Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The 6 Best Tools Every Man Needs for Spring Yard Work

tools garrett wade yard work the 6 best every man needs for spring
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Spring has sprung, and it’s the perfect time of year to dig out your workman gloves and get dirty.

Planting for the summer and cutting the rotten debris from the trees is going to be work, but the enjoyment factor come in having the perfect tools that will perform as well this season as they did last. (Not often the case with cheap shears you bought because of the easy price tag.)

And it’s right at this precipice–where the labor of lawn and yard work becomes a meditation with the right tools for the job–that Garrett Wade comes in.

This heritage outdoor tool company, founded in 1975 as a woodworking tool brand, lives and breathes craftsman tools. Co-Owner and Senior Vice President Craig Winer scours the globe attending small regional trade shows for the best, most authentic, small tool-making companies that build equipment that is both timeless and suited for the lawn tasks faced by today’s modern man.

And you KNOW Garrett Wade means serious business when its “Really Old Fashioned Fly Swatter” packs a five-star rating. Yeah… for a fly swatter. But that’s what Garrett Wade is all about: staying away from less-expensive tools because they’re built around the notion that you’ll be using that saw or hoe for a fourth, fifth, and sixth season. And better quality means the cuts don’t get sloppy and the edges never rust.

“More people are willing to buy one tool that will last than 10 that disintegrate in a season,” says Winer. “Ten years ago, we noticed a lack of great gardening tools in the consumer world and looked to solve that problem by sharing the tools that yard professionals use. That means if you’ve got to dig a hole, do it with something that will be satisfying to use.”

We sat down with Winer and kicked up the dirt about his six most coveted tools that every man should own… including a bomb-proof shovel and a Japanese-style hoe you won’t find at Home Depot.

Premium Pruning Loppers

Premium Pruning Loppers
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“These are superb for heavy work,” Winer says. “The arms are extendable, if you have a branch that is a little further away, and you can open and close the handles to get a bigger reach. When you’re pruning, it’s always at that annoying height above your eye level (but you don’t want to get the ladder); that’s where these come in hand. The mechanism of the ratcheting closure of the loppers also gives you extra leverage to cut a branch that is thicker than you normally would. It DOES require some amount of upper body strength, but you do get a mechanical advantage. Plus that super satisfying little click.”

Leather Holster, Hand Pruner & Digging Knife Set

Leather Holster, Hand Pruner & Digging Knife Set
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“On the outside, it’s a convenient holster for two of the most popular gardening tools. Which alone is useful, because you’re not putting these in your pocket and destroying your pants. We include a Japanese digging knife that Garrett Wade has had forever, and of course a hand pruner,” Winer says. “A U.S. company that makes handmade leather products just designed this holster. It’s simple, but essential.”

Long Handled Brush Clearing Hook

Long Handled Brush Clearing Hook
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“This should eliminate your need for a weed wacker. It’s a powerful hand tool for heavy, dense brush clearing— made by a small company in Germany–and is perfect for brambles. In use, this tool is really satisfying to swing because of the long handle. The hook doubles as a way to pull out the brush, so you don’t have to pick up thorny brambles to carry to the compost. Plus you’re not crouching down as you would using smaller machetes.”

Super-Penetration Shovel

Super-Penetration Shovel
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“It’s $120, but it’s basically bombproof,” Winer says (and he’s not even joking). “If I’m digging plant shrubs, especially where it’s super rocky, I’ll use this. A small company in the U.S. makes them traditionally for people in the trade working on farms. I was digging a ditch to put in a fruit tree and there were massive rocks and I was prying them out with this shovel. It’s all steel and guaranteed for a lifetime of use.”

Japanese Wide Hoe

Japanese Wide Hoe
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“Home Depot doesn’t sell Japanese-style tools. In a big box, they don’t have people there who are interested in explaining how these tools are made and should be used. It’s a really beautiful, traditional Japanese tool and is really nice for turning the soil when the ground thaws and has compacted over the year,” Winer says. “But at its base, it’s a really pretty traditional tool with an unusually wide and deep blade, and is super well made. Everything down to the handle.”

Folding Pruning Saw

Folding Pruning Saw
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“This is a really tough outdoor tool. I’ll keep it in my back pocket every day because it’s able to fold, which protects the blade. It cuts as you pull and is super aggressive and nice for cutting small trees. This has become a really popular product and is a gardening/yardwork must because it folds and the blade locks when it’s open.”

Jahla Seppanen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Born and raised off-the-grid in New Mexico, Jahla Seppanen is currently a sports, fitness, spirits, and culture writer in…
6 RV camper styles perfect for every family and budget
One of these RV types will match your needs
Pickup truck with travel trailer

For those who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors -- but don't want to totally rough it -- RV camping offers the best of both worlds: You can eat, sleep, and use the bathroom inside while also soaking up nature and enjoying the flexibility of travel.

Campers also make adventure weekends easy for busy families; instead of rushing home from work and school on a Friday evening to pack up the tent, sleeping bags, camp stove, and cooking gear, an RV lets you simply hook up and go. So, let's take a look at the different types of campers to see which style fits your needs.
Types of campers and RVs

Read more
How to escape and survive an alligator attack
If the situation calls for it, here are some things to help you live through an unfortunate encounter with a gator
Alligator in a swamp

Alligators have been around in much of their present state for more than 35 million years, though they have ancestors dating back more than 200 million years. In that time, they've evolved into apex predators, threatened by no living creature other than a human being, assuming said human being is armed.

The average size of an adult American alligator is 12 feet long, with an average weight of about 800 pounds. American alligators tend to have around 80 teeth and a bite force of up to 3,000 pounds per square inch. Also, they can swim at up to 20 miles per hour, while Olympian Michael Phelps tops out at around 6 mph in the water.

Read more
Round up your golf buddies — these are the best golf trips in the U.S.
Head to these great locales with your golf buddies
Ocean hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf Links Noah Rosenfield via Unsplash

Golf lends itself to a fun, relaxing vacation. In the morning, hit the links with your buddies, try and break par, and take in stunning landscapes. When your round’s over, relax at the clubhouse or try world-class eateries, where you can savor and recharge. Then, do it again the next day.

Read more