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Smith & Hawken: The Tool Book Hardcover – January 10, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: Smith & Hawken
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Printing edition (January 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761108556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761108559
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.3 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

At first glance The Tool Book might look like a dry catalogue of various garden tools, but it's actually a fresh and inspiring history lesson. Author William Bryant Logan carefully intersperses his detailed descriptions of hoes, mattocks, tining forks, or pruning saws with short meditations on the tool's evolution. In a chapter entitled "Digging," he writes, "The growth of civilization paralleled the evolution of the spade and the shovel." Behind the book, there's a vision of humanity constantly forging new technology to more carefully and effortlessly shape the landscape.

Amateur gardeners will learn the vast differences between cheap and expensive tools. Clear explanations of the differences between "stamping" and "forging" metal tools, and how to tell the difference, will change your perspective the next time you go to make a purchase. You will also learn why some handles are short and others are long, and why corn husks with their pointed tips led to the invention of the trowel. To Logan's credit, he understands that gardeners arbitrarily love certain tools and hate others, and thus his descriptions are objective--his book more an orientation than a lesson in the "right" way to garden. Packed with photos, The Tool Book is an essential text for anyone facing the daunting task of creating and maintaining a garden. --Emily White --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Three hundred pages of garden tools may be overkill, but, nonetheless, here are 440 tools shown in 70 full-color photographic spreads. The chapters are organized by task: digging, cultivating, propagating, planting, cutting, watering, composting, lawn care, holding and hauling, and raking and sweeping. Shown, for example, are 26 types of shovels, 21 spades, 12 trowels, 16 hoes, 11 weeders, 18 hand pruners, 10 pruning saws, 24 forks, 21 hose accessories, 11 sprinklers, and 15 rakes. A chapter on clothing and protection tells gardeners what's hot in boots and shoes, gloves and hats, and shirts and jackets. Logan, a writer and arborist, explains how garden tools evolved (Hopi women used a pointed stick of pinon pine to plant corn seed), how to use each tool, and what to look for in buying a tool. Granted, no gardener needs all these tools, but Logan has taken a commonplace subject and made it engrossing. George Cohen

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "reddahlia" on August 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are a beginning gardener and don't know the difference between a shovel and a spade, or what to use them for, this book is immensely useful. It is certainly worth the price and the time it takes to browse through it to find and understand the exact tools you will need for your individual garden before you go out shopping. In addition to pages of full color pictures of each tool, it contains historic accounts regarding the tools and some nice quotes about gardening. After reading this book I felt like I understood garden tools, whereas prior to reading it, I just used tools in a haphazard way without understanding their purpose and how they could help me in the garden.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Leedy on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book for a design class where we were making gardening tools to get a better knowledge of the products, and let me tell you it was worth it. This book goes very in depth with not only how the tool is used but how it should be made and the "rituals" surrounding each tool. Also, although I'm not a gardener myself, I could see this book being an invaluable reference or even as a great guide to those just starting out in the gardening world.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jon.Erik.Nordstrand@ub.gu.se on July 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A piece of art, fits the coffee table and yet is packed with valuable information
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Format: Hardcover
While I have owned this book for many years, I just recently had reason to use it as a resource and have found it much more than a pretty face. While the format and photographs are gorgeous, this book is an excellent reference for a variety of tools. I've found that there are many more ways to skin a cat (e.g. hoe the garden) than with my former favorite garden swoe. And learning the history of these tools has enriched my appreciation of gardeners as an independent and innovative lot. If you love gardening and tools, this is one you may want to add to your library!
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