The proper garden tools are essential for the comfort and health of a gardener. A garden tool should have a smooth sturdy handle that is securely attached to the head of the tool. The head should be made of smooth metal that does not bend easily. The handle should be long enough for the gardener to use easily without bending over.
Shovel and Spade
A shovel has a scooped blade for moving dirt, mulch or other materials. A spade has a straighter, upright blade that is made to push into the soil and turn it over. Both should have long handles to provide more leverage.
Spading Fork and Pitchfork
Another tool for digging in the soil is a spading fork, which has flat or square tines. It is used to break up and turn over soil. A pitchfork has longer tines spaced closer together to make moving mulch, compost and other materials easier.
A short-tooth rake is used to break up soil and to remove rocks out of soil. It is also used to smooth out areas of soil and mulch. A long-tooth fan-shaped rake is used to rake leaves.
A hoe is used to break up the soil and to uproot weeds. A square-bladed hoe is used to pry weeds out of the soil. A triangle-bladed scuffle hoe is moved along the surface of the soil to cut down small weeds.
Hand pruners and lopping shears are used to cut small limbs, while pruning saws are used to cut larger branches. Hedge shears are used to trim bushes into a smooth shape.