The best garden hand tools every gardener should have (2023)

Most backyard gardeners don't need a shed full of tools to care for their vegetable garden - a few sturdy hand tools will do! This is especially true if you grow in raised beds or containers. Using a large rake on a raised bed is like driving a pin with a hammer: there are just too many tools.

Having the right tools for the job makes your garden to-do list more efficient. We've tested a lot of gardening tools on Growfully Gardens and this list is the best of the best. Let's dig!

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What hand tools do I need?

There are hundreds of different types of gardening hand tools: trowels, shovels, weeders, secateurs, hoes, cultivators, oh my! But an experienced gardener has few quality tools that can do this.I use it every day. If you're just starting out, here's our must-have list:

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  • Pallette—AKA: a broken mini. FORPalletteIt is an essential hand tool for every gardener. Invest in a good one with inch markings and a sturdy handle.
  • Grubber—AKA: a walk behind the helm or mini rake. Use it to mix soil amendments, aerate soil, rake seeds or rake mulch. Many devices have a cultivator on one side and a hoe on the other (like this).
  • Se—A sharp hoe is a must for removing weeds in your beds and containers. There are at least a dozen different cleaver shapes, but we really like one.classic hoe,circular hoe, Önejiri reach hack.
  • Harvest/weed knives“When I was a kid there was always an old knife hanging from the top of the fence post in my parents' garden and now I have one too! An old knife will work, but you can also upgrade to one.Hori Hori weed and harvesting knifeif you want the real deal.
  • scissors or scissors—A good pruner or shears is essential for harvesting herbs and vegetables. Thatsmall pruning shearsto have a permanent place in my garden's harvest basket.
  • hand pruners—AKA: Secateurs. A nice sharp couplemanual pruning shearsIt will make your life a lot easier!

How to store hand tools?

Keep hand tools covered and protected from the elements for longevity. Make sure they are clean before storing them. On tools with exposed metal, a light coating of mineral oil can prevent them from rusting when stored in a humid environment.

How do I clean and disinfect hand tools?

Hand tools must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. This is especially true if you've used your tools on a diseased plant - you can easily spread bacterial and fungal diseases between plants on your tools.

For most purposes (non-diseased plants), a gentle rinse under the garden hose is sufficient to remove dirt and debris. Make sure the tools are completely dry before putting them away; You can dry them in the sun or with a towel.

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To disinfect hand tools, mix two cups of bleach and a gallon of water in a bucket. Soak tools for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Dry completely in the sun or with a cloth. It's a good idea to disinfect your tools between each growing season.

Growly Protip

It is particularly important to disinfect pruning tools (eg hand shears) before pruning vulnerable fruit trees or berries.

How to sharpen garden tools?

Many hand tools work much better when they have a sharp blade. This applies in particular to knives, pruning shears, shears and hoes. Professional tool sharpening is available at most hardware and garden centers and we recommend that you do this on your favorite tools at least once a year.

They are there for quick sharpening at home.sharpening tools for homethat you can mess with your hair clippers, scissors and hoes.

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What should I look for when buying hand tools?

When purchasing hand tools, we recommend looking for tools with fiberglass handles or stainless steel handles and teeth; In our tests, these were the most durable. Tools with plastic or wooden handles tend not to be as strong, especially if you leave one outside.

When purchasing tools, the point where the item attaches to the handle, usually a metal sleeve over the handle, should be stable and not wobble or move. That rivet or screw tip is a weak point on most hand tools, and in our experience, if it's already loose, it only gets worse.

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If you have a chance to hold the tool before using it, do it! This is especially true if you are left-handed. Make sure the tool feels good in your hands.

Some tools are equipped with padding or a comfort grip; If that makes the tool more convenient to use, go for it. Keep in mind that some of the comfortable foam handles tend to crack quickly under UV exposure, so be sure to put your tools away when not in use.

Where can I buy gardening tools?

High quality garden tools are available at major department stores and garden centers. We were also very lucky to find hand tools on Amazon!

What are the best gardening tools?

We've compiled a list of some of our favorite gardening hand tools to get you started building your collection.

Soil preparation, digging and planting


Shovels come in different sizes and shapes. We prefer smaller paddles (which are great for smaller hands) as they offer more control.

Our favorite hand palette: Remo manual Fiskars Ergo

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A subset of trowels that many people find useful are planters—these trowels in particular often have markings to help you gauge how deep you can plant seedlings, as well as serrated edges to help you cut through the soil.

Our favorite planter: Trasplantadora Fiskars


If you plan on planting a lot of bulbs, consider investing in a bulb planter that will help you dig perfect holes for the bulbs to fall into. Since many people plant flower bulbs in the ground, you might want to look to a long-stemmed flower pot for more leverage.

Our favorite bulb planter: Edward Tools Onion Planter

earth shovels

Another shovel-like hand tool, soil shovels are large, blunt-edged shovels useful for collecting potting soil, compost, grass clippings, or other supplements. Since dirt buckets don't lift a lot of weight, you can opt for lightweight aluminum, composite, or plastic.

Our favorite dirt shovel: Fiskars Komposit Bodenschaufel

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A cultivator is like a mini leaf rake that is perhaps the most commonly used hand tool in the growing garden! Use it for raking, raking leaves and other loose material in flower beds, aerating soil around garden plants, raking mulch - it's super versatile! The cultivator and hoe often come together in a space-saving 2-in-1 device.

Our favorite breeder: Edward Tools 2-in-1 Cultivator and Hoe

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weeding and pruning


Essential for easy weeding (no back and knee pain), a good sharp hoe is a good friend in the garden. There are dozens of different shapes and types of hoes to choose from. We recommend trying a few to see what works best for you in your garden.

Our favorite hoes: classic hoe,circular hoe, Önejiri reach hack.


A good garden knife is an incredibly versatile tool in the garden. You can easily use an old kitchen knife, but we also love garden-specific harvesting and weeding knives.

Our favorite garden knife: Hori Hori weed and harvesting knife

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hand pruners

Hand shears are a must for any home garden (especially one with perennials, shrubs or ornamental trees). There are two main types of manual shears: bypass shears and anvil shears. Here's the difference:

  • Anvil pruners work by destroying plant tissue with one side of the pruner, much like dropping an anvil on a branch.
  • Pruning shears work like shears: two sets of metal blades intersect to cut the branch. Diversion shears are the best hand shears for plant health.

Our favorite handheld scissors: Gonicc Manual Scissors

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scissors and scissors

A dedicated pruner will make harvesting your plants much easier! We like the smaller cuts because they can pick up herbs and vegetables, but they're also small enough to cut seedlings when thinning.

Our favorite cuts:Fiskars pruning shears with micro tip

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Of course, there are hundreds of other types of gardening tools to choose from, but we think this list will give you everything you need to get started growing. To enjoy!

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