Yard maintenance is a requirement for many people. There are specific tools used in yard maintenance depending on the type of maintenance being performed. Various tools such as shovels, hoes, rakes, cutting tools, mowers and trimmers are used for specific jobs around the yard.
Shovels are used for digging, edging, lifting and breaking soil. Identify different shovels by the tip or end of the shovel. Pointed shovels are used for breaking soil apart, edging and cutting sod. Use square-blade shovels for digging, lifting and tamping down soil. Use rounded-edge shovels for work around roots and plants that could be damaged by either spades or square blades.
Use hoes for pushing and pulling by the handle to eliminate stooping or being on your knees. Action hoes are used to remove weeds with a pulling or pushing action. Use scuffle hoes for pushing when a sturdier hoe is needed. Use a pointed hoe for making furrows in gardens. Spading forks can also be used to break and turn soil, add compost or mulch and aerate soil.
Rakes come in various sizes and handle lengths. Use a rake for spreading mulch, moving debris and leaves, smoothing flower and seed beds or leveling ground. Work with a small hand rake to clean between plants or weeding flowerbeds; a variation of this type is the three-pronged rake with a 10- to 14-inch handle used when standing is required to work. A claw rake is good for digging out weeds, leveling piles or collecting large debris. Remember that the more tines a rake has, the more weight the rake has.
Lawn mowers are the most recognized power tool for yard maintenance. Choose the right lawn mower for your needs from a range of mowers including reel mowers, gas mowers and electric mowers. Lawn mowers also come in a range of sizes and abilities. Determine whether a push mower or riding mower is most suitable by determining the size of the yard; small yards, under one half acre, can be maintained with push mowers, while larger yards may need riding mowers. Determine the cutting deck size also using the size of the yard. Blades and mower decks range from 18-inch decks for smaller yards up to 52-inch decks for yards greater than 1 acre.
Carts are useful for hauling a variety of items. Wheelbarrows are a common form of cart. Use carts to haul dirt, debris, tools and heavy items. Carts can also be used to haul large or bulky items by leveraging the weight of the item over the top of the cart. Look for carts to come in either shallow or deep well versions; choose from either metal or plastic carts.
Cutting tools range from various shears to knives, pruners, loppers and clippers. Choosing the proper cutting tool depends on the type of yard work. Use pruners or loppers to trim trees or tall brush. Use shears to cut small brush, flowers or nonwoody vegetation. Use clippers to cut hedges, large brush and small branches. Use knives and saws for larger woody brush and tree trimming or cutting. Look for cutting tools to come in nonpowered, gas or electric versions depending on the tool.
For weed control, there is a wide range of tools to choose from. Use weed trimmers for quick trimming of grass and weeds around the edges of permanent structures, trees, paths or driveways. Look for weed trimmers to come in both electric and gas-powered models. Sickles and scythes are used for tall or overgrown areas. Look for these to have long handles with either curved or straight blades at the end.