Lawn & Garden

The Best Leaf Blowers Toro Ultra
If your lawn needs more help than a rake can provide, we found the best leaf blower after 50 hours of research and testing eight leading blowers with three pro landscapers. The $70 Toro Ultra Leaf Blower is a corded, electric blower that's as powerful as many gas models at a fraction of the cost, but we also have gas picks for those who need to cover more property.   Read More >
The Best Leaf Rake Ames True Temper Jackson Kodiak Spring Brace Rake
The Ames True Temper rake is our favorite leaf rake for the second year running, after more than 27 new hours of research and testing with five top rakes with a landscaping crew. The Ames is lighter, its tines are springier, and its handle is sturdier and more firmly attached than the competition’s.   Read More >
The Best Soft Cooler Polar Bear 24-Pack
After more than 30 hours of research and ice-melt testing on eight models, the Polar Bear 24-Pack is the best soft cooler we found. Ice stayed solid for 44 hours in the Polar Bear, outperforming all but one (now-discontinued) cooler. We like the origami-like structure because of its light weight, open-cell insulation, and sturdy, waterproof liner.    Read More >
The Grow Lights We Like Hydrofarm FLT24
If you're ready to get seedlings started indoors for the winter, we spent 50 hours on research and interviewed six experts (one of whom designed plant lighting for Antarctica and the moon) to find the best grow lights. The $91 Hydrofarm FLT24 is low-maintenance, runs cool in small spaces, and provides bright light for stout plants.   Read More >
The Best Hose Nozzle Gilmour Nozzle Full Size Zinc Nozzle 573TF
After testing several of the top-rated models, the Gilmour Full Size Zinc Pistol is the one I’d get because it’s made well, easy-to-use, darn cheap, and it has a great spray pattern.   Read More >
The Best Garden Hose Craftsman All Rubber Garden Hose, 5/8" x 50 ft
For folks looking to keep their garden lush, cars clean, and sprinklers sprinkling, the best choice is the Craftsman Premium Rubber Hose because of its great price, durability, build quality, lack of plasticizers, and lifetime warranty.    Read More >
The Best Composters for Kitchen Scraps Earth Machine
We spent 20 hours on research, consulted three experts, and tapped into our writer’s 20 years of experience to find the best composting units for most people. The Earth Machine is often available at Public Works departments for a substantial discount. It’s simple to aerate, has a large opening, and keeps rodents out – unlike the competition. We also have recommendations for larger and smaller needs.   Read More >
The Best Lawnmower Honda HRX217VKA
After 15 hours of research and interviews with professional landscapers, lawnmower repairmen, and Popular Mechanics’ lawnmower guru, we found the Honda HRX217VKA is the best mower for most medium-to-large lawns. It's on the expensive side ($600), but has the features and quality you'd want in a mower.   Read More >
The Best Reel Mower for Your (Small) Lawn Scotts 2000-20S Classic Reel Mower
To find the best reel lawnmower, we interviewed a Ph.D. in turfgrass science and did head-to-head testing with the grounds crew at a golf course. The Scotts 2000–20S reel mower is light and easy to maneuver, resulting in the cleanest cut and the healthiest grass. Plus, it’s the only mower that didn’t jam during testing.   Read More >
The Best Charcoal for Grilling Stubb's 100% All-Natural Briquettes
Over 100 hours of combined research and testing has left us with Stubb’s 100% All-Natural Briquettes as our best pick for charcoal for the second year in a row. It burns pure and consistently, leaves no negative taste characteristics, and doesn’t generate much ash to fly into your food.   Read More >
The Best Turkey Fryer Bayou Classic Aluminum Stockpot and Bayou Classic Single Burner
When I fry a turkey for Thanksgiving, I’m going to use the Bayou Classic Aluminum Turkey Fryer Stockpot (~$40) and the Bayou Classic Single Burner Patio Stove (~$50). And once T-Day has come and gone, I’ll use it the rest of the year for outdoor cooking projects like lobster boils and clambakes.    Read More >
The Best Hand Weeder Nejiri Gama Hand Hoe
Buy the Nejiri Gama hand hoe to extract, uproot, disrupt and behead the weeds in your garden. It’s light and sharp, and it has good leverage for heaving plants out of the soil.   Read More >
The Best Sprinkler Gilmour Pattern Master Oscillating Sprinkler 7900PP
The Gilmour Pattern Master Oscillating Sprinkler 7900PP waters landscapes quickly and consistently, able to entertain children all the while.    Read More >
The Best Garden Trowel Wilcox 14" Garden Trowel
If you want to buy just one tool for digging, weeding, dividing perennials and just plain scooping dirt, get the Wilcox 14” garden trowel for $25. Its stainless steel blade will last forever with occasional sharpening, and you will cut through soil and roots with confidence and ease.    Read More >
The Best Gardening Gloves Atlas Touch Gloves
If you buy just one pair of gardening gloves, buy Atlas Touch gloves. They are a great buy that will protect your hands from natural shocks while allowing you to grasp fine root hairs and slippery slugs reasonably well.    Read More >
The Best BBQ Tools
If you want your backyard barbecues to be a frustration-free success this summer, you’ll need a few basic tools beyond that great charcoal or gas grill.    Read More >
The Best Pruning Shears ARS HP-VS8Z Signature Heavy Duty Pruner
If you want a sharp, compact, all-around pruners to slice your shrubs into shape, go buy a pair of ARS HP-VS8Z pruners. You will keep them forever, and you will not regret your purchase.    Read More >
The Best Hard Cooler Coleman Xtreme 70-quart
Coleman's Xtreme 70-quart 5-day cooler is our pick for best cooler because of its fantastic insulation, above-average features and affordable price.   Read More >
The Best Watering Cans Haws Bosmere V115
If you want a watering can, you should go ahead and get the Haws Bosmere V115 5-liter watering can because its excellent balance makes it easy to carry and control, its careful design allows users to precisely control water flow, and its removable sprinkle spout produces a gentle rain the spindliest seedlings could love. It’s currently out of stock on Amazon, but Bosmere, the official U.S. Haws importer, assure me that more Haws watering cans will reach our shores by “the end of July” 2014. Put it on your wish list now, because it’s much, much better than the competition and worth the wait.    Read More >
The Best Gas Grill is the Weber Spirit E-210 Weber Spirit E-210 Gas Grill
If you don’t have the time or patience to wait for a charcoal grill to heat up, I’d recommend getting a Weber Spirit E-210 gas grill. Priced at $400 and sized for a backyard and family, it’s a well-built grill from a company with a well-earned reputation for quality that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.   Read More >
Best BBQ Grill Weber One-Touch Gold
You don’t need an expensive, complex backyard grill to cook amazing food. You want a 22.5" Weber One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill. It costs around $150 and will serve you well for years.   Read More >