Getting the right tools for your yard work will help maintain a neat and healthy yard.
Some of the tools include wheelbarrows to transport mulch and compost, lawn mowers to cut a grass surface to an even height, and loppers to prune out small branches and twigs.
In this article, we look at some essential yard tools that can enable you to get yard work done with much efficiency.
Ready? Let’s dive right into it:
Essential Yard Tools
1. Lawn Mowers
Lawn mowers are one of the most important yard tools for lawn care and maintenance. These mowing machines use one or more revolving blades to cut a grass surface to an even height.
Lawn mowers come in different types, each suited to a particular scale and purpose. Some of them include:
Electric Lawn Mowers
They are best suited for small to medium-sized yards. These mowers are lightweight and easy to maneuver on lawns.
On the other hand, battery-powered mowers also known as cordless electric mowers run on a battery.
They are pricier than corded mowers and can be used without the restriction of cable length.
Zero-turn mowers are standard riding lawn mowers with a turning radius that is effectively zero when the two drive wheels rotate in the opposite direction.
They have lap bars on the frontal seat and operate on the dual hydrostatic transmission in the rear wheels.
These mowing machines can make sharp turns, and mow through obstacles and landscaped edges for a superb finish on lawns.
Robot Lawn Mowers
Robot lawn mowers have enough capacity to tackle up to 320,000 sq ft of grass.
Robot mowers run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and are guided by a boundary cable which allows them to identify where to mow.
Some models make use of sophisticated GPS to enable you to program specific paths. They are quiet and environmentally friendly.
Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mowers
Rear engine riding mowers are best suited for moderately-sized lawns that may be too small for lawn tractors, but too large to use for walk-behind mowers.
Their engine is located beneath the driving seat. In addition, the mower deck is also located below the driver’s position. Go here for more information on the best riding lawn mowers for rough terrain.
Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
Self-propelled mowers feature a transmission that propels them to move forward.
These mowers are easy to operate and they also offer consistent cuts on lawns.
On the downside, they require high maintenance and are more expensive than push lawn mowers.
These mowers require that you manually force them across the lawn. They are perfect for small yards.
Push mowers offer better maneuverability, allowing you to easily direct them to where they go and push them around obstacles and corners. They are laborious to push on hills.
Gas lawn mowers have engines that run on gas. They can mow large lawn areas where electric corded lawn mowers can’t reach.
These mowers have enough power to mow through tall, thick, and dense gas with ease.
They are quite heavy, noisy, expensive, and require high maintenance.
Reel mowers are perfect for flat lawns but they do not work well on uneven surfaces.
They are also suitable for soft grass but they struggle on long grass.
If you intend to use reel mowing, you may need to mow the grass regularly.
Edgers are used to trim grasses that are at the very edge of the lawn or flowerbed that mowing machines may not be able to reach.
This garden tool is either manual or motorized.
The six main types of lawn edgers include:
- Hand shears
- Multi-wheel purpose-designed
- Adaptable string trimmer
- Single-wheel purpose-designed
a. Manual Lawn Edgers
This is one of the most common types of lawn edgers. They can help you spruce up different areas of the yard by creating defined and clear edges around sidewalks and gardens.
Manual edgers are cheap and they can withstand the test of time. Here are the two types of manual edgers:
Half Moon Edgers
The blades of this manual edger are often in a half-moon shape for easy creation of rounded edges.
Rotary edgers have a spiked wheel that is attached to a long handle. It is best suited for areas with straight edges.
b. Gas Edgers
Gas edgers are best suited for larger yards. Their power ratings are measured in cubic centimeters.
The smallest gas-powered lawn edgers are between 20-50 cubic centimeters while larger ones are rated between 130-160 cubic centimeters.
They are equipped with 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines. 4-cycle engines do not require mixing of oil and gas and they run cleaner than 2-cycle engines.
c. Electric Lawn Edgers
Electric lawn edgers are typically small and lightweight. They are also eco-friendly and easy to use. There are two types of electric edgers and they are:
Corded Electric Lawn Edgers
This edger comes with motors that are rated for power in amps. These edgers are ideal for small yards and they are tethered to a cord. The power of corded electric edgers is between 10-12 amps.
Cordless Lawn Edgers
Cordless lawn edgers are best suited for small yards. They use a rechargeable battery to operate. Cordless edgers are lightweight, efficient, and easy to maintain.
The issue with cordless lawn edgers is their battery running out of power before the job is finished.
3. String Trimmers
String trimmers can get to hard-to-reach spots where mowing machines can’t navigate, like around tree trunks, walkways, shrubs, and fence posts.
Some string trimmers can also double as an edger if you turn it on its side. There are two types of string trimmers namely:
Gas-Powered String Trimmers
Gas string trimmers can operate all day without pausing to charge and are not tethered to an outlet.
They require a gas and oil mix to operate. It is best to use them on large lawns to keep your landscape looking sharp.
Electric-Powered String Trimmers
Electric-powered string trimmers can be either cordless or corded and can be easily turned via a switch.
These models are lightweight but are less powerful than gas trimmers. Electric-powered string trimmers are perfect for small yards.
In terms of maneuverability and maintenance, battery-powered cordless trimmers are better than corded trimmers. However, it’s important to use protective gear like face shields and leg protectors when operating a string trimmer.
Corded string trimmers need extension cords to reach every corner of your lawn.
Snow blowers are used for clearing snow on paved and unpaved surfaces such as pathways, driveways, and sidewalks.
They are categorized into single-stage, two-stage, and three-stage snow blowers.
5. Leaf Blowers
Leaf blowers can make your yard cleanup simple and quick. Some leaf blowers run on two-cycle engines to provide a good balance of weight and power. They also run on a blend of gas and oil.
On the other hand, models with four-cycle engines do not require the mixing of fuel. They are heavier and require regular oil changes.
Here are the types of leaf blowers:
Corded Electric Leaf Blowers
Corded electric leaf blowers require an extension cord and it is one of the cheapest options out there.
The price range of corded electric leaf blowers is between $30 to $100.
Cordless Electric Leaf Blowers
These leaf blowers are a bit pricier than corded leaf blowers.
They are a great option for homeowners that have a small volume of debris to take care of.
They require minimal maintenance and are ideal for smaller yards.
Gas-Powered Handheld Leaf Blowers
Gas-powered handheld leaf blowers are not limited to use by battery charge or tethered to a cord.
However, they are heavier and noisier than electric options. Gas-powered handheld leaf blowers are best suited for medium and large-sized yards.
Gas-Powered Backpack Leaf Blowers
Gas-powered backpack leaf blowers are more powerful than handheld leaf blowers but are noisy and heavier.
In addition, they do not offer a vacuum function.
It is best to look out for a backpack leaf blower that has enough padding for easy operations.
Gas-Powered Wheeled Leaf Blowers
Gas-powered wheeled leaf blowers are ideal for large and expansive properties.
Their price ranges between $400-$800, making them pricier than their counterparts.
They are powerful, bulky, and require storage space of about eight feet.
Gas-powered wheeled leaf blowers weigh up to hundred pounds, making it a bit difficult to push up hills, or over large yards.
A wheelbarrow can be used to transport mulch, compost, soil, garden waste, plants and tools.
It is advisable to get a sturdy and well-balanced wheelbarrow so that you can easily wheel a full load without it tipping. Here are several types of wheelbarrows:
Traditional wheelbarrows come with a single wheel in the front and two steel legs in the rear to balance the tool.
It is best for dumping lightweight loads but it is liable to tip over under heavier loads.
These wheelbarrows are gas or electric-powered to minimize the efforts required to push them. They have speed and multiple wheel functions.
They feature a fabric trough which makes them lightweight and easy to push.
They have a compact design, making them easy to store. Some can even be hung in the garden shed or garage.
They have a two-wheel design-one on either side of the tub’s front. Two-wheel wheelbarrows provide extra tip resistance but are more difficult to pivot sharply.
7. Garden Fork
A garden fork can be easily pushed into the soil to aerate, loosen, mix in soil amendments and harvest crops.
Getting a sturdy garden will reduce the effort needed to work on the soil.
A garden fork is equipped with four long, super strong tines that end with sharp points for easy soil penetration.
Loppers are used to prune out smaller branches and twigs.
They come with larger and extended blades to help keep the branches under control to protect your home and maintain curb appeal.
You can consider factors such as type, blade material, cutting action, length and weight, and grips before buying a looper.
Here are two types of loopers
Anvil loppers have a stationary base with a groove. They are ideal for cutting brittle and dry branches, dead stems and snapping them with ease.
They are not ideal for trimming soft green branches because they can tear and crush the limbs rather than make a clean cut.
Bypass loppers are perfect for making sharp cuts on green and soft branches.
These loopers have two sharpened blades that can overlap one another to ensure clean cuts.
Using these loppers on dead and stiff branches can dull the blades.
A garden shovel can be used for outdoor digging tasks such as trenching a new irrigation system, shoveling down to mend a broken pipe, and digging holes for fencing.
Although homeowners are familiar with flat-head or round-point digging shovels, there are still several types of shovels.
Based on handle design, purpose, and blade shapes, they include trenching shovels, digging shovels, post-hole diggers, tree-planting shovels, mini-shovels, edging shovels, spades, trowels and scoops.
Hoes are used for preparing seedbeds, weeding, and cultivating gardens. They come in different styles.
A traditional hoe has a long handle with a flat blade set at a right angle at the end.
A hoe with a heart-shaped and pointed blade can be used to open seed furrows. They are also ideal for weeding in narrow spaces between plants.
A spade is used for digging holes to plant shrubs, trees and large flowers.
Furthermore, it can be used for hoeing weeds, edging flower beds, chopping roots of small trees before digging them up and shoveling small quantities of material.
12. Leaf Rakes
Leaf rakes are designed to scrape up leaves and other debris on the lawn, around flower beds, shrubs and trees.
Leaf rakes are different from garden rakes. They can dethatch a lawn while leaf rakes cannot. Here are the types of leaf rakes:
Standard Leaf Rakes
They have a fan-style head with slightly flexible and long tines.
Their wide fan head will enable you to quickly rake up leaves on a larger area of the yard.
The head attaches to a long handle to enable the user to rake without bending over.
Hand/Mini Scoop Leaf Rakes
Hand/mini scoop leaf rakes have two different curved rake plates (one for each hand). With this, homeowners can grab dry leaves and lift them to a bin.
Scoop Leaf Rakes
Scoop leaf rakes can be either single-headed or double-headed. They look like a standard leaf rake but the fan-shaped head fouls inwards via a pull-type mechanism on the handle.
This enables you to rake, grab leaves and lift them to a compost pile or bag.
13. Watering Can
A watering can is a container with a long spout used to water plants. It can be either metal or plastic.
Plastic cans are less expensive, lightweight, and easy to tote but they are not extremely durable.
On the other hand, metal cans last longer provided they are galvanized and can resist rust. They are a bit heavy to carry around but they can offer much durability.
14. Gardening Gloves
Gardening gloves prevent scratches from branches and thorns and also protect the hands from blisters.
A lightweight pair of gloves is usually coated with rubber, latex or nitrile to keep the hands dry and provide more gripping power.
This pair of gloves also allow you to engage in delicate tasks like transplanting plants and picking up seeds.
A heavy-duty pair of gloves are suitable for digging, pruning and moving material.
15. Lawn Dethatcher
A lawn dethatcher is designed to remove thatch, a thick layer of debris that accumulates between the grass blades and soil. Here are the two types of dethatchers:
These detachers are best suited for homeowners with smaller yards. Most of them are corded electric, requiring a long extension cord.
Motorized dethatchers are easy to use and require minimal maintenance.
Tow-behind dethatchers are perfect for large yards, they come with solid dethatching blades You can attach them to the hitch on the back of a tractor, lawn mower, four-wheeler, or side-by-side.
Tow-behind dethatchers are easy to use and require minimal effort if correctly installed.
16. Lawn Sweepers
Lawn sweepers are an essential piece of equipment that keeps the lawn green and healthy throughout the growing season. Lawn sweepers help to clear away small debris, from grass clippings to twigs.
Here are three types of lawn sweepers:
Push-Style Lawn Sweepers
They are ideal for cleaning small properties without many trees. Push-style lawn sweepers pick up grass clippings and leave efficiently but they require more effort to operate than tow-behind models.
Tow-behind lawn sweepers offer the most convenient operation of all styles. They are ideal for ATVs and riding mowers. They can hold a large amount of debris before emptying. Tow-behind models are best suited for large properties.
Power Lawn Sweepers
They are ideal for large properties. Power sweepers come in both push style and sweepers built to be trailed behind a mowing machine, just like tow-behind models.
Powered by gasoline engines, they come with brushes that can spin at a faster rate while some models feature large hoppers for fast cleanup on large properties.