Gardening Tools For Beginners: Tips On Choosing Tools For The Garden

Gardening Tools On The Lawn
(Image credit: monticelllo)

Selecting the right types of tools for gardening may seem like a simple task, but you have to consider several factors. Your size, any special challenges, the task level, manufacturer and the material are just some of the considerations. Learning how to choose the right garden tools can spare you a lot of pain and money. Some tips and information about grips, handle lengths, and attachments can help you get the most for your dollar while also getting tools suited to you and how you use them.

Garden Tool Selection Guide

We all have our favorite garden implement. It may be a 20-year-old shovel or your new rototiller, but what they all have in common is their usefulness and comfort. To get to that place where all your tools are exactly as you need them to be, you must first do some research. Whether you are looking at gardening tools for beginners or you are a professional landscaper, the tools you choose need to suit your body and the tasks you require of them. They also need to have a long life so you don't have to keep purchasing the same item over and over.

One of the most crucial things to look at when choosing tools for the garden is how the implement is made. The way in which the handle is attached to a digging tool can either mean a lifetime of use or instant breakage when you hit that first rock.

  • The least expensive tools will likely have a tang and ferrule attachment. These are cheaply made and usually separate after a short time.
  • Solid socket tools have a forged connection from handle to working end. These are more expensive but will provide you with a lifetime companion if you take care of the tool.
  • The most expensive option is the Mercedes Benz of tools with a seamless solid strap attachment that isn't going anywhere.

Once you have decided how much you wish to spend and how long you want the tool to last, it is time to consider handles. The grip is a crucial comfort issue when picking out garden tools. A padded grip will result in less blisters and aching hands. There are non-slip grips that are useful when working out in the rain and ergonomic grips that reduce hand stress from gripping too hard. Larger handles minimize strain and give a better hand hold on the tool.

You should always test out an implement when shopping for different types of tools for gardening. Pantomime the motion you will be doing with the tool to see if it is the right height, grip and weight for you. Testing out the tool will help ensure that you have the proper tool for your style of use. The length of the handle should allow maximum exertion with minimal effort. Longer handles can allow for a two-handed grip and better leverage. These may also be helpful to a gardener with a physical disability.

How to Choose the Right Garden Tools for the Job

There are many different types of tools for gardening and each has a special purpose.

Digging tools, like shovels and spades, can be used to cultivate, plant, or clear a plot. Long handled shovels reduce the need to squat or kneel but there is still no substitute for a spade for up close digging.

A hoe chops out weeds and makes neat rows while a spading fork breaks up soil clods and turns compost piles with ease. There are various type of cultivators available too. As hand tools, these are useful in the vegetable garden as you get it ready for spring. Rakes come in the flexible style, useful for raking up leaves or the hard rake option which breaks up soil or even thatches the lawn.

Most reputable garden centers can give you advice about the most durable tools and their purposes. They will also have a wide range of garden tools for beginners who just want to get their hands dirty and don't require heavy duty equipment. Just don't forget to pick up a pair of gloves while you're there.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.