The Best Garden Tools

You don’t need very many tools to grow a fantastic garden. These basics are the tried-and-true workhorses of my gardening toolbox.

The five garden tools I recommend for every home gardener are:

  • This Steel Garden Trowel on Amazon. It’s a rare day in the garden that the trowel doesn’t get used. Invest in a nice one-piece steel hand shovel built to last. A metal garden shovel is my choice, every time.
  • These Light Hand Pruners on Amazon. Nothing is more irritating than weak, dull pruners. These ones slice through branches easily (and fit in normal-sized people’s hands). I love tools that just work!
  • This Japanese Weeding Knife on Amazon. I never knew I needed it until I had it. Now I wonder how I gardened without this beautiful garden knife! I also just like saying “hori-hori”. So there’s that.
  • This Spear Head Garden Spade on Amazon. I’m not a huge person, but I’ve broken my fair share of big, irritating garden shovels from the local hardware store. It’s not fun. Just buy a nice high-quality spade from the start.
  • This Dependable Metal Watering Can on Amazon. I’ve never liked plastic watering cans. I now use only metal cans in my garden, and I love them! I also like knowing that I can recycle them if I really work them too hard.

Garden Trowel

The garden trowel that I recommend for home gardeners is this Edward Tools Bend-Proof Stainless Steel Garden Trowel (click to see it on Amazon). This hand shovel is made from one piece of heavy-duty steel with a nice rubber-coated grip. I have (too) many garden trowels, but the best ones are ALWAYS one-piece stainless steel shovels with rubberized grips. The Edward Tools Garden Trowel is the perfect plain hardworking gardening tool.

Not into the rubberized grip? The DeWit Forged Hand Shovel is a beautiful option for those looking for a classic wood-handled trowel. It looks great in photos. Just sayin’.

Pruning Shears

The handheld pruners I always recommend are these Felco Number 6 Small & Light Hand Pruners (click to see them on Amazon). These guys just slice right on through branches without any of the wiggling, biting, and sawing that can sometimes happen. Just look for the red Felco handle!

I have two pairs of the Felco 6 pruners and I won’t even leave them outside overnight. I keep them in my mudroom cubby next to my keys…they are THAT important. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you. Buy once and buy right. They’re what the pros use.

Not into spending fifty bucks on a pair of pruners? That’s totally fair. These Fiskars Steel Bypass Pruning Shears are super dependable. I keep a pair in my truck and they’ve never let me down.

Garden Weeding Knife

The garden knife that I recommend is the Nisaku NJP650 Hori-Hori Weeding & Digging Knife (click to see it on Amazon). And I’m not the only one – this garden knife is fairly beloved in the gardening world. The Nisaku is made of stainless steel with a wooden handle and a leather sheath. One side is perfectly sharp for slicing, while the other side is serrated for cutting.

Feeling like a real Japanese hori-hori knife is a bit fancy for you? Well…first consider it! But there is always the similar Fiskars garden knife that’s a little bit less expensive.

Garden Spade

The garden spade I recommend for home gardeners is this Spear Head Spade (click to see it on Amazon). It’s perfect for throwing in the wheelbarrow, digging most holes, and planting new plants. You usually see it in yellow, but it can be ordered in pink, purple, teal, et cetera. I’m so tired of giant, boring, weak garden shovels! Get a good one from the start.

Read all about the Spear Head Spade on their (very cute) website.

Looking for something a little more traditional? I suggest taking a look at Martha Stewart’s new hardwood-handled garden spade, which is made by Snow Joe.

Watering Can

The everyday watering can I recommend is this Silver Behrens Steel Watering Can (click to see it on Amazon). It’s a classic rust-resistant watering can from a trusted metal manufacturer. The Behrens watering can is also not terribly expensive. At the end of it’s likely-long life, it can be recycled.

One thing to be aware of is that the rosette spout doesn’t twist off. This is great most of the time, because it doesn’t fall off and kill your poor plants. It does make it harder to clean though. Maybe try not to get too much crud in the watering can?

Looking for a step up? I LOVE my Haws English Metal Watering Can (click to see it at Terrain). It has been through a lot and is still holding up beautifully. It also looks pretty as a big flower vase!