Table of Contents Hide
- The Best Hori Hori Knives for Your Garden Chores
- 1. Top Pick Up Front: Nisaku NJP801 Weeding and Digging Knife
- 2. Nisaku NJP802 Hori-Hori Weeding and Digging Knife
- 3. Sensei Tools Hori Hori Digging Knife
- 4. Truly Garden Hori Hori
- 5. Budget Pick: Fiskars Big Grip Garden Knife
- The Multifaceted Hori Hori
Gardeners in Japan have a unique tool in their arsenal: the “Hori Hori.”
You can use this tool to dig, transplant, trim, and even measure soil depth for planting bulbs because of their shape and size.
Easy to use and incredibly adaptable, this tool will rapidly become a “must-have” in your toolbox.
My trusty old garden knife finally gave up the ghost recently, and I had to say my final goodbyes to it with reluctance.
As a result, I was looking to replace one or more of them. Here are five of the best Hori Hori knives that I’ve found so far.
Here is a great buyer’s guide to help you learn even more about this garden knife and what factors you should keep in mind when making your own purchase!
The Best Hori Hori Knives for Your Garden Chores
Our top option is followed by four others that each has somewhat different features that you may find more appropriate for your requirements.
1. Top Pick Up Front: Nisaku NJP801 Weeding and Digging Knife
The best of the best hails from Japan, where it all began.
Master craftsmen create this model’s ergonomic handle from high-quality stainless steel alloyed with vanadium. Nisaku, through Amazon, sells it.
Makes light work of even the most difficult gardening tasks thanks to the concave blade. This multifunctional knife is great for weeding, transplanting, cutting away at overgrown bushes, and separating perennials.
It’s possible that people with large hands will find the ergonomic handle to be a bit on the tiny side. When digging in compacted soil, the protective hilt really comes in handy because it keeps my hand from falling down onto the cutting edge of the tool.
With a serrated edge for slicing thick roots and a beveled edge for cutting through them, this razor-sharp blade does it all. It’s a snap to plant bulbs when you have dimensions in millimeters and inches.
Don’t allow the fact that it’s half-tang to prevent you from trying it. Because of the half tang’s full-width construction, thicker steel can be used without the blade becoming too heavy or cumbersome.
When not in use, the blade is protected by a stylish leather sheath, which also features a belt clip for added convenience.
- Concave vanadium-infused stainless steel blade with a 7.25-inch blade length
- The plastic ergonomic grip with a protected hilt is 5.5 inches in length.
- 7.7 ounces
- Inches and millimeters on a depth measuring ruler.
- Belt-hooked sheath made of leather.
- Standard guarantee of two years
- Rust-proof heavy-duty blade maintains its sharpness and can handle the most difficult gardening tasks.
- The ergonomic handle provides a secure grip, while the protective hilt guards against nicks and cuts.
- Some purists may be offended by the half-tang blade design.
- Using an ergonomic handgrip might make the hand seem smaller.
If you’re looking for a Japanese-made multi-purpose garden knife, this is the one for you.
If you have large hands, you might choose the wooden handled version below if the plastic handle is too thin and uncomfortable.
Try the Sensei model mentioned below if you don’t want a wooden handle but still want something that fills your hand a little more.
2. Nisaku NJP802 Hori-Hori Weeding and Digging Knife
Our top-rated knife is a close second to this one. Both have the same overall design, with only a minor change in the handle design. Home Depot carries the Nisaku NJP802.
The blade is made of the same Japanese stainless steel and forged in Japan, with a concave-convex edge and a sharp beveled edge on the other side. The choice of a handgrip makes all the difference.
Traditionalists and those seeking a more “genuine” Japanese knife will like the wooden handle. However, it’s not simply appearances that are important.
Because the wood makes the knife a little heavier, it offers a more substantial feel in the hand.
When used for long periods of time, the handle might become unpleasant due to its lack of contouring. Gloves are an easy solution to this problem.
For those times when you need a little extra protection from hand slippage, the metal hilt between the handle and blade is a welcome addition.
Some folks have a problem with the half-tang construction. It’s understandable why a full-tang blade can’t be made with the previous model’s ergonomic plastic handle, but why not with a full-width wooden grip?
In the end, unless you plan to use it for something other than gardening, this decision is largely a matter of personal taste.
This variant comes with a leather sheath that may be attached to your belt as an added bonus.
- A concave stainless steel blade with a blade length of 7.25 inches
- The plastic ergonomic grip with a protected hilt is 5.5 inches in length.
- 8.5 ounces
- Depth measuring ruler in inches and millimeters
- Leather sheath
- Standard guarantee of two year
- With its rust-proof stainless steel blade, this tool is capable of taking on the most difficult tasks.
- a metal hilt separates the blade from the handle, preventing accidental disengagement.
- The beautifully made hardwood handle is comfortable to hold and provides a firm sense of security in the hand.
- For long use, the handle can be uncomfortable
- Half-tang design
This model from Nisaku is a tough tool that can be used for many different things. The small compromise of the half-tang design makes it light and well-balanced. The high-quality stainless steel blade can handle the toughest garden tasks.
3. Sensei Tools Hori Hori Digging Knife
With the Sensei garden knife, you’ll quickly become the boss of your garden. And if the Nisaku’s thin handle seems too delicate for you, this one from Sensei Tools on Amazon is worth looking at.
Who wouldn’t love a knife with the name “Sensei” on it? With its smooth black handle and shiny metal blade, this looks less like a garden tool and more like a field knife.
But when you look at it more closely, you see that it has the same concave digging blade with serrated and beveled edges as the other models.
It has the same easy-to-use depth markings for planting crocus bulbs and the same durable, rust-resistant stainless steel blade.
The handle is made of plastic that doesn’t slip, and the way it’s made makes it easy to hold. The shape where it meets the blade makes an “almost-hilt” that keeps your hand from slipping onto the blade.
It is a little bit heavier than the last two models, but not by much.
Even better, it comes with a leather case that you can wear on your belt.
I wouldn’t wear it around town though, because the rough, black handle sticking out of the sheath makes it look like a dagger.
- 7.5-inch stainless steel blade with a concave shape
- 5.5-inch non-slip black plastic handle with a curved shape.
- 10.1 ounces
- Ruler to measure depth in inches
- Strong leather sheath with belt clip and 100% money-back guarantee for 90 days
- The handgrip doesn’t slip and fits your hand well.
- The rust-proof stainless steel blade has a concave shape and makes it easy to cut through tough roots and packed soil.
- Comes with a sheath made of real leather
- If you have small hands, the handle may be too big.
- Half-tang design
This garden tool looks very rough, but it does all those hard jobs with ease. I like this one’s handle because it feels sturdy and is easier to hold than the wooden one. You don’t even have to wear gloves if you don’t want to.
You shouldn’t be put off by the half-tang design. Neil, the maker, told me in an email, “We haven’t had a complaint about the knife breaking or the blade coming off, so I’m sure yours will hold up to any heavy work you put it to!”
He then says that Sensei has a “full, no-questions-asked warranty,” which means that if you have any problems, we’d be happy to replace it or give you your money back.
I like what I hear!
4. Truly Garden Hori Hori
The Truly Garden Hori Hori can be bought on Amazon. It comes with a sheath made of real leather and a tool for sharpening.
This model is made to the highest standards and has a high-quality 420 stainless steel blade with a full tang that makes it very strong.
And three rust-proof rivets hold a beautiful, eco-friendly beechwood handle in place. It is a bit heavier than some of the other models, but its very sharp edges make up for this.
The blade is shaped like a trowel and has depth marks to make digging and moving plants easier. Both the straight and serrated edges have already been sharpened to make cutting clean and easy.
This Japanese garden knife comes in a beautiful box with a strong leather sheath and a diamond sharpening rod. All of these features make it a great gift for any gardener.
- 7-inch stainless steel blade that is already sharpened and curved
- 5 inches long and has 3 rivets.
- 18 ounces
- A depth ruler with both inches and millimeters
- The handle’s base has a metal safety guard.
- Genuine leather sheath
- Sharpening rod for a diamond
- 5-year warranty
A strong, full-tang blade that doesn’t rust easily cuts through roots and hardened soil.
A heavy-duty leather sheath keeps the knife safe when not in use.
Both the straight and serrated edges stay sharp with the help of a diamond sharpening rod.
- The wooden handle isn’t made with ergonomics in mind, so your hand may get tired of it.
- The handle has a metal tang and rivets that stick out a bit, which can be uncomfortable without gloves.
Truly Garden offers a solid five-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can be sure you’re getting the best quality for your money.
This model looks like a tough knife that can get the job done. And we like the metal safety guard, which keeps your hand from slipping off the handle and onto the blade.
5. Budget Pick: Fiskars Big Grip Garden Knife
I’m going to try something a little different now. Fiskars has come up with something a little different based on the Japanese knife’s basic design. At Home Depot and on Amazon, it’s available for purchase.
There are two points at the end of the blade instead of a single tip, but it still has a concave blade with serrated edges on one side and beveled edges on the other.
Weeding in soft soil is made easier by the two-pronged tip.
This tool is best suited for light-duty containers or indoor gardening because of its cast aluminum blade’s lack of “tang.”
If you’re doing heavy work, the weak point is the soldered blade to the broad, soft-molded handle.
The blade measures seven inches in length, while the handle measures five and a half inches in length and has an orange tip for easy identification. If you want to keep it in your gardening bag, you won’t be able to find one that fits because it does not come with a sheath.
- Hanging loop on the end of the 5.5-inch padded handle.
- Straight and serrated edges on a 7-inch tapered concave blade
- 9.6 ounces
- End weeding tip with two prongs
- For a limited period of time
- Easy to use and light in weight.
- The rust-resistant coating on the blade
- A comfortable grip won’t wear out your hands while planting in containers or indoors.
- It’s a good deal for the money
- Soil that is too compacted can cause the blade to come loose from the handle.
- Blades aren’t razor-sharp, yet they’re still
- There is no sheath to be had.
When it comes to light digging, transplanting, and weeding, Fiskars has a tool that’s both budget-friendly and easy on the back. Just don’t expect it to be as robust or sharp as the other goods we’ve mentioned.
It’s perfect for patio gardening because it hangs on the wall and keeps pots and hanging baskets clean.
Check out the prices and customer reviews at Home Depot. On Amazon, you can get the Big Grip from Fiskars as well.
The Multifaceted Hori Hori
The broad, concave blade of the Japanese Hori Hori knife has one sharp, straight edge and one serrated edge, and it is often etched with a ruler.
To cut sod, edging, perennials and other plants with the two cutting edges is an excellent use of the tool. Even as a small hand axe, this instrument is a handy addition to any toolbox.
Seven to eight inches long, it’s tiny enough for a variety of gardening tasks.
What’s In a Name?
The name “Hori Hori” comes from the Japanese word “hour,” which means “to dig,” and “Hori,” which is a form of “hour.” The tool was originally made for bonsai gardening.
When written in Japanese, means “dig-dig.” The products are called (Hori Hori Naifu), which is the same as saying “knife” in English.
These knives are sold in New Zealand at Mitre 10 and Bunnings under the name “Japanese DigiDigi,” which makes sense.
When comparing different Japanese Hori Hori knives, there are a few things to keep in mind:
The part of the knife that goes from the heel of the blade to the handle is called the tang. This part can be either full or partial.
A full tang is made from a single piece of metal that goes all the way from the blade to the end of the handle. A partial tang goes into the handle only halfway.
For heavy-duty tasks like prying and pushing, a full tang gives you the most strength.
If you want to know if a knife has a full tang, all you have to do is check to see if there is metal between the handle pieces all the way to the handle butt.
A key consideration in the design of any tool is how easy it is to operate.
A gardening knife can be used for a wide range of tasks, from the simplest to the most complex. That’s why a long-lasting, comfortable, and fatigue-free use is essential.
A balanced blade and handle structure is essential for effortless movement, reducing stress on your palm, wrist, and forearm.
It doesn’t matter if it’s made of wood or plastic; the handle should be sturdy and tight.
Wood is popular because of the natural feel and ease of use it provides.
Those who desire a more comfortable grip with less risk of palm and finger stress prefer a handle with a more ergonomic design.
Stain and Corrosion Resistance
A garden knife’s stain and corrosion resistance are just as critical as it is for any other equipment.
The best stain and corrosion resistance is provided by stainless steel.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Keep your knife in good shape by cleaning it after each use.
Mineral spirits can be used to remove sap and resin that is too hard to remove. Wipe the blades clean with an oiled towel before storing them away.
As needed, clean the handles of your utensils. Keep wooden ones pliable and free of cracks by rubbing them with linseed oil two or three times a year.
A whetstone or the sharpening tool offered with the Truly Garden model will keep the beveled edge of your blades razor-sharp.
You may wish to use a sharpening tool like this one from Speedy Sharp from Amazon to hone the serrated edge. Makes an excellent garden shed accessory that can sharpen any and all blades.
A Double-Edged Sword
Now that you know what to look for, you’ll be able to buy a garden knife that is comfortable, sturdy, and appropriate for your needs.
If you have a tiny garden or cultivate most of your food in containers, the Japanese Hori Hori knife may be the only equipment you need.
Will it be the Nisaku’s sleek appearance and ergonomic handle that entices you to purchase? Do you prefer Sensei’s more dagger-like features instead?
It’ll last for years in the garden if you just remember to keep it clean and sharp.
Do you have any tips for sharpening a garden knife? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Check out these guides if you’d like to expand your garden equipment collection: