View Full Version : what hand tools do u guys buy?

The Curious Porpoise
01-06-2006, 09:26 PM
what hand tools do u guys buy? and special brand, or just whatever seems sturdy? do u buy from a place like home depot, or some where else?

P.S. i'm talkin shovels, pitchforks, mattocks, etc. NOT trimmer's edger's etc.

01-06-2006, 10:33 PM
I used to buy from Shemins, but I have been using AM Leonard pretty much exclusively. I spend abou 2K per year on hand tools, pruners, shovels ect...I get a good discount, good selection, I dont have to run around and look for stuff, they deliver to the door....

The Curious Porpoise
01-06-2006, 10:43 PM
what are their websites? how do u spend $2,000 every year in hand tools?

01-06-2006, 10:43 PM
I have gotten some stuff at Wal-mart. The Stanley tools are pretty nice, my new rake has a fiberglass handle. Now I do have a wooden handled shovel but that was my personal shovel to begin with. They can snap but I am kind of attached. I got a pruning saw at Home Depot, not thrilled with that, but I guess it isn't for everything. It is just me though. I want to get one of those weed tools, although I forget the name, I think it might save some time. What is a mattock? I would get some decent pruners. I finally did, and recently I used them as wire cutters, not a good idea.

01-06-2006, 11:26 PM
You can work with the inexpensive hand tools at Home Depot / Walmart etc, but make sure you buy the "best" level tools. My local hardware store is a True Value, and their higher level tools are good, and the price is basically the same as the super stores. Do you have a landscape supply store near you? Usually they will carry the higher quality tools. For "boss" use (me), I spring for the expensive tools, but for employees I buy at most the "mid" level tools. They manage to break anything, no matter how heavy duty it is. :realmad:

01-06-2006, 11:58 PM
I try to buy U.S. forged steel shovels ,spades ect
The best tools you are going to find for hand work are at old peoples yard sales.Older Men always took great care of their tools they were built to last many years and you won't find any made in China crap in those garages for sure.Most of my hand tools,besides my grade rake and my hulahoe I have bought 2nd hand in such sales in great condition for practicly nothing price wize

01-07-2006, 03:22 PM

I have twenty union guys and between lost/stolen pruners, broken tools,, new ladders, ect. it happens....when I was at TGLC we woudl purchase around 5-6K in tools yearly....

I am gradualy doing more regular inventories of tools so I hope that sicne the gusy se me checkingmore often they will take better care. If they break a tool I need the broken tool back so they can get a new one....This helps me better see where/how they are being broken and used. you know using a shovel for a pry bar instead of a digging bar...type thing....I think interdepartamental theft is my biggest issue....you know the guys leave a shovel on the truck while at break and someone from another department sees a nice shovel and takes it...

I never ordered online from shemins, I don't know if you can or not...
But my contact at Am leonard is Teresa Bailey if you wanted to call and order....

01-07-2006, 05:10 PM
MarcSmith, there have been threads here in the past describing how some companies have employees sign out tools for the day. The employee is responsible for what he signed out, and you have to figure out a policy on what to do about broken/lost tools. This may be a pain to implement, but from what you describe it may be worth it for you.

01-08-2006, 11:13 AM
i though about having a tool crib and signing out hand tools, ect. but I don't have the time and nor do I want my formen to be runing back to the garage to sign out hand tools all the time. I do it with my power equipment and the guys have cables/locks on the vehicle to lock the expensive stuff down...My monthly inventories seem to be helping so we will see what happens next year. When I got to GU, ther was not a new tool in sight and anytime they needed something they went to the stock room and ordered from grainger and they ordered the cheapest I may be spending more on my tools than in years past, but I think the tools are lasting longer. FWIW...I guess ther are certain levels of loss I am ok with. Hand tools not the biggest on my plate. Power tools and High dollar stuff is first. When I first arrived, at least according to my boss and the mechanics, several peices of power equipment would walk each year.. two years later, No losses of power equipment....

01-08-2006, 01:52 PM
shovels, rakes, ect.
Buy fiberglass handles from Sears, Lifetime gaurantee, no Questions asked exchange. Home depot and others keep changing suppliers / manufactures to the point that by the time it breaks you need to contact the manufacture then send it to them and wait for a replacement plus pay the shipping. screw that!!! Craftsman hand tools all they way. buy it once, never buy it again. unless stolen or lost.

01-08-2006, 04:26 PM
I use silverback shovels.Very strong.

Doug Z.
01-11-2006, 01:08 PM
My first tools were the rake and spade shovel from Sears. If you like a handle that is always flexing, then thats what you should buy. I bout one of Unions homeowner flat shovels and rakes the first year, and a Godd union fiberglass shovel from Home depot. The second year, I replaced every one of them. I know only by Ames contractor grade shovels, spade and flat. Union heavy grade wood rakes, and union heavy grade pitch forks. A couple of years a go, Ames quit making the Orange handled shovles that I loved. I spoke with my supplier about it. He got me a set of there new shovles, not the same, to try out. These are the blue handled ones with a yellow sleeve on them. Ames shipped them one of each(they werent stocking these at the time) and told me to try them. If I liked them, keep them, and when I want to, order some. If I didn't like them, Give them to a freind. These are the best shovels I've ever head. My concern was that they are lighter than the old ones, but the turned out to be just as strong, and the price is better than the heavy grade red handled one from Home Depot 7 years ago.

01-13-2006, 01:02 AM
I kinda lucked up by default when it comes to this topic. My mom is retired of course, but works 4 hours a day doing the book-keeping for a major name hardware store and they carry some good brands. SO, I get all my hand tools, Felco, Corona, Ames Contractor series, etc, PLUS...Jackson wheelbarrows and Solo Backpacker sprayers...PLUS Wolverine and Georgia Boots brand boots and Carhart clothing ALL at COST plus 10%.....and let me tell you on the hand tools esp, the mark-up is HUGE!!

So, I save quite a bit.....the down side? She lives and works 6 hours (3 hours Each way) from me, so I have to load up with "may need" supplies everytime I go home to see her :laugh: Matter of fact I brought back a new wheelbarrow and BP sprayer strapped to roof of the wifey's SUV when we went down for Christmas...wifey loved that :laugh:

01-13-2006, 01:36 AM
There is a guy here in hickory that has invented a hand edger that does the same thing as a bed egder. its inteded use is to restablish edges every year. from what i hear its a breeze to use and to beat all it actually works. i saw this tool first hand at killians. it has a long handle and you pull it toward yourself. bruce said he used it and he fell in love with it. even offered me his to use as a trial run. i might have to take him up on it