Gardening Hand Tools Buying Guide

There are lots of gadgets  out there to help make gardening  easier.  From simple trowels to high powered electric-shrubbers, this guide will help you sift through the options and put you on the path to becoming a regular green thumb .  

The Basics

No matter what tools you decide to buy for all your gardening endeavours, remember that quality is important.  Tools made out of durable materials will last longer and help you get your tasks done faster.  The following are some of the tools that will help you perform some of the more basic gardening tasks, like digging planting holes, weeding and spreading mulch .

Combo rake-shovel 

  • This gadget combines all the best tools in one--a shovel, scoop, rake and fork. It's durable, lightweight and particularly effective for working with all different kinds of mulches, as it allows you to scoop the stuff into beds, spread it around and rake it as necessary.  It also well for raking and picking up leaves and turning compost . 


  • This tool is used for breaking up earth and digging small holes.  Specifically, trowels are used to plant seeds, do extensive weeding, mix fertilizer and other additives into the soil and transfer plants to pots or vice versa.  
  • You can get trowels of varying lengths depending on how deep you intend to dig, but no trowel should be without a tapered cutting edge to make digging into the soil a smooth, easy process.
  • Trowel handles are typically made out of wood or metal for added strength and durability, but inexpensive plastics are also available.

Bulb planter 

  • A spring-loaded gadget that simultaneously digs the planting hole and removes the dirt in one fell swoop, bulb planters save a lot of time and energy.  Simply stab the tool into the soil, squeeze the three-fingered pulley and the result is a perfectly shaped planting hole.
  • If you've got hard-packed clay soils, a trowel may be faster and more effective.  Bulb  planters work best in light, fluffy soils.


  • If you're the barbecuing  type or have some rambunctious kids, you may see a lot of foot traffic in and around your yard.  And the more people that frequent it, the more likely there is to be litter.  This picker-upper allows you to grab trash, sticks and other debris without having to stop and bend down.  Simply squeeze the handles together and toss the unwanted junk in the garbage. 
  • This tool is especially helpful for those with back problems and arthritis.


  • This tool has teeth that can flick out shallow-rooted weeds without injuring growing plants.
  • Rod weeders  are used for weed control in open unplanted fields.
  • Many weedes have cultivator  attachments, which allow you to break up roots and weeds in the soil to prepare it for planting.

Shrubbers /Trimmers /Shears 

  • Available in manual and electric varieties, these tools can help you maintain the growth of grass, trees and shrubs.  The size, thickness and amount of overgrowth that your plant life regularly experiences will help you to determine which type of tool is right for you.  For instance, manual pruning shears are more suited for light shrub work, while electric shrubbers are commonly used for the shaping of tall, thick hedges.

Other Garden Accessories

Plant Hangers 


Garden Gloves 

Plant Pots  

Watering Cans 

Major Manufacturers

  • Black and Decker
  • Bosch
  • Dewalt
  • Stanley
  • Klein
  • Hitatchi
  • Irwin
  • Greenlee
  • Morse 
  • Porter Cable
  • Proto

Related Guides

Gardening Tips

Garden Insect Management

Lawn Tractors