Gardening Hand Tools


Gardening hand tools have been around for centuries. Some, like trowels, haven’t changed much either. But, nearly everything gets altered with time and new things are being introduced as technology improves.

Most people, and especially those who garden and do landscaping, know a lot about garden tools, but sometimes we all get stuck in our ways and don’t necessarily keep up with new things. So, here’s an update.

The most useful tool you can buy is a good set of pruners. To keep your plants healthy, you must remove healthyparts, along with unhealthy parts, from time to time.

That’s what pruning means; removing to make healthier. It’s not just about cutting randomly. The tools designed for this are loppers and pruners. Within these two categories are two types; anvil and bypass.

Bypass are scissor type blades which “bypass” each other to make the cut. Anvil are those with one shear-like flat (not curved) sharp blade which stops against a flat surface, called an anvil.

The first row of gardening hand tools below are bypass pruners. As you can see, there are lots of innovative technological developments. The one second from the right, with the backward looking handles, is designed to put the power on the index and middle finger, as opposed to the ring finger and pinky! The middle one offers a better grip, while the one on the right end is a different ergonomic design. If you’re serious about pruning, you really need to spend a day or so feeling as many as you can to see what fits for you.

The next row are anvil pruners. The difference is purpose. Anvils are for power and speed. They whack off limbs by crushing, with no regard to beauty. Bypass, on the other hand, actually prune by cutting sharp, precise cuts, leaving the plant undamaged, except for the trim. But, again, you can see technology at work here, too.

The next two gardening hand tools are loppers. The one on the left is an anvil, the right a bypass. The difference between loppers and pruners is mainly in the power afforded by the use of both hands and two sets of upper arm biceps. These have a few 21st century improvements, like telescoping handles, new ergonomics and blade technology, too. Go, grab and chop the air with several of these before you buy, as well.

Below is a list of some of the other gardening hand tools you will want to get for most, if not all, the jobs in your garden and landscaping. Also, you might want to check out KID’S GARDENING TOOLS for help getting the little ones involved, JAPANESE GARDENING TOOLS for a different twist on things or GARDENING PANTS & GLOVES for ideas on being a foliage fashionista!


Besides loppers and pruners, there are only about a half dozen other hand tools you’ll want to make your work with plants and dirt a little easier.

• Hand Weeder – Called a “weeding finger”, shaped like a large flat screwdriver with a notched blade. For pulling individual weeds and getting between cracks and pavers.
• Hand Trowel – Looks like a small spade shovel (about a foot long) used for scooping soil, digging holes for planting, weeding and all kinds of things. Stainless steel tools are best as they are easier to clean, don’t rust and the soil slides off better.
• Hand Scoop – Looks like a cross between a trowel and an ice cream scoop. Works better than a hand trowel when you need to hold more soil, compost and other material.
• Garden Spade – Can be long handle or short. Looks like a trowel, too, but has a wider spade. The larger long handle ones are great for small gardens and working around plants in your landscaping.
• Hand Hoe – These little beauties have a lot of technology in them today. Ergonomic handles, flex shafts, single and double blade designs and new materials created for all kinds of gardening functions.
• Hand Claw – Like a small rake with greater curved spines or teeth. Some have slightly springy teeth. Used for smoothing the soil and raking rocks out of small or raised gardens.
• Gardening Fork – Small pitch fork. Some are curved, some are straight. These are essential for breaking down dirt clods, spreading soil and compost and for digging in clay soil.

You can probably buy all the gardening hand tools you’ll need for around a hundred dollars. Some, like a garden fork, a hand hoe or a hand weeder you might find at a garage sale, but pruners, loppers, spades, trowels and shovels should be purchased new from a reliable dealer.

These you’ll use a lot and they need to be quality tools that fit your hands and body. My suggestion, however, is to always buy quality tools that feel right, no matter what. They’ll last longer, you’ll last longer and the job will be better.

So, take a weekend or so and explore what’s available in the garden area of your local Big Box, landscape retailers and garden stores. See what fits your hand and personality. And search any of the terms above orgardening hand tools or ergonomic garden tools using the Bing Custom Search Box on the right of this page to get a jump on your quest. There’s really a lot out there!.

… for any questions, concerns or problems on a remodeling or landscaping project, just click the carpenter’s pencil above. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours with solutions or advice on where to get solutions.
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Updated: October 27, 2013 — 3:50 am

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