What are the 20 most common gardening tools?

Whether you are already a keen gardener or you want to become one, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. However, if you are new to gardening, or you aren’t sure which tools it makes the most sense to invest in, how do you choose what you are most likely to require for your gardening needs? A good way to start is to think about what other successful gardeners are already using. What are the 20 most common gardening tools that they will have in their garden shed?

You also need to think about a number of factors including the size of your garden, what you want to grow, what you hope to achieve, and how much work you want to do. Gardening can be hard work, but it will be a lot easier if you choose the right tools for you. In this article, you will find the most commonly used gardening tools, as well as why you might need them. While every garden, and every gardener, is unique, these tools will give you a good starting point to help your garden grow beautifully.

1. Gardening gloves

Gardening gloves

Not the first tool that springs to mind when you are thinking about gardening, but you should definitely put these on before you do anything else. That way, your hands will be protected from any sharp thorns or objects and you can avoid getting and splinters or dirt down your nails while you carry out your tasks.

2. Hand trowel

Hand trowel

Whatever else you decide to keep in your garden tool shed, a hand trowel is one option you won’t want to be without. This is an absolute essential, particularly if you are fairly new to gardening, you have a small garden, or you are gardening in containers. A garden trowel will come into its own if you are planting bulbs or perennials, or digging up small weeds.

3. A shovel

Gardening shovel

While a trowel is useful, you definitely won’t want to attempt bigger digging jobs with one. That’s why you may also wish to think about a shovel, which you can use for larger gardening tasks such as moving soil into your wheelbarrow, planting trees, or turning over the earth in a vegetable patch to get ready for planting. A shovel differs from the next gardening tool on our list as it often has a pointed, or rounded tip, making it more useful for earth moving.

4. A spade

Closely related to the shovel, but not quite the same tool, every gardening shed must surely have a spade in it. If you have a lot of digging to do, you will definitely need a spade. A spade has a flatter edge, which makes it particularly good for breaking up soil and getting straight edges on your flower or vegetable beds. While you can manage with either a spade or a shovel, having both will be more efficient.

5. A rake


Similar to a broom, but much more robust, a rake is one of the most versatile tools you can choose for your garden. You can use a rake for turning over and breaking up your soil to make sure it doesn’t clump together, making it impossible for your seedlings and plants to break the surface. You can also level out your soil, remove weeds and gather up your garden debris before transferring to a wheelbarrow.

6. Leaf rake

Leaf rake

Similar to a garden rake, but with a specific function, a leak rake has longer prongs and is used for raking up lightweight debris from your garden, such as leaves. It is particularly helpful if you want to rake up leaves without damaging the lawn underneath. If you live in an area with lots of trees, you’ll find this tool really comes into its own during autumn when the trees are shedding their leaves.

7. A garden fork

While you can do many of the tasks you need to with a rake, a garden fork will still prove invaluable when you need to loosen, lift and turn over the soil on your plot, no matter what the size. Also vital if you need to remove large roots from the ground, your fork will come in handy for spreading compost too.

8. Garden hoe

You can use your gardening trowel for weeding, but to save you from having to do too much bending, you may wish to invest in a garden hoe. You can use the flat end of your hoe for shaping trenches to put your plants into as well as for weeding. Once you have your seeds in the right place, your hoe will also come in useful as you can simply push the soil back over them.

9. Loppers

Even if you already have a pair of pruning shears, you are likely to find that they aren’t heavy-duty enough for some gardening tasks. A pair of loppers will have longer handles to give you more leverage, allowing you to cut thicker branches and to keep your hedges under control if you prefer to cut them manually or you don’t have access to an electric supply at your garden plot. When choosing a pair of loppers, the information with them should say what the maximum diameter is that they can cut through.

10. Pruning saw

If you have a set of pruning shears and a lopper in your toolbox, you may still find you need another type of tool for bigger jobs. A pruning saw can be helpful if you need to cut through larger branches, but you don’t quite need something as heavy-duty as a chainsaw. Pruning saws can be a particularly good choice if you are working to prune trees and shrubs which are in tight spaces and where you wouldn’t want to be using electric tools.

11. An edger

Have you ever visited a friend or neighbor and admired how neat their lawn is? Well, chances are they probably have an edger in their tool shed. This tool can create clean, sharp lines between lawn and flowerbeds. Edgers usually have a semi-circle shape to make it easier for them to penetrate the soil. You simply place the edger where you want to create your sharp edge, step down onto it, and then move along in a line (or a circle) depending on the shape you want to make.

12. Weeder

If you ask any gardener what the bane of their gardening life is, they are likely to say weeds. You will find that keeping on top of weeding can seem like a full-time job. You can use a number of tools to help you, including a gardening knife, trowel or a hoe. However, you could also choose a specialist garden weeder. A hand weeder, which is also often referred to as a dandelion digger as it helps to remove dandelions from your lawn, can help to take out weeds without damaging the surrounding grass or plants.

13. Wheelbarrow


Even if you don’t have a huge garden, you are still likely to find a wheelbarrow that is useful. Do you, for example, have a compost heap? Then you may wish to transport a pile of compost to your vegetable or flower beds. Or, perhaps you would like to do your wedding. You can simply pop all of your weeds into your wheelbarrow before wheeling it to your garden rubbish bin. The material you choose for your wheelbarrow is up to you. You could choose a plastic or a steel wheelbarrow, for example. If you are doing a lot of heavy-duty gardening, you will want to make sure you choose a robust option.

14. Pruning shears

If you can only choose a handful of gardening tools, then pruning shears are definitely one of those which should be within your arsenal. A type of heavy-duty gardening scissors, they are essential for cutting plants and branches. Making sure that you keep on top of your pruning at the right times of year will ensure that your plants, shrubs, and trees remain healthy.

15. Garden knife

If you’ve been gardening for a little while, you probably already have a garden fork, but how about a gardening knife? Simple, yet effective, a gardening knife is very versatile and will help you with a number of tasks. You can use it for weeding, for dividing up plants if roots have grown together before you plant them and for marking where you will plant before digging in your seedlings or bulbs.

16. Garden scissors

Garden scissors are a tool which is often overlooked. After all, if you already have a pruner, do you also need a pair of scissors? You will probably find that the answer is yes, once you start to carry out a number of gardening tasks. If you are planting seeds, you can use scissors for opening up your packets, as well as for pruning smaller plants when a pair of pruning shears is not necessary.

17. Garden hose

If you’ve done all that work, you will want to ensure that the plants in your garden stay healthy, and for that, they will need enough water. A garden hose will enable you to reach all areas of your garden without having to carry watering cans backward and forwards. You can also get different attachments for your hose, such as a sprinkler, to make watering even easier.

18. A leaf blower

If you have a larger yard or garden, or lots of trees either on your own land or neighboring land, you may wish to invest in a leaf blower. You can blow leaves and debris to the side of your garden, either to an area where they can simply mulch down or where you can then sweep them up.

19. A lawnmower


An obvious one if you have a lawn, as you are hardly going to use your gardening scissors to cut your grass! A lawnmower can make light work of keeping your grass to the length you prefer. The size and type of lawn mower you need will depend on personal preference as well as the size of your garden. While many people opt for an electric mower, you might decide you prefer one which works with fuel, or a push mower.

20. A string trimmer


Even if you do have a lawnmower, you are likely to find that you also need a String Trimmer to keep your lawn and your garden tidy. A String Trimmer uses a line spun quickly to cut through plants and weeds. You can do all sorts of jobs with a String Trimmer, from cutting back wall-climbing plants such as ivy to making sure the edges on your lawn look perfect. While the other tools on this list can each have a role to play, a String Trimmer can be the tool which provides a finished, polished look to your garden.


So, there you have it; a comprehensive rundown of some of the most common, and the most useful, tools you can choose to help you with your gardening. Hopefully, you now feel ready to make a decision about which gardening tools will be most useful for you. Which of these tools do you already own? Which do you think you may invest in? Which would be most helpful for the gardening tasks you need to do? Don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know. Plus, if you have found this article helpful, then I’m sure others would too, particularly if they are unsure about which gardening tools they need. Feel free to share. You never know, you might just help someone to turn what could have been a difficult gardening job into a simple one if they are able to choose the right tools.

Angela Williams

Hi there! I’m Angela. I love gardening. Specifically, I have dedicated my time and effort to researching better ways to grow successful gardens. From an early age, I never had issues with getting my hands dirty helping my parents in the garden.

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