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Springtime is here and that means it’s time to do some serious yard work. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned gardener, having flowers in bloom is a quick way to lift your spirits. While hiring a landscaping service is a quick fix for your lawn, there is something satisfying about doing the work yourself.
That’s where Reviewed comes in. We’ve compiled a list of the best gardening tools and equipment to get your yard in tip-top shape for the warmer seasons. If you’re pruning rose bushes in the summer, raking the lawn in early spring, or composting to be eco-friendly (our favorite is the Redmon Compost Bin, 65 Gallon - available at Amazon), we have the tools you need to keep your yard in fighting trim.
Here are the best gardening tools and equipment we tested:
Best Leaf Blower: Kobalt KHB 3040-06 Best Rake: Truper Tru 24-inch Leaf Rake Best String Trimmer: Greenworks 21212 4 Amp 13-Inch Corded String Trimmer Best Compost Bin: Redmon Compost Bin, 65 Gallon Best Smart Sprinkler: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Best Garden Hose: Flexilla Garden Hose Best Gardening Gloves: StoneBreaker Gloves Gardener Best Pruning Shears: Felco 2 For Cleaning Up Your Yard Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
The Worx WG520 Turbine 600 is the best leaf blower we've tested.
Best Leaf Blower Best Leaf Blower Kobalt KHB 3040-06
This tornado of a leaf blower claims it can move 600 cubic feet of air per minute—the second-highest CFM measurement in our testing—and it’s easy to believe. The Worx WG520 was unmatched in its ability to clear leaves off any surface from a distance, including wet, matted leaves that had glued themselves to the pavement.
If you’re not looking to blow all your potted plants off the porch, though, the Worx has a speed dial to adjust its air blasts from hurricane pounding down to normal leaf-blower levels. For $60, you’re getting an effective, powerful machine. The Worx WG520 is easy to carry at a lightweight at 7.2 lbs., and aesthetically, it looks less like a radioactive “Fortnite” gun than any other blower we tested.
The Worx’s one downfall is that it’s loud for a corded pick, spewing up to 82 dB at its highest speed. The noise is higher-pitched than landscapers’ gasoline-powered blowers and less annoying at a distance—but you should still wear ear protection when you use this blower.
Easy to carry
$52.38 from Amazon
$59.99 from Newegg Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar
The Truper Tru handled our toughest raking jobs.
Best Rake Best Rake Truper Tru Tough 24-inch Leaf Rake
The Truper Tru Tough is a mix of all of the best qualities of a rake. It’s light enough so that it’s easy to maneuver, but it’s heavy enough that the tines don’t bounce on the ground as you drag the rake towards you. Additionally, between this rake’s metal tines and its weight, it is very efficient at raking; only the occasional leaf is left behind after the first rake sweep. It worked very well on both harder ground and in slightly longer grass.
During testing, we found that this was the rake we kept gravitating towards. While it didn’t always sweep up every acorn or pine needle, it had a long fiberglass handle with a slightly cushy part at the end that made it more manageable to hold during longer periods of raking. It’s also not as wide as some of the rakes we tested, but we found that to be a bonus, since what it lost in horizontal coverage, it made up for in its maneuverability, raking efficiency, and ease of storage.
When confronted with pine needles, the Truper often got clogged, but then again, nearly every rake did. Apparently, pine needles are the collective bane of a rake’s existence. This rake was much better at remaining mostly unclogged during regular leaf raking.
Lastly, this Truper also comes with a 25-year limited warranty, which pleasantly surprised many Lowe's customers who said in online reviews they are used to replacing their rakes every year. They also noted that its slightly more expensive price was worth the extra cash because the rake was solidly built and could stand up to repeated use without tines breaking or being damaged.
The rake is connected to the handle by two bolts, which results in very few instances of the rake breaking or failing. Rakes have one job, and the Truper Tru Tough 24-inch Leaf Rake does that job best. Other bonuses like a 25-year warranty and sturdy assembly are just the cherries on top.
See more of the best rakes we tested and reviewed.
Lightweight, but perfectly heavy in the head
Comfortable to hold
Had a tough time handling pine needles
$21.98 from Lowe's
Buy now at Amazon Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
This corded Greenworks trimmer has no carbon footprint and is the best we've tested.
Best String Trimmer Best String Trimmer Greenworks 21212 4 Amp 13-Inch Corded String Trimmer
If you have a patch of green to tend, it’s a safe bet you care about the environment, too. And this corded Greenworks trimmer has no carbon footprint, which is a lot more than you can say for lithium batteries and gas. At only 5.2 pounds, it’s very lightweight and reasonably balanced, thanks to an adjustable auxiliary handle and shaft, making it comfortable to use for longer periods of time (note: taller users may find that it doesn’t extend quite far enough). And an auto-feed dual-line and 180-degree rotating edger allow it to operate efficiently and effectively, despite its modest 4-amp engine and 13-inch cutting range. It should be noted that it has a hair-trigger power button, so it should always be unplugged between uses, or when making any adjustments to the machine or strings.
See more of the best string trimmers we tested and reviewed.
No carbon footprint
Buy now at Amazon
$54.99 from Overstock Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser
The 65-gallon Redmon compost bin was our top choice.
Best Compost Bin Best Compost Bin Redmon Compost Bin, 65 Gallon
This trapezoid-shaped outdoor bin with sliding doors was the top composter we tested. Though indoor bins have a temperature advantage that kept them higher up in some scoring categories, we feel this is a great traditional option for anyone looking to start an outdoor compost practice.
The bin was easy to add to. The opening was wide, so there were days we used a shovel to add leaves or leftover garden plants.
The sides of the bin have plenty of holes for ventilation, and we really liked that the holes aren’t fully open. They provided enough air to let in moisture, cut down on the smell, and keep bugs and animals out.
We did run into an issue with mice digging under the side of the bin to get to food scraps, but we pushed the “teeth” of the bin into the ground more and placed large rocks around the edge to keep them out. If we did it again, we’d use a few pieces of wood as a frame to make the bottom secure from the start. Flat ground works best, but you could probably get away with a bit of a slant.
Because of the trapezoid shape, the bin fits up to 65 gallons, which is almost double what most bins can hold. We added to the bin every few days, and even then only filled it about halfway.
While we had plenty more room, it was also nice to have empty space in the bin so we could use a thin shovel or tool to stir the pile. Since this bin doesn’t spin, we tried to move the materials inside once a week to help break up clumps and spread the heat.
Our favorite feature is the four sliding doors at the base of each side. They made it easy to check on the bottom of the pile and measure temperature and moisture levels. We also imagine it makes emptying the soil at the end of the process easy as well.
The bin is made of recycled plastic, so you can easily hose it off and let it dry fully before storing or putting it back to use.
It’s a wonderful option for people who want to compost as much as they can, especially those with plants or gardens. The bin’s roomy interior, multiple openings, and secure closures make it well worth the price.
See more of the best compost bins we tested and reviewed.
Easy to fill
Easy to empty
Needs flat ground
$57.09 from Amazon Credit: Reviewed / Flo Ion
A smart sprinkler can add a whole new dimension to your lawn maintenance.
Best Smart Sprinkler Best Smart Sprinkler Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller
The second-generation Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is currently topping our list because it offers a ton of easy-to-use options and isn't intimidating to install.
The model we tested offers control over eight zones (sometimes called "stations"), though there's an additional model that supports up to twice that. Smart home junkies will appreciate the integrations with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit. There's even a host of IFTTT recipes available to customize your sprinkler even further.
The Rachio app has a busy interface, but it's easy to navigate. By uploading photos and entering details about things like soils and sunlight, you can then set a custom schedule, or have the Rachio app figure one out based on the details you entered.
When we let the Rachio 3 set the watering schedule, we chose the Flexible Daily schedule option, which uses public weather data to determine soil moisture depending on the questions you answered. There are additional features like Weather Intelligence, which enables the ability to automatically skip a session if rain or excessive wind is underway; and Smart Cycle, which splits watering times into shorter, more frequent cycles to prevent runoff. For more accurate results, you can choose to sync the Rachio 3 with a personal weather station, like the Netatmo.
The Rachio 3 isn’t the most affordable smart irrigation controller, but it does offer the most features while still being easy enough for anyone to use. Serious gardening hobbyists will like the Rachio 3 for its fine-tuned smart scheduling and robust automation abilities.
See more of the best smart sprinklers we tested and reviewed.
Easy installation process
Smart home integration
Impressive list of features
More expensive than other options
$179.09 from Amazon For Your Garden Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac
The Flexilla was our favorite during our extensive garden house tests.
Best Garden Hose Best Garden Hose Flexilla Garden Hose
As we began our several-week-long garden hose tests, the Flexzilla quickly emerged as one of our favorites. It manages to be light and flexible without sacrificing durability or performance. This hose moves easily at any range thanks to its lightweight construction and smooth surface. Both the male and female ends of the Flexzilla have comfort grips, while the others we tested had only one or none at all. As its name would imply, it is an extremely flexible hose. That flexibility did lead to a couple of kinks as we pulled the hose taut, however, it un-kinked itself after a moment, so the brief kinks didn’t end up being an issue at all.
To test durability, we smacked the connectors of each hose against the concrete three times as hard as we could. While the aluminum fittings of the Flexzilla felt more fragile than the brass ones on some of the other hoses, these held up just as well as any that we tested. The most we could manage was a couple of scuffs. The flexible nature of this hose also made it a breeze to coil and carry from one place to another. As a standard hose, it can’t touch the portability of an expandable hose, but this coil hose was definitely the easiest to move (coiled or expanded) of the standard hoses we tested. If you have a smaller yard or need portability above all else, you might prefer the GrowGreen expandable hose instead.
The Flexzilla’s neon green color is easy to spot in any landscape, which could be positive or negative depending on how you want to use this hose. The color also won’t excessively heat water in the hose to the extent that a darker hose might. The Flexzilla is made from lead-free material, which means it’s safe to drink from.
See more of the best garden hoses we tested and reviewed.
Lightweight and flexible
Male and female ends have comfort grips
Made from lead-free material
None that we could find
Buy now at Amazon
$37.32 from Home Depot
$28.70 from Walmart Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser Best Gardening Gloves Best Gardening Gloves StoneBreaker Gloves Gardener
StoneBreaker Gardener Gloves are excellent all-around gloves for most light to medium-duty gardening and yard work. You can keep wearing them as you move from task to task all day long. StoneBreaker Gardener Gloves are available in small, medium, and large, roughly corresponding to glove sizes 7-9.
At about $20 a pair, the StoneBreaker Gloves cost significantly more than the Showa Atlas nitrile gloves, but they’ll last much longer and let you do heavy yard work without worrying about wearing holes through the fingers—a common complaint about nitrile gloves. If you want to own just one pair of gloves, the StoneBreaker Gloves are the gloves to buy. These goatskin/fabric gloves are sensitive enough for fine weeding, but sturdy enough for grabbing thorny stems and rough-edged bricks, and they’ll keep blisters at bay during long pruning sessions. Their fingertip seams have a slim profile and don’t interfere with fine-detail work. These gloves’ light color and breathable fabric backing keep them cool on hot, sunny days, and the palms are water-resistant.
These gloves are pricier than nitrile/fabric gloves and need hand washing. The backs are not water-resistant; if you’re planning to spend the day with a hose, choose a glove that can go in the dryer. And although the cuff is long, the elastic isn’t particularly tight, and some dirt may fall in. It’s also worth noting that while Amazon lists these as “women’s” gloves, the design is unisex and their size range will fit most men.
Hand wash with cold water to maintain the goatskin leather’s flexibility. Do not wring them dry, or put them in the dryer: Let them air-dry flat on a rack or towel. This is the most protective glove we tested that could still work a touchscreen (when clean).
See more of the best gardening gloves we tested and reviewed.
Long-lasting through light and medium-duty work
Breathable goatskin/fabric material
Not water resistant
Loose elastic cuff
$22.99 from StoneBreaker
Buy now at Amazon
$36.14 from Walmart Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser
While slightly more expensive than others we tested, Felco pruning shears more than proved their worth every penny.
Best Pruning Shears Best Pruning Shears Felco 2
Grab your Felco pruners to cut just about anything (except your bangs). Felco pruners have a solid reputation for a good reason: They cut cleanly through every plant you’re likely to encounter in your garden, from delicate flower stems to half-inch diameter branches. The major strength of Felcos is their versatility. They come with a limited lifetime warranty, you can cut down the last year’s growth on your yew hedge, trim your roses, give them a quick clean, and then snip a few basil leaves to pretty up your plate of spaghetti.
All of your cuts will be clean and straight, with no crushed or mangled stems or half-cut branches. And with 22 different replacement parts available, you can keep these pruners in good repair pretty much forever. They may be more expensive than other pruning shears on this list, but they’re built to last.
Although the manufacturer says that the F-2s have a one-inch cutting capacity, that “capacity” depends on your hand strength. If you’re a weekend gardener and don’t spend much time flexing with grip strengtheners, you’re not going to be able to cut through a one-inch branch even though the shears open wide enough to attempt.
When cutting softer plant materials like raspberry canes, the action can feel a little sticky, as though the mechanism is getting ever so slightly stuck, although the cuts are clean. The lock is easy to close with your thumb but can be hard to re-open one-handed. Curiously, they did a worse job of cutting through a plastic mulch bag than the Fiskars. The Felcos don’t have any special bells or whistles, like adjustable-width handles or ratcheting action found in ratchet pruners. They don’t need them; they just work.
See more of the best pruning shears we tested and reviewed.
Replacement parts available
Buy now at Amazon
$54.77 from Home Depot
$61.87 from Walmart More Articles You Might Enjoy The Best Grills The Best Gas Grills 5 ways to keep your patio furniture looking fresh this season How to clean a patio with a robot vacuum