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List of Basic Gardening Tools

Updated on October 3, 2012

Getting started with gardening is easy and fun. With just a few simple tools in your toolkit, you can be ready to start planting your garden. Here is a list of basic gardening tools to get started. Keep in mind that buying well-designed tools is truly an investment in your garden. Having the right tool for the job makes the work easier, which ultimately makes gardening much more enjoyable. If you take good care of your gardening tools, you can keep them for years to come.


Before you start digging in the dirt, get a good pair of a gloves. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, you can just start with a basic pair of gardening gloves. Gloves will not only keep you hands a little cleaner, they will also protect your hands from cuts and scrapes, a must when working with thorny plants, such as roses. Look for gloves with a puncture-resistant, synthetic leather padded palm and reinforced fingertips, such as the Terra Collection Professional Rose Gardening gloves.

Hand Spade / Trowel

A spade, or hand shovel, is ideal for many gardening tasks, such as digging, weeding, planting and moving soil. Look for a spade with a rust-resistant metal blade, as plastic will likely break too easily. You will also want to find a spade with a comfortable handle, such as the Fiskars trowel with soft molded grips.


A list of basic gardening tools would not be complete without a shovel. A shovel is an ideal tool for digging in a variety of soils and materials. A strong shovel will also help you dig straight through roots, which is important if you are putting in a garden in an area that is currently grassy. I particularly like the Fiskars shovel with a d-handle for ergonomic comfort. After reading customer review after customer review on shovels, this one really seems to come out ahead. I also like that the shovel blade is welded directly onto the shaft, which will really improve the shoveling strength and the longer-term durability of your purchase.


No gardeners tool shed is complete without a rake. A rake is great for smoothing out a garden, cleaning leaves out around shrubs and raking gravel. Consider a rake with a fiberglass handle, which will withstand the elements better than a wooden handle, such as the Ames True Temper Eagle Bow Rake.


A hoe is an ancient and versatile garden tool used to move small amounts of soil. The most common use of a hoe is for weed control, though it is also used for tasks such as digging shallow trenches for planting seeds. After searching for the best hoe, I can’t wait to get my Corona Clipper SH61000 Diamond Hoe. It’s diamond shaped head, with four sharpened edges, cuts weeds on both forward and back strokes. It also features an easily sharpened carbon steel blade

Pruner/ Pruning Shears

Pruning shears, a staple for any gardener, are used for cutting live growth as well as removing dead growth. A pruner with adjustable tension will give you increased control over desired cutting force and precision. A well-maintained pruner will last you many many years, so it's important to keep this, and all garden tools clean after each use. When shopping for a pruner, consider the comfort of the pruner in yours hands.

Hand Rake

A hand rake loosens soil, removes weeds and aerates soil. Just as you did with your hand trowel, you will want to look for a hand rake with a comfortable grip. You will also want a hand rake with metal tines; polished aluminum heads resist rust, extending the life of you gardening tools. You might consider the Fiskars three-piece set, which includes a hand rake, a trowel and a transplanter.

I wish you the best of luck building your garden! I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labor and have great success.

What is the most-used gardening tool for you?


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