You don’t have to spend a fortune on getting quality garden tools. When you are starting out you can get away with a garden fork and slowly build up from there.
It is important to get the right tools for you though and that will vary from person to person.
Later in other pages, I will be doing specific tool reviews to give a more in-depth guide on the different options.
Here are some guidelines to think about when deciding on what garden tools to get.
- 1 What to Consider If You have a Disability
- 2 Spade and Forks
- 3 Choosing the Materials of Your Shaft
- 4 The Tool Head
- 5 Cost of Tools Versus Their Value
What to Consider If You have a Disability
People with disabilities may have different requirements that they need to consider. For instance, if you have a bad back or a muscle condition you may prefer a lighter weight tool. Arthritic hands may be better off with hand-held handles that roll with them making use much easier on the hands. It may be that you decide to go over to Square Foot Gardening where you don’t need any large tools and it is much easier.
Spade and Forks
The length of you tool is important. If you are tall you may naturally prefer a longer tool. Shorter people may find them more difficult to use.
Overall Weight of Your Tools
The weight of your tools is important. You can pick up a tool in the shops and be fine. But consider how you would feel after using it for digging for an hour or so.
Choosing the Materials of Your Shaft
Traditionally gardening shafts were made of wood. If you are a traditionalist there are still many companies out there that make fantastic wooden forks and spades.
quality garden forks and spades
Things to consider if Choosing Wood
Wood can rot and weaken over time. Although strongly not recommended, many gardeners do leave their tools outside and naturally, this will cause the wood to weaken.
Wood is often heavier than its modern counterparts.
Wooden shafts absorb any shocks you may receive well. This helps reduce discomfort if gardening for a long time.
You can get different levels of quality in wood depending on the type of wood used and the straightness of the grain in the shaft. With straight grains being stronger than ones that slope slightly.
Wood should be weatherproofed.
Other Material Options Stainless Steel Versus Carbon Steel
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. With a higher carbon content, carbon steel is stronger than stainless steel. While stainless steel is not as prone to rusting out as carbon steel is. Carbon steel is more likely to be brittle as well.
Carbon steel forks are coated with a coat of epoxy resin to protect from rusting.
There are varying qualities of tools in both materials.
The Tool Head
Single Piece of Metal Verse Welded Metal
Cost of Tools Versus Their Value
If like most of us you are on a budget then the cost is an important factor. Should you get the most expensive tool on the market or get the cheapest?
My view is to always go for the best quality you can. For your main heavyweight tools that do most of the work like spades and forks, quality and durability are vital. You may when starting an allotment or garden, either invest less in those tools that don’t take such a beating or leave them until later. If the best quality is simply a mid-range tool then that is fine. Just don’t go for cheap tools, they are a false economy. They do not last and are not so comfortable to use.