The red pry bar is my new favourite tool. The broad surface spreads the load, for less damage to salvaged materials. I don't often use a sledgehammer. The heavy end of the bar is used to bash things apart.
Perhaps not the most glamorous, but we don't use tractors here, so my most used hand tool is a long, hickory-handled spade. An antique, a relic of a bygone era, well worn but far stronger than most available today. At least around the homestead, that's the tool I always grab, along with some others I may need.
When wandering the woods, it's a toss up between a Corona folding saw and a Benchmade 162, if we are going strictly by amount of use. Although I could do without the saw before I'd do without the knife.
With a good tool, accomplishment is limited only by determination.
This hoe undercuts weeds, just beneath the surface. I like it better than my Dutch hoe. It cuts on both the push and pull.
Weighs almost nothing and I got it for free. It was left behind in the garage of a building that I demolished. It's a Wilkinson Sword swoe. I have never heard of a swoe before. Mine seems better than the one in the link. Sells for £30 or $60 Canadian.
My favorite garden tools- starting with the small stuff- what I take in the field or by bicycle:
saw- ARS folding saw, various lengths, carpenter tooth (smaller teeth) or Fanno pruning saw (I have one of the old 18 inchers- it'll do small trees- sometimes I'll use a smaller one)
Felco roll handle shears, Rt. or L, depending on which hand is screaming at me that day
Big Swiss Army lock blade w/ tools
Kama (Japanese sickle with long straight handle, laminated steel blade at rt. angle to handle) Fukuoka stylie, Hai!
Single-hand pick mattock from Hida, Terrabonne.
For serious bad-ass fun-
Scythes from Marugg and Scythe Supply, with brush blade, general blade, hay blade
German Slasher/Brush Hook (a two-handed medieval horror- practice for the remake of Braveheart on the floribundas or Himalayan Blackberries) from Earth Tools
Long reach pruners and pole saws and pickers from ARS, Fanno and others.
Hoes made in Italy, Brazil, India, and Japan from EasyDigging.com, Hida Hardware (broad, narrow and flat-tined
Tined hoes from Brazil and India from Easy Digging
Brush Axe, D-shape blade holder, from Sandvik
This looks great, I use an azada, which is same same but different.
the neighbour scornfully called it my paleo digging tool. After watching me shape our raised beds with it, he's come around to its qualities! I like the opineil knives very much.
My love is a stanly fat max 5m measuring tape, the best carpenter tape I've ever had. I'm on my 3rd one now due to natural attrition, they are enormously expensive here ,but worth every cent. Other carpenter tool favourites are my estwing hammer, a marples chisel, and an ancient putty knife that has the perfect amount of flex on the blade.
+1 for Hori Hori. Use it for everything. I have had three, and used them all extensively.
The Barebones one is by far the best on the market. best materials, construction, blade shape, ergonomic handle, and hands down the most functional sheath. Most of them that are available on Amazon are okay, but not high quality. The tine tends to protrude through the wooden handle, etc.
"Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup." - Wendell Berry
For gardening I tend to weed in squatting position, and love using both hori hori and my favorite Red Rooster sickle (so handy for so many uses!). I also love my Felco clippers for many jobs and Corona hand saw. Recently a friend gifted me a Cobrahead hoe, and it is really wonderful for precision weeding and cultivating. I used to it mix in manure to my garden beds. My other most-used tool is the hard rake.
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