The Long and Short of Tool Handles

Home Depot
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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: 1 hour


Garden tools

From digging holes to weeding veggies, the work is made easier with a quality tool designed for the job.

The length of the handle makes a difference in how well the tool works and how easy it is for you to use. Long-handled tools extend your reach, which is great for weeding wide beds, but a spade or fork with a shorter handle will give you more leverage for tough tasks like digging out rocks.

Use the guidelines below to find garden tools that are comfortable and practical to use.

Choose the Right Tool for the Right Job:

  1. Long-handled tools make it possible to work while standing almost upright, reducing bending. But they also compromise leverage. A fiberglass handle will save on weight and is much less likely to break when used for a tough task. Choose long handles if you are more than 6’ tall or working a large area.
  2. Medium-handled tools deliver powerful blows and are useful for working in tight corners. Choose a medium-handled tool for breaking up soil or driving stakes into the ground.
  3. Short-handled tools are easy to control, invaluable for close work, and the safest way to use sharp edges to your advantage. Small hand trowels or cultivators make quick work of weeding.


With all tools, check that your grip feels secure on the handle.

Various Handled Tools:

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