Firstly there is the trusted spade as we will all at sometime be turning over the soil or digging a hole to plant those newly purchased plants/young trees or bushes, so it is important to buy something that is not only practical but is also comfortable to use, so before you purchase test it out by imitating the actions that you would if you were using it in your garden – you may get a few strange looks and maybe comments but better to have the looks and comments rather than a bad back or blistered hands because you didn’t test it and it was either too heavy, too long or short or the handle was not suitable for you. I personally look for tools that have the D shaped handle as I find these the most comfortable to the hands. I also look for tools with wood or coated metal handles – although my first option would always be the wood – mainly because these are generally very strong without being too heavy. I personally look to buy something with either a Hickory or Ash handle as these are the two most durable woods. Avoid purchasing something where the handle has been painted as you don’t know what the paint is concealing and also avoid Douglas Fir as you generally find that the tool is normally of a lesser quality. Always check to see what the Manufacturer claims about the quality, normally the following words are a sign that the tools are well made, “single forged”, “solid socket”, “stainless steel”, “epoxy coated”, “tempered” or “carbon steel”When you have finished using your tools you should always clean and store them away correctly, I myself keep all my long handled tools hung neatly on a peg rack, I have found that this protects the edges from becoming dull, it also serves another purpose as I always know where to look when it is needed. 

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