Talking Hori-Hori's - why do you need one and which should you buy?

Hori Hori from Tinker and Fix

The Hori-Hori is one of the most popular garden tools that we currently sell. And, more importantly, one of the most popular garden tools we currently use.

So – what are Hori-Hori’s – and why are they so good?

They are a Japanese Trowel – or sometimes called a soil knife or wedding knife. The word ‘Hori’ means ‘to dig’ – and according to Wiki (so how true it is we just don’t know) – ‘hori-hori’ is the onomatopoeia for a digging sound.

They are just a brilliantly versatile tool – much more so than a trowel that you have perhaps used before. We use them for weeding, bulb planting, as well as general planting sometimes too. They are great for cutting bits of turf or dividing plants when needed.

Ultimately, they don’t look anything like a trowel that you normally see in a UK garden centre – although they are now incredibly popular and were a sell-out tool during lockdown. Yes they look sharp – like a dagger (they are long and thin) – but they aren’t dangerous (other than to weeds). They have enough of an edge to be effective, without being a liability around the garden. They are strong too – we have clay soil and we’ve not broken one yet – despite being a little bit too rough with it. However – you shouldn’t be too over zealous with it and yank it back too much as they could break (even though they are made in Japan to a great spec – they aren’t fallible).

We’ve got three different options of Hori-Hori’s that we sell: 

  1. The Niwaki Hori-Hori – is a great piece of kit and a great all-round garden tool. It comes with a really nice nylon sheath that makes it a particularly good gift for the gardener in your life. The key point of difference is that it is made of high carbon steel, so it could – over time and if left in a damp environment – it can get a little bit of surface rust. Don’t panic, this isn’t an issue at all, it is really easy to clean off.
  2. The Tinker and Fix Hori-Hori – is made of stainless steel – meaning it doesn’t rust. It has a great rust resistance. The compromise is stainless steel means that it is a little bit softer, as a metal. We haven’t ever, in all our usage and testing, had an issue with this – they are still incredibly strong (and we have heavy clay soil). This comes in a basic leatherette sheath – which is not as nice as the Niwaki one – but it depends if you plan to keep it in the sheath (we don’t).
  3. The Tinker and Fix Serated Hori-Hori is exactly the same apart from having a serrated blade – making it great for cutting turf and dividing plants. It also has really handy centimetre depth markers – which is great for bulb planting and planting or transplanting.

And whilst it's not a different option, we do also offer painted handled Hori-Hori's - which make great gift ideas for gardeners. 

We have a great video on Instagram that shows you how to care for your Hori-Hori – by keeping it clean, and maintaining the edge on it. You can check it out here.


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