Posted: 22/11/2014 at 17:01
Appearance is unimportant. That is does the job effectively is the main requirement.
Price is certainly a factor but too cheap would put me off just as much as too expensive.
Interchangeable heads would be the ideal. Rachet systems tend to be bulkier and not always needed.
Telescopic handles make items more versatile but I wouldn't want to try to use anything more than about 4 metres extended.
I think ergonomics and weight are very closely related for usability. No point having the best balanced tool if it's too heavy to work with.
Tools for professional use tend to be built to a higher spec than others. I would only buy professional standard if I was going to get the use out of the item. For example I bought Felco secateurs and have used the same pair for well over 20 years.