his Garden Trowel from Fisher Blacksmithing is made the old-fashioned way: its steel is heated to a red glow, then shaped on an anvil with a hammer. Made in Bozeman, Montana, it has a sharp point to penetrate soil and a hand-turned black walnut handle; $58 on Etsy.
Okatsune Shears. Niwaki's Okatsune Precision Hedge Shears are the tool of choice for Jake Hobson, a sculptor who shapes trees in the soft, billowy style known as cloud pruning. Made in Japan with two-toned white oak handles, the shears are $85.66 on Amazon.
From Portland, OR, Barnel Hedge Shears are used by Steve Lannin, gardener to British landscape designer Arne Maynard at his Allt-y-Bela estate in Wales. The 27.5-inch lightweight shears are $52.99 on Amazon.
Diggit Hori Tool. For those of us who don't trust ourselves around sharp blades, the Diggit Hori Garden Knife is an alternative with an equally enthusiastic following. It's been reimagined with dull edges—sharp enough to cut through roots and sod, but dull enough to keep your hands safe—and a round handle comfortable enough to use all day. Made in Seattle, the knife is guaranteed not to rust—even if left outside all year long in Pacific Northwest rain; $35.
Japanese Hori Hori Tool. For devotees of the traditional Japanese hori hori tool, this one is a classic: made in Japan of stainless steel by Nisaku/Tomita, the Hori Hori Tool is $25.86 on Amazon. (With a California-made leather holster, the Tool and Leather Sheath Set is $39.50.)
A specialized trowel from Dutch toolmaker Sneeboer, the Great Dixter Trowel has a particularly long and thin blade to make it easy to dig in narrow crevices and tight spots. It comes fitted with your choice of ash or cherry hardwood handle; $43.10 from Garden Tool Company.
Berger German Hand Pruners from Garrett Wade. The Premium Anvil Hand Pruner is made in Germany by trusted landscape toolmaker Berger. An Anvil-style hand pruner intended for cutting dead branches (leave the live cuts to the bypass blades); $64.75.