Essential Tools

Hi All, 

I have been been trying to get my garden, greenhouse and veg patch going for a few years, without much success.  This year I am on a mission to do it!!  I am getting a new greenhouse and for my birthday got a hoe and spade, I would like some advice on what other tools I need as essentials.

I want to try and get the best quality I can afford so that they will last, therefore I don't want to get loads of 'cheap' tools and advice on which brands would be helpful as well as a small selection of the most useful tools for use in all areas of my garden.

Also, I do have a pair of shears which are years old (they were my husband's grandads), they are a bit rusty and stiff but seem like good solid ones, will I be able to 'renovate' them easily?

This is my first post so I hope it makes sense!!  Thanks image



  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 8,721

    Hi Tracey - i love my Sneerboer tools, but they are pricey.  I have had my family club together for Christmas and birthdays for the ones i haveimage.  

    Essentials for me are a hand trowel, hand fork, spade and border fork, and a decent pair of secateurs and some sort of sharpening stone.  I also use a kneeler.

    Re renovating a pair of shears - if you can get movement by oiling the joints, and can sharpen the blades (with your new sharpening stone recommended aboveimageimage) then i would imagine they would be ok

    We did not inherit the earth from our grandparents.  We’re borrowing it from our children.
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Thanks Chicky, I've just read some other threads about a stone, might try and find one.  I will also need some good sandpaper for the rust but I think they will be ok.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,259

    Hi Tracey, the two things I use most and would be lost without are my hand trowel and border fork which do 80% of the work in my garden and veg plots.  Next would probably be the spade, secateurs, rake and hoe.  I really recommend using stainless steel tools with wooden handles but have a quite a variety of makes and can't really put one make above another - I just bought the ones that 'felt right' when I handled them in the shop. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    I don't have any one favorite make, but I do agree with Bob about the feel of tools. I have a spade that was pricey bought as a gift and I just can't get on with it, the angle of the handle doesn't suit me.

    Think of all my tools I use my fork the most.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,472

    Hoes, get good hoes!!! a sharp Dutch hoe for regular jiffling of the soil surface to keep down newly germinating weed seeds, and a draw hoe for preparing the soil surface for sowing seeds.  I use them more than any other tools.  After that comes the border fork and the rake, then the spade and the lawn rake. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Hi Tracey5

    All of the above, plus a sharp pair of scissors a ball of nylon twine, and it my seem obvious - a wheelbarrow! I went a year without one and now I have one, brilliant.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,472

    Oh yes, hand trowel and fork - v. important image

    And a wheelbarrow - I had one for Christmas image there was a rumour going around here that OH was getting me a unicycle ....... but it turned out to be a wheelbarrow image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • A good watering can about 5lts with a fine rose and a 90 deg basket attachment I have three all the same and a cheap red can for feeding all with removable roses



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 5,004

    Have a look at Fred's Shed website.
    I've been using his site whenever I need new garden tools.
    He's disabled and tests garden tools from his perspective.
    I can thoroughly recommend his site and suggestions.

    I have no connection whatsoever  with the aforementioned Fred, but I did write to thank him for his excellent recommendations.

    Good luck

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Buy tools with Ash handles and carbon steel blades /tines. There are plenty of makes to choose from, but just dont buy anything with plastic or metal handles. They bend or break very quickly.

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