Essential Garden Tools

25 Essential Garden Tools List Every Gardener Needs

Technically speaking, all you need for gardening is soil, water, sun, and seeds. But, the right tools will make all the hard work much easier. And, as Benjamin Franklin put it so wisely, “The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.” Are your garden tools starting to look a bit past their sell-by date?

Without the right tools by your side, gardening is less of a fun and enjoyable hobby and more of a painful chore. If you want your garden to be the best it can be, the first thing you need to do is to equip your garden shed. Here are 25 essential garden tools every gardener needs.


A good, reliable wheelbarrow is worth its weight in gold. It can carry firewood, compost, soil, tools, and more, making life easier for the gardener. You can also use a wheelbarrow to soak plant roots before you plant them.

And, there’s a wide variety of options on the market. Whether you want a motorized wheelbarrow with a steel tub or a nimble and lightweight polyurethane model, you can rest assured you’ll find what you need.

Different models are suitable for different purposes. For instance, some are built for heavier loads while others are designed to be easy to maneuver. If you want to get a versatile model, this Makita XUC01PTX1 Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow is an excellent choice.

Makita XUC01PTX1 Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow Makita XUC01PTX1 Power-Assisted Wheelbarrow

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Hose and Sprayer

A hose for watering offers great convenience. Garden hoses come in a variety of lengths (typically 25 to 75 ft), materials (rubber, vinyl), and even colors.

If stored properly (under a cover), a heavy-duty rubber hose will last you for years. A hose with a spray attachment offers more options, such as a soft stream or hard blast.

It’s best to get a drinking water-safe garden hose. This Flexzilla HFZG503YW features a led-free inner tube. It’s a great choice if you have a dog who likes to budge in to take a quick sip when you are watering the plants.

Flexzilla HFZG503YW Flexzilla HFZG503YW

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Pruning Shears

No matter how you like to garden and what plants you want to grow, pruning shears are an absolute must. With a good pair of pruning shears, you will be able to handle a lot of trimming and cutting jobs.

They make harvesting fruits, veggies, and herbs much easier. You can also use them to cut small branches and thick stems. When you need to handle thick vines and vegetable stems late in summer, this tool really comes in handy.

They allow you to easily cut down plants for compost piles as well. These Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears are an inexpensive and reliable solution.

Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears

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Gardening Gloves

Even though they aren’t classified as a tool, a pair of gardening gloves is an indispensable item in any garden shed. Garden gloves will protect your hands and wrists from injuries, as well as prevent dirt from getting under your nails.

They offer great protection against splinters, scrapes, and scratches. If you’re dealing with prickly plants and thorny branches, gardening gloves are a must.

They are especially handy if you have sensitive skin. Plants, fertilizers, and gardening chemicals can cause rashes and allergic reactions, and the best way to avoid them is by using gardening gloves.

If you have eczema for instance, garden gloves aren’t optional. These garden gloves with long cowhide gauntlets from Exemplary Garden are an excellent choice.

Rose Pruning Gloves with long cowhide gauntlets Rose Pruning Gloves with long cowhide gauntlets

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Lawn Mower

If you want to make sure the grass around your garden always looks its best, you need a lawn mower. A lawn mower allows you to cut larger swaths of tall grass with great ease and efficiency, saving you a lot of time and energy.

If you have a smaller, flat yard, it’s probably best to get a corded-electric lawn mower. This type of lawnmower is budget-friendly and super energy efficient.

But if you need a lawn mower that can handle hills and tougher grass, a self-propelled gas or battery-powered model works best. The Snapper P2185020E HI-VAC Self-propelled Mower is an excellent choice for any type of lawn or garden.

Snapper P2185020E HI-VAC Self-propelled Mower Snapper P2185020E HI-VAC Self-propelled Mower

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Weed Eater

Pesky weeds are the arch-nemesis of any gardener. They can be a huge pain in the neck, especially if you don’t have the right tools for their removal.

As great as lawn mowers are, they aren’t practical in every situation. And, if you have a larger yard and garden, removing weeds by hand can be very tiring.

For those tight spots where a lawn mower can’t reach, you need a weed eater. In most cases, a cordless, battery-powered weed eater is the best option.

Battery-powered weed eaters offer great mobility and they are very easy to maintain. When it comes to weed eaters, the Ego ST1521S String Trimmer is one of the best options on the market. Read also best corded electric string trimmer review.

If you are not sure what type of trimmer you should buy, read also our comparison of curved vs straight trimmers.

Ego ST1521S String Trimmer Ego ST1521S String Trimmer

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Bow Rake

For any gardener that wants to grow a lush garden, rakes are indispensable tools. A bow rake is a really useful tool for spreading mulch, breaking up hardened dirt, and leveling soil.

Even if you have a simple raised bed garden, a bow rake beats hand tools any day of the week. When spring comes and you need to mix in compost and work the dirt, you’ll be glad you have one of these by your side.

Whether we are talking about community garden plots or raised beds, this tool is a must. If you are looking for a solid bow rake, you can never go wrong with True Temper. This True Temper 2811600 Steel 16-Tine Bow Rake is a solid choice.

True Temper 2811600 Steel 16-Tine Bow Rake True Temper 2811600 Steel 16-Tine Bow Rake

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Leaf Blower or Lawn Sweeper

You can use a bow rake or a leaf rake to clear leaves from your garden, but if you have a very large yard, a leaf blower is a great investment. Getting a leaf blower is a way to go if you want to get the job done fast.

Thanks to their added blowing power, wheeled or backpack leaf blowers can clear a yard full of leaves in no time. Leaf blowers are more versatile than one would think. They are great for clearing snow and debris as well as leaves.

In terms of personal fitness, a rake is a better choice, for sure. But if you have a very large yard, you may not be that keen on burning calories.

With a leaf blower, you’ll make your lawn spotless clean without breaking a sweat. If you are looking for a robust gas-powered leaf blower, the Husqvarna 580BTS is an excellent choice.

However, if you have a particularly large property (and a riding lawn mower or zero turn mower), a lawn sweeper may be a better option. As far as lawn sweepers go, very few can compare to the Brinly STS-427LXH.

Husqvarna 580BTS Husqvarna 580BTS

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An edging spade can be really helpful in any garden bed. Spades are perfect for digging holes for bushes and plants thanks to their square-shaped design. They are particularly great for established gardens.

A spade allows you to handle the soil without disturbing the existing plants. If you are troubled by weeds that have deep roots, a spade allows you to remove them without getting your hands dirty.

A spade is a perfect tool for moving perennials you need to transplant. You can also use it for general digging and for transporting dirt around your garden and yard. If you are looking for a quality, durable spade, the Russo All-Steel Spade may be the best solution for you.

Russo All-Steel Spade Russo All-Steel Spade

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Garden Hoe

When you are preparing your garden for planting in spring, you can rest assured that you’ll get a lot of use out of your garden hoe. It is a great tool for chopping and clearing unwanted growth out of your garden.

But, make sure you get a garden hoe that’s wide enough for your needs. And, you’ll certainly need a wider hoe if you are dealing with a large vegetable garden or large areas of dirt.

If you have a flower garden, a hoe with a delicate blade may be a better choice. Hoes are generally inexpensive, so you may want to get a few different types of hoes.

You’ll be able to handle a wider variety of projects if you are equipped with a few garden hoes of different sizes. But, if you have to settle for just one, this Bully Tools 12-gauge Garden Hoe is a great buy.

Bully Tools 12-gauge Garden Hoe Bully Tools 12-gauge Garden Hoe

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Hand Trowel

No garden tool collection is complete without a hand trowel—whether you are gardening directly in your garden, raised beds, or containers. But, a hand trowel is especially recommended to urban gardeners whose options are very limited.

If you have a small container garden on your patio, this small versatile tool is godsent. You can use it as an alternative to a variety of bigger tools.

It is great for planting bulbs and seedlings or transferring dirt into pots. Because hand trowels are small tools that are easy to lose, it’s best to go for a trowel that has a bright handle, such as the Coghlan’s Backpackers Trowel. It’s easy to spot in the greenery or dirt.

Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel

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As its name suggests, you can use this tool to create an edge around your garden. It’s also useful for cutting lines between grass and driveways or sidewalks.

The tool is very simple to use, thanks to its unique design. You simply need to step down on the edger and rock the side. The half-circle shape of the blade makes edging a breeze.

It doesn’t have many other uses, since it’s a specialized tool, but it is a must if you want to have a beautiful border around your garden. If you want a simple and affordable edger, the AMES 2917200 Saw-Tooth Border Edger is the right tool for the job.

AMES 2917200 Saw-Tooth Border Edger AMES 2917200 Saw-Tooth Border Edger

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Garden Fork

Even a spade isn’t of much use if the soil is heavily compacted. A garden fork is very useful in situations like these. If you are harvesting onion, beets, carrots, and potatoes, this tool will come in handy.

The basic compost fork, or garden fork, has 4 to 8 tines. The tines are curved to make it easier to scoop up a large heap of compost or mulch. The average garden fork looks very similar to a pitchfork.

You want to make sure to get a garden fork with thick tines. Garden forks are great for moving soil, mulch, and compost. If you are looking for a durable, heavy-duty fork that will last you a while, the Tabor Tools J59A won’t disappoint you.

Tabor Tools J59A Tabor Tools J59A

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Garden Tractor

If you have a very large yard and garden, a garden tractor will make your life much easier. A proper garden tractor is much more versatile than the average riding lawn mower.

Aside from mowing the lawn, you can use a garden tractor to haul a trailer, detacher, bagger, spreader, cultivator, or tiller. A garden tractor is of great use for heavy-duty, earth-moving tasks. You can even attach a snow plow to your garden tractor.

And, your options aren’t limited to traditional garden tractors. For instance, if your garden and lawn require delicate manicuring, you can get a zero-turn lawn tractor. Such tractors are incredibly easy to maneuver, and they accept a variety of attachments.

But, if you want to go with a more traditional unit that packs enough horsepower to tackle any gardening job, the Husqvarna YTH24V54 is an excellent choice.

Husqvarna YTH24V54 Husqvarna YTH24V54

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Hori Hori Garden Knife

The hori hori gardening tool originally comes from Japan. Because of the practicality it offers, the hori hori gardening knife has become really popular with gardeners from all over the world.

The knife is great for cutting through roots or soil. You can use it for weeding, planting, and cutting perennials.

It comes with a serrated edge and a slightly sharp edge. The tool is a measuring device for planting bulbs as well as a saw and a knife.

As it allows you to easily dig holes and transplant seedlings, you can even use it instead of a hand trowel. This Nisaku NJP640 Hori Knife is pricier than most hori hori knives, but no other model can compare to it in terms of quality.

Nisaku NJP640 Hori Knife Nisaku NJP640 Hori Knife

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Digging Shovel

You’ll find that a plain digging shovel is a very useful tool if you have a raised bed garden or a backyard garden. In fact, it’s one of the essential tools you need for creating a garden.

You can use a digging shovel to transport dirt from your cart to your garden without having to dump the whole load. And, naturally, you can use it to dig holes quickly and efficiently.

If you want to plant anything larger than your hand, you need a shovel. A digging shovel allows you to mix soil before adding it to containers or stir compost piles.

If you want to have two-handed control when you’re tossing or digging heavy loads of soil, make sure to get a shovel with a D-shaped handle. Also, it’s best to get a pointed, steel shovel, such as this Fiskars Steel Digging Shovel.

Fiskars Steel Digging Shovel Fiskars Steel Digging Shovel

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Not every garden is blessed with perfect soil. If you have hard, heavily compacted soil in your yard, it takes much more work to grow a beautiful garden, but it is still possible.

If the soil on your property has high clay content or if it is just naturally stubborn, you will need a tiller or cultivator. A garden tiller is a strong machine that can dig and mix hard soil into a loose garden.

If you have a smaller garden, the Earthwise TC70016 is a simple, easy-to-use tool that will allow you to easily break soil. But, if you have a large garden and a garden tractor, it is best to get a pull-behind tiller or cultivator.

Ideally, you want to get a tiller that packs some horsepower, such as the Agri-Fab 45-0308 Multi-Fit Universal Tow Behind Tiller.

Earthwise TC70016 Earthwise TC70016

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Pruning shears are very useful tools to have, but they aren’t the best solution for bigger trees and shrubs. Loppers are a much better choice if you want to cut branches the size of your finger or bigger.

They are ideal for removing diseased branches and keeping your hedges under control. On average, a pair of loppers can cut branches up to 2” in diameter. But, some can handle even thicker branches.

Generally, longer loppers can cut larger branches. If you are looking for loppers that can stand heavy use, these Tabor Tools GG12A Anvil Loppers will serve you more than well.

Tabor Tools GG12A Anvil Loppers Tabor Tools GG12A Anvil Loppers

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There are all sorts of weeds that can plague your garden. So, it’s good to have a couple of different tools that will allow you to deal with them. A hand weeder is an excellent tool for removing weeds with a taproot.

It is especially great for digging out dandelions. A hand weeder has tines that penetrate the soil with ease.

You don’t have to power up your weed eater each time you come across a pesky weed. You can get a weeder that has a wrist strap, such as the Burpee 12” Stainless Steel Weeder, and hang it on your belt when you’re gardening.

Burpee 12” Stainless Steel Weeder Burpee 12” Stainless Steel Weeder

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Pruning Saw

A pruning saw is a great solution for branches that are too thick to cut with a looper. This tool is a middle ground between a chainsaw and a looper. You can cut branches up to 8” in diameter with a pruning saw.

Working with a pruning saw requires some elbow grease, but it’s a simpler solution than a chainsaw. You can also use a pruning saw for plants and shrubs in the front yard. It’s a great all-purpose saw for any garden.

Each pruning saw has a razor-tooth blade that can swiftly cut through stubborn branches. Bow saws are large and more cumbersome. A pruning saw, on the other hand, allows you to easily work in tight spaces.

If you want maximum convenience, look for a pruning saw with a folding blade. This Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw is an excellent choice.

Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw Corona RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw

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Hedge Trimmer

Trimming trees and hedges can be difficult work. If you have many large shrubs in your garden, you won’t get much work done with shears.

If you don’t want to wear yourself out, consider investing in a hedge trimmer.  If you need to trim the hedges in your garden every couple of weeks, getting a hedge trimmer will definitely pay off.

For most gardens, a cordless hedge trimmer is the best solution. If you get a battery-powered hedge trimmer, you won’t have to drag an extension cord around your yard. You’ll be able to trim your trees and hedges quickly and neatly.

It’s best to get a lightweight model. This EGO Power+ Cordless Hedge Trimmer is just 6.24 lbs, so it’s very easy to maneuver, and it won’t tire you out so easily.

EGO Power+ Cordless Hedge Trimmer EGO Power+ Cordless Hedge Trimmer

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Watering Wand

Properly watering a garden isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Too much or too little water can easily kill the plants. If you want to promote good plant health in your garden, watering is one of the most important gardening skills you need to learn.

For the best results, it’s best to use a watering wand. A watering wand allows you to easily reach the base of your flowers, fruits, and vegetables. You will get the job done much faster.

Watering wands come in different styles and lengths. If you want a watering wand that will serve you for the years to come, get one with a stainless steel head. This Green Mount Watering Wand is an excellent purchase.

Green Mount Watering Wand Green Mount Watering Wand

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Blade Sharpener

Gardening tools aren’t of much use if they are dull. Sharp pruners, loppers, and knives are a must if you want to get the job done fast.

It’s recommended to have your gardening tools professionally sharpened every couple of years, even if you don’t use them that often. And, if you plan on using your gardening tools very often, you should get a blade sharpener of your own.

This Corona AC 8300 is a solid choice. It can fit in your pocket and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Corona AC 8300 Corona AC 8300

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Garden Tub

A wheelbarrow is a great solution for large and heavy loads. For everything else, a garden tub will do. Although simple, gardening tubs are very versatile tools.

You can use a gardening tub to gather leaves, haul compost, collect weeds, and harvest fruits and veggies. It’s also great for seed starting. A simple, inexpensive gardening tub, such as the Tubtrugs Tub, can make garden work much easier.

Tubtrugs Tub Tubtrugs Tub

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Garden Kneeler

Many of these tools will help you protect the plants from various dangers that can lurk in the garden. But the gardener also needs protection.

Gardening is a fun and healthy hobby, but it can be very tiring. It can also be very hard on your knees.

If you want to feel comfortable when working in your garden, make sure to get a garden kneeler. This Super Deal Folding Garden Kneeler and Seat is a solid choice as it comes with plenty of pockets for your gardening tools.

Super Deal Folding Garden Kneeler and Seat Super Deal Folding Garden Kneeler and Seat

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