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How to choose a garden hand tool

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

How to choose the right garden hand tool for the job.png

Choosing the right tool can make gardening easier and more efficient.  


This guide will help you select the best hand tools for common gardening tasks, including planting, pruning and weeding.  

Hand trowel

What: A hand trowel, like the Trojan Stainless Steel Hand Trowel, is a small digging tool with a pointed blade and a comfortable handle. It's designed for precise digging, planting and replanting in flower beds and vegetable gardens. Trowel.jpeg

How it works: The hand trowel's compact size and sharp blade makes it an effective tool for working in tight spaces and digging small holes. 

Perfect for:
Replanting delicate seedlings, planting bulbs, weeding around established plants and loosening soil in confined spaces.

Pruning shears

Pruning shears, like the Saxon Bypass Lightweight Pruner, are sharp, scissor-like tools. Also known as secateurs, they are used for cutting branches and stems. They come in bypass and anvil-style cutting mechanisms. 

How it works: Pruning shears are essential for maintaining the health and shape of your plants. They provide precise, clean cuts that promote plant growth and allow you to remove dead or diseased branches. Bypass shears are great for live branches, while anvil shears are better for dry, woody stems. 

Perfect for: Trimming bushes, shaping hedges and cutting back perennials. Keeping your plants healthy and well-groomed.


Hedge shears

Hedge shears, like the Trojan Straight Blade Hedge Shears, are manual gardening tools designed for trimming and shaping hedges, bushes and shrubs. Hedge shears.jpeg

How it works: Their razor-sharp blades deliver clean, straight cuts, ensuring your plants look impeccably groomed. Beyond hedge maintenance, hedge shears are versatile tools capable of shaping and pruning various shrubs and bushes. 

Perfect for:
Trimming and shaping hedges, pruning shrubs and bushes, crafting topiary designs and precise grooming of plants.


Garden rake

A garden rake, like the Cyclone Super Garden Rake, is a tool with a row of sturdy tines or prongs attached to a handle. It's used for levelling soil, removing debris and spreading mulch or compost. 

How it works: The garden rake is excellent for smoothing and levelling the soil after digging or tilling. It's also handy for collecting leaves, grass clippings and other garden debris.

Perfect for:
Preparing the soil surface for planting, spreading mulch and tidying up your garden.

Pruning saw

A pruning saw, like the Bahco 190mm Foldable Pruning Saw, is a serrated-edge tool designed for cutting through thick branches and tree limbs. It typically has a curved or folding blade for easy movement. Pruning saw.jpeg

How it works: While pruning shears are perfect for smaller branches, pruning saws are more commonly used for cutting larger branches. 

Perfect for: Pruning mature trees, removing thick branches and maintaining your garden's overall structure.


Garden spade

What: A garden spade, like the Spear & Jackson Garden Spade, is a square-headed tool with a straight or D-shaped handle. It's primarily used for cutting, edging and moving materials like soil. 

How it works:
A garden spade is a versatile tool for various tasks, including digging holes, edging flower beds and dividing perennials. Its flat blade is designed to cut through grass and soil. 

Perfect for:
Digging deep holes for planting shrubs and trees, edging garden beds and dividing plants. Horticulturalist Adam Woodhams shares more tips on How to select a shovel or a spade.

Garden fork

A garden fork, like the Cyclone Stainless Steel Garden Fork, is designed for digging, aerating and loosening compacted soil. Garden fork.jpeg

How it works: Featuring sturdy tines and a handle, garden forks excel at breaking up dense or clay-heavy soil. They're also useful for turning compost and lifting plants with minimal root disturbance. 

Perfect for:
Loosening compacted soil, aerating lawns and turning compost piles.


Hand cultivator

A hand cultivator, like the Fiskars Aluminium Cultivator, is a small tool with multiple tines or prongs used for weeding, cultivating and breaking up soil in tight spaces. 


How it works: Hand cultivators are perfect for precise weeding and aerating soil between plants without disturbing their roots. They help maintain a neat and weed-free garden.


Perfect for: Weeding, cultivating around established plants and breaking up soil in small areas.


More advice on choosing garden tools


Our How To section contains many other guides on choosing and using different garden tools, including How to choose a garden power toolHow to choose a cordless lawn mower, How to use a leaf blower and How to choose and use a wheelbarrow.


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