Talking Hori-Hori's - why do you need one and which should you buy? (updated!)
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 bend or break the handle (if you are rough with your tools we'd recommend going for the beefier Barebones Hori Hori.)
We’ve now got four different options of Hori-Hori garden knives that we sell:
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.
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).
The Tinker and Fix Serrated 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.
The Barebones Classic heavy duty Hori Hori - this is a little different to the three above and is more of a modern homage to the classic Japanese tool. It's not made in Japan and features a heavier duty full tang construction. This means its a little more durable if you are heavy on your garden tools. Stainless steel blade. This Hori Hori has a Walnut handle and is sold without a sheath, but it does come nicely packaged which means it makes a nice gift.
Different design styles you can now choose too!
Whilst they aren't different tools, we do also offer two different design versions of the Hori Hori garden knife which both make great gift ideas for the gardener in your life:
- Painted handled Hori-Hori's - choose from different colours, or ask for your preferred personalised option (if Edd can do it, he'll try!)
- Skatewood handle Hori-Hori's - New in April 2022