As a landscaping business we are increasingly involved in construction works using timber, especially fencing and pergola erection. Are there any engine-powered tools available?

 The only engine-powered woodworking tool I have seen in action is the BT45 two-stroke drill from Stihl. It has a 27cc engine and is packed with power to make it a valuable assistant for construction work - whether you are erecting fencing, playground equipment or pegolas. It can also be used in planting operations.

When we tested this unit we found it was comfortable and easy to use. Thanks to a rotating second handle, you can operate this tool right-handed or left-handed. Cushioned rubber on the handles provides a comfortable, slip-free grip. But what we most like about it is the fact that it overcomes the problems of dying batteries or not being able to find a power source for the electric models.

It weighs just under 5kg without fuel or drill bit. And you can expect to pay around £400 ex VAT for the unit without drill bits. There's a choice of four wood drill bits - diameters of 13mm, 19mm, 22mm and 25mm - priced from £13 to £28 each. But if you want to use drill bits with a shank diameter different to the 13mm standard, you need the chuck with a key - an extra £33. Changing chucks is a job for the dealer because of the extremely high torque. This drill creams through thick, damp wood and can even drill at an angle. Planting drills are available with diameters of 76mm, 102mm and 127mm.

Another option, though something I have no experience of, is an attachment that fits onto a chainsaw. The Atom Drill is available from Drivall of Halesowen, West Midlands (tel: 0121 423 1122). It converts chainsaws into a power drill for making holes from 1.3cm to 3.2cm in diameter. The attachment comes complete with stabiliser handle, adaptors, drive chain, sprocket and chain cover.



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