Best Lawn Care Tools for Beginners (What You Need and How to Use Them)

Beautiful lawns are a labor of love.

It takes a lot of effort to get a patch of green that a golf course groundskeeper would be proud of.

There’s no quick fix!

As well as inputting days/months/years of dedicated graft, you’re going to need the right equipment for the job.

And while we can’t help you with the hard work, we can give you a rundown of the most essential lawn care tools on the market.

Start here, and you’re already one step closer to achieving the lawn of your dreams.

Contents

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Essential Lawn Care Tools & Equipment List

Below, you’ll find an extensive list of all the best tools for achieving the perfect lawn.

But if it’s general gardening gear you’re looking for, then head over to this article on the different types of gardening tools – and find out what should be in your shed!

Power Rake/Dethatcher

Regular dethatching should be part of any successful lawn-care schedule, but even in the smallest gardens, it’s extremely hard work. I nearly put my back out dethatching our moderate lawn last year.

With that in mind, and because it’s going to do a better job than you can, a dedicated power rake/dethatcher is a great tool to have in the shed.

If you’re wondering about the difference between the two – check out this article that compares power rakes to dethatchers. Spoiler – they’re pretty much the same thing.

Or, you can skip that, and head straight to this review of the best dethatchers on the market, which includes manual tools, walk-behind, and tow-behind options.

Broadcast Spreader

Essential for overseeding, a broadcast spreader should be in every lawn-care enthusiast’s arsenal.

Having a handheld and walk-behind version is useful both for large areas – and spot treating difficult-to-reach patches.

And for really large gardens, you might want to take a look at this review of the best tow-behind spreaders for your lawn tractor or mower.

Either way, overseeding is a great technique to achieve a thick, beautiful lawn, whether you have bare spots, damaged grass, or a weed infestation.

Read this article on how to use overseeding to choke out weeds.

Lawn Roller

The jury is out on whether you require a lawn roller or not. If you have a particularly bumpy lawn, then nothing short of a steamroller is going to make it flat (or using a sod cutter to start again – see below).

And yet they still remain popular for ironing out a few lumps here and there. If this is something you might be interested in, check out this article on the best lawn rollers on the market.

And go here if you want to explore lawn rolling benefits – so you can make up your mind if there are actually any, and it’s worth your time, effort, and money.

Not to mention the space to store the thing!

Sod Cutter

Most gardeners will never need a sod cutter – certainly not to purchase one, anyway. They’re heavy-duty machines that cost a small fortune, and are limited to just one job – lifting the turf.

But we’ve included it here anyway, as it can certainly be part of a lawn restructure, or if you want to clear out and revitalize any part of your garden, and lay new sod down.

If that’s the case, I highly recommend either renting one, or getting a professional to do it for you. Bear in mind – it’s truly backbreaking work, so perhaps the latter option is the best way to go!

Rake

rake in garden

A rake is a reliable tool for removing stones and debris from the ground before planting or while maintaining the lawn. It can also be used to even or spread out the soil or rocks during land preparation.

Imagine it like a wide metal comb where objects bigger than the gaps can be collected. That’s what the rake is.

And just like shovels, these come in different forms:

  • Steel rakes are the tougher rakes designed for heavy-duty raking. They are heavy because they are designed to deal with stony ground, gravel, compost, and thick mulches.
  • Meanwhile, the leaf rake is the lightweight version which is intended for leaves, twigs, and other light debris.

You might also be tempted to solely rely on a leaf blower as a usurper to the humble rake, but don’t pull the trigger just yet – and check out this article on leaf blowers vs rakes.

Gardening Gloves

woman wearing gardening gloves and holding lawn weeds

Do you want splinters and wounds on your hands? How about blisters and calluses?

No? I thought so.

That’s why it’s essential for you to use gardening gloves. They are very important not only for hygiene but also for safety purposes.

These are made of cotton on the outer side and rubber, leather, or other sturdy material for the palm side. It protects your hands from thorns and other pointy objects, insect bites, and dirt microorganisms that can infect your existing wounds.

Therefore, they are definitely a must-have!

Fork

man using garden fork for lawn maintenance

If a shovel and a rake had a baby, that would be a garden fork. Not only because of how it looks but its capability of doing a bunch of stuff.

Why is that so?

Well, a garden fork is a multi-purpose tool that is versatile with different functions. Yes, it resembles a giant fork, with four lines attached to the handle. These lines are casted as a whole to ensure durability.

The main function of this tool is to till or aerate the soil. It’s designed to poke through the ground and loosen it easily.

But hold on a sec…

There are also different variations to this tool.

Aside from the Garden fork, there’s also Potato, Spading, Border, Broad, and Compost forks available in the market. They can accomplish the same tasks but still, make sure to check them out to get the most suitable fork for you.

Wheelbarrow

wheelbarrow cart and flowers

The wheelbarrow is also one of your needed lawn care tools.

Why?

Because it acts like the carriage for your soil. It’s a large container with wheel/s which are intended for transport of a heavy load of materials like your gravel, sand, stones, and you can even use it for your debris and mulch.

It saves you time and energy by going back and forth to the places where you take and put the said materials, as you would if you only have a shovel or a pail.

And it’s essential for helping you spread topsoil when you’re trying to establish new grass growth – just be careful you don’t run over those baby seeds!

Lawn Mower

woman cuts the lawn with gas powered push lawnmower

You know this already:

One of the most important things that you, a homeowner, should invest in is a good lawnmower!

It comes in different shapes and sizes, but all of them can serve its purpose: to cleanly and evenly cut your grass for that neat and beautiful look on your lawn.

You may opt to buy push mowers, which are operated by your exerted force. They are cheaper but this is only because of the extra effort that you need to apply.

Push mowers have two types:

  • First is the reel mower which is the most manual type because it doesn’t have an engine not requires fuel or electricity. It fully relies on blades that are mechanically designed to cut your grass as you push it across the lawn.
  • The second one is motorized push mowers. It has an installed engine that operates the spinning blades, giving the lawn cleaner and more even cuts.

If you’re a bit bougie you can buy the more expensive but easier to use – the self-propelled mowers.

These are like your motorized push mowers but you don’t have to push it anymore!

They have their own propulsion system that makes them move across the lawn and cut. You just sand behind it and aim it where it needs to go. Plus, the speed is variable so you can adjust it depending on the pace you desire.

There are more types of lawnmowers out there, go check them out and see what’s suitable for your needs.

String Trimmer

man trimming grass with dandelions

String trimmer, also known as line trimmer, weed whacker, or weed eater, is a power tool that goes hand in hand with lawnmowers.

Why is that so?

Well, to give you a background, a string trimmer uses nylon strings (shocker!) that are attached to a disc. This disc then spins so fast that the strings can swiftly trim grass and other soft objects. It can be powered with fuel, electricity, or batteries and they’re great for cutting down grass in parts of the lawn that the lawnmower cannot reach.

Thus, not only do they have participation in keep the lawn looking neat, but they can also be complementary to each other’s result.

This article will help you select the best quality replacement spools for your string trimmer, and this piece on straight vs curved trimmers will tell you which is the best version – if you haven’t picked one up yet.

Leaf Blower

man blowing big pile of leaves with backpack leaf blower

If you have huge trees in your yard, then you can also feel the frustration of seeing a lot of those leaves that fell on your lawn.

Yes, you can use your trusty leaf rake to clean that up but there’s an easier option, especially if you’re dealing with a LOT of leaves… Use a Leaf Blower!

It’s the fastest and most efficient tool to deal with a large number of stray leaves. These are machines powered by fuel or electricity making them obviously pricey with operation and maintenance. BUT the convenience and efficiency of this tool completely makes up for it.

It not only saves you time, but it can also be used in other tasks like blowing mulch, grass cuttings, pebbles, and you can also clean your gutters with it.

Buy one now and blow away!

This article on the different types of leaf blowers will help you choose the right one for your needs.

Garden Hose

person holding water hose and watering lawn

Watering your lawn is a must, and a hose is just the right tool for the job. Essentially, it helps you deliver your water directly and avoiding the extra effort of filling up and carrying your watering cans or buckets several times.

Regular garden hoses already come with a multi-purpose nozzle attachment which you can alter the flow and distribution of the water coming out, and that’s REALLY helpful for various garden activities.

But of course, there are also other types of hoses based on material and advantage. Vinyl, polyurethane, rubber, polymer, metal, and expandable hoses deliver the same function but of different levels of durability and weight.

Meanwhile, there’s a different variation called the soaker hose.

Soaker hoses look like the regular ones but instead of releasing water on the end… it emits them through thousands of tiny pores along the length of the hose!

Crazy, right?

It’s laid along the turf and where it waters the grass steadily, making it beneficial and comparable to a drip irrigation system.

Sprinkler

automatic garden lawn sprinkler watering grass

You’ve probably seen sprinklers everywhere, and there a reason for that.

It’s a very efficient way of watering your turf because of its even distribution of water. Using sprinklers saves you time and energy compared to manually watering with the garden hose …because you don’t necessarily have to be there!

The most common type is the oscillating sprinkler which is a type that you can easily attach to your hose.

This sprinkler has a bar with multiple holes as an outlet, these holes spray water into the air as it moves back and forth. It only covers a certain area in the lawn within the sprinkler’s reach so you still have to move it after.

If you’re not into that, you can call professionals for them to install underground sprinklers that can cover the whole lawn. These are probably the best in terms of convenience since you just turn it on or set a time of the day which it operates. But of course, this is the more expensive option.

Even if you already own a sprinkler, it can be tricky to figure out how much water your lawn actually requires. Too much and you risk over-saturation, too little, and it will dry out and spoil.

This article offers a step-by-step guide to watering your lawn, so you know how much, and how often to turn the tap on.

Aerator

lawn aeration shoes

Homeowners unknowingly compact their soil with their day-to-day activities and the consequence of this is that it impedes the growth of the roots and its access to air and water.

How do you fix this?

Use lawn aerators! They physically loosen your soil, allowing air and water to infiltrate and the roots to grows healthily.

You can use a pair of aerator shoes which is a spike attachment for your working kicks; a digging fork just like what was mentioned earlier; or walk-behind push aerators which are like your push mowers but mechanized to dig and nudge the soil.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret,

If you despise manual labor, there are available liquid aerators to do the same job. Just apply and you’re done!

Check out our article regarding the best aerators for 2022 to help you.

And this article on spike vs plug aerators will help you decide the best type of aerator for poking effective holes in your lawn.

Hand Weeder

Those pesky weeds, always get in the way of your garden! And they are so hard to remove in bulk since you have the tendency to scrape off patches of your real grass.

But that won’t be necessary if you use a hand weeder.

Designed specifically for weeding, it has a narrow and pointed blade that can easily be inserted into the ground and cut or pull out the weeds themselves. Meanwhile, it has a bent handle which eases the levering of the tool as it tries to reach the roots of the weeds.

Having this tool allows you to act on even the earliest sightings of weeds and make sure that you don’t see them again.

Alternatively, if you want to find other weed-culling methods for your grass, you can check out this article on how to kill lawn weeds without using chemicals.

Sprayer

man using garden sprayer in backyard

Buying a good sprayer is also necessary for your lawn because its task is to spread your desired additive, may it be your lawn’s fertilizers or weed killers.

Sprayers come in different shapes in sizes, but they primarily vary in the capacity and power needed for the lawn.

The smaller ones include the handheld, backpack, and trailer sprayers. These vary on how you carry them. Well, the first two are a bit obvious while the trailer sprayer can be attached to your lawn tractor.

The heavier duty ones are the skid sprayer, which is a bigger version of the trailer sprayer and can fit at the back on an ATV or tractor, and the broadcast sprayer, which is carried like big luggage.

Mulcher

If your lawnmower doesn’t come with a similar attachment, you can opt to buy this tool called mulcher.

Do I need it?

Definitely!

A mulcher offers a very easy way of collecting the leaves, twigs, and other organic debris that you piled up or even those that are still spread out on your lawn. It acts like a vacuum sucking all those light materials and automatically bags them for mulching later on.

Edger

Lastly, a tool that comes handy with maintaining the neatness of the lawn is the edger.

Edgers essentially cut the boundaries of your lawn to cleanly define the edges and prevent grass from invading the walkways or your garden.

And guess what, it also has types!

  • Wheel edger is a manual push type that has blades on the wheels so as you push it along the boundaries, it then trims the grass.
  • Step-on edger from the name itself entails stepping on it to cut the edges. It has a semicircular blade that’s attached to a pole and handle. Once you’re placed it on the part to be cut, you step on it or rock it back and forth if needed.
  • Edging knife and edging shears function just like you would imagine a knife and a shear, but their structures are different, i.e., the blades or the handles are bent to cut the edges with ease.
  • Motorized edgers can be operated via fuel or electricity. They’re like your motorized mowers but the blades are on the side.

Edgers contribute to the whole look of the lawn so it is also one that you should buy.

This article on the best cordless lawn edgers is ideal if you’re looking for a battery-powered option, or go here if a gas-powered lawn edger is more suitable for your needs.

Summary

And you made it to the end, congrats!

I hope this list of lawn care tools and equipment has provided you not only with knowledge but also excitement in taking care of your lawn.

Here’s a tip:

Always remember that all the variations within each tool entail different advantages for different cases.

It’s important that you assess factors like your lawn characteristics and of course your budget in order for you to pick the best lawn care tools.

Let us know what your favorite lawn care tool is. See ya, and happy gardening!

Andy Gibson

My name's Gibson. Andy Gibson. I like to think of myself as the Bond of the backyard, that is if yard work ever became sexy. I write about everything about indoor and outdoor gardening and the dread-it-but-still-need-to-do-it chores around the yard, like cleaning out the gutter guards.

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