When it comes to outdoor maintenance, homeowners have two options: do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. If you’re the roll-up-your-sleeves, bask-in-a-job-well-done type of person, you’ll need to gather a small arsenal of tools to properly maintain your yard. Here’s a list of 14 useful outdoor tools that homeowners should have.
- A good pair of gloves. No matter what chore you’re doing, your hands will thank you for a good pair of gloves. A few tips: leather doesn’t breathe; try to find gloves that fit tightly; gripping material is always appreciated.
- Hedge trimmer. Buy this only if you have hedges. If you’re a new homeowner and assembling your toolkit, consider investing in a cordless model. Many brands have full lines of tools that have interchangeable batteries – sort of a one-battery-to-rule-them-all situation.
- Leaf rake. This isn’t only for homes with trees. Your rake will be handy to clean up grass clippings and for spring/fall lawn rakings.
- Garden hose and sprinkler. This is for those dry summer days. A word of warning – your grass will die if you let it go without water for too long. You should absolutely conserve water, but won’t it take more water to establish a new lawn if yours goes kaput?
- Garden rake. This is a great multipurpose tool to have. It’s good for spreading material, weeding, and tamping down soil. Pro tip: always lay it prongs down.
- Leaf blower/mulcher. A lot of these tools come as a combo. The leaf blower function is great for cleaning up debris, clearing leaves from large areas and cleaning up after mowing. The mulcher function significantly reduces the number of bags you’ll need for your leaves.
- Pressure washer. This is an invaluable tool for cleaning your walkways and patio furniture, and maintaining a deck. You’ll need to choose between gas and electric models. Gas models will be far more powerful (be careful not to use too much power), but require more maintenance. Electric models should provide adequate power for light to medium duties.
- Shovels. There are many types of shovel, so be sure to think about how you’ll use yours the most. There are rounded digging shovels, scoop shovels, flat shovels (for edging or transferring) and more.
- Loppers. This is the go-to tool for pruning trees and other shrubbery up to about an inch wide, although some will cut thicker branches. If you need to cut thicker branches, consider purchasing a reciprocating saw as a safer alternative to a chainsaw.
- Extension cord. This will be especially useful if you have electric yard tools. Be sure the cord and length you choose is heavy duty enough to handle the equipment you’re running. Check out this guide for details.
- Wheelbarrow. Great for hauling piles of leaves, bulk mulch orders or landscaping stones. Plus it makes everything that much easier on your back.
- Lawn Mower. There are zero-turn, professional grade riding lawnmowers and your standard push mowers. If you have a small yard, why not consider a manual push mower, like this one? They sell for around $100.
- Weed whacker. Before you buy, you’ll have to ask yourself: gas or electric? Gas models will be more expensive and need more maintenance. But, you do get much more power and more portability. Electric will come at a much lower initial and ongoing cost, but you’ll be limited to lighter duty and the length of your extension cord. Don’t think about it too hard – there’s no right or wrong answer.
- Snow blower or shovel. If you live in a climate that gets a lot of snow, this is something you can’t overlook. If you have a snow blower, be sure to get it serviced in September or October so you can be ready for the first big snow of the year.
And, since you’re spending so much time and effort taking care of your home, make sure it’s well-protected with the proper insurance.