We all have some tools we reach for first. My favourite is a Japanese Sickle similar to this
It is really multi functional and holds an edge well. I use it for a wide range of tasks including harvesting. It just cuts better than my Brish made ones and the slicing action is more efficient. Geoff Lawton mentions a similar one in one of his videos - called a "Rice Knife" but I have found few references online. Look at the folks using Scythes online and you will agree that some handtools are more efficient . Jack
wow, that site has some stellar prices it looks like. thanks for the link! seems they getcha a bit on shipping for small orders.still great though its also totally bogging down my browser/pc ?
i remember geoff speaking about it too, think i need to pick one one
some of my favorite hand tools are also japanese, my pull-saws and chisels mainly. in the garden i suppose my most used hand tool is a trowel with a comfortably curved handle. makes such a difference. i also really like the aluminum scoop i picked up for spreading mulch and compost around. light weight and take a nice big load. it's been REALLY handy with all the heavy snowfall here in LI,NY lately. another 3 inches tonight. it's already ovr 2' high in my yard. 3' in some spots. the scoop is much better than a snow shovel for this.
My single most useful hand tool is a stainless digging knife I use for a lot of routine work in the garden. It has knife sharp edges, with one side serrated, so it it good for digging holes or furrows for sowing seed, cutting/digging weeds, cutting heads, leaves, or fruit for harvest, digging out small root crops, minor pruning, cutting string/cord for trellis construction, etc.
I have 2 tools that I leave in the garden always. One is a spade shovel with a cracked fiberglass handle. I am triple digging the garden in sections and I always use that shovel. I have had some heart trouble and the cracked handle stops me fron working too hard. It is my safety valve. The second is a long handled Italian hoe. I use it to scratch in the seeds, level off planting areas, mark rows etc. The 2 points come in so handy, and the long handle makes it easy to use and not break your back.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Formerly pa_friendly_guy_here
At the stage I'm at now, I'm still clearing trees and brush all the time, so my most used and loved tool is a machete. I've tried half a dozen different ones ranging from Walmart, Cold-Steel(multiple varieties), Gerber, and Ontario. The Ontario 18" blade is by far the best for all purpose use. You need to feather sharpen the blade with a belt sander like with most new machete's, but after that it will be the strongest, easiest to handle, least fatigueing, least wearing, best machete you'll use. The first one I bought lasted 15 years before snapping while hacking a 10" tree down. The one I just bought has a junkier handle, but the design and weight balance and metal quality is still there. So far so good after using it on a bunch of coniferous hard wood. Sorry, fuzzy pic.
I'm not sure if they're my FAVORITE hand tools; but the tools I tend to use the most are my Opinel no.8 pocket knife, and my Tramontina machete. The machete can hold an edge sharp enough to shave with, and the opinel has some of the best steel I've ever messed with.
The machete was great for cutting up marred/under-developed fruit and veggies from the garden, so the chickens could get to the juicy parts. I guess the weight in the head gives it plenty of follow through power. I think it ran me about $10, about the same as the Opinel.
I don't mean to put a plug in for Opinel, but they make a great knife. Mushroom knives, gardening knives, pruning knives, etc. They're pretty economical as well. Here's a link to some of their gardening knives.