You take pride in your yard, but let’s face it, no one likes doing outdoor chores. But with the right tools, you can spend less time working in the yard and more time doing the things you love – like enjoying your garden.
Here are the 8 best garden power tools that will help you get your outdoor chores done at record speeds.
Editor’s Note: Our writers research and recommend the best products for your home, farm, and garden. Links to these products are included in this article where you can learn more about each product. We may receive commissions on purchases made through these links.
1. Pressure Washer
A pressure washer is one of those outdoor power tools you didn’t know you needed until you had one. It can clean just about anything outdoors, and it works so quickly, you’ll actually look forward to cleaning the driveway or siding.
As its name suggests, a power washer is a high-pressure sprayer that’s used to remove dirt, grime, mold, loose paint, mud, and other debris from objects and surfaces. A washer with a pressure range of 1,300 to 2,400 psi is ideal for home use.
What can you clean with a pressure washer? Lots of things!
- Garage doors
- Outdoor grills
- Patio furniture
- Trash cans
Pressure washers come in two types: gas and electric. Gas pressure washers are the most common and tend to be more powerful than electric models.
There are also hot and cold water power washers. Hot water power washers are even more powerful and can cut through packed on dirt and grease. If you need to sanitize surfaces, look for a tool that has a hot water steam option.
Tip: When using a pressure washer, spray in a side-to-side motion, and avoid spraying in one spot for too long.
2. String Trimmer
A string trimmer makes quick work of weeding. It’s no wonder this power tool has earned the nickname “weed-whacker”. Instead of using blades, string trimmers use a whirling plastic line to cut grass and weeds.
They’re great for use near objects or on irregular terrain and can trim right up to steps or trees. If you prefer having a neat edge along sidewalks, driveways, and patios, a string trimmer is a great tool to have.
While most string trimmers use plastic string, you can also find models with blades. The latter is great for tougher jobs that string lines can’t handle, like thick stems.
Like most power tools, you’ll find both electric (corded and cordless) and gas models. Electric string trimmers are quieter, more portable, and lightweight, but gas trimmers can take on tougher jobs, offer larger cutting swaths, and are better suited for larger yards.
Tip: Keep the string head approximately 2-3 inches off the ground to avoid bald spots.
Want to spend less time hoeing and spade digging in your garden? Invest in a rototiller.
Equipped with powerful rotating blades, rototillers loosen the soil to prepare for planting. They’re also used to aerate the soil during the growing season.
Looking to expand your garden or create a new one? A rototiller can help you get started by loosening sod.
It’s a powerful, convenient tool that makes home gardening a breeze. And if weeds are eating away at your garden, the rototiller can act as an efficient weed controller by chewing through weed clusters with ease.
There are several types of tillers out on the market, each suited for a different job. Front tine tillers are the most common for the average backyard gardener. Electric (corded and uncorded) and gas models are available.
Small cultivators or battery-operated tillers are good for light jobs like breaking up clumps in the planting bed before putting down seed. They are also great for getting in tight spots and fixing dead patches in the lawn.
Rear-tine tillers have more power and are better suited to larger garden areas and hobby farms. Like a lawnmower, these machines must be pushed in order to till the soil.
No matter whether your goal is to turn under new soil growth, loosen soil for planting, or as a weeding tool, you’re sure to use your rototiller several times during the growing season.
Tip: Never use a rototiller on wet soil. The ground should be moist enough to clump into a ball, but not so moist that it doesn’t crumble under light pressure.
4. Hedge Trimmer
For all-around yard work, a hedge trimmer is one of the best garden tools you can own.
These trimmers look a lot like chainsaws but are designed to cut back shrubs, hedges, and bushes for a neat and clean finish.
While you can certainly trim your bushes and hedges yourself, a hedge trimmer will get the job done in half the time. They also extend your reach to make it easier to trim bushes without getting all scratched up.
There are a few different types of trimmers to choose from double-sided, single-sided and pole.
• Double-sided trimmers are great for hedges that are chest height. They’re also ideal for shaping.
• Single-sided trimmers are the best choice for straight hedges and can clip larger areas with a single sweep.
• Pole trimmers can be used for trimming high or low hedges as well as ground cover.
Electric hedge trimmers are popular with many weekend gardeners since they are easy to start and don’t require the use of gas and oil. Choose between the lightweight corded models or more versatile cordless hedge trimmers.
Tip: When cutting hedges, clip the vertical side first in an upward and downward sweeping motion.
5. Pole Saws
A pole saw is, essentially, a chainsaw on a pole. This power tool makes a great addition to any homeowner’s collection of landscaping tools and is an important tool for tree care and maintenance.
For pruning and trimming, pole saws make the job quick and easy. The best part? You won’t have to climb any trees.
You’ll find a few types of pole saws – electric corded, gas, and cordless models. Gas-powered pole saws are the best option for tougher and larger jobs, but cordless and electric models are great for smaller yards and lighter tasks.
Tip: When using a pole saw, make sure that your feet are firmly planted and balanced. Clear the area ahead of time to allow for falling branches, leaves, and debris.
You’ve heard of chippers or shredders, but you’ve probably never thought about buying one.
Buying a wood chipper is a fantastic way to turn your yard waste into ground cover for your garden and trees.
Why spend all that time bagging and hauling loads of limbs, brush, and leaves to the curb when a chipper can take care of the work for you?
There are three types of chippers:
- Disc: Slices through wood at a 45-degree angle. Disc chippers are known to be the most efficient wood chipper and the best option for creating evenly-sized chips.
- Drum: Can handle larger loads at one time, but wood chips aren’t evenly sized.
- Screw: Uses screw-shaped blades of varying sizes. Screw chippers allow you to choose the shape and size of your chips.
Tip: Aside from mulch, you can use your wood chips as an environmentally-friendly fuel.
7. Lawn Vacuum
Tired of raking your yard? Forget buying a leaf blower – you need a lawn vacuum.
Just like the vacuum you use in your home, this machine is pushed slowly across the yard, using the power of suction to pick up leaves.
Some vacuums have bags as large as 12 cubic feet, which means you’ll be spending less time emptying the bag and more time picking up leaves. The Worx TriVAc is also a very cool leaf collection tool that includes all three functions – vacuum, blower, and mulcher.
The 3 in 1 leaf collection tools can be a huge timesaver since they reduce the amount of time you spend carrying all those leaves over to the recycle bin. Then as an added bonus, your leaves are pulverized to 80-97% of their original volume.
Most outdoor vacuums are powerful enough to pick up leaves, pine cones, and other organic material. Don’t expect it to pick up branches, rocks and other large debris, though.
Tip: Be sure to remove rocks, large branches, and other heavy debris from your yard before you start vacuuming. These items can clog the machine or damage it.
8. Leaf Shredder
Like a chipper, a leaf shredder turns your pile of leaves into mulch or compost. Leaf shredders use either flails or hammers to grind material at high speeds.
Models with fixed-arm hammers are more efficient at grinding leaves but are easily damaged by rocks and other debris. Hinged-arm flail models can ride over rocks and obstacles, but they’re not quite as powerful as their counterparts.
Whether you have a mountain of leaves to shred during fall cleanup or just a few piles throughout the year, these leaf and twig shredders are a great way to reduce waste and return nutrients back to the soil.
Tip: Leaf shredders are best suited for soft material, so avoid running branches and other tough debris through the machine.
The Right Tools Make Quick Work of Tedious Outdoor Chores
We all have plenty of chores to do to keep our yard and gardens looking nice. Why not make your life easier with one of these time-saving tools?
We selected our favorites – which garden tools are on your wish list? Share this with your loved ones & drop a subtle (or not so subtle) hint.