Choosing the Perfect Garden Tools: A Flower Child Guide to Durability and Design
Let's talk about garden tools.
Garden tools have saved me so much time, energy, and heartache over the years. Having the right tools in your kit is going to change the gardening game for you in ways you didn’t know possible.
When I mention garden tools, what often springs to mind for people is those sets of hand tools that you can pick up almost anywhere from a pound shop to a supermarket. A hand trowel, a hand fork, and a hand rake.
None of these are what I am talking about here!
Well… okay… a hand trowel is actually a necessity, but can we talk about the style and structure of the hand trowel that I think is the most effective and perhaps worth the investment.
We have all seen these poorly made hand trowels. They are a galvanized plate welded onto a very thin and weak handle.
Although they do serve their purpose in being a cost-effective option for planting some small plants into a light compost, where a lot of digging isn’t required.
But once these tools are put to the test and you try and use them in heavier work, the weld inevitably snaps and what’s left in my hand is now two pieces of useless metal.
So if it is light work you are looking to do such as potting up some planters with compost or sowing into freshly worked soil, this tool may be the one for you.
But if you are looking for something that will provide you with a bit more endurance I might have a better option for you
For me, garden tools are an investment. I am looking for something that is going to make my work easier, be comfortable to use, and last me a long time.
So, what do I look for?
I like to look for a thick stainless steel hand trowel that is either cast into shape (made of a single piece of metal) or maintains an almost unnoticeable (strong) weld between the handle and spade surface.
The reason I look for this is because although I am FULLY aware of the purpose and limitations of this hand tool… I will inevitably end up doing something I shouldn’t be with it and putting it under a lot of pressure like trying to lift rocks from the soil or something.
So, for me… my tools must be able to tolerate heavy work, meaning durability and strength is top priority!
Aside from the structure of the metal I also pay attention to the handle of the tool. I have to say I appreciate an ergonomically shaped handle over a uniform cylinder. I find this prevents my hand from sliding down the handle when digging but other than that it is merely a personal preference to find what feels comfortable for you.
I also tend to avoid sponge-covered handles as they hold moisture and can make my hands colder in winter. The sponge also tends to deteriorate over time as I store my tools outdoors.
And when I say store… I mean I leave them in random places and forget where they are for prolonged periods of time.
In terms of brand, there are a lot of well-known brands out there that have done the research and designed the ideal product for us gardeners. You will see these brands in most garden centres or agricultural stores. Fiskars and Spear & Jackson are two of my favourite garden tool brands when it comes to durability and design.
But again, this is a personal preference, and you will find the right product for your own needs. So, I recommend visiting shops that stock a range of garden tools and interacting with the tools in store to find what is best for you. Maybe you prefer a lightweight tool to a heavier product. Or perhaps you prefer a plastic handle over a wooden style.
It is all down to individual tastes; I am just providing you with my preferences and information on my personal experience and mishaps so you can potentially provide making the same mistakes as I did starting out.
Next week we will be talking about more garden tools, so stay posted by signing up below!
Let me know in the comments below, what your thoughts are on choosing the perfect garden tools.
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