The following are the tools and gear I use to take care of my half acre yard. These are all items I own and recommend based on their performance and cost. Most can be found at your local Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply or online at Amazon.
For lawn mowers, I recommend getting a self-propelled or walk behind mower. After looking at the top models I picked the Honda based on personal experience with the brand.
This image links to Home Depot
I own a slightly different model, which isn’t available any longer, the HRR2168VKA, for over 5 years now. It is still running great after all this time and the next mower I buy will be a Honda as well.
Weedeater / Edger
Although this model doesn’t have the best feedback, I have loved using mine. The 40V models aren't that expensive (Amazon link)
I have been using the same battery for over 5 years. Prior to getting this, I had a 2 cycle gas powered trimmer. This is much easier, just plug in the battery and go. The swivel head allows you to switch from trimmer to edger easily. It is much lighter than a gas powered trimmer so it’s easy on the arms.
Update October 2021: The original battery lasted around 6 years. I was able to pick up a replacement on eBay and it has worked fine, even though it is not OEM. I also replaced the motor the same year. It is cheaper than the battery, but a little tricky to install.
- Attachment capable: accepts RYOBI expand-it attachments and other universal gas attachments to save time, money and space
- 40-Volt lithium-ion high capacity battery and 90-minutes charger included
- 13 in. to 15 in. adjustable cutting width for longer run time or wider cutting path
The only cons I have about this are the string needs to be pulled manually. I did have to replace the end cap after it wore down but it was only a few bucks.
Even if you don’t get this model, I would highly recommend getting a battery-powered unit that has a swivel head for edging.
I wrote a review about the top 5 under $500 tool chests a few months ago. In it, I selected a 3-drawer Craftsman tool box (Amazon link). I use the same one at home. I also have the Craftsman 4 drawer rolling cabinet underneath. I would have included it in the review but it would have pushed the total price over the $500 cutoff by a little.
- All-Steel ConstructionBall-Bearing Drawer SlidesKeyed LockSupports up to 650 lbs.8,202 cu. in. of Storage
A sturdy tool chest is something that is going to be with you for life so don’t skimp on it. I’ve had mine for close to 20 years and it’s still in perfect shape.
I have 6 of these plastic shelves from Home Depot in my garage. Metal shelving is more useful with adjustable shelf height, but the price of these plastic shelves is why they are recommended.
I have the 6’Hx3’Wx2’D versions shown here. Only $50.
I’ve had this leaf blower for around 5 or 6 years. Previously, I used a gas powered version but the engine would not start reliably. Electric for everything except the lawn mower is working great for me. Less hassle keeping up with multiple engines.
- Generates powerful air speed of 160 mph
- Lightweight and easy to use at only 4.6-pounds
- 2-speed air control for greater versatility.Product type: Hand held
It is a corded electric leaf blower manufactured by Toro (Amazon link). I have been thinking about getting a battery-powered model that would work with the existing 40V battery on my Ryobi trimmer. But at such a low price point and the fact that it still works like a champ, I haven’t seen a need to replace it.
This is one item I rarely use. It is a Ryobi telescoping cordless pole saw (check price on amazon).
It mainly comes out once per year when I need to trim up the Crape Myrtle branches that are overhanging my roof. I like the Ryobi brand and stayed with it, even though it has a different battery than my trimmer.
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with...
No complaints about it, although I haven’t really put it to serious work as I don’t use it very often.
Composting Bins and Tumblers
After trying a few different composting methods over the years, I have settled on the Jora 270 tumbler (Amazon link). It has two separate containers which allow you to keep adding fresh materials while the original batch composts. I wrote up a little article about it here.
- This tumbling composter is constructed for ease and simplicity of rotation - it's simply turned by hand whenever waste is put in.
- The Jora Compost Tumbler is divided into two chambers. While one is being filled, the compost in the other chamber matures.
- The Jora Composter is positioned off the ground and the doors are secured with a latch so that there is no possibility of rodents or other pests gaining access to the waste in the machine.
Wheelbarrows / Carts
Four wheels really are better than one. You can load more and have an easier time moving things around with a cart than a wheelbarrow. I won’t lie, this Gorilla Carts 1200lb capacity dump cart (Amazon link) is a little pricey but it is well worth the money. I used one to haul a dump truck load of pea gravel to a new fire pit area and I didn’t spill one pebble. Not sure I could say the same with a wheelbarrow.
- Patented quick-release dump feature makes unloading quick and easy
- New frame design reduces assembly time while offering improved maneuverability and ground clearance
- Heavy-Duty 40-inch x 25-inch rust-proof poly bed and 13-inch pneumatic tires. Cubic Ft Capacity - 6
It’s easier on the muscles to pull a cart than balance a wheelbarrow so if you are older – or younger – this cart can help you move trash, leaves, compost, rocks, whatever where you need it.
It is claimed it will hold 1500lbs but I don’t think you would be able to pull it. Gorilla Carts makes smaller versions for hauling 600 and 1200lb loads in case you have a smaller yard. The only negative I have is it takes more precious garage space than a tilted-on-its-side wheelbarrow.
With the distance our Jasmine vines are from the nearest electrical outlet, we had to go with a battery-powered hedge trimmer. It is a Greenworks model and while it does work ok, the battery does not last long enough to cut the full length of our vines and bushes.
That’s why (if your bushes are close to an electrical outlet) I recommend purchasing the Greenworks 22 inch Corded Hedge Trimmer (Amazon link). My review of the top models is here.
- Powered by 24V Lithium-Ion Battery and compatible with both indoor and outdoor tools--includes 2Ah Battery and Charger
- Innovative 180 degree rotating rear handle to provide easy trimming at multiple angles with wrap around auxiliary handle for user comfort
- 22-Inch dual action steel blade for optimal performance, aluminum rail cover included for safe storage and transportation
It has the right power, weight and blade size to do most any clipping job a homeowner could throw at it. If my cordless model craps out I will be purchasing this one.
Other Useful Gear
These are more items that are used all the time while taking care of my yard.
I try to compost all of my clippings, but after a good rain there are too many to put in my bin. I have to bag them up and set the by the curb. This handy little collapsible bin from Worx (Amazon link) has proven very helpful. It is large enough to hold a whole hopper full of clippings at a time.
- [COLLECT MORE LEAVES, QUICKER] Ideal for yard waste and debris collection, get a cleaner lawn with less work
- [WIDE OPENING] 26 gallons of yard waste is a lot, so we made a wide opening so you can fill it up quickly
- [EXTRA-STRONG SPRING DESIGN] Effortlessly pops up, then easily collapses into a slim 3” stack for storage
When its not in use, I set it by my wife’s car so she can have a trash can out in the garage. It is useful to also have a large bagged can when we want to throw away something bulky. I buy 50-gallon bags from Amazon to use with it.
Lawn and Garden Gift Guides
Looking for the perfect gift for your yard-work loving family member? Check out these gift guides that feature many unique and cool outdoor gifts. Prices range from $20 to $200 so you can find something for any budget.