20 Garden Tools and Their Uses: How To Use And Care For These Common Garden Tools


Gardening is an amazing hobby, but it requires the right tools to get the job done. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which tool to use for each gardening task. In this blog post, we will discuss 20 gardening tools and their uses, as well as tips for identifying the right tool for the job and keeping your tools safe. A lot of this will be basic for the experienced gardener, but this information is for anyone that is unfamiliar with the essential garden tools. 

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Common Garden Tools And Their Uses

There are many types of garden tools. Handheld, power, cordless, the garden tools list is extensive. The materials they are made of can range from wood, stainless steel, plastic, or a mix of all of these. Below is a list of 20 gardening tools and their uses.

Garden Fork

image showing just some of the 20 garden tools and their uses

A garden fork is one of the essential gardening tools. Its sturdy four-tined head makes it perfect for turning soil, aerating compost, and harvesting root vegetables like potatoes and carrots. When selecting a garden fork, look for one with a durable handle and a comfortable grip.

Hand Trowel

Hand trowels are versatile tools that can handle a variety of gardening tasks. They are perfect for digging small holes, transplanting seedlings, and weeding around plants. Look for a hand trowel with a sturdy blade and a comfortable grip to make your gardening tasks easier.

Pruning Shears

Pruning shears are a stalwart tool for any gardener. They are perfect for trimming and shaping plants in your garden. When selecting pruning shears, look for ones with sharp blades, comfortable grips, and a locking mechanism for safety. Using a hand pruner will allow great control and precision when trimming bushes, plants and trees. 

Garden Rake

A garden rake is irreplaceable, very few gardens will not need one. It is perfect for smoothing soil, clearing leaves, removing debris, and spreading mulch. When selecting a garden rake, look for one with durable tines and a comfortable handle.

Watering Can

Watering cans are self-explanatory and vital in any size garden. They come in a variety of sizes/volumes and are perfect for keeping your plants healthy and hydrated. When selecting a watering can, look for one with a comfortable handle and a removable spout for easy refilling.

Garden Hose

A garden hose is a basic tool that every gardener needs. It is perfect for watering your garden, washing outdoor surfaces, and performing other outdoor tasks. When selecting a garden hose, look for one with durable construction, leak-proof connections, and a comfortable grip.

Garden Gloves

Garden gloves are a must-have tool for any gardener. Claw gloves take this beyond protection and give an added benefit of making digging easy. They protect your hands from cuts, bruises, and blisters while gardening. When selecting garden gloves, look for ones with a comfortable fit and durable material that can withstand thorns and sharp-edged tools.

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Garden Hoe

Garden hoes are perfect for weeding and cultivating soil in your garden. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including the traditional long-handled hoe and the short-handled hand hoe. When selecting a garden hoe, choose one that is comfortable to hold and has a properly designed blade for the task at hand.

Leaf Blower

Leaf blowers are a versatile tool that can be used to clear leaves and debris from your yard and garden. They come in various types including electric, gas and cordless (battery powered). Consider the size of your yard when selecting a leaf blower and look for one with features like variable speed control and adjustable nozzles.

Power Pruner

Power pruners are a valuable tool for maintaining the health and appearance of trees and shrubs in your garden. They come in various models, including electric and gas-powered. When selecting a power pruner, look for one with a comfortable grip, lightweight design, and a durable blade.

Garden Saw

Garden saws are an essential tool for cutting through tough materials like thick branches and stems. They come in various sizes, including handheld and pole saws. When selecting a garden saw, look for one with a sharp blade and comfortable grip.

Garden Cart

Garden carts are perfect for transporting heavy items like soil, rocks, and plants around your garden. They come in various sizes and shapes, including wheeled carts and wagon-style carts. When selecting a garden cart, look for one with sturdy construction and a comfortable handle.

Garden Sprayer

Garden sprayers are perfect for applying fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides to your garden. They come in various sizes, including handheld and backpack sprayers. When selecting a garden sprayer, look for one with adjustable spray patterns, a comfortable grip, and easy-to-use controls.

Garden Scissors

Garden scissors are essential for trimming delicate plants and harvesting herbs and flowers. They come in various sizes and styles, including straight and curved blades. When selecting garden scissors, look for ones with a sharp blade and a comfortable grip.

Garden Spade

Garden spades are perfect for digging planting holes and turning soil in your garden. They come in various sizes and styles, including short-handled and long-handled spades. When selecting a garden spade, look for one with a sturdy blade and comfortable grip.

Garden Wheelbarrow

Garden wheelbarrows are perfect for hauling heavy loads like soil, rocks, and other gardening materials. They come in various sizes and styles, including traditional and two-wheeled models. When selecting a garden wheelbarrow, look for one with sturdy construction and a comfortable grip.

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Garden Cultivator

Garden cultivators are perfect for breaking up soil and removing weeds in your garden. They come in various sizes and styles, including handheld and long-handled cultivators. When selecting a garden cultivator, look for one with sturdy tines and a comfortable grip.

Garden Prongs

Garden prongs are ideal for raking leaves, grass, and other debris in your garden. They come in various sizes and shapes, including handheld and long-handled models. When selecting a garden prong, look for one with sturdy tines and a comfortable grip.

Lawn Mower

A lawn mower is an essential tool for maintaining the appearance of your lawn. They come in various sizes and styles, including electric, gas-powered, and manual models. When selecting a lawn mower, consider the size of your lawn, the type of terrain, and any other features that may be necessary for your specific needs.

Garden Hand-Held Edger

Garden hand-held edgers are perfect for edging and trimming lawns and garden beds. They come in various sizes and styles, including electric, gas-powered, and manual models, especially for people who don’t want to use lawn mowers. When selecting a garden hand-held edger, consider the size of your lawn or garden and the specific features necessary for your needs.

Identifying the Right Tool for the Job

Knowing which gardening tool is best for each job is crucial for efficient gardening. Consider the task at hand and choose the tool accordingly. For instance, digging deeper trenches requires spades, while cultivating soil requires cultivators. When trimming bushes and branches, use pruning shears or power pruners. Ensure you have the right tool for the job to enjoy better results.

Keeping Tools Safely

After using gardening tools, it’s essential to clean and store them safely. Clean tools remove debris and reduce wear and tear, making them last longer. When storing tools, wrap the sharp ends with protective covers, store them in dry places out of reach of children and animals. Always check that every gardening tool is ready for use before every gardening session.

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Protective Gear

Gardening tools can be dangerous, especially with power pruners, electric hedge trimmers, and lawn mowers. As such, protective gear is necessary to ensure injuries are avoided. Protective gear needs to be functional, comfortable, and interchangeable to ensure the equipment is used correctly. Let’s discuss some of the more common items that will keep you safe. 

Gloves, the Unsung Heroes of Gardening Protection

Gloves are an indispensable piece of protective gear designed to safeguard hands from cuts, blisters, thorns, and hazardous substances often encountered during garden chores. The active gardener should invest in gloves that epitomize comfort, durability, and flexibility. Opting for gloves with an active fit and breathable material allows for enhanced dexterity and minimizes hand fatigue. Transitioning between tasks can be done smoothly with gloves boasting reinforced fingertips and palms to improve grip and prevent wear and tear. High-quality gloves are typically constructed from durable materials such as leather or synthetic materials like nylon or nitrile. 

When navigating the diverse gardening landscape, it’s essential to note that different gloves are suited to specific tasks. For instance, heavy-duty leather gloves are ideal for handling rough and thorny plants, trees, or rose bushes, while lighter gloves with increased flexibility are better suited to precision tasks like planting delicate seedlings or harvesting fruits and vegetables. To avoid the absorption of harmful chemicals, gardeners should consider gloves with a waterproof or chemical-resistant lining.

Footwear for a Surefooted Gardening Experience

Imagine feeling the plushness of grass beneath your feet as you tend to your magnificent garden. However, this serenity can quickly unravel if you don’t prioritize footwear suitable for the gardening terrain. Shoes and boots designed explicitly for gardening provide support, stability, and protection.

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Garden shoes, typically lightweight and low-profile, are perfect for small yards or when tending to potted plants. They provide ample breathability, ease of movement, and easy clean-up with their quick-drying attributes. On the other hand, garden boots offer more comprehensive protection for larger gardens, offering water resistance, insulation, and increased coverage to shield against mud, water, and sharp objects. When investing in garden footwear, ensure the soles are slip-resistant, the material is waterproof, and the sizing provides a comfortable fit to traverse your garden effortlessly.

Additional Essential Protective Gear

While gloves and footwear are crucial components of gardening protective gear, several other tools and accessories are worth considering to ensure complete safety. A wide-brimmed hat or a good-quality sun hat serves as a shield against the sun’s harmful rays, preventing sunburn and reducing the risk of heatstroke during prolonged gardening sessions. Protective eyewear, such as safety glasses or goggles, are also vital to safeguard against flying debris, chemicals, or sharp objects that may pose risks to your eyes.

For those handling long-reaching tools, sturdy and protective clothing like gardening aprons or coveralls can shield against accidental cuts or scrapes. These garments typically feature reinforced knees and elbows to withstand the rigors of gardening while providing freedom of movement. Gardeners should also consider investing in knee pads or kneeling pads to protect their joints from strain when working on low beds or during prolonged kneeling. 

Choosing the Right Protective Gear: Prioritizing Safety and Longevity

When selecting protective gear for gardening, focusing on high-quality tools pays dividends in terms of comfort, protection, and longevity. Look for well-known brands that specialize in garden gear, as their products often undergo rigorous testing and offer superior fit and protection. Reading customer reviews and seeking recommendations from gardening communities can provide helpful insights into the most reliable protective gear options.

Proper maintenance is also essential to prolong the lifespan of protective gear. Cleaning gloves, shoes, and boots regularly not only prevents the spread of plant diseases but also removes dirt and debris that can contribute to wear and tear. For leather-based gear, applying leather conditioners periodically helps maintain suppleness and moisture resistance. Additionally, inspecting gear for signs of wear, such as fraying or cracks, ensures timely replacement and continued safety.

Caring for your tools 

To start, one of the fundamental aspects of maintaining garden tools is to keep their blades sharp. Just like a dull knife in the kitchen, dull blades make gardening tasks more laborious, inefficient, and potentially harmful. Properly sharpened blades enable clean, precise cuts, minimizing damage to plants and reducing the spread of diseases. When sharpening your tools, make sure to wear protective gloves and use a sharpening stone or a specialized sharpening tool.

small garden tools on a table. A small selection out of the discussed 20 garden tools and their uses

Additionally, regularly oiling the moving parts of your garden tools is crucial to maintain their smooth operation. Moving parts, such as joints, hinges, or springs, can become stiff or corroded due to prolonged exposure to moisture or environmental factors. Lubricating these components with a suitable oil or lubricant will help prevent rust, reduce friction, and ensure optimal performance. Remember to wipe off any excess oil to prevent attracting dirt and debris.

When it comes to power tools, giving them the attention they deserve translates into their extended lifespan and uninterrupted functionality. Servicing power tools, such as lawn mowers, trimmers, or chainsaws, at regular intervals is essential. This involves cleaning the air filter, changing spark plugs, checking the fuel system, and inspecting the power cables. If you are uncertain about servicing your power tools yourself, consult a professional or refer to the user manual for specific guidelines.

While understanding how to maintain your garden tools is essential, selecting quality tools during the purchasing process is equally as crucial. High-quality tools not only withstand rigorous use but also provide better efficiency and ease of handling. When buying garden tools, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Invest in reputable brands: Established brands are known for their commitment to quality and durability. They have a solid reputation built upon years of expertise in the industry. Shop with this is mind. 
  2. Inspect the materials: Quality tools are often made from sturdy and durable materials such as stainless steel, forged metal, or high-density plastic. Avoid tools that seem flimsy or cheaply made. 
  3. Consider the ergonomics: Tools that are designed with ergonomic handles and grips offer improved comfort and reduced strain during use. Look for tools with well-designed handles that fit your hand comfortably. Pruning tools can be particularly tough on the hands, a well-designed tool will make the world of difference to your experience. 
  4. Read customer reviews: Online platforms provide a wealth of information through customer reviews. Take advantage of these reviews to get an idea of the tool’s reliability, performance, and overall satisfaction from other users.
  5. Warranty and customer support: Choose tools that come with a warranty or guarantee, as this demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Also, check if the brand provides good customer support in case any issues arise.

Gardening tools are essential for efficient and reliable gardening. By keeping your tools safe, choosing the right tool for the job, and having the right protective gear, gardening will be safer, more enjoyable and much more effective. We hope this will help when it comes to drawing up your list of gardening equipment and tools. 

As an Amazon and ebay Affiliate we may earn a commission off any purchases made through our links. This won’t affect the price you pay.

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