Working in your garden can be much more of a pleasurable experience with the right tools. It is tiring and frustrating to work with inferior tools, not only will you labor longer but the results will be far less satisfying. In this article we will take a look at a few of the most basic tools for the garden, and how to choose the best in each category.
Shovel: If you splurge on only one of these tools, this is the one where investing in the best will pay off the most. Look for hardened steel blades, of significant heft and weight. The edge should be sharp and thick enough to stand up to prying stones and roots. The blade shaft should be long, and enclose the handle of the tool, avoid any shovel where the blade is bolted through to the handle. This is sure to wear and the blade will rock back and forth maddeningly. Look for a long fiberglass or steel handle, wood handles these days are not what they used to be.
Wheelbarrow: Look for a 6 c.f minimum tray. It should be steel construction, and the frame should also be steel, tubular steel is strong and lighter weight. A single 16” or similar size knobby tire is most easy to maneuver and tip. Ideally the wheel should be ball bearing mounted not just a shaft.
Hand trowel: There are many inexpensive hand trowels available, and they should all be avoided, especially the plastic, or aluminum light weight throw away models. The cost savings is not worth the aggravation and hand trauma that will result from the use of these “tools”. The blade should be substantial, not light weight, and the blade shaft should be the same piece of steel as the blade, not bolted or welded on. Similarly, the blade should wrap the handle securely, certainly not set inside the handle. One piece construction is great also. Look for a cushion grip that is mounted to the handle, not simply slipped over the handle.
Good garden tools like any tools are worth the investment; they will last longer and make your tasks much easier.