Garden Trowels – They’re All The Same…Right?

dewit-dutch-hand-trowel.jpgIt wasn’t too long ago that if you went looking for a garden trowel, you could go to 10 different places and buy a trowel at each place and you’d end up 10 almost identical looking trowels. And that was fine; I mean, all we used them for was digging small holes, planting, potting and maybe some occasional weeding.

Well, times have changed and some of the better garden tool makers are making specialty garden trowels. Don’t get me wrong, the traditional garden trowel is and always will be around and there will always be a use for them, but some tool makers have taken a look that the different jobs that a gardener does and adapted the trowel’s shape to fit a particular garden chore.

Good trowel – bad trowel. A good quality trowel should last you a lifetime, but all too often these days the garden tools available today are cheap knockoffs. A good garden trowel should have some weight to it and made of a good quality steel. Another good measure of the tools worth is its warranty. Is the tool maker proud enough of their tools to guarantee it for life?

american-trowel-by-sneeber-garden-tools.jpgSo let’s take a look at some of the specialty (and traditional) trowels that are available to gardeners today. When looking at the different trowels, imagine how the trowel might help you and your gardening needs.

Tradition Garden Trowels – This is the trowel that most of us are familiar with. It usually has a slightly dished blade with a pointed or rounded end. The traditional trowel is a good all-around digging and planting tool.


Transplanting Garden Trowels – This trowel typically has longer, narrower blade making it easier to dig deep enough to remove a small plant and all its roots. This trowel could easily be called a potting trowel because its narrow blade makes it ideal for planting in tight quarters such as pots.

Weeding/Rockery Trowels – These trowels have a long slender blade that makes it great for digging deep to extract these long tap root weeds. This trowel is also great for gardeners that plant in very tight spaces such as rock gardens.

Potting Trowels – This trowel typically has a wide deep dished blade making it good for transferring soil from one place to another such as from bag to pot. Some makers have combined the deep dish with a little narrower blade for planting as well.

Other Trowels – While some trowels have a unique shape that is specific to a particular gardening job, there are others that combine some of the different features of the above trowels.

transplanting-trowel-by-sneeboer-garden-tools.jpg great-dixter-trowel-by-sneeboer-garden-tools.jpg dewit-transplant-trowel.jpg burgon-and-ball-transplanting-trowel.jpg


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Garden Tool Coatings

I see a lot of garden tools with a black coating on the metal part on sale, like trowels and spades. The trowels are "Made in China." Is that black colored coating toxic? It eventually wears down when you use the trowel or spade and would end up in the soil exposing the metal. Even if the trowels were made in the US, is it a concern? Thanks.
PS. Hope all the regulars in here are well as I don't visit as often anymore. Where is Churchgardenlady?

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