High-quality gardening tools
Gardening is fun, relaxing and rewarding, but it’s still hard work. Quality garden tools make tending to the garden easier and more enjoyable.
Most gardeners have staple tools like rakes, shovels and trowels, but there are many more worth adding to your collection. In addition to hand and manual tools, it may be helpful to have electric or gas-powered equipment like leaf blowers or augers.
If you’re ready to expand your garden tool collection with these tools and more, read this buying guide.
What do I need to know before buying new garden tools?
Well-made garden tools may last through years — or decades — of use. Lower-quality tools are prone to breaking and have shorter lifespans.
If you’re curious how to find good-quality tools, including if you’re on a budget, here are a few pointers:
- Handles and other points of attachment on garden tools should be stable and secure. If they feel loose or jiggle, steer clear of them.
- Interchangeable pieces, especially on gas or electric garden equipment, should snap into place easily without moving or shifting once they’re attached.
- Garden tools should have decent weight to them. While there are some lightweight garden tools, those that feel flimsy or unusually light aren’t as durable.
- Well-made tools are often backed by long or lifetime guarantees from reputable manufacturers.
Opt for ergonomic designs
Before you land on a garden tool or piece of equipment, take a good look at the grip. Garden tools should have ergonomic designs — this means the tool is comfortable to hold and manipulate. In addition, you shouldn’t need to contort your hands or body to use it.
Some garden tools, like this hand trowel, have textured or molded grips that are less likely to slip out of hands. There are also tools with anti-fatigue gel handles. This feature is seen in garden tools that require considerable dexterity, like hand pruners.
Establish a budget
To some, gardening is an affordable pastime, but not everyone. Purchasing garden tools and equipment, especially for beginner gardeners, may cost a couple hundred dollars. No matter your budget, it’s important to establish one before you embark on your search.
It’s helpful to know that manual garden tools are generally more affordable than gas or electric ones. If you’re buying the latter, keep in mind there’s an ongoing cost for gasoline for gas-powered equipment. Electric and cordless garden equipment draw power when they run or charge, though their occasional use may not significantly impact your electric bill.
Best garden tools
If it’s time to get rid of moss so healthy grass can grow, choose a quality rake. Razor-Back 15-Tine Forged Bow Rake has a heavy-duty steel construction. The cushion grip is comfortable to hold, even during longer raking projects.
Those who spend considerable time pruning benefit from ergonomic pruning shears. This pair by Fiskars features a low-friction coating to improve grip without digging into palms.
If you need to cultivate large areas in your garden, try an electric cultivator. It pulverizes dirt without the hard work, plus you’ll save your back with the easy-push design.
It’s no small task to pull up weeds from the roots. Save your back and buy an upright weeder. This one by Fiskars has a long handle and wide foot platform to prevent unnecessary bending and maneuvering.
Gripping a trowel for extended periods can be uncomfortable. Consider a trowel with an ergonomic grip, like this one from Ames. The handle is equipped with a soft gel insert, plus there’s a pronounced thumb depression for a secure grip.
Best digging tools
A heavy-duty shovel can last through years of use, such as Razor-Back Wood Handle Shovel. This particular model is designed with Power Step edges to give you more leverage as you push it into soil.
Posthole diggers have a reputation for vibrating during use, but not this one by Bully Tools. Its solid craftsmanship includes 14-gauge rounded steel blades that minimize movement while penetrating ground.
If you regularly wrangle tough, dense soil, consider an auger, like Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Earth Auger. It has an anti-kickback design for smooth operation and weighs 50% less than gas-powered augers.
Best tree and hedge tools
Grass shears and hedge trimmer
If you’ve been manually trimming grass and hedges, upgrade to a cordless grass shear and trimmer. Powerful and efficient, these devices are helpful for precision cuts and shaping.
Trimming dense overhanging branches fatigues arms quickly. For comfort while you work, take a look at Corona DualLINK Bypass Lopper. It has a four-bar cutting system that slices through branches easily and quickly.
Some tree pruners are heavy and cumbersome, which is why it’s worth using a lightweight fiberglass tree pruner instead. They’re much easier to maneuver and more comfortable to hold during involved pruning projects.
If you need to cut down thick branches, you’ll need a reliable chainsaw. Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw has a robust 12-inch steel chain that cuts through branches with minimal kickback.
Best landscaping equipment
Edger and trencher
One of the most versatile pieces of gardening and landscaping equipment is a 2-in-1 edger and trencher. Convenient and easy on the back, they do the hard work of tackling overgrowth, tidying up walkways and digging trench gardens.
Raking leaves manually can be time-consuming. Upgrade to a cordless leaf blower, like this one from Makita. It offers up to 28 minutes of runtime on a full charge and weighs a mere 9 pounds to minimize fatigue during use.
When it comes to hauling large amounts of dirt, plants or mulch, a wheelbarrow makes the task possible. Opt for a heavy-duty wheelbarrow, preferably one constructed with professional-grade steel so it stands the test of time.
Best gardening accessories
Everyday garden gloves may not offer the level of protection you need for certain projects, like pruning rose bushes. Protect your hands and forearms with these extended gauntlet gloves. They’re made of lightweight synthetic leather and are machine-washable.
Take it easy on your knees and use a garden kneeler, like this one by TomCare. The design features an extra-thick foam pad and comes with dual pockets to hold garden tools. It has a weight limit of 330 pounds and can be used as a kneeler or a seat.
A bucket has an unlimited number of uses for gardening, including toting around tools or transporting small amounts of soil. Buckets can also be used as makeshift planters.
Compost bins are considered a smart supplementary tool for gardeners. FreeGarden EARTH Enviro World Compost Bin is a good starter bin, given its low-maintenance design and beginner composting guide. As an added bonus, it’s made from 100% recycled material.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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