What's Your Stealth Favorite Garden Tool

As a twist on the concept of this thread:

What’s your best dark horse garden tool? The one that you don’t use that often, but when you do you’re really glad you have it.

For me, it’s got to be this root hook for repotting bonsai. It’s super simple, just a steel hook with a rubberized handle. But whenever I’m repotting something or planting out a rootbound tree or shrub, this tool just shines. You can disentangle some really gnarly root masses without causing too much damage. It’s also super useful for getting rid of excess soil if you’re partially bare-rooting a new transplant. I haven’t done any bonsai since my early experiments died out, but I still use this tool all the time.


I have two, clippers and trowel.

mattock to cut the invading willow roots out of my beds.


Mine is this one –

I use it maybe 2 days in an entire year but absolutely the best tool for the job


This hoe has been used mostly for digging ginseng… 10k + root harvested with that little hoe the past 14 years or so.

I use it in the garden occasionally.

Found it hanging on a nail in my father’s shed after he passed away and I put that hickory handle in it myself.

It has made a few rattlers and copperheads… headless.

Climbed many a steep hill using it as a walking stick. It is famous… or at least on youtube with a few views.

Could not part with it.

How to get the whole root.



i repurposed many of the ol’ mans tools. have his wood pick ,he used to move wood to the splitter. he loved that tool. he would use it to reposition tree length as he cut it into blocks. .

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@steveb4 … I have some really old screwdrivers, wooden levels, wire cutters that were my grandfather’s. They still work great.


God bless…you’re a dying breed I think.!

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guys like him are going to get his community through the shit show we are in!

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Not precisely a “tool” but this rock sure comes in handy!

My battery powered backpack sprayer has a filter screen that will not stay attached. Well designed sprayer, poor designed clamping mechanism for the filter. So I found a small rock and used an angle ginder and diamond blade put a groove in it the right size to fit snug against the filter. It now no longer comes off during spraying.

Sometimes it’s the little things :wink:


A bulb auger drill bit. I borrow hubby’s Makita cordless drill and go to town – planting tomatoes and peppers in the spring, flower bulbs in the fall. Fast and neat.


It’s literally a piece of carbide on a stick but is great for some quick and dirty sharpening of shovels, trowels, clippers, etc.


Never thought of trying it on my shovel. Thanks

Is that a peavey? I have an Log-Ox one, neat tool! The power of leverage is a beautiful thing.

this thing. again I don’t know what this thing is.

it will get deep tap root weeds up immediately though. it’s awesome. it was a gift from my partner after watching me scream and curse at a pigweed one day.

you jam it into the weed

then you just tilt it using the thing that sticks out as leverage. it grabs deep when you do that and won’t let go of the root.

yes I was smoking a cigarette. I’ve taken a lot of photos today somehow

I’ve got one of those - I call it “the dandelion tool”. Works great.


I concur with the mattock. I use to hack out roots and double dig raised beds. image