Pros: Price, consistency, usability
Cons: Non-sustainable (peat)
General Hydroponics Rapid Rooter Plugs is a great media when it comes to cloning. The substrate is fairly consistent in density, therefore it is consistent in moisture retention. They advertise that the matrix provides an optimal air-to-water ratio, which results in explosive early root growth. I will confirm this to be accurate because 10 out of the 12 cuttings that were placed in the plugs rooted without the aid of a cloning gel.
The only downside to this product is the main ingredient: peat moss. I could not confirm if the manufacturer uses the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association or another respectable association as their supply. If you know, leave a comment below to further the discussion!
All points considered, this product works and therefore it is a great tool to have on hand for hard to clone plants!
Pros for both: No-fuss design, sharp cut, lightweight
Cons for both: Cheap feeling, nothing special
Two-for-one review! Straight to the point: Both Chickamasa snips are decent and I will be keeping them around til they break (will update if they do). They replaced two other snips I kept that you can deduce here Snips, Shears, and Shit.
Beyond that, there is not much "wow". They are snips. The wow comes in the story of the company. The grapevine has reported, aka not verified, that Chickamasa has been around since 1910 and their process has relatively remained unchanged since then. Instead of conforming their process to today's standards, they tell people to wait! I very much appreciate this story and hope it to be true. I wish they offered their original as show on their website here. #WANT
Out of the two, the B-500SKF is my favorite because its lightweight, shock-absorbing, clean cutting, and feels natural in my hand. The tips are small enough to get into tight spaces, yet not super-sharp to the point I get stabbed through my pants (been there).
The T-550 is a decent snip as well. The rubber lock at the bottom is distracting at first, but I got use to it flapping around the more I used it. I have concerns about the metal used to construct the snips. It feels weak, but that is compared to my all-steel pruners (seen at the top in picture three).
I look forward to using the T-550 over the summer as it can snip more at once, which will come in handy for up-keep of the Summer Garden 2019.
All-in-all, if you can get your hands on one of these, I do recommend them. If you have any information about Chickamasa to verify the story or debunk it, please leave a comment below or send me a message. #NothingBudTheTruth
Here are the snips/shears I am currently using for general purpose plant maintenance and budzai/bonsai pruning. This is less of a review and more of a shootin' the shit about what I am currently using.
Fiskars Garden 399241-1002:
This is the most recent addition to my snip cup. The spring is tight (because it's new). The locking mechanism does not get in the way when squeezing like other snips. The tip cover is nice because I can toss them around without worrying about dulling the tip. The black non-stick coating is decent and I look forward to seeing how it holds up the Huckleberry Kush when it flowers (review here). It's a decent snip but not my favorite.
ARS Angled Model SS-320BM:
These are my current go-to snips. No spring... no lock... all snip. The only time I don't use these are when they are lost in the grow somewhere... or I have serious sticky pruning to do. I used these over the summer for the mj trim and they gummed up constantly to the point I had to clean them after ever branch.
Shear Perfection Curved Shear:
This is the cheapest quality out of the bunch, but its still a decent shear. The spring is warn-in now so its a little loose, but still has a spring in its step (2pt.). The only times I reach for these are when I can't find the others, or when I'm trimming close to the stalk. The curved blade allows me to cut flush with the stalk without cutting into it.
Do you have a revolutionary pair of snips I should put to the 5 leaf test? Shoot me a message!