When it comes to cutting edge tools and metals no-one knows more than Burgon & Ball. Based in the steel heartland of Sheffield since 1730, the metalworking skills of our workforce have been passed down through generations!
Ask a gardener or farmer to work with a pair of our shears and then compare them to anything else on the market and they'll soon be able to tell you the real value of our expertise.
A cutting tool should cut - not just when it's brought home from a shop but many months and years down the line and most importantly, with as little re-sharpening as possible.
Any type of steel can be sharpened to a good edge when it leaves a factory but ensuring it stays sharp means using (more expensive) alloy & high-carbon steel and skilful, precise (& time-consuming) heat treating.
The harder the steel the longer it keeps it's edge (much the same as an 'H' pencil keeps it's point longer than a 'B'). The key to hardness is a high carbon content and precisely controlled heat treatment where the steel is heated to an exact temperature for a specific time. The downside of hardness is brittleness so the metal is then 'tempered' in hot salts to increase it's shock resistance.
From our hand shears, where long term sharpness and hence hardness, is most important to a trowel where ability to withstand jabbing into stones and hence shock resistance, dominates. However - no garden tool should ever be made from mild steel (the cheapest) and the gardener who knowingly or unwittingly buys one that is will soon feel the effects of their economy as they return frustrated to the sharpening stone halfway around the lawn edge or bend their fork out of recognition in clay soil. This optimum hardness figure for each tool is expressed as a Rockwell value.