The different types of gardening tools include short- and long-handled hand tools as well as garden power tools. Common garden tools include the shovel, spade, trowel, spading fork, rake, hoe, weeder, tiller and pruning shears. These tools are used with other gardening items such as a wheelbarrow, hose and watering can to create and maintain yards and gardens.
Shovels, spades and trowels are the three types of garden tools that tend to cause the most confusion in matching the correct name with each tool. Garden spades look like shovels except they are much flatter. Spades are square edged and are ideal for digging along edges of flower beds or for creating precise, straight-sided holes for planting. Shovels have a deeper center and are more curved than spades because they are made for scooping and moving piles of dirt and debris. Trowels look like spades and may be wide or narrow, but they are longer and more pointed for use in lifting plants and in digging small holes for planting bulbs or seeds.
A spading fork is flat and square like a spade, but has long metal fork tines. The spading fork is the ideal garden tool to use for breaking up chunks of dirt. A garden rake has metal fork tines and the raking head is angled to cover a large surface. Garden rakes are used for raking over soil to help remove rocks and even out the level of flower beds. Lawn rakes, which may be made of bamboo, plastic, or lightweight metal, differ from garden rakes in that they are not made for use in soil, but are used to rake up leaves on grass lawns.
Hoes are flat-angled garden tools with a distinctive solid metal shape that varies from rectangular with curved top edges to diamond-shaped. They are good tools to use for digging up weeds and for smoothing the soil around plants. Some types of garden hoes have a flat metal section on one side and a double-pronged weeding tool on the other. All hand-held garden tools have straight handles or D-shaped ones. The best one to use depends on what a gardener is able to work with the most efficiently and comfortably.
Popular power garden tools include grass trimmers for cutting areas of grass lawns that are difficult to reach with a lawn mower. Gas-powered rotary tillers are machines used to chop up larger areas of soil to prepare them to be used for planting seeds, plants or bulbs. Pruning shears are available in hand and power-controlled types. Pruning shears are necessary garden tools to have for any garden because they are used for trimming plants and removing dead branches. Pruning shears or clippers also help gardeners give hedges a neat shape.