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Questions tagged [tools]

For questions about the maintenance, usage, techniques, evaluating, and storage of gardening handheld tools. For questions about larger equipment or machines use the [equipment] tag.

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23 votes
20 answers
15k views

What are the (essential) Tools that every gardener should own?

Credit where credit is due, this idea is pinched from over here: Tools that every Do-it-Yourselfer must own What tools should every gardener own, have at their disposal (preferably essential tools)? ...
15 votes
6 answers
7k views

Should I paint old garden tools?

I've got some old tools (shovels and pitchforks) that were my grandparents. The metal parts look like they were painted (a lot has worn off), I want to sharpen them and fix them up following the ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
  • 9,191
15 votes
3 answers
11k views

Is a dethatching rake significantly better for removing thatch than a regular rake?

My lawn is full of so much thatch that I can bend down and pull up handfuls. I used a steel rake to pull up some today but it is still full of thatch. I feel like I could continue raking for days and ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 398
14 votes
3 answers
914 views

What can I use to quickly and inexpensively create metal plant labels?

Has anyone had experience with creating their own permanent metal plant labels/tags? My grandfather has an old Graphotype machine that he uses to label his metal plant tags, but they're rather ...
Tim Clymer's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the proper technique for using a flame weeder?

How do I use a propane flame weeder in my garden? I want to use it to keep weeds under control but I do not want to harm my vegetables.
bstpierre's user avatar
  • 41.7k
13 votes
2 answers
12k views

Direct sunlight measuring device?

Is there a device on the market (preferably battery or solar operated) which can be left in a garden from dawn to dusk, and afterwards, report on how many hours of direct sunlight it received? I ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
7k views

How do I choose a good tiller (cultivator) for a 1000 sq. ft. garden?

I'm getting ready to till about 1,000 square feet, but the problem is I have no experience buying tillers. However, I don't know much about buying them. What should one look for in a garden tiller ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 449
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

How often should I loosen soil?

I was about this ask this question in a comment from a different question of mine, but I thought it deserved its own question since it may help a fellow novice gardener. How often should I loosen the ...
Justin Helgerson's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
245 views

What qualities should I look for in gardening tools so that they're long lasting?

I've been purchasing most of my lawn equipment from a home improvement store and most of the equipment (rakes, shovels, etc) I have bought from them over the last 2 years has broken during what I ...
Brian's user avatar
  • 1,093
10 votes
5 answers
39k views

I need to mow a lawn filled with Rocks galore

I need a lawn mower that can handle rocks and tall thistle bushes. I go through a lawn mower a year it seems. 90% of our ground is granite with a shallow ground covering. Any suggestions?
Kristal's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
1 answer
897 views

What is the right type of rake for oak leaves, twigs, acorns on a Zoysia lawn?

I haven't had a lawn to speak of in my current home, but am having it sodded with Empire Zoysia in the next couple of weeks. I'll need to clean up oak leaves, twigs and acorns in the front yard on an ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 201
9 votes
8 answers
87k views

How can I weed trim without damaging a fence?

I keep damaging the bottom of my fence with my gas weed trimmer. What is the best way to prevent damage to my fence while using a gas trimmer?
dpollitt's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Uses of the scythe in a modern garden

Recently on a Basque TV channel from Northern Spain I saw a competition between two women scything a meadow against the clock. They were going almost as fast as a modern ride on mower, but were ...
Colin Beckingham's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
46k views

Replacing a strimmer's nylon fibre line?

I bought a Bosch strimmer a couple of years ago - it is a Bosch 3600H78G71 "EasyTrim". There is now no nylon fibre line (which is the bit used for cutting grass) protruding from the spinning part at ...
Jez's user avatar
  • 191
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

What sort of hose nozzle should I look for such that it won't spring a leak after just one frosty night?

I bought a hose nozzle that looked robust (though made mainly of plastic) last year and let it sit out over the winter (temperatures get down to -30 ºC). This spring, naturally, the nozzle was ...
Om Patange's user avatar
  • 2,928
9 votes
2 answers
196 views

Identifying/operating an automatic watering system

I recently bought a house built circa 1970 in France, and it came with an automatic watering system (date of setup unknown, so any time between then and now), controlled by this: I've been unable to ...
C4stor's user avatar
  • 219
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is shovel made of spring steel really worth it?

A local shop offers a shovel made of spring steel (specifically - steel used for leaf springs) which is like twice as expensive as a regular one. The implication is that using special steel makes a ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 1,685
8 votes
1 answer
140 views

What to look for in a good electric chainsaw?

I will need it for clearing large tree limbs and small trees, mostly for storm cleanup in a medium sized yard surrounded by mature, healthy trees. I am looking for recommendations for safety and ...
RI Swamp Yankee's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Taming the jungle, power heads vs old fashioned "weed eater"

I have a back yard I need to tame. Lots of Kudzu and small brush (< 1/2" diameter). Growing up we always used the old fashioned string trimmers. However going to shop now I see very, very few "...
Russell Steen's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
528 views

Are cordless electric string trimmers "good enough" for a medium sized yard?

I recognize that gas trimmers will be less expensive and won't have the battery life issues cordless electric trimmers have (and corded is impractical - too many obstacles in the yard.) BUT! I would ...
RI Swamp Yankee's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
179 views

Can anyone identify producer of this rotary sieve?

I am trying to find the producer of this rotary sieve (image found on now defunct hotbin blog). It is mentioned that it is a Belgian, but not more than that. I'd be also happy with pointers to ...
user37509's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
283 views

Which style of weeding tool for small, densely planted flower beds and raised gardens?

I bought a house with beautiful landscaping: small flowerbeds and decorative shrubs and trees, tucked away in various corners of a hilly, rocky lot. The flower beds are very densely planted. There ...
RI Swamp Yankee's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
163 views

What to look for in a robotic lawnmower?

The idea of a robotic lawn mower is appealing, but it seems that most of the robotic lawn mowers currently on sale are overpromising their delivery somewhat. Amazon reviews are in many cases a mixed ...
Mathieu Dhondt's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
49k views

What is the difference between a spade and a shovel?

I was just reading this article, When would I prefer a shovel with a rounded blade over one with a pointed blade?. The answers said something like, "That's a spade not a shovel". So what is the ...
Coomie's user avatar
  • 2,894
7 votes
3 answers
8k views

Best tool for underground lawn sprinkler system head removal?

My lawn has an underground sprinkler system. Many of the heads are old, leaking, and hard to adjust. So I've been swapping them with Rainbird 5000 series heads. They look like this: Here's the thing. ...
Haney's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I free a stuck ball bearing on a garden hose quick connecter?

I never had this happen but one of the 3 ball bearings on the female end of a Nelson quick connect is stuck. I have tried soaking it in vinegar, and lubricating it with oil. Any tricks or tips to ...
gorav's user avatar
  • 653
7 votes
1 answer
163 views

Identify a doughnut-shaped free-spinning mower part

I serviced my mower this morning and gave it a clean with a hose with a moderate level of water pressure. It appears that I have blown a part off the lawn mower though I am not sure how. I can't ...
radman's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
1 answer
11k views

What tool(s) for cutting ivy stems on trees and walls?

I have some trees and walls which have decades' worth of ivy growth. Some trees in particular have ivy stems as thick as my forearm, and the tree is almost invisible. I plan to start by chopping the ...
Mr. Boy's user avatar
  • 2,507
6 votes
7 answers
29k views

What is the best method/saw to cut through tough palm tree fronds with? (30-foot Queen Palms)

I have a pole saw with a typical pruning saw blade and it works great on fresh green palm fronds (which I really shouldn't be cutting, but I don't want them touching my roof line) but the ones that I ...
PJS1987's user avatar
  • 279
6 votes
4 answers
70k views

What could cause a weak or no spark from a string trimmer's spark plug?

I got a free string trimmer from a buddy who couldn't get it to start. I did a compression check by pulling the pull starter and the compression seemed good. Next I pulled the spark plug, put it ...
mikeazo's user avatar
  • 349
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

What are the right tools and techniques to dig a hole in stony or heavily rooted ground?

I have great soil which is very easy to dig, sadly many trees have taken advantage of this - in some places I want to plant bushes or trees in gaps but everywhere It ry to dig appears to be solid root/...
Mr. Boy's user avatar
  • 2,507
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the name for a weed-eater head with metal or plastic blades?

I am looking for a weed-eater head that does not have any plastic thread spool or ongoing feeder. It should have metal or sturdy plastic blades that don't wear away quickly? I am (a) sick of having ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is it possible to turn a tumbler compost too frequently?

Related: How often do you need to turn the compost heap? I have a tumbler composter. When I put my food scraps in it - roughly once a day - I also put in a handful of leaves that I have saved from ...
Longdaysjourneyintocode's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can I reduce the pressure and flow to only part of an irrigation system?

I'm designing a more permanent tree irrigation system for my property to replace the makeshift only I currently have that uses garden hoses. To water the trees, I've settled on non-pressurized lines ...
iLikeDirt's user avatar
  • 1,565
6 votes
1 answer
180 views

English word for a "soil filter machine"?

Does anyone know what this machine is called in English? It is used to put soil in, and when it turns only the fine soil comes out below and the big rocks out at the end.
Sandra Schlichting's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Should I trim my conifer hedge with shears or an electric trimmer?

Are there reasons to select hedge shears vs electric trimmers when trimming a conifer hedge? I have about 30 meters to trim, and haven't purchased either of these yet. Which option would you choose ...
drake035's user avatar
  • 335
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

When would I prefer a shovel with a rounded blade over one with a pointed blade?

I've got used to shovels that have a pointed blade like this: which is more or less the right shape for digging ground. Now the very same shovel (same handle, same everything) comes in this design ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 1,685
6 votes
1 answer
178 views

What are these garden tools used for?

I received a set of garden tools, and I'm not sure what a couple of them are used for. Could you help me identify these tools?
kleinejenn's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the typical "mileage" for a gasoline chainsaw?

I want to roughly compare a gasoline-powered chainsaw to a battery-powered one. I can't find any quotes on how many cuts (and of what specific material) a gasoline chainsaw can do on some specific ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 1,685
6 votes
2 answers
62 views

Can I put a one minute delay on my hose so I don't get wet when the sprinkler turns on?

All I want is a water timer with about a 1-minute delay for those times that I have to run away after starting it and still get wet. Like when I'm ready to go to work and don't want those clothes to ...
Sheilla's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
1 answer
81 views

How can I dissolve the gunked up fertilizer in a Scotts Turfbuilder drop spreader?

My spreader is gunked up with fertilizer so that the agitator does not spread out the fertilizer and seed anymore. How can I dissolve the fertilizer that is gunked in the agitator so that the spreader ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
44 views

What's a better solution than manual/gasoline corn and bean seeder?

I already asked on Electrical Engineering how to adapt an electric motor to a manual seeder. I followed the advice of a commenter to ask on this site, so that people here may have a better solution ...
srglrr's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is this compost bin rodent-proof?

Is this compost bin rodent-proof? If not, how to find a similar but rodent-proof or at least relatively safe one in that regard? I want put put a compost bin in my backyard and put my food waste (...
qazwsx's user avatar
  • 287
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to replace my gas hedge trimmer rope starter

The rope starter for my Craftsman Gas Hedge Trimmer disconnected from the engine while pulling to start. Please explain how to reattach this rope starter. I am a DIY individual. Thanks for your help.
user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
18k views

Getting gardening stakes in stony ground

I need to get some stakes into the ground surrounding my garden, as my neighborhood has large populations of deer. However, the ground is pretty stony, so just physically forcing the stakes down into ...
huntmaster's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
41k views

Can my weed wacker designed for .065" (1.651 mm) trimmer line handle .08" (2 mm) one?

I have a Ryobi P2200 hybrid weed whacker. It takes .065" (1.651 mm) trimmer line. I have found better deals and much better shaped line. I have found a piece of (plastic) wire that was exactly .08" (2 ...
Ljk2000's user avatar
  • 2,572
5 votes
2 answers
980 views

What is the gardening purpose of an l-shaped groove knife hand tool?

What is the gardening purpose of an l-shaped groove knife? (credits to http://www.chillingtontoolsonline.com/groove-knife-p62 ) It appears to be a weeding or cultivation tool, a little-bit like a "...
Samuel Russell's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
189 views

What is the risk of using 4% 2T mixture in a chainsaw that needs 2% 2T?

I accidentally ran a Stihl MS 261 chainsaw on a 4% mixture for 3 tanks instead of the 2% oil to gas mixture it should have had. Would this have done any damage to the machine should I do anything ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
202 views

Bulldog Edging Knife Useless

I was all excited yesterday when I got home from work. I had received an email from Amazon saying my new Bulldog Edging Knife had been delivered. I opened up the box, unwrapped the tool, and was so ...
J86's user avatar
  • 355
5 votes
1 answer
209 views

What could be wrong with this leaf blower?

A little over a year ago, after complaining about the amount of cord I had to use with our electric leaf blower I was gifted an inexpensive gas blower. A Ryobi 150 mph 400 CFM Gas Blower Vac from home ...
matchew's user avatar
  • 235