24 Must-Buy Tools for Landscaping [+ Free Checklist]
The right tools for landscaping are essential when you’re just starting a landscaping business. Use the landscaping tools list in this article to buy the equipment you need and be prepared for any job.
Plan to spend $1,570–4,540+ (USD) on equipment for landscaping and lawn care, not including your truck and trailer. You can cut costs by buying used equipment to start and replacing items as you start to win work and get paid.
1. Landscaping power tools
A push mower helps you keep clients’ lawns trimmed and tidy. Use gas or electric for clients with larger properties, or reel mowers for smaller properties or areas with less lawn space.
If you provide lawn care for extra-large spaces, like multi-acre properties, you might find a riding mower more effective. It costs more than a push mower but saves you time and effort on larger jobs.
Like every other purchase on this list, make sure you’re saving receipts and tracking business expenses. This will be a big help not only at tax time, but in calculating your overhead costs and profit margins, too.
A leaf blower is a power tool that makes it fast and easy to clear leaves, grass clippings, and other debris away from paths and driveways—much faster than with a rake alone.
Use a battery-powered handheld blower for residential landscaping services, or a gas-powered backpack blower for heavier debris and larger commercial jobs that require more power.
A string trimmer, also known as a grass trimmer or weed whacker, helps you create clean edges along paths, sidewalks, driveways, and other flat surfaces that grass can grow over.
String trimmers come in gas and electric varieties. Gas-powered models are noisier but good for larger jobs, while electric trimmers are quieter and better for smaller jobs and residential work.
An electric or gas-powered hedge trimmer helps you clean up bushes, small tree branches, and other light plant growth, giving your clients tidy and attractive greenery.
Hedge trimmers are meant for light use, but they’ll start to feel heavy after extended use. Get a hedge trimmer that’s comfortable to hold and as lightweight as possible.
Like the hedge trimmer, pole saws are designed for cutting tree branches and cleaning up foliage. However, they can easily handle bigger branches and have a longer reach than a trimmer.
Pole saws are electric or gas-powered and can take care of heavier tree limbs. You may prefer a chainsaw, but you won’t be able to cut higher branches without climbing the tree.
Cost: $150+ pole saw
2. Landscaping hand tools
Pole pruners are another way to cut branches. These manually operated tools have a longer reach than hedge trimmers and are more lightweight than a pole saw, making them better for detail work.
Cost: $60+ pole pruner
Pruning shears and loppers
Pruning shears are handheld plant scissors that help you cut small branches one at a time. Loppers are similar but have much longer handles, giving you the power to cut bigger branches.
These landscaping tools are meant for quickly cleaning up small but obvious overgrowth on trees and bushes. Use them alongside your hedge trimmer and pole saw to get those cleanup jobs done right.
Cost: $10+ pruning shears, $20–40+ loppers
Shovels and spades
Every landscaper needs a trusty shovel (or several) to get the job done. Look for a flat-bladed spade for edging, cutting, and planting, as well as a round or pointed-blade shovel for digging.
You can get shovels with wood or metal shafts, and with optional grips or kick plates. The best shovels have sturdy collars (connecting pieces) that aren’t likely to break with heavy use.
Get a snow shovel if you decide to offer winter landscaping services. Whatever shovel you choose, just make sure it’s the right height for you.
Cost: $40+ ($20+ each)
Rounded or pointed-blade trowels help with digging, cutting, and edging jobs that are too small for a shovel. These hand tools are also perfect for planting flowers and small shrubs.
Trowels typically have metal blades and can come with plastic, metal, or wooden handles. Find a trowel that’s comfortable to hold and won’t snap in half if you hit a rock by accident.
Leaf rakes collect leaves, grass clippings, and other debris from lawns. These are broad, lightweight rakes, often with a fan-shaped plastic head attached to a wood or metal shaft.
You’ll also need a garden rake. This type of rake has a flat metal head with sharp tines, which is good for removing stones from dirt and spreading soil, mulch, stones, and other materials.
Cost: $30+ ($15+ each)
3. Lawn equipment
Get an electric or gas-powered lawn aerator to help water, air, and nutrients enter the soil in the client’s lawn.
Like many tools, the electric option works well for small residential lawns, while the gas version is best for larger spaces. You may even be able to get an aerator that connects to your mower.
Steer clear of manual aerators—these take far too much time and effort to use, except in very small spaces.
Rototiller and cultivator
A rototiller (or tiller) comes in handy for breaking up packed dirt and creating a better surface for planting.
In addition to the tiller, you may want a cultivator to help mix nutrients into loose soil. This tool is like a tiller but has much smaller tines, which are great for mixing soil rather than breaking it up.
Tillers and cultivators can be manual, electric, or gas-powered. Use manual options like a garden hoe for smaller areas, electric for small-to-medium areas, or gas for larger areas.
Cost: $130+ for combination tiller/cultivator
Spreaders help you spread seed and fertilizer over a client’s lawn. A broadcast spreader covers a wider range, while a drop spreader covers a smaller area more accurately.
Spreaders come in push-behind and tow-behind versions. Push-behind spreaders are best for smaller spaces where you’re on foot, while tow-behind spreaders connect to your truck or mower for bigger jobs.
You’ll need a pressure sprayer to spray fertilizer and pesticide on clients’ lawns. You can get a handheld, backpack, or tow-behind sprayer, and larger models are electric or gas powered.
Cost varies widely depending on the type you get. Start with a less-expensive option and consider upgrading as you take on larger jobs that require more spraying power.
A sturdy wheelbarrow will help you transport materials across a job site more easily—for example, carrying sod to the yard, or tree branches to the dumpster.
Look for a wheelbarrow with at least 6–10 cubic feet of space. You might also prefer a two-wheeled option instead of a single wheel for more control.
A tamper helps you compact the soil before you install a patio, paving stones, or other flat surfaces. This is an essential tool to keep the soil from settling over time and undoing all your hard work.
Get a long-handled tamper to tamp down small spaces or a rolling tamper for larger areas. Only invest in an expensive gas-powered tamper if you’ll be tamping very large spaces on a regular basis.
Post hole digger or auger
A post hole digger is a type of double-bladed shovel that makes it easy to manually dig round, uniform holes for fence posts and similar uses.
An electric or gas-powered auger uses a large corkscrew bit to drill holes in the ground. It does the same thing as a post hole digger, only faster—and it generally costs a bit more.
Either one is a good option when you’re getting started. That said, hold off on getting one until you actually need it for a job.
Garden hose and nozzle
Your clients will likely have their own garden hose, but bringing your own means you’ll always have the hose length and nozzle type that’s right for the job.
Get a few different hose lengths for different project sizes—for example, 25, 50, and 100-foot hoses. You may also want a hose reel for each hose to keep the lines clear and unkinked.
Cost: $20–50 each
A plastic bucket always comes in handy on the job, whether you’re moving water, stones, soil, plants, or other tools for landscape design and lawn care.
It doesn’t need to be fancy—it just needs a handle and no holes in the bottom.
4. Landscaping safety gear
Get a pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorns, insect bites, cuts, hazardous plants, or even just blisters.
Gloves come in lots of different materials, like rubber or leather. Look for a pair with a good range of motion and material that fits the job at hand.
Safety glasses and earmuffs
Landscaping can be a hazardous job, so protect your eyes and your hearing with equipment like safety glasses and earmuffs.
Both items come at different price points and in different styles, like noise-canceling earbuds, but even lower-end options like earplugs will do the job.
Cost: $10–40 glasses, $10–100+ earmuffs
Steel toe boots
Steel toe boots or shoes will protect your feet from heavy equipment and other falling hazards. They come at a wide range of prices, so just look for a pair that’s lightweight enough to wear all day.
Your feet swell throughout the day, so you’ll get the best fit if you do your shopping in the evening. Make sure to wear the same type of socks you’ll be wearing on the job, too.
5. Assorted landscaping tools
You never know when you’ll need to repair something on the job, so bring a well-stocked toolkit containing items like a hammer, wrench, pliers, and an electric drill or set of screwdrivers.
This won’t be your main set of day-to-day tools, so feel free to go with a less expensive option when you’re getting started. You can always upgrade later when you need to.
Truck and trailer
A pickup truck and trailer are essential for transporting your landscaping tools and equipment to job sites. If you don’t already have them, here’s what to look for when you’re buying:
- Truck: Minimum 6-foot bed length, 1,500+ lb payload, and towing capacity that can manage the combined weight of your equipment and trailer
- Trailer: Cargo (enclosed) trailers are pricey, so start with a utility trailer with an open bed. You may also want a cargo net to keep your equipment from flying off in transit—and remember to unload the trailer each day to prevent equipment theft.
Prices vary depending on where you live and whether you buy privately or from a dealership. You can also get financing for this type of purchase and file it as a small business tax deduction.
Cost: $5,000–40,000+ truck, $1,000+ trailer
Landscaping software like Jobber helps you schedule your team and get paid quickly for your work, without the paperwork and administrative headaches. Jobber can give you a hand with:
- Invoicing & payments: Jobber helps you generate quick invoices and follows up on late payments automatically. You can collect payment on the spot with the Jobber Card Reader or get paid automatically when you save customer cards on file.
- Scheduling: Add jobs to your calendar faster and assign them to available landscapers instantly. When rainy days delay your work, you can reschedule jobs quickly with a drag-and-drop calendar.
- Client manager: Cut down on phone calls back to the office and equip your team with all the information they need to do the job right.