At the Forum we're discussing the best lopper for the less-than-lumberjack gardener. Jump over there for the what and why of our recommendation:
While you're there at the Forum, please share with the rest of us what works for you.
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Our standard kit of hand tools is itemized and described with sources, in What's Coming Up 134, pages 13 - 16.
Our line-up of pruning tools is listed in What's Coming Up 166, pages 4-5.
And if you're in need of any other gift ideas for a gardener, do some window shopping via our article set: Gift what you covet.
We asked for and received a Sponsor to help! What's Coming Up 121 has a great discussion of shovel and spade features and uses, but wasn't yet posted when we wrote this article. Now you can read about that and many other things, including particulars about the best spade and fork in the world, made by Clarington Forge in Canada.