When it comes to tools for the garden, it pays to buy the best you can afford. Tools that are not well designed and well made are a waste of your time and effort and may fail when you need them most. Never buy cheap tools no matter how shiny the chrome or bright the paint. In the long run cheap tools usually turn out to be more expensive because they need to be replaced. Proper selection and maintenance will go a long way towards getting your moneys worth from your tools and extending their useful life for many years.
Important things to keep in mind when selecting and maintaining garden tools:
1. Buy the best quality you can afford.
2. Always use the right tool for the right job to prevent breakage and injury.
3. Forged tools are more expensive, but they are also more durable.
4. Long handles provide more leverage, but short handle provide more control. Short handles are also harder on the back.
5. Consider how the tool feels in your hand. Larger tools are more efficient but they are also heavier and will also wear you out faster.
6. Clean tools with a steel brush after each use and wipe with a penetrating oil to prevent rust.
7. Rub handles with linseed oil to keep them from drying out.
8. Check and tighten screws and fasteners often.
9. Keep tools sharp, sharpened tools are easier to use and do less damage to plants.
10. Store in a dry location away from the elements.