This is my list of the best gardening tools I’ve found, helpfully organized with links to my favorites.
This is one of my favorite tools of all time:
I like this border fork from Spear and Jackson:
Here’s another nice stainless tool, this time a spade:
The handles on these are quite nice and similar to those on the Clarington Forge tools, such as this next spade.
I love Clarington Forge tools. So much so that I used to be a distributor. The heads are made from solid forged steel in England. They’re one of the last tool companies that hasn’t been eaten by the hollow promises of Free Trade and outsourced to China.
This poacher’s spade will last forever:
They cost more for a reason: they’re tools that last for generations, unlike the many Chinese tools I’ve broken over the years. Sharpen the edge of that sucker with a file and it’s a root-cutting machine that will last through the Apocalypse.
This tool is the BOSS for quick and easy weeding, both on the forward and backward stroke:
Easy Digging Grub/Grape/Adze Hoes
I love all the tools I’ve gotten from EasyDigging.com. I use their hoes regularly for shaping beds, moving earth, planting trees, digging ponds and of course, chopping weeds. Solid forged steel means they last forever and take a really good edge.
If you already have a grub hoe and/or a grape and adze hoe from EasyDigging.com, why not add this vicious little earth mover and ground clearer to your collection? These suckers are made from reclaimed disc blades. Nice.
Felco Snips and Pruners
When I owned my nursery business I used two pairs of Felco pruners constantly. These snips were always in hand when I was sticking cuttings:
And these classic Felco pruners are what I use when working on my fruit trees and doing grafting:I’ve been using these pruners for multiple years now and they’ve well out-lived all the cheap pairs I owned before.
Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe
The Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe is practically indestructible and turns the job of weeding a big space into a quick and pleasant task.
I’ve plugged this wheel hoe in my book Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening as well as in my popular film 13 Tips, Tricks and Lessons from Homesteading an Acre.
Go get one. It’s wonderful.
I used to start all my moringa seedlings in the spring on one of these heat mats:
For anything that you want to get going early, a heat mat gets it done. It makes a big difference when rooting cuttings as well. I made back the cost of the mat the first time I started a round of seedlings on it in February.
These Japanese saws are incredible, despite their silly name:
You can cut down a small tree in seconds with this saw. I have the large-toothed version but they are all highly rated. Excellent for fast, clean cuts when you graft or open up limbs to let more light into a food forest or orchard.
Don’t buy one of the Gerber “Gator” machetes. They’re horrible, despite being a best-seller on Amazon. The metal is lousy. However, these guys are great:
The Ontario military machete is a serious tool and will serve you well whether you’re clearing brush or harvesting bananas.
Another very nice machete that’s quite similar to one I bought locally (I live in machete country) for my wife is this sweet Golok machete from Condor Tool and Knife:
This is a nicely designed grafting and budding knife:
I usually use a cheap utility blade in my grafting, as demonstrated in my instructional film, but I really like this knife and its options.
While we’re on the topic of grafting tools, Treekote tree wound sealer works very well and dries quite quickly.
Treekote is my favorite choice for grafting projects and is the same sealer I use in Get Grafting!
Stretchy and waxy parafilm tape works great for grafting. You can wrap it over a scion to prevent it from drying out and the new buds will simply grow right through the parafilm. Good stuff.
I’ve wanted a Haws watering can for a long time but just can’t bring myself to spend the money. Frivolous of me to want one, perhaps, but the capacity, longevity and gentle rain pattern of this classic are hard to resist.
Maybe I’ll put it on my birthday wish list.
My wife loves using hers for weeding and making seed furrows.
I am a sucker for scythes and am thrilled that Amazon carries good ones now. You need to buy in two pieces, first the blade:
And then the snath (the fancy name for a scythe handle):
If you have rougher grass, weeds and brush to cut, I also recommend springing for a bush blade. I prefer one of those as my primary since I usually grow polyculture food forests with more than just easy-to-fell grass. A scythe stone is a must-have as well, since frequent sharpening is very important for efficiency.
Fruit Picker Basket
If you have tall trees with lots of fruit, you’ll also want a fruit picker basket.
*Note: if you buy anything through one of my Amazon links, I make a small percentage on the sale and it doesn’t cost you a penny. Thank you!
Did I miss any of the “best gardening tools” on your own list? Let me know in the comments.