The 13 Best Gardening Tools for Weeding, Planting, and More

If you’re just starting out and need it all, the Scuddles Garden Tools Set comes with seven tools and a tote for hauling them around your garden.

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Best Gardening Tools of 2022

Amazon

The right tools can make your gardening chores easier—and maybe faster, too. There are a variety of gardening tools that can help with digging, weeding, planting, and more. “Every gardener needs a high-quality spade, shovel, rake, hand trowel, pruners, and loppers,” says Tom Hughes, owner of Iowa-based Hughes Nursery and Landscape. “And a hoe is an essential tool for vegetable gardens.” 

Of course, the best gardening tools for you might be different than the best gardening tools for your neighbor. When you’re looking for gardening tools, consider how tall you are, how much you can lift, and what chores you do regularly. If you have limited mobility, you might want to choose one of the many ergonomic tools on the market. If you have trouble bending and kneeling, long-handled tools and a kneeling pad might be good to have on hand.  

“Look for tools constructed with the fewest number of parts,” says Lindsay Miller, horticultural writer for Gardener’s Supply Company. “The more individual pieces attached by bolts and collars, the more weak spots there are.” 

If possible, hold the tool in your hands to see how it feels before purchasing. “The tool should have a little heft to it; not feel hollow or flimsy,” Miller says. 

To help you accomplish everything on your gardening to-do list, we’ve researched a wide variety of tools and come up with our list of the best gardening tools for any gardener. We considered material, construction, size, and weight, and intended use to come up with our picks. If you’re a beginner gardener, we chose the Scuddles Garden Tools Set as the best gardening tools set; it contains a variety of hand tools and a cute tote for moving them around your garden.

Here are the best gardening tools. 

Best Set for Beginners: Scuddles Garden Tools Set

Why You Should Get It: This garden tool set contains all of the hand tools that every gardener needs—plus it comes with a cute tote to help you keep all the tools together. 

Keep in Mind: It doesn’t include bigger tools (like a spade or hoe).

This collection of hand gardening tools makes a great gift for any beginning gardener (or for yourself).

It includes a pair of gardening gloves, a hand trowel, a digging fork, a transplanting tool with a sharp point, a small weeder, a hand cultivator (to loosen and aerate soil before planting), and an 8-ounce spray bottle to mist seedlings and container-grown plants.

The included storage tote features a separate pocket for each tool so you can easily grab what you need, as well as space inside for a water bottle or any other gardening tools or supplies you want to carry around the garden with you. 

The set is stylish enough to make a good gift, yet very practical too. The tools are made of high-quality wood and anti-rust coated steel; the handles feature an ergonomic design to help prevent your hands from getting tired as you work. The bag includes elastic straps above each pocket to help hold the tools securely. A bonus pocket on the back of the bag is perfect for stashing your sunglasses, a phone, bags to collect weeds, and measuring tape; plus, the bag is washable, too. 

Keep in mind that this set does not include long-handled tools, so you will need to purchase those separately.

Product Details:

  • Material: Various
  • Size: 5 x 7 x 10 inches (for set)
  • Weight: Various

Best Stand-Up Weeder: Grampa's Weeder The Original Stand Up Weed Puller

Grampa's Weeder - The Original Stand Up Weed Puller

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This weeder, based on a time-tested design, lets you pull weeds easily without a lot of bending. 

Keep in Mind: You have to press the claw head into the ground, so it will be easiest to use after watering or rain. 

This tool was originally invented in 1913, but it stopped being produced in 1941 so that all available metals could be put to the war effort. Luckily for us, the tool was rediscovered in 1999 and is now being produced and sold again.

To use this simple tool, you just center the fork over the weed, press it into the ground, and then lean on the handle to remove the weed. This system lets you weed without hurting your back or knees, and it’s an easy way to remove dandelions and other weeds, roots and all. 

The weeder works in all soil types, but it is easiest to use after a good rain or after watering since you need to be able to push it into the ground. The head was redesigned in 1999 to make it stronger, and the bamboo handle ensures it will be long lasting.

Weighing just 3 pounds, it’s easy for most people to hold and use, but we recommend working the ground after watering or a rainstorm for looser soil. If you want to control weeds without using chemicals, this is a handy tool to have in your toolbox.

Product Details:

  • Material: Bamboo and powder-coated steel
  • Size: 46 x 8 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds

Best Gardening Gloves: Firm Grip Women’s General Purpose Synthetic Leather Gloves

4.9
Firm Grip Women's Synthetic Leather Gloves

The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: These versatile gloves offer a good grip while doing gardening chores, a touchscreen-friendly material, and an adjustable wrist strap for a custom fit.

Keep in Mind: These gloves are one-size-fits-most, so they may not fit everyone’s hands perfectly. 

Gardening gloves can help protect your hands from scratches and blisters while gardening, and this pair is versatile enough to help you with a variety of gardening tasks all season long.

The gloves’ synthetic leather fingertips provide good grip when you’re holding gardening tools, and the stretchy spandex between the fingers and on the body of the glove adds breathability and extra comfort on hot summer days.

An adjustable hook and loop wrist strap allows you to customize the fit and make the gloves feel more secure. Reinforced seams at common wear points add durability, and the padded palm enhances comfort, especially during repetitive chores, such as raking and digging. 

In addition to offering good protection for all types of gardening chores, these gardening gloves offer a few extra features as well. They’re easy to clean—you can just throw them in the washer if they get dirty. Plus, they are touchscreen compatible, so you don’t have to take your gloves off every time you need to reach for your phone while gardening. Also, the glove’s thumb features a terry cloth strip to help you wipe away sweat while you’re working. 

The gloves are currently only available in one size (medium), so they may not fit especially small or large hands.

Product Details:

  • Material: Synthetic leather, spandex
  • Size: One size (women’s medium)
  • Weight: Not listed

Best Handtowel: Wilcox 10" All-Pro Fine Point Trowel

Wilcox 10" All-Pro Fine Point Trowel

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It features a fine point, making it a great choice for digging around existing plants. 

Keep in Mind: This is just one of the sizes available from this manufacturer; you may find that a different size is better suited to your needs.

One of the best gardening tools to always have within reach while in the garden is the versatile hand trowel. Made of heavy-duty 16-gauge stainless steel, the Wilcox All-Pro hand trowel is nearly unbreakable and won’t even bend if you hit a strong root. Yet, it’s very lightweight, so it’s comfortable to use for long periods of time. 

This model is 10 inches long, but a variety of lengths are available, from 9 to 22 inches. The fine point on the 10-inch trowel is more precise than other models in this line and many other trowels on the market, which makes it a good choice when weeding or digging around existing plants. It works especially well for tending to sedums and sempervivums, both of which have shallow roots and need to be carefully lifted when transplanting. 

A depth gauge (listed in both centimeters and inches) is stamped on one side to help you determine the correct depth for planting. The plastic handle includes ribbings and grooves to allow for a more comfortable positioning of the hand.  

In addition to gardening, the trowel can also come in handy when camping, hiking, and hunting. Really, it’s hard to find anything to complain about with this trowel—as an added bonus, it’s even made in the USA. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Size: 10 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces

Best Shears: Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner

FELCO F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner

Felco

Why You Should Get It: These bypass pruners have super-sharp blades to cut through thick stems and roots, and they’re built to last. 

Keep in Mind: These bypass pruners are pricier than many other pruners, so they probably won’t be the bargain hunter’s pick.

There are several different types of garden shears available, but bypass pruners are probably the most useful for daily gardening tasks. When it comes to these hardworking bypass pruners, Felco seems to have carefully thought through every detail of the design to ensure many years of use, making the pruners worth the price. 

With a 1-inch cutting capacity, these shears are great for trimming rose bushes and woody perennials. The Anvil blade features a sap groove to prevent sticking. The cutting blade with a soft wire cutter is replaceable if needed, ensuring you can keep using these bypass pruners long into the future. The bolt and nut are easily adjustable so you can customize blade alignment if you wish.

Forged aluminum handles are strong but lightweight; they’re covered with a red plastic coating to add comfort and help make sure you don’t lose the pruners in the garden. A rubber cushion with a shock absorber where the blades come together helps reduce the strain on your wrists as you work. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel and rubber
  • Size: 9.25 x 4 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

Best Shovel/Spade: Spear Head Spade Gardening Shovel

 Spear Head Spade Gardening Shovel

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This tool combines the best features of shovels and spaces and reduces the effort it takes for digging chores. 

Keep in Mind: The blade is smaller than a traditional shovel, so you won’t be able to move as much material in one pass.

Can’t decide if you should buy a spade or a shovel? The Spear Head Spade Garden Shovel lets you have the best of both garden tools in one.

It features a design that lets you dig dirt like a shovel and cut through roots or dig a trench like a spade. Now you don’t have to choose between the two—or purchase two different tools. Keep in mind, though, that the blade on this tool is smaller than a traditional shovel, so you won’t be able to move as much dirt in one scoop. 

The blade on this Spear Head shovel is made of durable carbon manganese steel. The tool comes pre-sharpened, and the epoxy powder coating is designed to wear away around the edges first so the sharpened edge will continuously be revealed and grow sharper as it is used.

This shovel/spade features a fiberglass handle that’s both strong and lightweight. The cushioned D-shape grip adds comfort and has UV inhibitors so it will stand up to any kind of weather. Maybe best of all, the tool is designed to reduce effort when digging into heavy, rocky, or compact soils.

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel and fiberglass
  • Size: 40.25 x 8.25 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.64 pounds

Best Watering Can: XXXFLOWER Watering Can

4.6
XXXFLOWER Watering Can

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This watering can is sturdy and durable; the spout can be rotated, allowing you to switch between three different spray settings. 

Keep in Mind: The cap has a habit of popping off when in use—not a big deal, just a minor nuisance. 

This watering can features a stylish design—plus a lot of great features that make watering your flowers, vegetables, and containers easier. Made of lightweight but sturdy plastic, this watering can holds about 1.5 gallons of water. It features two handles so that you can use two hands to pour the water if the watering can is too heavy when full—a handy feature for kids as well as older adults. 

The spout swivels 360 degrees to allow you to choose just the right spray for your needs; rotate the sprinkler head up for a gentle shower, rotate it down for a harder spray, or remove the sprinkler head for a stream of water. The long spout can help you get the water right to the plants’ roots, without getting water on leaves. 

The top opening for water is large enough to easily add water, but small enough to prevent a lot of splashing when moving it around. A cap on top also helps prevent splashing and keeps critters out of the watering can when it’s not in use. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the cap, however, because it can have a tendency to fall off when you’re using the watering can.

The overall design of the watering can is simple, but its clean lines and long spout make it stylish enough to be kept on display between waterings. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Size: 1.5 gallons, 10.6 x 11 inches with a 16.1-inch spout
  • Weight: 1.57 pounds

Best Gardening Hoe: Edward Tools Carbon Steel Hand Hoe

Edward Tools Carbon Steel Hand Hoe

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This handheld tool has a rubber ergonomic handle to keep your hands comfortable during long gardening sessions

Keep in Mind: It doesn’t have a sharp edge.

When most people think of a garden hoe, they likely think of the full-size version, but a handheld hoe can be one of the best gardening tools to have on hand as well. The Edward Tools Hand Hoe is a great mini-size hoe to help with precise weeding, moving dirt, and planting in small flower beds or raised vegetable gardens.

It’s made of heavy-duty carbon steel so it won’t bend or break, plus the powder-coated finish helps to resist rust. It’s sturdy enough to work well even in hard or rocky soils, although it should be noted that the hoe doesn’t have a sharpened edge so it won’t slice through especially tough roots.

The ergonomic rubber grip and anti-skid handle ensures this tool is safe and comfortable to hold, even if you’ll be working for hours in the garden. Although it’s not a large enough hoe for big gardens, it’s a very handy tool to have nearby for small-scale gardening since it’s both lightweight and sturdy.

You likely won’t need to replace it anytime soon, which is pretty amazing considering its surprisingly low price point. It’s hard to find a better bargain than this. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Carbon steel, rubber
  • Size: 13.98 x 4.37 x 2.36 inches
  • Weight: 9 ounces

Best Bow Rake: Ashman Bow Rake

Ashman Bow Rake

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This rake has sharp blades that can dig into any type of soil. 

Keep in Mind: The handle is small in diameter, which might bother some users. 

Bow rakes are good for loosening or breaking up compacted soil and spreading mulch, compost, and other materials. Of course, they can also work for raking up leaves. This rake features super-sharp teeth to dig into any type of soil.

The L-shape design of the blades helps them dig deep into the dirt and cut weeds below the soil, making the rake helpful for weeding as well as spreading mulch. If you don’t have a ton of leaves to rake up, this may be the only rake that you need in your yard and garden. 

A protective rubber sleeve on the handle helps prevent splintering and makes the rake more comfortable to hold for long work sessions. A riveted socket helps prevent the head from separating from the handle.

This rake has a 54-inch handle, which works well for most users, and it’s lightweight, weighing only 2.84 pounds. The handle is made of fiberglass, a material that’s both strong and lightweight, while the blades are made from carbon steel with a chip-resistant coating for strength and durability. Keep in mind that the handle is smaller in diameter than a traditional rake, which might not be everyone’s preference.

Product Details:

  • Material: Fiberglass and carbon steel
  • Size: 59.5 x 14 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 2.84 pounds

Best Hand Cultivator: DeWit 5-Tine Cultivator with P-Grip Handle

DeWit 5-Tine Cultivator with P-Grip Handle

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This hand cultivator is strong and built to last for many years; since it’s lightweight and features an ergonomic handle, it’s easy to use, too. 

Keep in Mind: Although the longer handle gives it a farther reach, some users may find that a hindrance at times.

A hand cultivator is a great tool for aerating the soil, weeding, and breaking up the ground before planting. And the DeWit Tine Cultivator is strong enough for your toughest jobs (and any soil type), thanks to thick steel times with sharpened tips that can easily cut through the soil.

The ergonomic P-grip handle is flexible enough to allow it to bend a little without breaking; its design helps increase leverage and decrease the stress on your hands and wrists. Plus, its design allows you to use it with one hand or two as needed. 

This hand cultivator is more expensive than some, but it’s built to last a lifetime so you won’t need to replace it any time soon.

It’s made from hardened boron steel that has been heat-treated to add extra strength. The handle is made from ash wood that is harvested from environmentally responsible FSC-certified forests. And although the handle and tines are very strong, the tool is lightweight, so it’s easy to use for an extended time.

The longer-than-average handle gives you a little extra reach to tackle hard-to-access spots, although that can also make it feel a bit bulky when working in very tight spots. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel and ash wood
  • Size: 16.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

Best Soil Knife: Sensei Tools Sengreen Hori Digging Knife

Sensei Tools Sengreen Hori Digging Knife

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This garden knife is an extremely versatile tool and can be used for digging, planting, weeding, and dividing plants.

Keep in Mind: The black handle can blend in with the soil, making it easy to lose in the garden.

The hori-hori knife, also called a Japanese digging knife, is an old tool that’s getting renewed attention from Western gardeners. It’s a multipurpose tool that can be used for digging, planting, weeding, and dividing perennials. If you try this tool, you may wonder how you ever lived without it. 

This soil knife features a polished stainless-steel blade with both a straight edge and a serrated edge that can help you saw through tough roots when you’re weeding. If you’re planting bulbs, you can use the scale marks on one side to make sure they’re planted at the right depth. 

The blade on this knife is 7.5 inches long (with 6-inch markings), so you can easily cut off roots below the ground and ensure that weeds won’t grow back. The handle is contoured and features a textured non-slip finish for a better grip. Its ergonomic shape makes it comfortable to use with either the right or left hand.

An added bonus: The knife comes with a leather sheath with a belt loop so you can keep it clean and easily accessible, while also ensuring safety when it’s not in use. Just remember that the handle is black, so it could be hard to find if you set it down in the dirt.

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel, plastic, leather
  • Size: 12.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 10 ounces

Best Kneeling Pad: Gorilla Grip Original Premium Kneeling Pad

Gorilla Grip Original Premium Kneeling Pad

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This kneeling pad is extra thick and won’t compress over time, so you’ll be more comfortable when working in the garden. 

Keep in Mind: This is just a kneeling pad rather than a kneeler that doubles as a seat. It’s easier to move around but not as versatile. 

If you’re a beginning gardener, you may think you don’t need a kneeling pad, but experienced gardeners know that it’s one of the best gardening tools to have nearby for keeping you comfortable while you work.

This 1.5-inch kneeling pad is extra thick to provide maximum comfort while you’re kneeling to weed or plant. It’s made of durable high-density foam that will contour to your knees and won’t break down or compress over time. 

At 17.5 x 11 inches (larger than many other kneeling pads available), this model is large enough to give you plenty of room to spread out, so you don’t cramp up while kneeling. The pad is dirt- and water-resistant, so it can stand up to rocks or gravel and can be used on damp ground. A built-in handle makes it easy to carry it around the yard as you work.

An added bonus: This kneeling pad is available in a wide range of colors, so you can have a little fun and pick your favorite hue.

Product Details:

  • Material: Foam
  • Size: 17.5 x 11 x 1.5 in.
  • Weight: 0.75 pounds

Best Tools for Kids: Hearth Song Grow With Me Kids' Wheelbarrow and Adjustable Garden Tool Set

Grow With Me Kids' Wheelbarrow and Adjustable Garden Tool Set

Hearth Song

Why You Should Get It: Kids can actually use these garden tools for yard work—they’re not just toys. Plus, the handles are telescoping, so you can adjust them to your child’s height.

Keep in Mind: The set is a bit pricey, but the solid construction and adjustability of the tools mean they will last for years to come.

Some kids’ gardening tools look fun, but they’re not very useful. The Grow with Me tool set is colorful enough to attract kids’ attention, but strong and durable enough to be practical, too.

Recommended for ages 3 and up, the set includes a wheelbarrow, shovel, hoe, leaf rake, and a soil rake. The wheelbarrow is rugged enough to be used to haul garden plants or loads of leaves in the fall, thanks to hardwood handles, steel front tray braces, and sturdy wheels. It measures 33 x 17 x 15.75 inches.

The shovel, hoe, and rakes in the set are sturdy, metal tools; they have comfortable soft grips and metal telescoping handles that adjust from 33 to 39.5 inches long. You can make the tools longer as your kids grow, extending the amount of time your children will be able to use them.

With this practical tool set, kids can play, but also work right alongside their parents or grandparents. If you’re lucky, they might actually help get the garden chores done instead of just pretending to help. Either way, your kids are sure to have fun with this garden tool set. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Steel, wood, polyethylene
  • Size: 33 x 17 x 15.75 inches (wheelbarrow); 33–39.5 inches long (tools)
  • Weight: Various

The Bottom Line

Our list of best gardening tools includes something for everyone, and a tool for just about any type of work in the garden. The best gardening tools for you will depend on your garden type and size and your personal circumstances. If you’re just starting out or are looking for a giftset, the Scuddles Garden Tools Set includes a variety of hand tools that every beginner gardener needs—and it comes with a stylish tote to collect and haul the tools around your property.

What to Know About Gardening Tools Before Shopping

Material

The best gardening tools are made with durable materials that will stand up to all the hard work you do in your garden. “Wood handles and steel blades are always a good way to go,” Hughes says. “Wood handles maintain a moderate temperature in heat and cold, making them more comfortable in your hands.” 

Garden tool handles can also be made out of fiberglass, which is lightweight but strong, and aluminum, which is lightweight but prone to bending. Miller recommends staying away from tools with plastic handles. “Plastic breaks down easily, except ironically in landfills, where it will linger for generations, leaching harmful chemicals into our environment,” she says. 

Size

The best gardening tools for someone who is tall may be different than the best gardening tools for someone who is shorter in stature. Make sure you consider handle length to make sure the tool will work for your height. Consider purchasing a tool with a telescoping handle if you have people of different heights who will be using the same tool. 

In general, short-handled tools work for close-up work and long-handled tools are better for covering a lot of ground in a larger garden. If you only have a small garden or container garden, short-handled tools may be all you need. But for larger gardens, you’ll likely need both short-handled and long-handled tools. 

Weight

Consider your physical abilities and limitations when choosing between tools of different weights. Remember, the best gardening tool for you might be different than what’s best for someone else. 

In general, you want the gardening tool to have a little heft to it to ensure it’s sturdy and will stand up to heavy-duty use, but lighter is generally better. Remember, the tool will no doubt feel heavier after you have been using it awhile, or when it is scooping up dirt. “The best thing you can do is pick up and hold garden tools in your hand prior to purchasing,” Miller says. “If you can’t lift the shovel in the store aisle, you definitely won’t be able to lift it loaded with soil.” 

Your Questions, Answered

How do you clean gardening tools? 

Gardening tools should ideally be cleaned after every use and then given a more thorough cleaning at the end of the gardening season. “First, blast them with a garden hose to pressure wash the dirt off,” Miller says. (You can also use a putty knife to scrape off any stuck-on mud.) 

Next, it’s a good idea to disinfect your tools to prevent spreading bacteria and fungi. Dissolve a bleach tablet in a 5-gallon bucket and soak your tools, Miller suggests, or use a gentler, 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Wipe tools dry and use a few drops of WD-40 or food-grade oil on blades and joints to prevent rust. 

How do you sharpen gardening tools? 

Plan to sharpen gardening tools, such as spades, trowels, and hoes, at least once a year. Before sharpening any tool, clean it first with a wire brush or steel pad to remove built-up dirt and rust. Then, lock the tool into a vise or hold it still with a clamp and move a mill file along the edge of the blade to sharpen. You can use sandpaper to remove any rust on the blade and lightly coat the blade with machine oil.  

What is the best way to store gardening tools? 

Even the best gardening tools need to be stored inside to prolong their life and keep them in good shape. “Store tools in a dry area and ideally in an area with moderate temperatures,” Hughes says. Plan to keep them in a shed, garage, or barn for the winter; keep them off the ground and away from rain, snow, and UV exposure from the sun. 

Who We Are

Renee Freemon Mulvihill is a freelance writer, specializing in home and garden topics. To write this article, she spent hours online researching various garden tools (and dreaming about what she would like to have for her own garden). She also talked to Tom Hughes, owner of Hughes Nursery and Landscape, and Lindsay Miller, a horticultural writer from Gardener’s Supply Company, to get their tips and advice about choosing and caring for the best gardening tools. 

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