Having great tools for gardening helps to make it more enjoyable and rewarding, knowing they will work efficiently and can be relied upon to do the work well.

A  Japanese tool called Hori Hori knife is a tool that is so multi-use it can be relied upon as a knife, trowel, and twine cutter. As a weeder, it is efficient, sharp, and can go deep into the soil for easy lifting.  It is ideal for digging holes for planting bulbs, garlic and small plants.  One side has a sharp serrated blade that allows it to be used for cutting through roots, sod, or twine and the other side has markings can be used as a ruler for planting depth or other needs. Many suppliers include a handy protective carrying case with it. I discovered this tool years ago in Japan and now it is easily available in the US. You can choose a Japanese version or one of the copies ranging from inexpensive versions, around $12. to the very high-end fancy types, around $50. and many in between. Make sure to get a stainless-steel blade. I prefer one available from Truly Garden (online) called Hori Hori Garden Knife and it sells for $27.50.

A great pair of hand pruners is a must for every household. Professionally I learned that Felco # 2 are the only ones to use. I have tried many and resorted to cheaper versions since I lose them occasionally (often later discovered in the compost). Yet, I always go back to my Felco # 2 as the best. Made in Switzerland, Felcos have strength in cutting,  versatility in cutting size, durability and last a lifetime. Being ergonomically designed  they are great for day-to-day use cutting branches up to 1 inch. Constructed with  aluminum alloy they never rust, have a notch for wire cutting, and all parts are replaceable. Plan on spending around $50. for a pair of Felco # 2s but know they are worth it.