The Most Commonly Used Landscaping Tools

Many of the tools required for landscaping are very versatile and can be used for many DIY projects. Therefore, it is well worth investing in a few high-quality tools that will last many years.
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©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Square-Mouth Shovel

The side edges of a shovel's blade are curved, making it more suitable for lifting large loads. A shovel like this is ideal for lifting loose material, such as aggregate, and it is perfect for loading cement mixers with sand and cement. The rotating handle grip means there is no need to adjust your grip when shoveling.

Trench Shovel

This tool is ideal for digging channels because of its long, rigid blade. Blades on most shovels and spades are made of some form of hardened steel. The best-quality shovel or spade blades should make a ringing sound rather than a dull thud when tapped against a hard object.

Round-Mouth Shovel

The wide, pointed blade makes this tool suitable for both digging and lifting. The pointed end is perfect for cutting into surfaces.

Spade

Spades are lighter than shovels and have a straighter, sharper blade, which makes them better suited for digging. Blades are generally made of some form of hardened steel. The best-quality shovel or spade blades should make a ringing sound, rather than a dull thud, when tapped against a hard object.

Types of Handles

The three main types are the D-shape, T-shape and straight handle. Although the handles of shovels and spades are traditionally made of wood, it is now possible to buy tools with handles made of nonconductive, synthetic materials such as fiberglass or poly-propylene. These come in a variety of shapes and lengths, and are aimed at providing greater comfort.

Dealing With Hard Ground

On hard ground, grip a D-handle at the sides so that when the blade strikes, your hands can slip slightly down the sides of the D and reduce the effect of the impact. Make sure your grip is strong enough to control the tool, but not so tight that you risk injury. Keep your wrists and forearms straight and wear gloves or fix padding to the handle to reduce jarring.

Wheelbarrows

A lightweight garden wheelbarrow may be too flimsy to deal with some heavy-duty tasks. Wheelbarrows with a tubular steel frame are sturdy enough to deal with relatively heavy building materials and rubble. Look for a model that has the top of wheelbarrow angled so that it is horizontal when lifted.

Pickax

The heavy head has one chisel-shaped end and one pointed end. A pickax is designed to break up ground surfaces and is particularly useful for loosening up rocky ground before it can be cleared. The long, thick handle enables the user to swing the tools with both hands.

Tamper

A tamper is a very useful tool for compacting crushed stone or gravel. It has a long, steel tubular shaft that allows the user to apply pressure on the small surface area below.

Post-Hole Digger

This tool is used for digging deep, narrow holes for fences and gate posts. Digging this type of hole would not be possible using the broader blade of a standard spade or shovel. If you need to dig a number of post holes, consider renting an auger. Post-hole diggers have a handle attached to each blade, and the blades are curved for cutting cylindrical holes.

Rake

Use a rake for leveling and smoothing loose surfaces. Look for a reinforced shank for sturdiness and a rust-resistant head.

Yard Brush

A sturdy yard brush is essential for keeping hard ground surfaces clear and tidy. Rigid, densely packed bristles are very hardwearing.