Spending time in your garden should be pleasure. The right garden tools can mean the difference between a bucolic outing and feeling like you're working on a chain gang. From go-to workhorses to the latest high tech gadgets, garden tools are available in a wide range of styles and prices.
Hand garden tools come in a number of grip sizes, ranging from men's to women's and even including children's. Having the right grip will make your gardening safer and more comfortable.
You don't always garden on your knees, and upright tools are the answer. Shovels, spades, rakes and hoes should have forged-steel blades and non-metallic handles to better absorb shocks.
Pruning tools come in two blade styles: anvil and by-pass. Anvil blades tend to crush what they cut and are better for dead wood. By-pass blades work like scissors and are appropriate for live or sensitive branches.
While long handles provide greater reach and leverage, short handles are better in tight spaces. Wooden handles provide a comfortable grip, but fiberglass is stronger and more weather resistant.
The moisture in dirt left on your tools can lead to rust, shortening the life of your investment. Polished or coated steel blades will help keep mud and dirt from sticking to your tools.
Garden tools fall into two camps: hand tools and upright tools. For working in small beds and with individual plants, hand tools are best. For larger beds or preparing soil, upright tools will save time—and your back
Garden tool handles come in a many configurations. Long-shafted tools typically don't come with handles, but shorter shafted garden tools may have a D-handle (good for tight areas) or a straight handle (for added reach and leverage).
Garden hand tools are typically sold in sets. If you're just looking for a specific tool or feature, individual tools are a more economical answer.
Forged steel shovel blades are the strongest available, while polished or coated blades will help keep blades clean and rust-free. Look for turned-back edges or treads to make pushing a shovel with your foot easier.
Pruners have short blades designed for precision cutting. Shears have longer blades designed for a flat, straight cut. Saws and loppers are used for the larger branches of trees and shrubs.
Gardening involves a number of tasks that require specific tools. Manufacturers have responded by creating an amazing array of gardening tools in every style and price range imaginable. With so many choices, narrowing your selection by task is a good way to keep garden tool shopping manageable.
Garden hand tools are typically sold in matching sets, perfect for the beginning gardener. At a minimum, you'll want a trowel, cultivator and weeder. Replacing a lost or broken hand tool? Individual tools are available from a number of manufacturers.
A set of tools that feature polished, forged-steel blades will last a long time in your garden. Handles should be appropriately sized to fit your hand. Padded handles are nice, but ergonomic design is more important.
For preparing soil and for large-scale jobs, upright tools will save you time and effort. Forged-steel blades are long lasting and will cut through the heaviest soil. Turned top edges or treads will make it easier to push tools into the ground with your foot.
Long handles provide plenty of reach and leverage, but short handles will help you negotiate tight spaces. Wood and fiberglass handles are long lasting and provide good shock absorption. Metal handles provide superior strength, but transmit heat, cold and vibration.
Garden cutting tools are task specific, so you'll probably need more than one kind. Hand pruners come in two styles of blades: anvil (good for cutting dead wood) and by-pass (designed for live and sensitive plants). Trimming shears come in a number of sizes—the long, flat blades are perfect for trimming grass and hedges. Loppers are the largest cutting tools, good for cutting branches up to two inches in diameter. Pruning saws are used for larger branches—more blade teeth will result in a smoother cut.
Rakes are perfect for covering large areas quickly. Leaf rakes come in a number of sizes and use their long, flexible tines to gather leaves, clippings and other debris. Garden rakes feature a hard, steel head that is perfect for breaking up and moving soil. A specialized rake called a thatcher is perfect for removing impacted grass clipping from your yard.
Forks are perfect for moving large volumes of material. There are two types of forks: hay and spade. Hay forks have rounded tines and are generally used to move dry material like leaves, mulch and clippings. Spade forks have flattened tines and are perfect for turning and aerating soil.
Hoes come in a number of configurations and are designed to weed and break up loose soil. Regardless of their purpose, hoes should have forged-steel blades and long, comfortable handles.
We've compiled this group of information links to help you further your research: