If you’re a long-term gardener then you’ll instantly know what essential gardening tools you need. You probably have a shed full of various gardening tools with a few doubles, for good measure.
However, if you’re just starting out, then you might be a little confused as to what you’ll need and why. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
As our aim is to help you find and purchase only the essential gardening tools, we’ll cover what each tool does and how it’s useful.
So don’t worry if you don’t know your weed fork from a regular one or are struck choosing gloves.
#1 Hyundai HYM3800E Corded Electric Lawnmower
Starting with the most predictable tool, the humble lawn mower! We recently did a shootout of 10 electric mowers under £100. So if you’re unsure about which mower works for you, then start there.
We didn’t cover this Hyundai in our last piece, however, it’s a great all-rounder. The powerful 1600W motor will enable you to cover most small and medium-sized gardens, with easy.
The wide 38cm metal blades can be adjusted from 2 to 7 cm, meaning you can change the cut depending on the season. The cut selector has 6 positions, which are easy to select and require no additional tools. This makes changing settings on the fly possible.
The Hyundai HYM3800E folds down nicely and has a long 12-metre cable. While it does have a 40-litre grass container, we don’t like that it’s a bag and not a plastic box. Bags generally store less than boxes, so it’s something to bear in mind.
Overall we quite like the Hyundai HYM3800E Corded Electric Lawnmower and it’s £110 price tag!
#2 Draper Adjustable Lawn Rake
We’re the first to admit that shopping for a rake isn’t that sexy or even interesting! However as one of our essential gardening tools, this adjustable rake from Draper is a worthwhile purchase.
You can purchase the Draper for £12.45 from Amazon and at that price, its worth it. So what can we use it for?
Starting with the obvious, you can gather grass cuttings or leaves into an easy to move pile. A rake makes clearing moss or twigs from a garden path simple.
You should also be able to use the Draper rake to disrupt the soil’s surface and bring up the roots of old plants and loosely rooted weeds.
This massively cuts down the time you’ll spend weeding or getting the ground ready for new plants.
If you’re adding fertilizer or a new layer of topsoil, then a rake can help you to spread these evenly on small areas.
However, a rake won’t perform as well over a large area, so you’ll need some other tools.
#3 Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade
One of the most essential gardening tools is the spade! This humble Spear and Jackson garden spade is useful for moving soil, roots and plants. It’s also valuable for marking out spaces and creating borders.
Priced at a little over £20, this Spear and Jackson spade will last years and is designed with ease of use in mind. There’s a flange at the top of the blade, which means your shoes and more importantly, toes are safe!
#4 Spear & Jackson – Elements Hand Trowel
While you use a spade for heavy lifting and moving, trowels take care of the small details. You can use a trowel in many ways including moving plants, topping up pots with soil or compost, and even for weeding.
Also, if you’re looking for treasure with a metal detector, a garden trowel is often used to dig up finds!
This Spear & Jackson – Elements Hand Trowel is less than £5 and features an epoxy coated blade and clear lacquered ashwood handle.
#5 Spear & Jackson – Elements Weed Fork
Unlike shovels and trowels, weeding forks enable you to cleanly remove plants from the soil at the roots without digging up large clumps of dirt.
There’s also useful for harvesting root plants like potatoes and onions, transplanting plants safely, and tilling compost or other additives into the soil.
If you have hard or clayous soil, you can use a weeding fork dirt to mix in peat and therefore improve the quality of the soil.
Again we’ve chosen Spear & Jackson, as it’s affordable £7 and well designed.
#6 Vilapur Professional Premium Pruning Shears
Number six on our list of essential gardening tools, trimming plants. The ideal tool needs to be flexible as thr range of uses including cutting, cleaning, removing and trimming.
You can use pruning shears to give shape to your bushes, safely cut thorny flowers such as roses and remove damaged foliage.
These Vilapur pruning shears use steel blades and feature a non-slip handle, making using them easy. At under £10, they might appear to be a little pricey, however, given the use of superior materials, they’re well worth it.
#7 Pine Tree Tools – Bamboo Working Gloves
Gloves aren’t all equal! While you can buy fairly cheap ones, spending more up front will more than likely save you in the long run. So what are we looking for in terms of gloves?
Ideally, they would be strong enough to withstand thorns but light enough to move with the hand and so feel like a second skin, just with inbuilt protection!
These Bamboo Working Gloves by Pine Tree Tools are designed for the gardener with durable and feel in mind. The Bamboo material absorbs perspiration and is naturally very breathable. Your hands will be cool in summer and warm in winter.
While not totally thorn proof, these gloves have a snug fit and can handle stinging nettles easily. The natural rubber, which is used to tighten the wrist, provides further protection.
Available in four sizes (small, medium, large and extra large) at a cost of £8. It’s worth investing in quality gloves as you’ll be looking after your hand and make working in the garden more enjoyable.
#8 Davaon Pro Ratchet Telescopic Anvil Loppers
If pruning shears provide a detailed cut, then loppers bring the power and help to shape the big picture. So you’ll need both.
Loppers have extendable arms, which enable you to reach up high or into tight spaces. As you can open the blades up to an inch (on average), you can easily cut through thick branches in one fell swoop.
Typically, if you’re trying to cut a branch within a bush or up high, then loppers are the right tool for the job. If you’re cutting something up close then pruners win!
While useful, loppers are the first to dull and so require TLC in order to keep them sharp and performing at the best. And so, you’ll want to oil after every use and sharpen once a year.
At the top of our list is the Davaon Pro Ratchet Telescopic Anvil Loppers, which at £30 are a steal! With carbon steel blades, non-slip handles and extendable arms, these loppers can cut up to 45 mm in thickness.
#9 Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears
Hedge shears sit between pruning shears and loppers, in terms of overall size and use. Shears have long blades which allow you to cut a wide area with each move.
While a worthwhile and one of many essential gardening tools you should own, garden shears typically have three uses. So, you might be able to do without them.
The three uses of shears are maintaining a formal hedge, cutting back perennials, and yearly deadheading of fast-growing soft plants.
Again you might not need shears if you none of these three apply to you. However, if you’re looking for some then consider Davaon Pro Garden Hedge Shears. These feature 21cm carbon steel blades and non-slip handles.
#10 Hozelock 25m Hose
Every garden deserves a good watering from time to time and while you can count on rain during the winter, you might need to help a little in the summer.
As far as hoses go, there’s little difference despite what the marketing material says. Therefore we’ve selected the highest rated hose on Amazon.
The Hozelock 25-metre hose comes with a threaded tap connector, a hose nozzle and a 30-metre reel, meaning you can store your hose safely.
Be aware that the instructions are terrible, so you can chuck them along with the packaging!
Priced at slightly over £25, it’s highly affordable.
Bonus! #11 Keter Store-It Out Max
If you have a shed to store your new tool collection in then great. However, if you don’t then consider buying a Keter Store-It Out Max.
This storage solution is ideal for storing all of your essential gardening tools and more. You could even use it to house two 240 Litre wheelie bins. At 146 x 85 x 24 cm, there’s plenty of flexible space.
As this Keter will rearrive flat-packed you will have to do some DIY but they’re easy enough to assemble. Once put together it’s a solid unit which will keep your tools safe and dry all year round.
The Store-it Out Max features a piston-assisted lid and two wide opening doors for easy access to contents. Also, two lid-lifter chains are included to facilitate hands-free opening of wheelie bins stored inside.
The unit costs £114 but you’ll still need to add a Marine Grade Aquasafe padlock (they cost around £15).
What are the most essential gardening tools?
You should have a better idea of what gardening tools you need. We’ve tried to only cover the essential gardening tools and so in time as your skills expand, you can look at buying a garden vacuum and a garden strimmer. That said, our list will be plenty to get you started!