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7 Essential Gardening Hand Tools You Need

7 Essential Gardening Hand Tools You Need

Gardeners need to have a great set of tools in their shed or storage area to perform a wide variety of gardening tasks. Although it's tempting to go overboard and purchase as many tools as your budget allows, staying focused on the essentials will help you easily accomplish your gardening projects.

We’ve rounded up a list of common gardening tools every gardener should have, including features to look for when selecting each tool.

1. Gardening Gloves

    Gloves will keep your hands clean, provide protection against harmful objects, and help prevent blisters and cuts that may occur while gardening. 

    What to look for: Choose a pair of gloves that perfectly fit your hand size and extend to the wrist for a snug fit. A nitrile glove works well for most gardening tasks because of their water-resistant nature, but gloves made using cotton or synthetic fabrics are more comfortable to wear. For sweaty hands, look for gloves made from absorbent materials that contain an antibacterial agent to keep your hands perspiration-free.

    2. Shovel

      A versatile gardening hand tool, shovels work best for digging soil and scooping and moving granular loads such as dirt, gravel, or snow. They usually have long, straight handles that allow users to work in a standing position. Shovel blades often have a rounded edge and an angled tip that distinguishes them from spades.

      What to look for: Pick a shovel that is long enough and convenient for your height so you can comfortably perform your tasks in a standing position. High-quality blade material such as thick-gauge stainless steel won't easily bend or rust over time, so if you're looking for a tool that lasts, remember to consider the material.

      3. Trowel

        Hand trowels are like mini shovels, and are ideal for transplanting, digging, or loosening up the soil around existing plants.

        What to look for: Choose a trowel made from a sturdy material that's strong enough to handle your tasks and comfortable in the hand. Look out for ergonomic handles and pick the suitable blade material for your needs, whether it's stainless steel, aluminum, or high carbon steel.

        4. Pruning Shears

        Hand pruners or garden shears are a must-have for any gardener. Pruning shears help you snip, prune, and shape plants. They come in different sizes, depending on the thickness of your branches or stem. Garden shears come in two styles: bypass, which work like scissors to make clean and precise cuts, and anvil, where the two blades meet in the middle to make a cut.

        What to look for: A premium pair of garden shears have titanium-coated blades made of high carbon steel and may have other helpful features such as a safety thumb-lock, sap groove, and adjustment systems.

        5. Loppers

        Loppers are larger versions of pruners with handles long enough to help you reach high areas. They provide added strength and leverage to cut through thick or larger branches that your hand pruner wouldn't be able to handle. Loppers also work well for pruning fruit trees and vines. 

        What to look for: Choose a model with handles long enough for added leverage, so you can reach the branches you need to cut. Longer handles tend to be heavier, so opt for handles made with fiberglass or aluminum as they're usually the lightest. Loppers with carbon steel and nonstick coated blades are ideal, especially if you want to cut through tough wood with ease.

        6. Watering Can

        Watering cans are portable water containers that make it easy to water new annuals or seedlings when a garden hose is too far to reach. Their long spout and handles make it easy to control the amount of water that will fall out of the sprinkler attachment.

        What to look for: Watering cans vary in size, body styles, neck lengths, and sprinkler attachments—fashioned for your different needs. It's better to invest in a watering can that's large enough to make your watering tasks worthwhile. Plastic cans are usually more durable than metal cans, so if you're looking for a watering can that will last, you may opt for one made with plastic. A removable sprinkler head would be a great feature to look for too.

        7. Garden Rake

        Garden or leaf rakes make it easy to sweet up debris, clear up garden waste, and help sow soil. They come in a range of sizes and types, from the classic garden rake for gathering debris during the fall season, to hand rakes for weeding.

        What to look for: You can choose between a shrub rake, thatch rake, plastic leaf rake, or metal leaf rake. The best garden rakes usually have a head made of forged high carbon steel. To avoid rust, look for one that has an enamel-coated head. Make sure to check the width, length, and weight, so you can have a comfortable tool to use for repetitive leaf raking tasks.

        Only invest in essential and high-quality garden hand tools based on your gardening needs. Remember, high-quality tools last longer when given proper care and regular maintenance, so a replacement won't be needed year after year. Happy gardening!