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Whether you have a natural green thumb or are a novice gardener, having the right tools on hand is essential to having a seamless and pain-free gardening experience. In fact, many tried-and-true basics, like a hand trowel, spade and shovel are designed to reduce the physical strain and effort of watering, planting, pruning, mulching and weeding, says Sasandra Roche, co-owner of The Farm, a nursery and garden center in Orleans, Massachusetts.
Roche’s family has operated The Farm since 1974, and through the years she has seen traditional gadgets evolve to be more adjustable, multifunctional, lighter in weight and more durable and ergonomic — all of which aim to help both you and your garden stay healthy and strong.
Below, we’re sharing a roundup of top-rated garden tools that are ergonomic, versatile, durable and available for purchase right now on Amazon.
Our top picks
How we picked the best gardening tools
We asked Roche what to look for when shopping for essential gardening tools and rounded up a list of highly rated options on Amazon based on the following factors:
Durability: Gardening tools should typically last at least 10 years with constant use, according to Roche. Ideally, they should be rust-resistant, easy to clean and made of strong materials, like steel and hardwood.
Weight: Gardening is time consuming, so lugging around a heavy hose or shovel will ultimately cause fatigue and strain your muscles and back, says Roche. She recommends looking for tools that are lightweight without sacrificing durability.
Comfort: Gone are the days when you have to crouch, reach and strain now that there are so many ergonomic products on the market, says Roche. She recommends looking for gloves that are thick and have a long sleeve to avoid cuts and scratches when pruning, knee pads with extra-thick padding, tools that have a long reach to avoid straining your back and hand tools with a comfortable, more ergonomic grip.
Versatility: Any tool that’s multifunctional is ideal, says Roche. For example, she recommends purchasing a hand trowel that comes with a serrated edge so you can also cut roots.
Best Amazon gardening tools in 2023
We chose the below items based on Roche’s expert guidance. All of our picks are highly rated for durability, strength and comfort.
4.7-star average rating from over 6,000 Amazon reviews
The most important gardening tool is your gloves, according to Roche. “Gloves make for a more pleasant experience and protect your hands from blisters, rashes, cuts and bites.” She recommends a washable glove that has a long sleeve to keep your forearm safe when cutting things like roses and evergreens. These elbow-length pruning gloves are breathable and made of 100% natural pigskin, with extra padding on the palm and fingertips to avoid punctures, according to the brand. Plus, they are also machine washable.
Handlandy Pruning Gloves
4.7-star average rating from over 38,000 Amazon reviews
A bypass pruner has two blades that glide past each other to cleanly cut soft branches and leaves. Roche recommends looking for rust-resistant shears that have a coated, comfortable grip. The Fiskars Bypass Pruning Shears are made of steel, so they won’t rust easily, and can cut through stems and small branches up to 5/8 inch thick, according to the brand. The blades are also coated so sap won’t stick to them, according to Fiskars.
Fiskars Bypass Pruning Shears
4.7-star average rating from over 6,900 Amazon reviews
Garden tools with a multipurpose design are always a plus, says Roche. This hand trowel not only turns over soil, but also has a dual-sided serrated edge to cut through hard patches, rocky clay and tough roots. It has a 12-inch blade made of carbon steel, so it won’t break or bend while digging, according to the brand. Additionally, its nonslip rubber handle is oversized for comfort, and it comes with a carrying sheath that you can clip onto your belt, as detailed on the brand’s website.
SE Dual-Serrated Hand Trowel
SE Dual-Serrated Hand Trowel $ at Amazon
4.8-star average rating from over 5,000 Amazon reviews
Like the hand trowel above, this digging shovel is also a multipurpose tool. Its inverted V-shaped blade makes it easy to dig through hard-packed rocky soil, while the serrated edges tear through tough roots. Its ergonomic circular handle is designed to reduce stress on your hands and wrist too, according to the brand. Additionally, the carbon-steel, shock-, scratch- and impact-resistant blade is powder coated to protect it from corrosion, according to Radius Garden. Plus, it also comes with a lifetime warranty in the continental U.S.
Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel
4.7-star average rating from over 7,800 Amazon reviews
Spades have a flat edge and are ideal for creating border edges or transporting soil, says Roche, who recommends one with a long shaft so you can dig deep without straining your back. At less than 5 pounds, the Fiskars Garden Spade is quite lightweight. It has a weather- and corrosion-resistant steel blade and shaft that can accommodate even tall gardeners. An extra-large handle offers two-handed control when digging, and it has a foot platform so you can step on it to help force the blade into hard-packed soil, according to the brand.
Fiskars Garden Spade
4.5-star average rating from over 38,000 Amazon reviews
This bamboo weeder has a 45-inch shaft so gardeners can pull weeds without bending, kneeling and pulling with their hands. It works by thrusting the metal claw into the center of a weed and pulling. You can use it on most softer soil types, especially after a rainfall, according to the brand.
4.7-star average rating from over 700 Amazon reviews
A hand rake is ideal for tight spaces and for removing debris and leaves from delicate plants, says Roche. You can also use it to cultivate, turn and loosen soil when preparing to plant flowers and vegetables. This Garden Guru rake weighs less than a pound and has stainless-steel prongs that gently remove sticks, leaves and other debris from around plants without damaging them. Its ergonomic handle is designed to alleviate pressure on the palm and fingers and reduce hand and wrist fatigue, according to the brand. It also has a hole on the handle so you can hang it up when not in use.
Garden Guru Hand Rake
4.6-star average rating from over 1,700 Amazon reviews
A traditional rake is a must-have for any gardener, to clean leaves, grass clippings and other small debris off your lawn. The versatility of this Tabor Tools model makes it unique: The rake’s teeth can expand anywhere from 8 inches to 23 inches and lock into place at any width in between. The slim silhouette allows you to clean tight spaces, such as under hedges or in between flower beds, without switching to a hand rake. It also has a steel telescopic handle that collapses from 63 inches down to 32 inches, making it easy to store. Its teeth are made of galvanized steel, so they are resistant to rust and corrosion too, according to the brand.
Tabor Tools Adjustable Metal Rake
Tabor Tools Adjustable Metal Rake $ at Amazon
4.2-star average rating from over 2,400 Amazon reviews
We featured this hoe/three-prong cultivator hybrid in our guide on essential gardening tools. Its dual design lets you complete a variety of jobs including weeding, composting, spreading mulch, clearing away debris and loosening soil. Gardeners can use one side of the tool to prep and weed beds and the other to dig holes for the plants. An added plus: The handle extends to 35 inches to reduce back strain.
Martha Stewart Telescopic 3-Prong Culti-Hoe
Martha Stewart Telescopic 3-Prong Culti-Hoe $ at Amazon
Martha Stewart Telescopic 3-Prong Culti-Hoe $ at Walmart
4.5-star average rating from over 34,000 Amazon reviews
“Nothing is more frustrating than carrying around a heavy hose that always kinks when you’re trying to water,” says Roche, adding that the ideal weight for any standard hose is under 15 pounds. This 100-foot hose — the longest in the Flexzilla lineup — is 14.4 pounds and featured in our guide to the best garden hoses. It won’t kink under pressure, coils easily and lays flat, according to the brand. Its outer cover is abrasion-resistant while its aluminum fittings are crush-resistant, according to Flexzilla.
Flexzilla Garden Hose
4.5-star average rating from over 4,300 Amazon reviews
If you don’t have a sprinkler system, or just want to place your watering needs on autopilot, a timer can be your best friend. This single-dial, battery-powered timer has an easy-to-read oversized display and attaches directly on to your hose. Screw one end of your hose to your faucet and the other end to a sprinkler and set your desired runtime. It can run up to four hours at a time and you can program it to go off starting every six hours to once every seven days. It also has a manual turnoff button so you can use your hose without removing the timer.
Orbit Single-Dial Hose Watering Timer
Orbit Single-Dial Hose Watering Timer $ at Amazon
4.6-star average rating from over 2,400 Amazon reviews
This adjustable nozzle fits onto the end of your hose and provides varying forces of water pressure. Flowering plants need a gentler spray than shrubs, says Roche. She advises looking for a nozzle that has multiple spray settings and is lightweight like this one from Aqua Joe. The accessory has seven spray patterns — jet, shower, flat, center, cone, soaker and mist — that you can adjust by sliding your thumb up or down on the ergonomic rubber hand grip, according to the brand.
Aqua Joe Metal Adjustable Hose Nozzle
Aqua Joe Metal Adjustable Hose Nozzle $ at Amazon
Aqua Joe Metal Adjustable Hose Nozzle $ at Home Depot
4.5-star average rating from over 6,700 Amazon reviews
Like a garden nozzle, a watering wand also has adjustable pressure settings which you can use to water your lawn, shrubs and flowers. This wand, available in both 16 inches and 24 inches, is made of lightweight aluminum, and can reach high overhead hanging baskets and window boxes. It has generous holes and curves to mimic a shower head and has a clip that keeps the nozzle open so you can spray continuously without tiring your hand.
Green Mount Watering Wand
Green Mount Watering Wand $ at Amazon
4.7-star average rating from over 2,600 Amazon reviews
Kneeling pads are great for taking pressure off the body when gardening, says Roche. You can kneel on this multifunctional model directly or use it as a garden seat. It comes with a tool pouch that attaches to the chair so you can have your must-have items right by your side when you need them. The cushion is made of foam, and because the kneeler seat weighs just 5.7 pounds, it’s not too difficult to carry around the yard.
Home & Garden Trends Garden Kneeler and Seat
Home & Garden Trends Garden Kneeler and Seat $ at Amazon
4.9-star average rating from over 1,200 Amazon reviews
If you have a vegetable garden, this basket makes it easy to not only collect your harvest, but to clean it too. One side is a colander for washing your produce (it has drain holes so the water can fall through); the other is for your clean tools or just-cleaned produce to sit or soak.
Fiskars Garden Harvest Basket
Fiskars Garden Harvest Basket $ at Amazon
What to consider when starting a garden
When planning a garden for the first time, Roche says the following five considerations are key:
Choose the proper location. Determining the location of your garden is a crucial first step, according to Roche. You’ll want to consider how much sunlight your plants need and make sure your location is near a water source.
Plants that require “full sun” need at least six hours of direct sunlight a day; plants that require partial sun, also referred to as partial shade, require three to six hours of sun a day, and those that thrive in full shade require less than three hours of direct sunlight a day. Vegetable gardens tend to need bright sunny spots, while ferns and certain varieties of hosta, also called a plantain lily, thrive in shade.
Be realistic about your time commitment. Sometimes people take on too big of a project and don’t have success, according to Roche. “Starting out with a pot or a window box is a great first step, especially if you’re not home to water and maintain a garden.” she says. “A garden needs an hour of your time each day, nothing less; hanging baskets need just 15 minutes.”
Don’t overwater. The best practice is to water directly on the root zone, according to Roche. “If you have a sunny spot, make sure you water really well, let it dry out and then water again,” she says.
Focus on one area at a time. Roche recommends starting with the area at the edge of your driveway or, if you work from home, the area just outside the window where you look out.
Tap available resources. The National Gardening Association website offers tips on how to get started and how to improve your skills, and also helps gardeners connect and share ideas with each other. They also have a database of over 700,000 plants, detailing sun requirements, water needs and more.
What are the biggest benefits of gardening?
Gardening is like therapy and can be a great stress reducer, says Roche. “Gardening affects so many senses — feel, touch, smell,” she says. It also increases physical activity and fuels social connections: “During Covid especially, parents were teaching their kids to garden, and that will be passed on.”
Meet the Expert
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
Why trust Select?
Barbara Booth has written a number of guides on bestselling and highly rated products you can buy on Amazon that simplify your life, including the best organizational products for your home, best car accessories and the best travel accessories. For this piece, Barbara interviewed a gardening expert and researched dozens of top-rated essential tools on Amazon that align with expert guidance.