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We offer a sampling of tools commonly used for landscaping in the Midwest. The tool companies are constantly coming up with new ideas for tools, and variations of existing designs. What is presented here are the basics, there are thousands of niche tools and variations of landscaping tools which are not presented here. Normally a professional landscaper is not going to have the latest widget on the truck from XYZ Marketing. There are certainly tool fanatics out there that enjoy having a tool for every occasion. In general, purchase the basic tools to get the broadest range of uses out of them and add specialty tools as your budget allows.
Tool quality is most often correlated to the price, given a store with many choices. Pricing between stores may vary substantially. Homeowners often may be able to find a good value in a less expensive yet sturdy, well-made tool. A Contractor who uses the tools every day is more likely to get a better value out of a more expensive tool which is made for daily use versus the homeowner who may use it only a couple times per year.
Quality issues to consider are the gauge of steel, type of steel, how the steel is formed, and if there are additional collars to join handle to the head. Better tool handles are made from high quality wood. Some higher quality tools may have a handle other than wood. Consider the weight differences, flex and likely durability of the handle when choosing. Like any other type of tool, if you use it often you will learn to appreciate the quality.
Even the best shovels are not indestructible. At some point in a landscape construction you will find yourself reefing back to pry a rock or root loose. A shovel is not a pry bar, before reefing on your shovel consider that it’s a 1” round stick, which has a breaking point. Consider this especially if you are physically fit and over 200 lbs. Your foot pressure can be enough to bend the head, and you will be able to break the handle easily when using a shovel as a pry bar.
Another final point to considerate is the weight of the tool. If you are going to put in long days on the end of a tool a lighter tool will use less energy.