Gardeners need to have a great set of tools in their shed or storage area to perform their gardening tasks. Although it's tempting to go overboard and purchase as many tools as your budget allows, staying focused on the essentials is enough to keep your garden projects accomplished for years.
These are the most common gardening tools every gardener should have, including features to look for when picking one.
Careful consideration of the gardening tasks you frequently do will help you narrow down your choice of tools and make the best selection in terms of quality, longevity, and performance. Among the variety of tools available in the market, here are the essential gardening tools almost every gardener has in their toolkit.
Gloves keep the hands clean, provide protection against harmful objects and help prevent blisters and cuts that may occur while gardening.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Opt for a pair of gloves that perfectly suit 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 feature. On the other hand, gloves using cotton or synthetic fabrics are more comfortable to wear. For sweaty hands, look for gloves made from absorbent materials and contain an antibacterial agent to keep the hands perspiration-free.
A versatile gardening hand tool, shovels work best at scooping and moving granular loads such as dirt, gravel, or snow while still capable of digging soil. 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 to comfortably work with 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 keep this in mind.
Hand trowels are like mini shovels, ideal for transplanting, digging, or loosening up the soil around existing plants.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Choose a trowel made from sturdy material that's strong enough to handle your tasks and comfortable on 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.
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 how thick the branches or stems you'll cut. 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. Most gardeners prefer using bypass over anvil pruners, but knowing how to choose pruning shears for you depends on your pruning tasks.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: A premium quality pair of garden shears have titanium-coated blades made of high carbon steel. Many good pruners have other features such as a safety thumb-lock, sap groove, and adjustment systems for users to enjoy, so be on the lookout for those.
Loppers are larger versions of pruners with handles long enough to help you reach high areas. They give added strength and leverage to cut through thick or larger branches that your usual hand pruner wouldn't be able to handle. Loppers 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 like the PowerPRO branch trimmers are your go-to, especially if you want to cut through tough wood with ease.
Watering cans are portable water containers, essential for watering new annuals or seedlings or when a garden hose is too far for you 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.
Garden or leaf rakes scrape 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.
Premium-quality tools generally offer ease and comfort, focusing on ergonomics to help users enjoy their gardening tasks, without pain or soreness. When pruning, a high-quality tool like the ClassicPRO hand pruner allows smoother and cleaner cuts on the plant to minimize the damage and allows for the plant to heal faster.
Only invest in essential and good 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.