Hey, Manufacturers – women use tools, too!

Women buy houses. The last statistic I saw indicated that single women make up about 25% of the purchases. I’ve worked with quite a few single gals to buy their first home on their own. It’s exciting.

But this is not about “women buying houses”.

It’s about what women have to deal with AFTER they buy the home. Lowe’s and Home Depot have made an effort to be more “female friendly”. I’m thankful for that as Home Depot is one of my favorite stores. I always get the urge to begin a whole bunch of projects whenever I go there.

This is about manufacturers.

I don’t think manufacturers consider a woman’s size and strength when designing their products. It’s been a bone-of-contention for me since I bought my first home 23 years ago. I’ve learned over the years that it doesn’t pay to buy “small & lightweight” because I end up working harder than the tool does. Women need to be able to buy tools that do the job, but don’t require the strength of the Hulk to operate them.

Last weekend, I decided that leaf raking was becoming such a chore (my trees have grown – a lot) that it would be helpful to join the other obnoxious homeowners with a leaf blower.

Toro leaf blower & mulcherSo down to my favorite Home Depot store in Lewis Center. Toro® had one that is not only a leaf blower but it can also vacuum and chop up the leaves, then blow them into a bag. GREAT!

The machine works great … if you’re a 6 ft tall person. Notice the man in the top illustration. His hands are near his waist with the vacuum tube on the ground sucking up the leaves with the bag supported easily with the strap. It looks easy doesn’t it!

Well, I’m not a tall person, so in order to hold the tool as shown in the illustration, I had to have my hands up near my shoulders & chin. Doing that also positioned that bag too high for the shoulder strap on the bag to have much effect in carrying the bag’s weight.

After a period of time – as my arms were becoming numb – I lowered it to allow the bag to drag on the ground with the vacuum tube aimed outward like a gun. Not exactly the image in the illustration. I’m sure I looked more like a person in desperation.

I’m thinking that I need to drag out my trusty heavy-duty circular saw and cut off about 6″ of that sucker.

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