DIY Tools

8 Top Tools for Taming Your Landscape

Yard maintenance doesn't have to be so hard. Gone are the days of struggling under the weight of unwieldy loppers or blistering hands with poor work gloves. The editors have rounded up a handful of handy and ergonomic tools to help you make quick work of yard work.

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Tools For Any Task

Once you have a yard, it’s time to acquaint yourself with some maintenance basics. Performing simple tasks like pruning bushes and clearing away storm damaged brush, if not a joy of home ownership, is almost invariably easier and more affordable than calling a pro. But in order to do the job well, you’ll want to use quality tools that last—and without breaking the bank. Here are 8 favorites we’d recommend for DIYers of nearly any skill level.

Premier Pruners

If your landscape includes shrubs and small trees that require constant care, it’s time to invest in comfortable, high-quality hand pruners. Felco makes perhaps the finest on the market. While $50 may seem like a lot to spend, remember that you’re buying a tool that not only lasts a lifetime, but can also be a joy to use. Available on Amazon; $49.20.

Related:  Living Fences—11 Boundary-Setting Solutions

Great Gloves

Atlas gardening gloves are like a second skin compared with typical, bulky gardening gloves. Originally designed for precision assemblers, these puncture-resistant gloves are astonishingly gentle on the hands, making them perfect for garden use. Available on Amazon; $16.95.

Related: Garden in Comfort with These 10 Ergonomic Tools

Maxi Lopper

The Florian Max Lopper sets itself apart from other similar products by its powerful ratcheting function. The mechanism increases the power of the jaws up to a full 700 percent, allowing you to cut faster and with less strain. Its ease of use makes this the perfect tool for storm cleanup and seasonal maintenance alike. Available on Amazon; $192.21.

Related: How To—Prune a Tree

No-Nonsense Nozzles

These days, a poor-quality hose attachment doesn’t last long. Not so with the Dramm Fogg-It nozzles. Made of heavy-duty, solid brass, these nozzles are built to withstand normal garden wear and are designed to resist clogs. They’re available in several different spray strengths and patterns, so there’s a nozzle for any manner of outdoor work, from watering tender seedlings to spraying off a wood deck. Available on Amazon; $11.68.

Related: Garden Hose Storage—10 Stylish Solutions

Back-Saving Broadfork

Establishing a new garden? If you don’t like working with a tiller, try an old-fashioned broadfork. Especially for larger areas, a broadfork can be much more forgiving on your back than other aerating tools, because the broadfork achieves better leverage through the combination of your body weight and its twin long-handled design. Available from Johnny Seeds; $199.

Related: Rejuvenate Your Lawn with 7 Spring Musts

Champion Chain Saw

Not every homeowner has occasion to actually use, let alone purchase, a chain saw. But if you’re one of the few who really needs the sort of brawny tool that’s capable of ripping through tree trunks, look no further. Pros recognize Stihl chain saws as among the very best in the category. Though the company offers plenty of more powerful models, the best for do-it-yourselfers is the well-regarded 271 model, which features a 20-inch bar, excellent balance, manageable weight, and ample horsepower. Available from Murdoch’s; $419.95

Related: Buyer’s Guide—Chain Saws

Fiskars Pruning Stik

If you’re armed with 12 feet of Fiskars Pruning Stik, few trees are too tall for maintenance. With its adjustable-angle head and impressive length, this tool works well for cutting high branches or vines without having to pull out a ladder, and it’s great for maneuvering through dense shrubbery to prune those hard-to-reach spots. Available on Amazon; $100.

Related: New & Notable—12 Gadgets to Tech Out Your Garden

Corona Razor Pruning Saw

Don’t let the greenest of branches in your backyard stop you from getting the job done. Cutting down medium to large branches becomes a snap when you invest in the Corona Razor Tooth Pruning Saw. Its curved blade works in your favor to sink more teeth into any given branch—meaning faster, easier slicing on dead or live tree limbs. Available on Amazon; $31.

Related: How To—Remove a Tree Stump

Garden Gear

Every job is easier—including landscaping—when you have the right tools.