Whether you’ve just discovered the art of gardening or you’re a green-fingered enthusiast, one thing’s for sure – having the right gardening tools will help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.

With so many different types of garden tools available, it can be difficult to know which ones are going to keep Mother Nature at bay and which won’t. So, to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job, we’ve put together this handy garden guide, which features all the essential garden tools you could ever need.

Gardening tools list:

  • Spade
  • Fork
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Planting and weeding tools
  • Pruning and cutting tools
  • Watering can
  • Wheelbarrow

Garden spades and shovel

As one of the most basic garden tools, spades and shovels are a must-have for removing or digging up earth. However, it’s important not to confuse the two! A garden shovel has a broad base, which is designed for moving loose materials around, e.g. snow or earth, and will normally have upturned sides to help with the ‘shovelling’ function. In contrast, a spade tends to have a sharp, flat cutting edge, which is why they’re the ultimate digging tool.

The height of the spade is important, as you’ll want to find the most comfortable height for you. Most spades are 72cm (28in) in height, but longer ones are available if you’re taller. And don’t forget the handle design either – available in T or D shapes, be sure to choose an ergonomic design you can work with for long periods of time.

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Garden forks

A fork is a fantastic digging tool, helping to get even the most stubborn plants out of the soil. However, for the more delicate jobs, e.g. weeding garden borders, the best garden fork will be a handheld one and teamed with a garden trowel will make light work of your tubs, pots, veggie patches and other small areas. With standard forks, don’t forget about finding the right height and handle to minimise the strain you’re putting on your back and hands.

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Garden rakes

There are a number of different types of rake available, so it’s important to get the best one for the job. For example, rakes with flexible teeth are lawn rakes, which can be used to remove grass clippings, moss and leaves from your lawn. For removing heavier debris, levelling soil or preparing seed beds, opt for a rake with solid teeth.

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Garden hoes

Hoes are perfect for weeding large areas, and they also manoeuvre and loosen the earth. To get the best garden hoe, you’ll need to choose between the two different types – a push or pull hoe.

A pull hoe has a blade that’s at a right angle, and to use it you make a chopping action in the soil before pulling the hoe back through it. It’s designed to remove weeds from the top of soil, while also loosening the earth, however it isn’t the best weeding tool if you want to remove deep-rooted weeds.

To get rid of stubborn weeds and to cultivate the soil, opt for a push hoe (also known as a Dutch hoe). This has a blade that’s at a gentler angle from the handle, looking more like a spade. All you need to do is push it through the soil in a forward motion, driving it below the surface layer.

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Pruning and cutting tools

In order to keep your garden in tip-top condition, you’ll want to trim and tidy by using pruning and cutting tools. From trimming hedges to sawing branches, here’s what you need:

Garden secateurs

For cutting and pruning wood, which is up to 1cm (1/2 inch) thick, secateurs are ideal. As they’re easier to use than a garden knife, they make light work of taking cuttings or trimming smaller shrubs and hedges.

There are a few different types of garden secateurs, including bypass, anvil and ratchet pruners. Bypass pruners have two curved blades that take on the form of scissors, ‘bypassing’ each other as you make the cuttings. These help make a smooth, precise cut, which is why they’re the best secateurs for thin branches and small stems.

Anvil pruners have a single straight blade and are best used for medium-size branches and dead wood. They aren’t suitable for delicate stems as the flat blade tends to crush them. Ratchet pruners are the same as anvil pruners but come complete with a ratcheting mechanism, which helps you get through heavier branches or stems and thick dead wood.

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Garden loppers

Loppers follow a very similar design to secateurs and are also available in bypass, anvil and ratchet styles. However, to provide you with extra leverage they have extended handles. The largest loppers will be able to cut branches that have a diameter of up to 5cm (2 inches).

If your garden has a lot of tall trees, you might want to invest in a pair of loppers with an extended or telescopic handle. And if you have to contend with branches thicker than 5cm, opt for a pruning saw or bow saws. These should also be compact enough to get in between the branches.

Garden shears and knives

A pair of pruning shears is ideal for keeping a hedge in shape. The best garden shears will have ergonomic handles for added comfort as well as hard-wearing blades, which can be stainless steel, aluminium or titanium coated, for example. You can also get grass shears which are perfect for achieving a precise lawn edge. And unlike a strimmer, they won’t damage tree bark or shrubs.

And for taking cuttings, pruning and doing general jobs such as cutting string and opening compost bags, a gardening knife is another useful garden tool.

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Planting and weeding tools

When it comes to planting bulbs, seeds and saplings, here’s some more garden tools you’ll need to get the job done, including:

Garden trowels

A selection of different trowels will allow you to transfer and pot mature plants. However, if you’re working with very young plants, it’s a good idea to opt for a transplanter, which is a specialist trowel with a narrower head. Some will even come with gauges, which help you plant everything to their required level.

Hand forks

A hand fork (weed fork) usually consists of 2 or 3 metal prongs, and this handheld tool is perfect for getting to grips with stubborn weeds, especially in smaller areas or in and around shrubs.

Cultivators

This is another handheld garden tool you might find useful. With 3 prongs and a compact design, cultivators are ideal for using in borders and beds where you need to loosen or break up the soil. Equally, if you’ve got some weeds that need removing from densely planted areas of your garden, the design makes it easy to do this, too.

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Tool support

And, for some additional support, our tool handle can be paired with most long-handled tools to put you in a more upright position and aid your work in the garden. Watch it in action below:

Other tools used for gardening

Wheelbarrows

Every garden needs a wheelbarrow that’s waiting on standby. When it comes to transporting things around the garden, they’re a lifesaver and because they tip up they’re easy for unloading. However you will need to master the art of using a wheelbarrow – if you get your balance wrong you might end up tipping everything over the lawn!

Gloves

Although not a ‘garden tool’ as such, gloves are another must-have when you’re getting your hands dirty in the garden. They’re not for everyone, though, as some love the bittersweet feeling of blisters, dirty fingernails and splinters after a hard day’s graft in the garden! But they are a must when you’re dealing with chemicals and other substances.

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As well as the above, you might want to kit out your garden shed with the following:

  • Watering cans – an essential for keeping your plants hydrated
  • Garden kneeler – perfect for protecting your knees while you’re getting stuck into your flowerbeds
  • Kids’ gardening tools – because little hands love to get dirty!
  • Brushes – for when you make a mess because you’ve been a bit over zealous with your digging
  • Garden bags – stronger than standard bin bags, they’re ideal for tidying away rubbish

You can shop our full garden tools range online. Happy gardening!

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