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Bunnings best buys

CHOICE supporters and staff share the purchases that have changed their lives

bunnings best buys
Last updated: 19 November 2021

Love it or loathe it, Bunnings has become an instantly-recognised part of the Australian landscape. Whether you're after a hardcore power tool, some pretty flowers for the garden, or just the much-loved sausage sandwich, most of us have set foot in the DIY giant's warehouses – some of us more frequently than others. (For many of us it's a twice-weekly habit!)

To get the best tips on what to buy, we asked CHOICE staff and supporters – all savvy shoppers – to share their favourite purchases from the temple of DIY. 

Mowers and blowers and tools, oh my

Battery-powered tools

Several staff and CHOICE.Community members expressed their love for the Ryobi One+ line of power tools. 

person using a jigsaw power tool

"Having just a single charger and a few batteries to service all of them is great," said one CHOICE.Community member. 

"[I also like] being able to just buy the shell or console without a battery and charger, especially as some packages with batteries only have the low capacity batteries included."

CHOICE staff member and TV expert Scott is also a fan. "When I think about products that I use all the time that seem almost indestructible, then our Ryobi 36V lawnmower would be right up there," he says. 

"When the original battery started to fail after years and years of use, Bunnings/Ryobi replaced it with a new battery of almost double the capacity, free of charge."

Scott now owns a multitude of battery-powered Ryobi tools, including a lawn edger, chainsaw, pole pruner, drill/driver, hammer drill, wet/dry vacuum and a multi-tool.

Fume-free mowing

One CHOICE.Community member says an Ozito cordless lawnmower changed their life. 

"I have some respiratory issues so the lack of exhaust fumes made the purchase worthwhile," they said. 

"I also have a lower back complaint which was aggravated by pulling the cord starter on my petrol mower. The cordless unit negates that problem. 

"I also purchased an Ozito cordless line trimmer for the above reasons."

Wet and dry vac

CHOICE staffer James loves his workshop wet and dry vacuum. 

"We have quite the stack of power tools for DIY and hobby use and they are all great at making sawdust," he says. 

"The shop vac either hooks up directly to the tool to minimise dust from the start or, failing that, makes clean-up a breeze. It's not as exciting as the belt sander or table saw but it makes using them a practical option."

some seedlings and herbs in pots

Bunnings has one of the most generous returns policies when it comes to pot plants.

Garden

Plants – with a warranty

When we compared plant return policies from several hardware and nursery businesses, Bunnings had one of the most generous returns policies. 

As long as you have your receipt, the home improvement giant will let you return your plant (in or out of a pot) to any branch for a refund or exchange for up to 12 months. 

The exceptions to this are plants like vegetables, flowers and potted colour, which "are short-lived plants that are not expected to live for more than 3–5 months in the garden," Bunnings says. 

And the quality of the plants?

CHOICE staffer Stacy was pleasantly surprised. "I underestimated the quality of pots and plants from Bunnings," she says. "It is actually excellent!"

Another CHOICE gardener Uta was similarly impressed: "I bought a box to grow mushrooms and the fresh mushrooms were delicious," she says. 

"My second best buy was a Bokashi bucket which takes care of all our food and vegetable scraps and makes great compost for our veggie patch."

Dirt

CHOICE whitegoods expert Ashley is less impressed with Bunnings' garden section, however – not with the quality, but with the task. 

"Potting mix is the bane of my existence. For some reason my wife feels the need to throw away all the soil in our far-too-numerous pots every year and muggins here ends up schlepping hundreds of kilos of the stuff home for her," he says. 

When we asked CHOICE staffer Peter about which Bunnings product has changed his life, he was initially stumped. "I talked to my partner who has become a keen gardener during lockdown and her answer was 'dirt'," he says. 

"She particularly likes the lawn topsoil product they sell at Bunnings and she claims dirt has changed her life."

Home improvement

Energy saving

Ashley is a fan of Bunnings for its ability to help keep his home warm in winter and cool in summer. 

"Insulation batts and draught stoppers have improved the thermal efficiency and comfort of my house," he says. 

Odd jobs

He also frequents Bunnings for general home repairs. "I buy wood – so much wood. I've built shelves, installed moulding around the ceiling of the toilet, all the stuff to patch cracks and popped nails around the place," he says. 

"Paint, filler etc., and all the stuff to maintain a house.

"And silicone sealing – so much silicone – I was able to properly seal around the bathtub."

Daniel, who's a CHOICE staffer and British expat, also swears by Bunnings for one particular home improvement item. 

"The best thing we ever bought from Bunnings was collapsible fly screens for sash windows – an absolute must for the Aussie summer," he says. 

"They were cheap, simple and we still have them four years later, keeping the critters at bay."

sausage sanga from a sausage sizzle

Some just go to Bunnings for the sausages.

The famous snags

Ah, the Bunnings sausage sizzle. It's quite possibly the peak of the Anglo-Australian culinary experience. 

When I asked around for Bunnings best buys in a meeting, Managing Editor Marg quipped "the sausage sandwiches". 

Many people fabricate an excuse to go to Bunnings in order to savour this culinary icon

Many of our respondents waxed lyrical about the joys of the mystery-meat sausage, the soft (if nutritionally-devoid) white bread, and the onion vs no-onion debate. 

It seems it's reached legendary status in the Australian consciousness, with many people admitting to fabricating an excuse to go to Bunnings in order to savour this culinary icon. 

"A friend of mine arrived back into Sydney from overseas and her first stop, straight from her international flight, was to the nearest Bunnings for a sausage sanga," says CHOICE staffer Helen.

Apparently they're held for community groups to raise money, but people would happily line up to buy from the local chapter of the Comancheros as long as they were serving up the usual Bunnings fare. 

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