30 Basic gardening tools really help the beginners

Passing the time with Mother Nature is the best pleasure. So Jenny Uglow said: “We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course, it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.”

It takes good care of our body and mind.

To start your garden for the first time, you need to know the essential gardening tools and their uses.

This educative article lets you know the common categories of garden tools, such as digging, watering, cutting, planting, cultivating, and miscellaneous.

Here I included some essential garden tools for the newbie.

basic gardening tools

1. Handbook

You must keep maintaining a handbook as a beginner gardener. Take note of every single step you did or failed.

Take notes of –

  • Weather condition
  • USDA plant hardiness zone and heat zone
  • Micro-climate
  • First and last frost date
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Wind exposure
  • Plant selection
  • Place selection
  • Seed selection
  • Harvesting
  • Paste control
  • Diseases and treatments
  • Soil type and amendment
  • Nutrients
  • Garden tools and other materials
  • Watering system,
  • Budget and planning,
  • And every known and unknown challenge you face.

Some seasons later, this handbook will be the best guide for your garden, or you can even write a book from your practical experience.

Oh… Don’t forget to take some photos and videos of all your activities for documentation.

2. Garden Fork

Garden Fork is a digging tool mainly used for loosening, lifting, transferring, and turning over your garden soil and other materials.

Different types of forks are used for various purposes. You need to know first which tool best suits you.

2.1 Spading Fork

A multipurpose tool with four sturdy diamond-shaped tines for digging, lifting, loosening soil, and transferring loose materials.

2.2 Pitch Fork

Mainly used in the field for lifting, pitching, or throwing loose materials, such as hay, straw, or leaves. It has a long handle and long, thick, widely separated pointed tines.

2.3 Stall manure fork

Has a long handle with several long, thin, separated tines. You are used for moving your barn manure.

2.4 Potato fork

Perfect for digging up your potatoes without damage.

2.5 Silage fork or ensilage fork

Kind of pitchfork. The primary uses are the same, but it has more tines than the pitchfork.

2.6 Broad fork

Called U-fork, breaks up densely packed soil. The best tool for manually till your small garden.

2.7 Hayfork

Similar to a pitchfork and, of course, used for moving hay and a large amount of compost, mulch, brush, and other materials.

2.8 Hand forks

Small in size with sharp tines. This is a great garden tool to work in tight places, like between plantings, and also used for weeding and mixing additives into the soil.

3. Garden Rake

Rake is a cultivating garden tool. They are also known as ancient Chinese agricultural tools. They are usually used for leveling soil, mulching, or clearing the ground leaves.

There are several types of rakes, and each one has different uses. Here included the most common types:

3.1 Leaf Rake

Used for sweeping leaves or pine straw from your lawn or garden.

It can be made from flexible metal, plastic, bamboo tines, or coconut palms with a metal, wooden, or bamboo handle.

3.2 Bow Rake

Generally used for leveling soil, mulching, and collecting leaves, hay, grass, or other garden wreckage. The tines are shorter and thicker than the leaf rake and are used for heavier materials than leaves.

3.3 Shrub Rake

Simply a leaf rake. However, I got a smaller fan of tines. As a result, you have higher performance around fencing and different tight garden areas.

3.4 Flat Rake

Has a T-shaped head with a rectangular head with ten to sixteen teeth connected centrally to the handle for extra strength. You can use this to clear debris, break down clumps of soil, and spread fertilizer or compost.

3.5 Thatching Rake

Explicitly designed for removing the thatch from your lawn. It has a sharp blade on both sides of the head, which breaks the unusual layer of the thatch and removes it.

3.6 Landscape Rake

Has a giant head with solid teeth that make it easier to mix compost or mulch into the top layer of soil. Best for professional and industrial use as well as the homeowner project.

3.7 Garden hand rake

Smaller version of they are unique likes. They are used in tight areas, planting beds, and places where more giant rakes will not work out.

3.8 Hand/Manure Scoop Rakes

Remove manure and other dirty materials in your garden.

4. Garden Trowel

The trowel is a small hand tool that every gardener loves. This small hand tool makes gardening more enjoyable and accessible than ever.

It has different shapes and sizes with other names, and their job is also other. Here are a few details about the types covered:

4.1 Traditional garden trowel

Has a sharp metal blade with curved sides and a pointed or rounded end.

This is the most common variety you can use to serve all purposes. Still, it performs better-digging holes, breaking up soil, and planting.

4.2 A transplanting garden trowel

A narrower version of the traditional garden trowel.

It is used for transplanting seedlings, bulbs, and small plants from seed beds or greenhouses into a garden or container.

4.3 Dixter garden trowel

Has a long thin blade with a rounded end. It is better known for its rockery trowel due to its performance in rock g and also used for sowing seeds in deep holes.

4.4 Ladle garden trowel

Mainly used for digging round holes for planting annual plants and bulbs. It has an extended bend tang and a small rounded blade with curved edges.

4.5 Potting garden trowel

Has wide, sharp edges with higher curves for potting plants into plant pots.

4.6 Digging garden trowel

Shaped like a dagger with a thin blade and sharp tip. It is used for digging holes for plants moreover cutting items like compost bags.

4.7 Tulip garden trowel

Similar to a tulip with a bowl-shaped blade with three sharpened tips. It is better to perform planting flowers in heavy clay soil.

The tips on the blade’s end help cut through roots while digging a hole for planting.

4.8 Weeding garden trowel

Has a long blade with two tips on the forked end. It can remove weeds, cut roots, and clean grass between stone tiles.

4.9 Tissot garden trowel

Relatively an unusual-shaped hand tool. It has a sharpened V-shaped blade which allows the scoop to transplant or divide existing plants and dig holes in hard soil such as clay.

4.10 Planting garden trowel

Heart-shaped, similar to a builder’s trowel. It is sometimes called an archaeologist’s trowel. It has a heart-shaped, flat blade with a pointed tip which enables it to plant flowers in hard soils.

5. Pruners

Pruner is a cutting tool known as a pruning shear, clipper, hand pruner, or secateurs. It is a type of scissors used to shape plants and arrange flowers.

In addition, it helps to prune the stiff branches of trees and shrubs. So keeping a pair of pruners in your tools collection will make gardening easier.

There are two primary types of pruners, and they have different purposes of uses:

5.1 Anvil pruners

Have one straight blade on a flat metal block, like a knife on a chopping board. It performs better when cutting dead or old woody stems.

Cutting ripe and semi-ripe branches can hamper the growth of the trees if the blade crushes the stem when cutting.

5.2 The bypass pruner

Acts like a pair of scissors. It has one sharpened blade, which moves by a thicker unsharpened edge when cutting something.

As a result, the bypass pruner gives a cleaner cut of stems and is easier to use.

5.3 Ratchet pruners

Similar to anvil pruners and feature a clever extra mechanism that cuts in stages. As a result, it is perfect when extra strength is needed for cutting thicker stems.

6. Garden Hoes

Hoe is a multipurpose agricultural hand tool. There are various types of gardening hoes, and they usually differ in shape and function.

Some are multipurpose, while others have particular uses such as leveling soil, weeding, harvesting root crops, digging narrow channels for planting seeds or bulbs, etc.

However, there are two common types of gardening hoes:


6.1 Draw Hoe

A drawn hoe is featured for shaping, furrowing, and digging soil. It has a metal blade around six inches wide, angled at ninety degrees to the handle.

You can chop it into the garden and pull through the soil, and that’s why it is called “draw hoe.”

  • Grub hoe, grab a hoe, pattern hoe, or Italian hoe has a heavy and broad blade mainly used for chopping.
  • Warren hoe, ridging hoe, or drill hoe features a formed or simple blade significantly used for excavation furrows.
  • Hoedad, or “Hoedag,” is used to plant trees.
  • Flower hoe has a tiny blade mainly used for light weeding and aerating the growing plants.
  • Mortar hoe has a square blade with holes in it, and it is typically used for mixing mortar and concrete.

6.2 Scuffle Hoe

A scuffle hoe is used for weeding, loosening the surface soil, cutting the roots, and interrupting the growth of weeds. It has two different designs – the Dutch hoe and the Hoop hoe.

  • Dutch hoe is mainly designed to clear the surface weeds. It has a sharp blade on both sides to remove weeds from the surface layer.
  • Hoop hoe or action hoe has a double-edged blade pivoting back and forth under the soil for cutting weeds and loosening the soil. The blade cuts on the push or pulls stroke.

Besides the gardening hoes, you can also find collinear hoes, swoe hoes, wheel hoes, horse hoes, fork hoes, clam hoes, Adze hoes, Paul hoes, Gang hoes, and so on. They have some particular designs, functions, and uses.

7. Pruning Saw

A pruning saw is mainly designed to cut small to medium-sized branches or thick curved branches where the bow saw cannot fit. It has a long blade, either straight or curved, attached to a secure handle.

8. Hori-Hori Knife

Hori-Hori is a multipurpose Japanese gardener’s knife. It has a curved stainless steel blade that is razor sharped on both sides and is serrated for cutting through roots and tough soil.

It can be used for cutting roots, digging, weeding, transplanting, and so many gardening jobs.

9. Tree Loppers

Loppers are garden-cutting tools similar to scissors with long handles and are usually operated with two hands. They are used for pruning stems and small branches with diameters less than 2 inches.

There are two types of garden loppers, similar to garden pruners:

9.1 Bypass Loppers

Most commonly used for cutting live wood than dead or dry branches. Bypass Loppers have two poles with handles at one end and two blades that pass each other like scissors at the other.

9.2 Anvil Loppers

Often used for cutting dead wood or small branches. They also have two large poles which have a handle at one end. The anvil only has one cutting edge that closes onto a flat edge like a chopping board.

10. Lawn Edger

A lawn edger is an essential tool for distinct borders between lawns, typically consisting of grasses and walkways or a ground surface covered with paved or concreted.

There are several types of lawn edgers, either manual or motorized.

For example, spade-based, roller-based, or hand shears are manual lawn edgers.

On the other hand, flexible string trimmers, single-wheel purpose-design, or multi-wheel purpose-design are motorized edgers.

11. Dibber

A dibber, sometimes called dibble or dibbler, is a piece of a wooden stick with a sharpened end for making holes into the ground for sowing seeds, seedlings, or small bulbs.

It comes in many shapes and sizes, including the straight dibber, T-handled dibber, trowel dibber, and L-shaped dibber.

12. Shovel

The shovel is a multipurpose hand tool essential for every gardener. You can use it for different purposes but mainly for lifting loose materials from one place to another.

Most shovels are made from broad steel sheet blades attached to the wooden handle.

13. Spade

This looks very similar to a shovel but mainly use for digging purposes. There have different shapes of the spade in the market.

14. Hoes Pipes

Hoes pipes are an essential part of garden irrigation. They make more straightforward your garden irrigation process and save you water.

You can find different colors of shoes in the market, and they are mostly made of vinyl, rubber, and plastic.

Besides, they are found in various diameters, but bigger is better. The standard length of the hose pipe is 25 to 100 feet long.

15. Watering Cans

A watering can is a portable ancient watering tool featuring a sprinkler handle. You can easily water a small garden with this tool.

This is an alternative to hose pipe as well as cheaper. You can find both plastic and metal body cans in the market.

gardening tools for beginners

16. Wheelbarrow

The wheelbarrow is one type of cart with single or double wheels, attaching two handles at the back to push it moving forward.

Typically, this is used for carrying essential garden components, wastages, and harvest.

17. Mattock

Mattock is mainly used for construction work but has some uses in the garden. It performs better for digging, slicing, and loosening solid soil and debris.

18. Pick

This is also quite an unusual garden tool mainly used for construction works; you need this for breaking hard ground.

19. Gardening Hat

It would help if you had a quality hat to protect your skin from sunburn while working in the garden for a long time.

20. Soil Thermometer

This is an essential tool for checking soil temperature.

If you live in hardy zone 7 or lower, keep a soil thermometer or earth thermometer to measure your garden soil temperature before planting or transplanting plants outdoors.

You can also check soil temperature with your finger, but when you need to know the exact temperature soil thermometer is the best tool.

21. Soil Test Kit

Soil test kits help you check your garden’s soil health and determine which nutrients you need to provide for your garden to improve its soil quality.

These simple kits save money from unwanted fertilizer and give you a better harvest.

22. Hand Sprayer

Hand sprayers or insect sprayers mainly use to control and protect your garden plants from different insects and diseases.

There have different shapes and sizes of hand sprayers in the market. So pick the suitable one for your loving garden.

23. Hand Gloves

Gardening gloves protect your hand from sharp objects and keep softening your hand palm if you are not used to handling gardening tools.

24. Knee Pads

The knee pad is an essential garden tool when you need to work for a long time, kneeling on the ground in your garden. Choosing a flexible knee pad to protect your knee from wrecking would be best.

25. Tamping Bar

The tamping bar is also a digging bar mainly used for excessive digging and cutting. It has a long solid metal body like a long handle with a flat top.

26. Bulb Planter

This mini hand tool is only used to create an accurate bulbs hole.

27. Post-Hole Digger

This is a unique tool for digging a dipper hole with perfection. It would help if you had less effort to make a dipper hole than a spade or tamping bar take.

28. Cultivator

A cultivator is a simple tool for loosening and scratching soil around the plant’s bed. It has both a shorter and longer version which can fulfill your demand.

29. Edger

Edger has different shapes and is a perfect tool for lining and cleaning sidewalks and garden beds.

30. Weed Whacker

A weed whacker is a single-blade mini trimmer that is sharp on both sides for weeding rough places in your garden.


The above article covers most of the essential gardening tools for a new gardener that needs to be acknowledged. Some tools can be used for multipurpose, and some have particular purposes.

Multipurpose tools are flexible and cover varieties that work with a single tool.

On the other hand, special tools finish some excellent jobs with no alternative. Selecting the right gardening tools will make your work easier and save you time and labor.


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