Best Landscaping Tools for 2020

Rick MartinezSeptember 21st, 2020
Listen to this article

Owning and operating a landscaping business means purchasing, renting or leasing the necessary landscaping tools to keep customers’ lawns looking immaculate.

Landscape equipment and professional landscaping tools are absolute musts for your business, so it’s important to research specific items you’ll need to effectively provide your company’s landscaping services and grow a successful landscaping business.

Expenses add up quickly, so make smart choices before deciding on your landscaping tools and equipment list. Use these basic steps from Next Insurance to guide your choices as you build a strong foundation:

  • Make a list. Getting organized helps prevent unnecessary purchases.

  • Weigh your options. Know exactly what your needs are.

  • Get the most bang for your buck. Do your research.

  • Put safety first. Recognize that accidents do happen.

  • Get to work. Be safe and smart, and don’t slack on upkeep.

What kind of tools do landscapers use?  Part of the answer is found by examining your company’s short- or long-term goals. Should you look for commercial landscaping equipment for sale, or buy used landscaping tools for sale as a good way to save money? Are you utilizing helpful landscaping apps to save some sweat equity for your team? 

In this landscaping tools guide for 2020, learn which landscape tools you need to perform quality work more efficiently.

Must-Have Landscaping Tools

In compiling the best landscaping tools list, a landscaper must invest in certain pieces of reliable equipment to work most efficiently, whether they are for completely redesigning a customer’s landscape or sprucing up a neglected lawn.

According to Guidant Financial, the top eight necessary expenditures in landscaping tools and equipment for a small landscaping business include:

  1. $27,000 to $36,000 for a reliable vehicle to get from job site to job site.

  2. $800 to $5,000 for a utility trailer to haul heavy equipment.

  3. $50 to $200 per month to rent storage space for vehicles and tools.

  4. $1,000 to $2,600 for a commercial lawn mower (from ride-ons to walk-behinds, or a combination).

  5. $200 to $500 each for landscaping edging tools, trimmers, and push mowers.

  6. $35 to $70 apiece for spreaders and sprayers.

  7. $5,000 to $6,000 for cutting, digging, raking, grading and measuring tools.

  8. Varying costs for safety equipment (including personal protective equipment).

If your landscape company focuses solely on providing lawn care services, also consider buying a lawn leveling tool to smooth out bumps and ridges in yards before mowing. If your company offers lawn care and landscape maintenance services—such as planting flower beds, weeding, fertilizing, and pest control applications—invest in various hand tools, such as shovels, picks, rakes, hoes, spreaders and shears.

Landscaping Hand Tools

Ready to get your hands dirty? Landscapers definitely do that, and they require a multitude of landscaping hand tools to make the job a little easier.

Here are some basic hand tools to add to your landscaping equipment list:

Digging tools: 

  • Pointed- and square-edged shovels 

  • Spades 

  • Spading forks 

  • Hoes 

  • Picks 

  • Mattocks (root chopping and cutting)

  • Dandelion extractor

  • Hoses

Cutting tools: 

  • Pruners

  • Loppers

  • Pruning saws

  • Hedge shears

  • Blade sharpeners

Raking tools:

  • Heavy-duty steel garden rakes

  • Leaf rakes

  • Shrub rakes

Grading tools: 

  • Lawn leveling tool

  • Lawn rollers

  • Hand tampers

  • Power tampers

  • Soil compactors

Landscapers’ tools for measuring:

  • Sighting level

  • Tape measure

  • Measuring wheel

Marking tools:

  • Marking paint applicator

  • Chalk measuring wheel

  • Flagging tape

Extra landscaping tools: 

  • Sledge hammer

  • Single jack

  • Augers

  • Stake driver

  • Hammers

  • Hand saws

  • Power saw

  • Power drill

  • Level

  • Square and/or plumb bob

Again, figure on spending $5,000 to $6,000 for professional landscaping hand tools, or search online for good deals on less-expensive, used landscaping equipment. Just be sure to thoroughly inspect the equipment to make sure it’s in good working condition.

Landscaping Power Tools

Ask a fellow landscaper, “What equipment do you need for a landscaping business?” They’ll more than likely recommend making an investment in landscaping power tools.

But should you invest in tools powered by electricity or gas?

“There’s really no contest on noise between gas and cordless electric-powered equipment,” according to the Old Farmers Almanac. “Gas-powered tools use combustion engines, which make noise when producing power.”

Also, while gas-powered equipment costs less, electric-powered tools require little maintenance outside of general clean-up.

But as Consumer Reports test engineer Frank Spinelli points out: “Gas mowers are more versatile in terms of how large a yard can be cut. And they maintain better cutting performance in tougher, longer, and thicker grass.”

It’s really a matter of preference.

As to which power landscaping tools you need to acquire to complete your landscaping equipment package, consider these items:

  • Riding lawn mower

  • String trimmers

  • Leaf blowers and leaf vacuums

  • Hedge trimmers

  • Power aerator

  • Power edging tools for landscaping

  • Chainsaws

  • Pole pruners/saws

  • Tillers

  • Wood chipper/garden shredder

Cold-Weather Necessities

There’s no need to shutter your landscaping business during the winter months. Commercial landscaping equipment—with a few adaptations—can be used for other purposes to support perennial growth for your company.

Colder weather means additional job leads, such as removing snow and ice from neighborhood streets, parking lots, and sidewalks.  

  • Go from mowing lawns to snow removal by attaching a large, scooping shovel to the front, or even back, of your truck. 

  • Add a gas- or electric-powered snow blower to your equipment arsenal to make sidewalk snow-clearing easy.

  • Use a power spreader to distribute ice melt solutions. 

  • Another off-season idea: Hang Christmas lights for customers.

Equip your landscaping business for the colder months, perhaps even providing heavy winter clothing for your employees with your company’s name emblazoned on the apparel. Don’t winterize down; accessorize up instead.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance and timely replacement of landscaping tools and equipment, along with the vehicles you use to haul them, is vital to maintaining your landscaping profits.

Your company invests a lot of money in tools for landscaping, so protect that investment by making cleaning, repair and maintenance part of your day-to-day operations, long-range planning, and year-round budgeting.

After you acquire the essential landscaping tools and equipment, train everyone on their proper use, upkeep, cleaning, maintenance, and storage. Your tools will last longer and your team will know they can rely on them.

Tools are a long-term investment. Maintain them with these tips:

  • Service and repair regularly

  • Store in a cool, dry place

  • Clean regularly

  • Keep blades sharpened

Safety and Personal Protective Equipment

To reduce occupational injuries, landscaping companies need to provide safety and personal protective equipment to their workers.

Outfit your landscaping employees with the proper safety gear and equipment, such as:

  • Ear protection (ear plugs and ear muffs)

  • Eye protection (safety goggles and glasses)

  • Face protection (safety shields and masks)

  • Hand and arm protection (gloves)

  • Head protection (hard hats and helmets)

  • Breathing protection (respirators and masks)

On ear protection, for instance, lawn equipment noise reaches up to 95 decibels, according to OSHA. Hearing damage can occur at sound levels in the 85- to 90-decibel range.

Maximize Efficiency with Landscaping Business Software

Weed out your operational inefficiencies by utilizing landscaping business software to provide quintessential customer service.

ServiceTitan’s solution for coordinating daily landscaping tasks helps your company increase average tickets and grow revenues.

Communicate clearly with customers using automated scheduling, GPS-based dispatching and tracking, and online booking. Use customized data reporting to monitor and boost your technicians’ productivity, so you can watch your buds bloom into more sales.

Provide your customers with good-better-best landscaping options while streamlining your job cycle and boosting team efficiency for dispatching, scheduling, financing, marketing, business reporting, integrating QuickBooks Online, and better customer engagement.

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive landscape and lawn care business software solution built specifically to help companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

Learn More

Related post

Announcing ServiceTitan Marketing Pro - Direct Mail and Reputation

High performing contractors know that following up on every opportunity across multiple channels and maintaining a positive online reputation are critical to success. But when it comes to direct mail and managing the process of reviews and gathering actionable insights, these marketing best practices can be a challenge to follow. Marketing Pro is about to change all that.

Top 15 Plumbing YouTube Channels for Industry Professionals

As a commercial and residential plumbing contractor, whether you’re an owner, manager or a solo everyday professional, you know how difficult it can be to stay on top of things, keep abreast of trends, and learn new tips and tricks from fellow pros.You want to grow your plumbing business, market it well, and be aware of all the trends affecting the plumbing industry.

3 Tools to Grow a Profitable Electrical Business

Master electrician Chris Crew explains how a digital price book, add-on sales, and free training can help grow your business. Crew explains how companies need to equip all service techs with modern business tools—such as training, software, and marketing plans—to really succeed.