If you spend any time in the yard mowing, raking, or shoveling, you’re painfully aware that garden implements were not made for your tall frame. Yard work is already tough. It’s made more difficult when a tall man has to hunch over an implement with a too-short handle.
The standard long shovel’s handle falls somewhere around 4’, probably just about right for an average digger. Taller people need longer tools.
A few quotes from a discussion thread on garagejournal.com reveals the pain:
“I’m 6’4” and most shovels give me a lower back ache after a while.”
“6’6” here, I always just though I was a wuss when I got a sore back, never thought of blaming shovel handle ergos...”
“Longer handles would be nice, shovels, rakes, and for the push mower. Although for me the absolute worst is the weed whacker, being hunched over kills my back.”
Longer tools (up to chest height) ease back strain by reducing the amount of bending you have to do. Shorter tools make shoveling more efficient. You have to balance these two factors – particularly as a taller man. Experts suggest that a garden spade should be between elbow and chest height. Use that as a guideline when finding the right tools for you.
Where to Buy Extra-Long Landscaping Tools
There aren’t many, but a search for suppliers of longer-handled garden tools reveals a few solid sources:
- Gempler’s carries a wide assortment of well-made, commercial grade tools, including those for landscaping. Their site boasts an entire category of long-handled tools, including shovels, rakes, hoes, and pitchforks. The handles vary in length (which should be the case, depending on purpose), but as an example, Gempler’s carries a long-handle round point shovel with an overall length of 59”. They also sell handles separately, including a 59” handle and a telescopic handle that expands from 67” to 118”, but these handles only work with the tool heads they sell. Check out their online catalog if you’re in the mood to shop.
- Canada-based RONA has an online store with a few longer-than-average outdoor tools. The selection is not as wide as Gempler’s, but they have several shovels and rakes longer than 5’.
- OshKosh Tool Company carries a small selection of long shovels ranging from 7’ to 16’ long! You can’t order online, but if you’re looking for a high-quality, really-long-handled shovel, this might be the spot for you.
If you can't find the right tools for your stature, consider putting your hands to work to adapt existing tools to meet your needs:
- You can customize many landscaping tools by replacing a standard handle with a longer one to better suit your height. Many tall guys recommend looking for them in garage sales or on eBay, but you can also buy them online at House Handle Company – a retailer that specializes in handles for farm tools.
- To hack your push mower to accommodate your height, look at these instructions for repurposing a set of handle bar extensions to give you a few more inches of comfort. This hack will likely work on strollers as well.
If you’ve found other sources for landscaping tools for tall guys like us, send us an email, and we’ll add them to the list. Thanks in advance and happy mowing.