Buying the Best Garden Tools
Embrace outdoor living and connect with nature by taking care of your garden. Every outdoor space is different, so the tools you need to cultivate yours will vary according to size and complexity.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
What kind of tools do I need?
Think about durability, function and comfort. Consider their weight and handle length – do they suit your strength and build?
Frequency of use
How often you'll be using your tools will determine how much you want to spend, and how long you need your tools to last.
Size and scope
The size of the job will dictate what tools you need. The larger it is, the more likely you’ll need to look at investing in power tools.
TYPES OF GARDEN POWER TOOLS
When choosing your lawnmower, consider whether or not it comes with a built-in grass collector; the larger the grass collector, the fewer the trips to the compost heap.
A mower with a mulching device is ideal – though more expensive – because it re-cuts the clippings into tiny pieces and blows them back on to the lawn, where they break down and nourish the grass.
Types of lawnmowers:
If you have a small or medium sized garden then consider an electric model because they’re:
- Generally cheaper than petrol counterparts
- Lighter and easier to maintain
- Quieter, and are great at tackling patches of long grass
- Available in cordless or corded
- With an extension lead, they can stretch to hard to reach spots
- Designed without an engine, so no need to worry about service costs
Electric hand and self-propelled
Most electric lawnmowers are hand propelled, which means you will need to push the lawnmower. Self-propelled provides forward power, so it’s lighter to control and easier on your arms. Most will have fold-down handles for easier storage
If you have large or uneven lawns, terrain or inclines then consider a cordless petrol model because they:
- Have more power and larger cutting widths
- Are usually self-propelled for closer control
- Don’t have to be within a certain distance of a power socket
Good to know:
- Can be noisier than electric models as they are petrol run
- Tend to be more expensive
If you have a smaller garden or a lack of storage space then consider a robotic remote-controlled lawnmower because:
- Some models can be controlled remotely with a smart device
- They’re safe as they’ll stop cutting if they hit an obstacle
- They cut small amounts of grass regularly, making for a healthy lawn
- They’re easily controlled with the touch of a button
- They’re usually powered by long running, fast-charging batteries
- Clean hard external surfaces like paving, patios, and decking
- Deliver a powerful, concentrated jet of water
- Remove dirt more effectively than a brush
- Use less water than a garden hose
Look out for features such as:
- Water flow rate and pressure
- Detergent tank
- On board storage
- Spray lance
- Patio cleaner attachments
A medium-class pressure washer can clean stone walls and barbecues, whereas an entry-class model is suited for smaller jobs such as paving
Shredders, blowers and sweepers
When you need to remove large branches or large debris after trimming, then consider expanding your garden tool collection to help you make light of otherwise, manual tasks.
Things to consider:
- Wheels for easy manoeuvrability
- Directs leaves to an area for easy collection
- Is light and easy to carry
Blow leaves into a corner near your compost heap, suck them up and shred them to save time and effort.
A garden tool that will help you to tackle everything from tough hedge branches to small box hedges. Think about how much power you will need and the size of the task to help choose between:
A petrol hedge cutter will provide unlimited power. Blade type is also important – a double reciprocating blade will cut in any direction, which is perfect for unruly hedges. A single long blade will give you extra reach when cutting along edges.
For smaller box hedges, go with an electric model. Features a single blade, are lightweight. Look out for an anti-vibration system, blade-tip protectors and ergonomic handles asas they’ll make operation simpler and safer.
Good to know
The wider the spacing between the teeth of the blades, the thicker the branches you can trim.
HAND GARDEN TOOLS
Spades, Forks & Rakes
A decent rake will keep your lawn free from leaves, while a weed fork has sharp, short prongs to make light work of dandelions and the like without getting your hands too dirty.
Spades are great for digging flower beds – those with D-handles can be uncomfortable, while a T-handle is much better if you have larger hands.
A good garden fork is your flower bed’s best friend as it’s great for turning the soil, which helps to aerate and mix nutrients. It’s not to be confused with a pitchfork, which has much thinner prongs.
For smaller areas, a hand-held cultivator will do the job nicely with its specially-designed head. Be sure to choose the right length of fork or spade for your height to minimise back strain.
Shears, Hoes & Trowel
Getting a well-defined edge to your garden beds will help tidy up the whole look, so your floral display really stands out. The small, sharp head of a Dutch hoe is perfect for this, as it’s easy to control and slips through soil smoothly.
Hand shears are perfect for trimming grass around the edges of your flower beds or driveway, and can also be used for shaping hedges and shrubs.
Secateurs can be used for cutting wood up to 1-2 inches thick, and are easier to use than a standard knife.
Loppers are ideal if you have lots of trees or long, thick branches in the garden – it’s best to go for a pair with hardened stainless steel blades and comfortable handles.
A good hand trowel should tackle most of your planting needs, and they’re usually available with different sized handles to suit your garden layout. For larger plants, you may want to consider a border spade instead.
Hoses & watering accessories
A garden hose can be used for watering plants and cleaning your car or outdoor furniture. Depending on the size of your garden, the average length of a hose ranges from 50 to 30 metres and in width by ½ to ¾ inches.
The thickness and length you choose will depend on the size of your garden and how much water you need; work out the length of your garden to be sure to buy the right size Wheelbarrows.
If you've a lot of work to do in the garden, a wheelbarrow could be essential. Go for a heavy duty, rust-free option, with puncture-proof wheels so you can use it on any terrain.
Gloves, Aprons & Kneelers
Gloves protect your hands in harsh weather or from sharp twigs and bushes, and will make holding heavy tools much more comfortable. Opt for a padded garden kneeler to save your knees while you plant and dig.
An apron helps protect your clothes while you’re gardening, and a gardener’s utility belt is handy for holding small tools and personal items like glasses and keys.
Caring for your tools
- If you keep your tolls sharp, clean and in good repair, they should last longer
- Spray a light coating of general-purpose oil over metal parts to prevent rusting, if your tools do begin to rust with age, just use a wire brush to freshen them up
- Have the blades of your power tools sharpened and balanced by a professional if they’re chipped or blunt
- Remove dried soil from wooden handles with a stiff brush, or a damp cloth – be sure not to soak the wood, as this may cause the handle to swell.
- Oil your tool handles at the end of each season to make them last as long as possible
- Use a flat engineer’s file to restore the cutting edge of hoes, spades and lawn-edging tools
- Aerosol oil like WD-40, or lubricating oil will protect surfaces from rusting, just make sure you repeat the process every season
- Wrap unused secateurs in oiled paper or cloth to prevent re-rusting, or store them in a dry place indoors
- Replace wooden handle if they break – to separate the handle from the head, soak the joint overnight in easing oil to help loosen rusted screws or tight fittings
- If your handle is still intact but just a bit worn, rub it smooth with sandpaper, then cover it generously with linseed oil and leave for several days before wiping with a soft rag before storing
What are my delivery options?
Free Standard Delivery
If you spend £50 or more. (£3.50 for orders under £50)
Next and named day delivery
For an additional fee
Click & collect
is free for orders of £30 and over, or £2 if you spend less