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Long-handled tools usually offer greater leverage and reach, and often allow working from a standing position. Short-handled tools are lighter in weight, usually less expensive, more compact to store than the long-handled varieties, and allow one to work efficiently in confined spaces or while kneeling.
Handles are commonly constructed of wood (requires some additional maintenance to keep splinter-free), fiberglass or plastic (check for cracks), and sometimes metal (check for corrosion and cracks). In no particular order, some of the more common hand gardening tools are listed below (the same tool may have several different common names). Round-nosed Shovel Used for heavy digging and mixing, such as when incorporating soil amendments or preparing planting holes. Square-nosed Shovel : The flat blade allows it to be used to scoop up materials, level high spots in the soil, and cut straight lines through sod and soil. Bow or Garden Rake: This is a heavy rake with short, stiff tines supported by a flat or bow-shaped metal frame.
Leaf Rake : A light rake with long, thin, flexible tines designed to gather leaves or other light materials. Garden Hose: Used to provide supplemental water to your plants, clean items, and sometimes to assist in applying fertilizers or pesticides. Cultivator : A tool with heavy curved or bent tines, or sometimes multiple spinning blades, designed to open up and aerate the soil.


Garden Knife : Useful for cutting twine and plant ties, opening bags, plant propagation, opening up plant root balls, and general garden use. String Trimmer : These devices use a heavy string (usually plastic) on a revolving head to trim grass and light plant material. A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. You don't have to buy the most expensive tools available when starting to garden; if you find later that you either don't need a specific tool, or don't care for gardening as an activity, you will not have lost a large investment. Common short-handled tools include hand pruners and clippers, hoes, garden trowels, and cultivators. This is only a basic list, for there are many styles and variations of these and other tools available to the home gardener. They are used to open up the ground, dig bulbs, incorporate soil amendments, and turn compost.
It is used for raking heavy materials, removing rocks and other debris from the soil, and smoothing the soil in preparation for planting.
The cultivator styles with tines are also used to mix materials and to effectively loosen weed roots.
They may have either anvil or bypass blades, and some of the heavy-duty versions have ratchet mechanisms for additional power.


The safest styles have a sturdy fixed blade (often with serrations) which will not collapse on your fingers during use. Some axes have a double blade, others a flat end on the head which is used to carefully drive wooden stakes (not metal, which might make the tempered axe head chip), while others have a flat, transverse grubbing blade on the head for the removal of roots (these are called a Pulaski, garden or grubbing axe).
Walk-behind mowers may be powered by gasoline or electricity; some power mowers may be either self-propelled or riding mowers. Pruning saws may also be mounted on long handles which allows higher branches to be cut from the ground (these styles often have a rope-controlled lopper in addition to the saw). Often a combination tool is found, which has a mattock on one end of the tool head, and a pickaxe on the other end.
Power mowers often can be configured to mulch or "grasscycle" clippings (returning the clippings to the lawn).



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