23 Yard Tool Hacks That’ll Make Your Life Easier
Save your back! These simple and smart updates to everyday yard tools will make your outdoor chores a heck of a lot easier this season.
Better Wheelbarrow Grips
Make lifting heavy loads with your wheelbarrow a little more pleasant by adding these cushioned hand grips. Reuse an old rubber bike tube by cutting pieces to fit over the wheelbarrow handles. If needed, use a hair dryer to warm up the rubber and make it easier to stretch. The bike tube provides the perfect amount of padding and traction.
Oil Change Trough
I-Spy Rain Gutter
Here’s a quick and easy way to eyeball rain gutters for possible clogs—before the next downpour causes an overflow. Cut a 60-degree angle on the end of a piece of PVC pipe and tape a hand mirror to the angled end. Hoist the mirror above the gutter to spot leaves and mini jams.
Handy Rake Handle
Save your back when raking mulch or shoveling heaps of dirt by adding another handle to your long-handle tools. A section of PVC pipe with a tee fitting and cap work perfectly. Add a screw through the tee fitting and into the handle for won’t-budge stability. Check out these other genius handy hints.
Grass Seed Broadcaster
Slick Shovel Hack
Working with heavy, clay-packed soil? Keep your shovel clean and make your job easier by spraying it with silicone. The light coating will prevent dirt from sticking, so you can work fast. Be sure to use a lubricant that contains silicone or Teflon and recoat the shovel occasionally. Check out our pro hole-digging tips.
Mix Concrete with a Rake
Long-Handled Tool Rack
Get a Grip
Get a better grip on your straight-handled shovel by epoxying a 1-in. PVC tee to the end.
Makeshift Trench Tool
Easy Apple Spear
Need a hole in hard soil? Use a Drill!
Laundry Jug Watering Can
- Lift the front edge of the stone with a pry bar and slip two pipes underneath. Place one near the front and one about midway so the stone rests on the pipes.
- Position the third pipe a foot or two in front of the stone.
- Roll the stone forward onto the third pipe until the rear pipe comes free. Then move the rear pipe to the front and repeat.
This technique works best on relatively flat ground. On mild slopes, you’ll need a helper to shift pipes while you stabilize the load. Don’t use this method on steeper slopes.
Tin Can Water Bottle Holder
Vacuum Attachment Holder
No-Ladder Gutter Cleaner
This gutter cleaner is inexpensive, takes about 10 minutes to make and will help you avoid ladder climbing. Buy 3/4-in. PVC pipe, two elbows, a garden hose coupling and a cap at a local home center. Drill 1/16-in. holes in the cap as shown. Make the handle long enough to comfortably reach your gutters, and cement the parts together with PVC glue.
Sprinkle Grass Seed Like Grated Cheese
Reuse your grated cheese container to shake grass seed on bare spots in your lawn. The holes in the container are the perfect size for dispensing just the right amount without overdoing it. Plus: More handy hints for frugal homeowners.
Tarp Cement Mixer
Sharpen Your Shovels
A rubber chair leg cap instantly converts a hammer into a rubber mallet. And if you want to drive a nail without denting the surrounding wood, cut a hole in the rubber cap. Pound until the rubber strikes wood, then finish driving the nail with a nail set. A 1-1/8-in. rubber cap fits tightly over most hammers and costs about $1 at home centers and hardware stores.
Build a Space-Saving Yard Tool Holder
This versatile tool holder design fits a variety of long-handled garden and yard tools, including those with “D-shaped” handles. Before getting started, measure your tool handles—especially the ones with D-shaped handles— to make sure they’ll fit the dimensions shown in the plan at far right. If not, you can easily adjust the grid measurements to fit your own tools.