Great Garden Hand Tools

hand tools

There is a saying that goes something like this; a worker is only as good as the tools the worker uses. Now there is some truth in this, as using the right tool for the right job makes the job easier to do and should reduce error.

When it comes to gardening, good tools make the job easier, just try and prune that shrub with your kitchen scissors, it may work, and you may break the scissors or hurt your hand. Using a properly, ergonomically designed pair of pruning shears.

Pruning shears are used on branches that are up to one-half inch in diameter. If you use your pruning shears on anything larger you will harm the shears and possibly the plant. A poorly pruned branch is a wound waiting to be infected.

Which pruning tool you purchase will depend upon the pruning chores that need to be done. If you do not have trees or shrubs, including roses then you do not have a great need of pruning shears.

For example, Fiskars makes the PowerGear Pruner which maximizes leverage to reduce cutting effort, while the rotating handle minimizes strain and fatigue, especially during extended use.  To make this tool even more appealing it comes with a lifetime manufacturer's warranty.

Now most hedges require some level of pruning and buying a set of hedge shears that are easy to use and strong enough to do the job. There are companies that specialize in making ergonomic hand tools for gardeners and I suggest that regardless of yoru age or physical condition you give them a serious look, why make the job any harder than it need be.

Smith & Hawken is another company that makes ergonomic hand tools. Their hedge shears have High carbon steel blades, with s curved blades and adjustable tension settings as well as lightweight aluminum handles are covered with ergonomically sound grips.

If you are growing cut flower then a good sharp, be sure it is sharp, knife will do the job, like any tool, keep it clean.

Buy a pocket knife that has a lock back blade which won’t slip and cut you when pressure is applied. There are a number of companies that make knifes especially designed for the gardener; if you do not have a good pocket knife give one of these some thought.

My hand trowel is one of the most used tools in my small but busy tool kit. Much of my gardening these days is done in containers of one kind or another and the hand trowel is perfect for adding soil and compost to the containers. You can buy long handled versions so that if you do not need to bend down or kneel to garden.

I find the trowel also very useful for digging holes for bulbs, backfilling those holes or adding compost to the rose bed.

There are tools that are specially designed for container gardening and if you garden that way then these are worth the investment.

 NRG , for example, makes a hand trowel that has an ergonomic grip which makes the work easier.

Buy good quality tools and buy only what you need; the first step before spending any money is to assess your needs and buy the tools that make the job easier. Good tools are worth the money.

I can buy a hand trowel in the dollar store for a buck but the blade bends easily and the tool becomes useless fast. I am not eager to run to the store to buy a new one when I am gardening.

Take care of the tools you do buy clean them and keep them dry; they will last a very long time.


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Comments 17 comments

Erick Smart 7 years ago

Our garden gets bigger every year and I have to agree that tools make all the difference in the world. We grow everything from small peas to pecan trees on our property and when I do not have the right tools they break or worse I get blisters.


Pest profile image

Pest 7 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

Very nice. I am still under snow here and am growing starter plants indoors. I am actually using a tea spoon and a creamer with spout as my main tools.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

I have gardened with a tea spoon indoors, pain and expense are two costs of poor tool choices. Thank you both for dropping by.


Pest profile image

Pest 7 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

My favorite is the hand cultivator. I am more of an old fashioned gardner I guess. More like I do what I can with what I can afford. Growing up on the farm I would back the 26 foot drag into the garden area and viola...tilled 52 by 52 section in two minutes. Now that is a garden tool. Also a $30,000 garden tool.


Nolimits Nana 7 years ago

With the winter kill on some of my shrubs, my long handled loppers and Fiskars pruners have been my tools of choice this month! Love my Fiskars.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

They are good tools, thanks for dropping by.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

My Dad was a tool-a-holic. If it was called a tool he either owned it or wanted to own it. I can still hear him say "...Zsuzs' there is a tool for everything. If you can't find the right one, make one" He was right, gardening is soooooooo much easier with the right tools.

Great hub Bob, as always.

Getting itchy hands to start this years garden plots

kindest regards Zsuzsy


vivekananda profile image

vivekananda 7 years ago from India

Good hub. Thanks for sharing the knowledge on gardening hand tools.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

ZB, thanks, I am eager to get going gardening, bu the snow till covers the yard, thank you both for dropping by.


Nelle Hoxie 7 years ago

I have a two-acre meadow that I "plant" with native and endangered wildflowers. But things have gotten a little out of control this winter and I have agressive vines popping up everywhere this Spring. So I am out pruning and pulling like crazy every morning. I enjoyed your commentary on gardening tools and am your newest fan.Nelle


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Good work, "planting that medaow" it is a vital activity. Thank you for dropping by and beomign a fan.


johnr54 profile image

johnr54 7 years ago from Texas

One of my favorites is a compost turner. I actually use the Compost Crank, which takes a lot of work out of turning that pile.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Indeed a good choice, thanks for dropping by.


Clara Ghomes profile image

Clara Ghomes 7 years ago

Good hub. Thanx you for sharing hand tools! When i watched the hand tools video --- I came to remember "hand scissors".


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for dropping by.


putnut profile image

putnut 4 years ago from Central Illinois or wherever else I am at the moment.

The end is what I felt was key, buy higher quality tools and take care of them. This is actually cheaper in the long run and is a rule that applies to most anything, not just garden tools.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 4 years ago from New Brunswick Author

True, thanks for your input.

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