A garden tool is any one of many tools made for gardens and gardening and overlaps with the range of tools made for agriculture and horticulture. Garden tools can also be hand tools and power tools.
The hand tools still used by gardeners originated with the earliest agricultural implements used by man: the spade, the garden hoe, the pitchfork, the garden fork, the garden rake, hand cultivator, spade, shovel, hand trowel, etc. The earliest tools were made of wood, flint, metal, tin, and bone.
The development of metal working, first in copper and later in iron and steel, enabled the manufacture of more durable tools. Industrial metalworking enabled the manufacture of cutting tools, including pruning shears (secateurs) and grass shears.
The first power tool to become popular with gardeners was the lawn mower. This has been followed by a very wide range of power tools, including cultivators, string trimmer, Irrigation sprinklers, hedge trimmers, lawn aerators, leaf sweepers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, and mini-tractors. In most third world countries they use a machete as a garden tool.
A hand tool is any tool that is not a power tool – that is, one powered by hand (manual labour) rather than by an engine. Some examples of hand tools are hammers, spanners, pliers, screwdrivers and chisels. Hand tools are generally less dangerous than power tools.
Pruning shears, also called hand pruners (in American English), or secateurs, are a type of scissors for use on plants. They are strong enough to prune hard branches of trees and shrubs, sometimes up to two centimetres thick. They are used in gardening, arboriculture, farming, flower arranging, and nature conservation, where fine-scale habitat management is required.
Loppers are a larger, two-handed, long-handled version for branches thicker than pruning shears can cut.
A tool is any physical item that can be used to achieve a goal, especially if the item is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tool use by humans dates back millions of years, and other animals are also known to employ simple tools.
Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such as "instrument", "utensil", "implement", "machine", or "apparatus". The set of tools needed to achieve a goal is "equipment". The knowledge of constructing, obtaining and using tools is technology.