17 Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

If you’re ready to build your backyard garden, be sure you have the right tools on-hand. Here are 17 of the must-have gardening hand tools you need.

Gardening Hand Tools for Every Aspiring Gardener

Gardening is hard work, only made harder by trying to make a few low-quality tools work for all purposes. A basic gardening kit contains a spade, trowel, rake, and hoe, but these will only get you so far.

Take our complete list on your next hardware store run to ensure you have everything you’ll need to reap the benefits of your garden all year-round.

1. Gardening Gloves

Gardening Gloves | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

Even those that don’t mind a little dirt on their hands will benefit from gardening gloves. To avoid blisters, cuts, and scrapes, invest in a durable pair that is both breathable and waterproof.

Make sure they fit properly and are not too bulky. Store them inside, away from sunlight, water, and bugs.

2. Knee Pads

A kneeling pad or stool, or knee pads, are certainly not required when starting your garden, but you’ll be glad you got them before long!

Gardening is hard on the knees and the back, especially when you’re putting in long hours. Save yourself some aches and pains by protecting your knees from the get-go.

3. Hose And/Or Sprinkler System

Hose And/Or Sprinkler System | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

Your plants will need lots of watering, and new hoses are lightweight, flexible, and easy to maneuver. A sprinkler system that you can set can also save you time when watering.

4. Pruning Shears


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A very sharp pair of pruning shears is a must for trimming small trees and bushes. Be sure to sharpen them each spring.

5. Loppers


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Like pruning shears’ big brother, loppers have longer handles to trim hard-to-reach branches.

6. Scissors

You won’t find scissors on every gardening essentials list, but they have a place in your shed! They’re multi-functional and can cut open seed packets, trim small flowers and leaves, and even dig in the dirt in a pinch.

7. Hand Trowel

Hand Trowel | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

Your trowel will be your go-to for digging out small holes for seeds and plants and refilling them. Look for one with a stainless steel head for the most durability.

8. Garden Fork

Garden Fork | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

You’ll want your garden fork for digging into and turning dense soil. Straight tines are great for digging, but will bend if they hit a rock; square tines will hold up better against rocks and roots.

9. Spade

A great spade is a worthwhile investment, as you can effectively use it for digging holes, edging, and lifting sod.

10. Hoe

Hoe | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

A sturdy, wide, flat hoe is great for preparing the beds in your vegetable gardens, and can also be used for weeding.

11. Leaf Rake

Your garden will inevitably need some cleanup in the spring and fall, and a large, sturdy leaf rake will come in handy. 

12. Garden Rake


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A leaf rake is essential for leaves, but for finishing your soil for cultivation, you’ll want a much smaller and sturdier garden rake. 

13. Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

Wheelbarrows may take up a lot of space, but are well worth it because they can help you haul hundreds of pounds! Whether you’re moving soil, medium to large trees, mulch, or compost, let the wheelbarrow do most of the work.

14. Curved Blade Digging Shovel

A digging shovel is a staple in sheds for good reason. It’s perfect for digging large holes for trees and shrubs.

15. Full Flat Digging Shovel

Full Flat Digging Shovel | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

A curved blade shovel will do most of the work, but finish off the edges with a flat digging shovel.

16. Soil Knife

Soil knives are a Japanese invention that is supremely useful in gardening. Used for digging and cutting, be aware that both edges of the knife are sharp, so store it in its sheath and away from kids.

17. Weeder

Weeder | Gardening Hand Tools You Should Have

Most backyard gardeners are seeking to enjoy organic produce that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals like Round Up. To tame the weeds without harmful chemicals, be sure to grab a weeder.

You may find a few other tools that make backyard gardening easier for you, but these basics will get you started with everything you need for a bountiful harvest!

What were the first gardening hand tools you invested on when you were starting out? Let us know in the comments section!

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