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GARDEN TOOLS

FOR LANDSCAPING & GARDENING


Buying professional grade gardening tools is a wise investment since top quality garden tools will last most gardeners a lifetime.

Proper maintenance keeps every landscape tool working better, and lasting for many more gardening seasons.

Prices shown below are roughly what you would expect to pay for professional grade landscape tools in 2006.

Quality tools are always a good investment if they are well maintained.
 

 Index

 Hand Pruners

Hand Pruners

It's hard to take a trip into the garden without having a set of hand pruners along with you. There's always that stray or broken branch that needs immediate attention. Optional storage holsters attach to your belt and keep pruners handy.

Two styles of cutting heads are available: 

  • Bypass loppers (cut like scissors). Pay attention to frequent sharpening, lubrication and adjustment.
      

  • Anvil style pruners have one cutting edge that cuts against a flat "anvil." This style tends to crush the bark along the cut, but adjustments are much less critical than with bypass cutters.

 Hedge Shears

Hedge Shears

Some old timers still like manual, hand operated hedge shears, as opposed to electric or gasoline powered hedge trimmers. All work equally well when kept properly adjusted, cleaned and sharpened. WD-40 works well on most shears. 
   
As with any piece of pruning equipment, keep the cutting edges as sharp as possible. A Dremel tool with a fine grade stone sharpening bit works well -- follow existing sharpening patterns and use a steady hand. 
  
TIP: When using all types of hedge shears, raise the cutting tips slightly for best results. Prune evergreens in the cool of the morning for the cleanest cuts.
  
Be careful when using any type of sharp pruning tool.

 Loppers

Loppers

As your landscape matures it's important to have a good set of loppers for removing branches too large for hand pruners. 
   
Loppers are sold with different length handles. While longer handles improve reach and leverage, they can also cause problems in tight spaces. We like the middle length loppers illustrated in the background.
  
We prefer bypass cutters. Two styles of cutting heads are available:

  • Bypass loppers (cut like scissors). Pay attention to frequent sharpening, lubrication and adjustment. 

  • Anvil style pruners have one cutting edge that cuts against a flat "anvil." This style tends to crush the bark along the cut, but adjustments are less critical than bypass cutters.

 

 Nursery Spade

Nursery Spade

It's hard to do much gardening without feeling you need a good spade.  Professional "nursery spades" have several common characteristics:

  • Strong handle - either made of metal tubing, composite, or reinforced with steel straps on both sides of a wooden handle.
      

  • Square digging nose with a sharp edge. A bench grinder works well for periodic sharpening - grind to match the original bevel.
      

  • You might want to consider buying a spade with a long digging blade for "balling" plants. Rubber kick pads are a nice option.

 Pruning Saw

Pruning Saw

When loppers won't comfortably handle branch pruning, it's time to break out the saw. After trying several different types and styles of pruning saws, we prefer the fold-up saw like the one shown in the background.
  
Smaller fold-up models fit nicely in your back pants pocket. Most of the better models have a safety lock for the open position, and some also have a pushbutton lock for the closed position. 
  
Be sure to follow proper tree pruning guidelines to prevent stripping the bark near your cuts. Undercut the branch slightly first, then cut through the top of the branch out beyond your undercut.
  
The third and final cut should be to remove the remaining branch stub without damaging the collar area at the base of the branch.

 Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow

To move heavy materials, buy a good quality wheelbarrow with a pneumatic tire, strong handles and a 4 to 6 cubic foot capacity.

WHEELBARROW WORK MADE EASIER

  • Load 2/3 of the weight toward the front of the wheelbarrow to help balance it by keeping weight off the handles.

  • Take partial loads when moving heavier materials.

  • Maintain recommended tire pressure.

MORE

Composting

Planting Hillsides

Deicers & snow melters

 

       


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