. Why buy a totally new product when you finally found the right one?

We hope these steps will help you to buy the right hedge trimmer to help you do the job quick and tidy, leaving you more time to enjoy the things you like most.

hedgrtimmer with rear rotating handle
HT600 with rotating rear handle for ergonomic in-line cutting

HT500 with wraparound handle for inline cutting

 

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ONE cord system: Spear & Jackson power tools with PIGTAILS…

Have you ever cut your power cable of your garden tool while trimming the hedge or mowing your lawn? You are not the only one! It happens to at least 75.000 people each year. After cutting the cable you should dispose the product or get it rewired by a qualified electrician. Retailers jump on the wagon and promote battery operated tools to combat this problem, but most battery operated products are just not powerful enough to do the job!

The addition of a PIGTAIL to our electric Spear & Jackson cutting tools is the answer to the above; a short cable with a plug and a detachable extension cable. No more winding up cables before you change tools at the main plug – which is usually near the house, while you are working back in the garden! The one cord system allows easy switching between your Spear & Jackson lawnmower and your Spear & Jackson grass trimmer or hedge trimmer. And if you do cut the cable – just replace the extension lead! These are included with every product and not sold as add-ons, like battery and chargers!

One of our pet hates were all those cables in the garage. They always fall down, get tangled up – it just creates more work to tidy up! Our one cable system ensures neat and tidy storage… when it comes to garden tools at least – the rest is up to you!

Source: Electrical Safety first

 

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Start your petrol engine with ease this Easter!

eggs in grass

Weather permitted, Easter weekend is usually the start of the gardening season. As it was a fairly warm winter, the grass has grown quite a bit with many of us making their first cut this weekend. Time to take the lawnmower out of storage. Over the winter period fuel that’s been left in the 4 stroke petrol lawnmower, can be contaminated with condensation due to the temperature drop. This can cause starting problems. If this is the case, replace the old fuel with fresh fuel, ideally before you try to start the engine. Otherwise contaminated fuel can sit in the carburettor. You can remove old fuel using a siphon pump or carefully tip the lawnmower on its side, check your manual which way,  to drain the old fuel into an old container. Fuel can be disposed of at your local waste recycling centre. If you still have issues starting, check your spark plug to see if its corroded or maybe wet. These tips will sort many starting issues out. This might be a good time to give your machine a good service. We’ve found this step by step video how to prepare your machine for spring. Now you are set to mow your lawn, only one more thing to do – check if the bunny has been…  Happy Easter!