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It doesn’t matter what the weather is outside, gardeners are thinking about their gardens. Besides what plants they want, gardeners are also thinking about garden tools and how they can make many tasks easier. Auctions are great places to find garden tools and equipment. Before you scope out a selection of garden tools at auction, though, gather information. It is important to learn some garden tool basics and what to look for in tools.

Basic Facts About Garden Tools

Here are some basic facts about the quality of garden tools:

  • The cheapest tools will have a tang and ferrule attachment. They are made cheaply and will separate in time.
  • Solid socket tools have a stronger connection from the handle to the working end. These types of tools are more expensive but if well-cared-for they will last a lifetime.
  • The most expensive (like the sporty version of cars) tools have a seamless solid strap attachment that will stay.

Don’t Forget Ergonomics!

Look for tools that have slide grips and durable handles. Also, look at how tall the shovel handle is as well—you don’t want to hurt your back by bending too much while shoveling.

Other things to look for in your garden tools besides size are also easy to spot. Go for tools with wood or coated metal handles, and proper tool care and storage options. Many experts suggest buying used garden tools with wood handles of ash or hickory. Ash is lightweight and hickory is heavier and more durable.

Look for these hand tools:

  • Hand Rake – A hand rake can pick up garden debris and dead leaves.
  • Water Breaker – A hose attachment that provides gentle spraying of water like rain. The water breaker is great for irrigation.
  • Japanese Gardener’s Knife (or Hori-Hori) – This tool works well digging, planting bulbs, and weeding. The blade cuts roots and separates small perennials.
  • Shears – For trimming grass around tree trunks and shrubs, edging beds and paths and cutting back ornamental grasses and clumps of perennials.
  • Scissors – Cuts dead flower buds, twine, and perennials
  • Hand Pruner – Cuts thin branches, weeding
  • Hand Weeder – Specific for shallow-rooted weeds, the ergonomic design decreases hand strain

Look for these long-handled tools:

  • Long-Handled Pruner
  • Round-Headed Shovel
  • Transplant Spade
  • Bow Rake
  • Digging Fork
  • Leaf Rake

While Not Garden Tools, Accessories Are Helpful

Talk to any gardener and you will learn how important hand protection is for them. Not only are good quality gloves expensive, but there are also several different types you might want. It’s a delight when gardeners pick up a gently used pair at auction. Look for:

  • Latex-coated cotton gloves
  • Washable synthetic gloves
  • Heavy-duty leather gloves
  • Lighter work gloves
  • Arm protectors

Also, check for garden equipment such as watering cans, kneeling pads, seats, planters, fountains, ponds, and pumps.

General Auction Checklist

No matter what you bid on and purchase at an auction or other private sale, consider this general checklist:

  • Compare the cost to a new model
  • Look for signs of wear and tear
  • Check for repairs made or needing to be made
  • Consider how well the item has been maintained

The great thing about buying garden tools and equipment at auction, is that it’s never seasonal. You might find the best tools at an auction in the middle of winter! At LAWSON & CO Auctions buyers find fine examples of good garden tools and other household or personal items. Perhaps you have dug your last garden and reaped your last harvest. When it’s time to empty the garden shed, call us at (317) 745-6404 to see how we can help you in the process.

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