Combination tools are becoming more and more popular with both professionals and homeowners.
The Honda VersaTool is unique in the market with 4-stroke powerheads like Honda’s other landscape maintenance equipment. The engines are the world’s lightest overhead cam engines, which are easier to start, cheaper to run, and quieter than their 2-stroke opposition.
There is a choice of two powerheads in the VersaTool range: a 25cc and a beefy 35cc model, which is the one I tested. Both powerheads will operate all the attachments and although the 35cc is obviously slightly heavier it is often the choice of commercial operators.
There are eight attachments in the range: seven tools and an extension pole, which can be fitted in between some of the tools to increase length. The tools include a hedge trimmer, long hedgetrimmer, edger, brushcutter, chainsaw, cultivator and blower to clean up the mess created. I gave the hedgetrimmer and the cultivator attachments a workout on the 35cc powerhead.
One of the most important features in combination tools is the locking mechanism, which joins the powerhead to the tool. They are often not as strong as they should be and because these tools are constantly being removed and reinstalled into the powerhead this join can wear quickly and fail. Honda’s VersaTool is one of the best I have used – it has a locking locating pin to ensure the tool is in the correct position and a clamping wing nut mechanism to securely fasten the tool to the powerhead shaft. This ensures a solid join and greatly reduces any potential wear.
The hedgetrimmer has a 550mm cutting length via double-sided blades, which are essential in my mind, for giving a faster, neater and more precise cut. Tilting adjustable heads are also an essential feature enabling the operator to cut angles and curves with ease. The VersaTool hedger has seven positions to angle the head and the locking mechanism is solid. It easily locates into the desired position by squeezing a locking lever, rotating the head and releasing the locking lever, which snaps into place securely fastening the head into position.
The cultivator is a great tool for anyone tending to vegetable gardens. To be honest I thought it was going to be a toy and bit of a gimmick, but I was pleasantly surprised after giving it a go. It is obviously not intended for breaking up solid and compacted ground, but in the right situation like a vegetable garden where
I used it, it performed exceptionally well. Operating the cultivator on ground, which hadn’t been disturbed for over 12 months, it pulverised the soil making it light, fluffy and ready to plant.
The Honda VersaTool will definitely be a valuable tool for any homeowner or contractor with the choice of two powerheads and tool attachments to take on any task in the garden. The ability to purchase a powerhead and one tool, then add to the range of tools over time will also be attractive to many purchasers. Honda offers an excellent 4-year domestic and 1-year commercial warranty.