With the right tools, any job time can be cut in half. Whether you’re trying to get better at lawn care or getting your garden ready for Spring and Summer, there is a piece of equipment for you. I’ll fill you in on the 5 tools that will make gardening and lawn care easier, and tell you how to use them to their full potential.
5 Tools That Will Make Your Life Easier
Sure, there are a lot of pieces of power equipment out there, but I feel like some are for folks that have a lot of yard space, have specific needs, or are into landscaping. The tools below are for EVERYONE. Whether you have a smaller yard like mine or 10 acres, these tools are a must-have.
- Leaf Blowers
- Hedge Trimmers
- String Trimmers
- Mini Tiller/Cultivator
- The Perfect Mower* (see below for details)
Don’t forget the safety equipment when working with tools of any kind!
How They’re Used
It might be tough to tell how useful these tools would be for you until you know what they’re for. I’ll go through their uses first, then we can dive into how you can find the right tool for your needs.
If you’ve ever raked your whole yard or had to sweep the steps and driveway, you know it isn’t all fun and games. Leaf Blowers help keep your yard, patio, porch, and driveway clean and clear.
Would you rather grab some hedge clippers and attempt to get even-looking hedges for hours or plug in a machine that you guide around and finish in half the time? I think we would all choose the second option. This machine lets you trim those pesky twigs faster and allows you to cut more at a time so you can make one or two passes for trimmed, even hedges!
Right next to the house, beside the fence, the edge of the drive or walkway, and right next to landscaping bricks and blocks. What do all of these spots have in common? Well, you can’t or don’t want to mow the grass in those spots. String trimmers allow you to cut the grass down in tough to reach areas. Plus, you can use these tools to cut up leaves in your compost pile!
Preparing the flower beds and garden for planting can be a pain. Unless your garden is very small or you only grow potted plants, you probably need a Mini Tiller/Cultivator. They dig into the hard earth after the cold winter and blend it into soft, breathable dirt. And, if you need to mix in fertilizers or minerals into the ground, a Mini Tiller/Cultivator will do the trick.
I’m sure you have some type of lawn mower and know how to use it. However, you may not be using the proper lawn mower for your yard size. I have a walk-behind self-propelled mower for my yard. It works great, but I would hate using the same mower to handle a larger space. **See the information below to see if you have the proper mower for your ground space.
“What Tool is Best for Me and My Lawn?”
We all know that you don’t always need the biggest, most-expensive tool to get a small job done. Below, I’ll give my suggestions based on small, medium, large yard size. I’d ask you to trust me on this, but hey, I’d rather you decide for yourself. So, give the model/tool a try and tell me if it doesn’t save you time and energy.
You have a few choices when it comes to leaf blowers:
- Corded, Battery-Powered, Gas
- Backpack or Handheld
- With or Without Extras
- Vaccum (Built-in Bag)
Corded vs Battery/Gas Powered
Unless you are only planning to use your blower in spaces close to an outlet and don’t plan to use it much, I would go for a cordless leaf blower. You don’t have to worry about carrying around an extension cord or tripping over one.
Battery vs Gas Powered is really based on preference. I like my battery powered blower because I can simply lock in my battery and I’m ready to go; no pull cord, no running to get gas in the middle of a project. I just keep an extra battery handy and I’m ready to go. Try this DeWALT Lawn Leaf Blower!
If you prefer a gas blower, try the Poulan PRO 2-Cycle Blower. It has mulching capabilities and a cruise control option to remain at a constant speed.
Backpack vs Handheld
This depends on the amount of space you have and how much time you’re planning on using your leaf blower. For a professional landscaper or if you help out a neighbor or friend with their yard, a backpack blower might be right for you. This DeWALT Backpack Blower has an active second battery for extended run time. Plus, they are easier to work with for extended periods of time.
Handheld blowers work just as well, but I would suggest these for personal use. Certain models can be a bit hefty, so make sure you are willing to carry that amount of weight while you’re working. Handheld blowers, like this Milwaukee M18 FUEL, take up less space in the shop and work great for the space I have.
If you compost or mulch, a blower with extras like a mulcher and vacuum could be exactly what you need. The Sun Joe 3 in 1 Blower comes with a bag attached so you can mulch up leaves and twigs with ease. Just carry the bag to the compost pile and dump them in.
If you don’t have at least 3 hedges/bushes, I would say you can avoid buying a hedge trimmer. But, if you have a few hedges in the front, go ahead and pick up a trimmer. They don’t take up much space and hedge maintenance will be easier than ever.
There are corded and cordless options for hedge trimmers as well. If your hedges are all close enough to an outlet, you shouldn’t need a cordless trimmer. Try this Black & Decker 22″ Corded Hedge Trimmer. It’s heavy-duty and has dual-action blades to cut from either side.
However, if you have a lot of space and don’t want to worry about an extension cord, try this Echo 21.2CC Hedge Trimmer. It has a 20″, double-sided, blade that makes trimming the hedges feel more like cutting butter with a hot knife.
Trimmers and string come in all shapes and sizes. One note I would like to make is there are stringless options out there. If you absolutely hate dealing with trimmer line, try a Sun Joe SharperBlade Stringless Trimmer/Edger. It comes with a handy blade so it won’t get caught on anything and you won’t have to deal with a restringing mess.
For a reliable string trimmer, I would start off with a Black & Decker EASYFEED Trimmer/Edger. You can switch between the 2 speeds to increase power or runtime, and this model comes with 2 Lithium-Ion Batteries!
If you do much gardening in flower beds or vegetable gardens, I would recommend a mini tiller. They make getting your soil ready so much easier. If you have a very small garden or have mostly potted plants, I would say getting a tiller may be an unneeded expense.
For a personal vegetable garden small-medium sized, I would recommend this Southland Mini Garden Cultivator. It doesn’t take up as much space as some larger models and it’s built to give the operator more control.
For large gardens or if you need a tiller for professional use, the Husqvarna Rear-Tine Tiller will do the trick. Power forward and reverse make this tiller easy to push around, and the engine is powerful enough to handle any conditions you might throw at it.
The Perfect Mower
For 1/2 acre or less, you can use a walk-behind mower. Anything larger than 1/2 acre, you should try a riding mower or lawn tractor.
Medium – Large Yards
What Equipment Do You Use?
I’ve shared a bit about my equipment and my lawn and garden needs. What tools do you use now? What would you like to try out? Let me know in the comment section below.
Check out our Lawn and Garden category for more tips on improving your lawn.
As the weather gets nicer and nicer, we’ll look into some uncommon tools that you can use. If you have any questions about some power equipment you’ve seen on ruralking.com, tell me. I’ll try to write about how it’s used and some circumstance you might need it for.