Best garden tools: great garden gadgets
Don’t keep up with the Joneses, be the Joneses with the best garden tools.
‘Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade,’ as Rudyard Kipling once pointed out. So if you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to start a love affair with your garden by giving it some TLC and using a selection of the best garden tools.
If you’ve never planted a seed or pulled out a weed, a blooming garden is achievable and with the right tools and it won’t take too much effort either.
We’ve searched high and low to find the most useful and intuitive garden gadgets around. We’ve chosen designs that are ergonomic – to avoid backache – and those that are efficient and time saving – to give you more time to enjoy a G&T afterwards.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro with fingers as green as the Incredible Hulk, or a novice to all things horticulture, these gadgets will make it easy to get your garden looking luscious in lockdown.
Take a closer look at our pick of the best garden tools below to create a fertile looking lawn and get your flowerbeds ready for action.
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Best garden tools
1. Draper Weed Burner
A great alternative to chemical weed killer, the electric Draper Weed Burner tool provides a more eco-friendly and pet-safe way to tackle unforgiving weeds on your lawn, patio or front drive. It works by transmitting bursts of thermal heat that zap the unwanted plant cells from root to tip, and its directive cone ensures the treatment is precise so you don’t risk damaging surrounding plants and foliage.
2. Stihl GTA 26 Cordless Garden Pruner
The STIHL GTA 26 cordless garden pruner is great for trimming hedges, trees and shrubs. You can use it to cut unruly branches and twigs that are making your garden look shabby, or chop perfectly sliced wood cookies for the fire, for example. It features a saw chain for a high-performance cut with minimum effort needed on your part. The well-balanced design gives a low vibration and low noise level while in operation too. At 1.4kg you’ll be surprised at how lightweight it to hold, and with a rechargeable battery that can handle up 80 4cm logs in one go, it will give you a good innings too.
3. Flymo Mighti-Mo 300 Li Cordless Lawnmower
A great value model, the Flymo Mighti-Mo 300 Li cordless lawnmower did well in the Shortlist best cordless lawnmower test. Reasonably priced for a cordless lawnmower, it comes with five grass cutting settings - between 25mm and 65mm. At 9.9kg, it is also one of the most lightweight cordless lawnmowers we’ve tested. Its handle is easy to assemble and body flexible enough to push around the lawn. A good option for small to medium sized lawns, use it to cut up to 250m2 on a full 120-minute charge, which is surely more than enough mowing for one day.
4. Aquazoom Sprinkler
There’s no need to waste time standing around with a hose to water your plants and lawn after a hot day – opt for a decent sprinkler to do the time-consuming watering for you and you’ll reap the benefits with a lush looking lawn. Unlike standard sprinklers, the Aquazoom Sprinkler covers a wide area from 28 to 350 sq m and is great for use on lawns, beds and borders. The sprinkler is very precise – you can adjust the range from 7-21 metres, and its width from 4-17 metres - so you only water exactly where you need.
5. Burgon & Ball National Trust Secateurs
No garden tool kit is complete without a decent set of hand secateurs for quickly snipping through small branches on shrubs and young trees. These Burgon & Ball National Trust secateurs are particularly stylish and are a design you’ll want to treasure and pass down through the generations. The perfectly aligned blades are designed to create an edge that will retain sharpness and give you a clean cut every time, while the steel blade runs the length of the FSC hardwood handles to create a robust design. The handles are finished with beautiful brass rivets too.
6. Husqvarna Automower 305 Robotic Mower
For those who want to enjoy the benefits of a freshly cut lawn, without having to lift a finger, then a robotic lawnmower is the answer. Look online and you’ll be spoilt for choice on robotic lawnmowers, but the Husqvarna Automower 305 robotic mower stands out for its compact body and clever tech. The Husqvarna Automower 305 robotic mower can handle slopes with an incline of up to 40% and cover lawns up to 600 sq m, for example. You can also connect it to your smartphone using Bluetooth to start, pause and stop it and adjust the cutting height. While it doesn’t come cheap, look at it as an investment buy as these useful features will stand you in good stead throughout the seasons.
7. Bosch Cordless Telescopic Hedge Trimmer
For tidying up and trimming the tops off tall bushes, you can’t go wrong with a hedge trimmer. There are a number of designs with small and compact handles, but the Bosch version has a height-adjustable telescopic pole with a pivoting head, so you can reach up to 2.6metres without having to stand on a ladder. At 3.6kg it’s relatively light to hold and comes with an 18V Lithium-ion battery included in the price, which is compatible with other tools in the Bosch range. The battery will give you up to two and a half hours of continuous power so you can put your master trimming skills to good use. Edward Scissorhands would be proud.
8. Spear & Jackson S2011PW Pressure Washer
If your patio is looking a little drab, a blast from a jet wash will instantly give it a lift and remove any dirt build up. The Spear & Jackson S2011PW Pressure Washer is a good call as it has an impressive rated bar of 110 for effective and powerful cleaning. It comes with a good selection of on-board tools to suit your task too, all neatly housed on its compact body. These include a specific patio cleaner, a variable lance and turbo lance, a rotary brush and a fixed brush, which will give you a good range to use on hardwearing surfaces such as stone and patios, as well as car wheels and conservatories. It comes with a long 7-metre cord and its body has been designed so it can be conveniently and comfortably pulled along behind you, much like you would use a vacuum cleaner.
9. Kärcher LTR 18-30 Cordless Battery Powered Grass Strimmer
Use the Karcher LTR cordless battery powered grass strimmer to keep your lawn looking pristine from fence to fence. To help you tackle every corner and delve in between and under garden furniture, the grass strimmer comes with a pivoting head, twisted cutting line and fold-out plant guard. Its specific edge-cutting function will give you a crisp finish, while the device will adjust to the ideal cutting length to achieve the best results. The telescopic handle can also be adjusted to suit your ideal height to make it easy to use.
10. Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Lily LED Outdoor Stake Lights
Once all the hard graft is out of the way, ensure your garden looks fabulous come dusk with a little carefully positioned lighting. Use the Philips Hue LED lights to highlight pathways, trees and the dining space with ease. IP65 rated, the lights are protected against low-pressure jets of water, which makes them safe to use outdoors. Each stake light features an integrated LED that has 16 million colours and shade of white inside so you can create ambient lighting to suit your mood. You can also use the Philips Hue app on your smartphone or tablet to control the lights remotely.
Best gardening tools: more guides to help with your gardening
We've spent weeks testing some of the best gardening tools - here's a link to some more of our in-depth gardening guides...
Our top choice for a cordless lawnmower
If you are lucky enough to have a lawn, then you will probably have been using it quite a lot during lockdown. We have one and we know they are a git to maintain. That's why we spent hours testing the best cordless lawnmower for our guide. We looked at 14 different cordless lawnmowers and the Stihl RMA 235 Compact cordless lawn mower is without a doubt our best value choice. This is thanks to its low weight, as well as its slim and non-fussy design. This means you can steer it through both long and short grass with ease.
Bring your garden indoors with our top choice of house plant
The humble house plant has had something of a resurgence of late and we've been buying them up and trying our hardest not to kill them. We are big fans, as our best house plants guide shows, of the Opuntia Microdasys Pallida Cactus. Yes, it's expensive but the Mickey Mouse eared cactus will look great in any home and is easy to maintain, too. You only have to water when the top soil has gone dry and in the winter months this equates to around once a month.
Once your garden is done, then get the BBQ on
There is a very good reason you have a garden and, more often than not, it is to entertain. And you can't do better than entertaining with a dam good barbie. When the weather figures out what it is doing, then we recommend the Weber Master-Touch GBS Premium E-5775. This is a fantastic charcoal BBQ that is expensive but is without a doubt one of the best we have ever tested, with its innovative heat system and the overall design of the thing.