There are few more useful tools than the humble garden hoe. Use it to root out weeds from paths or borders, break up soil, and prepare seed beds. But is one hoe any different from another?
The answer to that is yes! Make sure you choose the right one for your conditions by checking out our reviews of ten of the best. Then take a look at our buying guide before making your final selection.
Ready? Let’s hoe!
At a glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Garden Hoe
The Best Garden Hoe of 2019
1. Midwest Gloves Grubbing Hoe
If you’re looking for a robust hoe for your vegetable patch, this offering from Midwest Gloves is worth considering.
Its large head measures 7.5 by 8.5 inches. If you’ve got a big area to cover it will make the job far quicker.
The head is also forged in a single piece, so it’s strong. If you’ve got hard or rocky ground, you won’t need to worry about bits breaking off. The blade is tapered and it’s sharp too. It will cut through knotty weeds and grass with ease.
This comes with a long handle, 54 inches from end to end. If you’ve got a handle already, you can also buy the head on its own.
If you’re looking for something to hoe around plants in containers though, it won’t be for you. As well as the long handle, the head is too big for delicate work.
This is a simple, traditional design and it works well. The only issue is with the angle of the handle. Some people may find that it’s a little too straight for them to use comfortably. If you find that’s the case, it’s possible to adjust it – but it isn’t easy.
2. Rogue Prohoe Field Garden Hoes (Our Top Recommended)
Cards on the table, this is a fairly expensive hoe – it’s the priciest option on our list. So is it worth it?
The head is made of high carbon steel from recycled agricultural disc blades. It’s not only very strong, but environmentally friendly. It measures a generous 7 inches wide by 6.5 inches long.
The blade is one of the heaviest duty options out there. It’s able to clear tree roots up to an inch across. And it’s welded together with the ferrule so it won’t bend or move during use. So while it’s great for clearing weeds, you can also use it to break up the soil.
The handle is secured to the head with a rivet and adhesive, as well as a pressure fit. If you prefer a screw to a rivet, it’s easy to replace. And you can even replace the whole handle if you need to.
There really isn’t anything not to like about this tool in terms of its performance. The one downside is the price. Even here, you won’t be shelling out much more than for hoes like those made by DeWit or Midwest Gloves. And this is solidly made, so you can expect it to last for decades.
We think it’s worth every penny.
3. Youngju-Daejanggan Premium Hand Plow Garden Hoe
This Korean hoe looks quite different from traditional western designs. If you haven’t used one before, you’re in for a treat.
The business end is a sharp, spear-like point which curves away from the short handle. It’s perfect for cutting through tough roots, or turn it on its side to move and flatten soil. And it makes short work of weeds too.
It comes in two sizes. The handle of the smaller version is about an inch shorter, just under 11 inches. The blade is also smaller by just under an inch, at a little over 5 inches.
It’s not ideal for hoeing large areas quickly. But if you’ve got an awkward patch of ground, it will deal effortlessly with anything in it.
The blade is hand-forged in a single piece with the shaft, which extends well into the wooden handle. It’s super-strong. We’ve yet to hear of anyone having managed to break this tool.
The finish on the blade is rough and ready, just as it came from the blacksmith. If you prefer a polished appearance, it won’t be right for you. The handle could be smoother too. We’d recommend oiling it before the first use to make it easier on your hands.
4. Nisaku NJP1010 Nejiri Gama Garden Weeding Hoe
Another hoe designed to be used while standing, this one from Nisaku comes with a polished 45-inch long handle.
The blade is made of Japanese stainless steel, so you won’t have to worry about rusting. And it’s forged in a single piece with the shank for strength.
The design is a little different from a traditional hoe. The head is 4.5 inches long, and it’s curved – the Japanese call blades this shape “nejiri”. It’s also very sharp. It will clear leaves and debris from the soil surface, as well as cutting through shallow roots.
The handle here is 9 inches shorter than the one from Midwest Gloves. And for many gardeners, this will be the downfall of what is otherwise an excellent tool.
If you’re an average height, the 45 inches long handle is simply too short to be used comfortably without bending. That means that even a short time hoeing can leave you with an aching back.
If, on the other hand, you’re shorter – say around 5 feet tall – this could be the perfect hoe for you. And it’s a little more portable than versions with longer handles too.
5. Edward Tools Hoe And Cultivator Hand Tiller
This hoe from Edward Tools comes with an added bonus – a tiller that sits opposite the head.
The handle is made of oak and it’s 14 inches long. This is a hoe designed to be used whilst kneeling, or for delicate work in containers and small beds.
There’s a rubberized grip that’s 5 inches long, providing comfort for your hands and minimizing the chances of blisters. We have heard one or two complaints about it sliding off over time though. If that happens, it’s easy to fix with a bit of glue.
The hoe and tiller are made of a single piece of carbon steel, allowing it to stand up to heavy use. The sharp blade of the hoe will cut through tangled grasses, and the tiller is great for deeper roots.
All in all, this is a versatile tool that’s not too heavy. But watch out for the tines on the tiller. The steel here is thinner and you may find the tines bend back on themselves in tougher conditions.
In theory, this inexpensive product comes with a lifetime warranty. In practice, though, it’s not easy to find out how to make a claim.
6. Truper 33119 Tru Pro Forged Eye Garden Hoe
Another traditional long-handled hoe, the Truper 33119 is used by both amateur and professional gardeners.
The handle is made of white ash wood from North America. Tru Pro say they’ve chosen it for its combination of strength and flexibility. The head is 7 inches and formed from forged steel. And if you want to, you can re-sharpen it to keep its edge over time.
It clears weeds well, but don’t try to use it to break packed or rocky soil. For that, you need a mattock. Use this instead, and you’ll find yourself with a damaged or broken hoe.
The handle is at a comfortable angle, and it comes in lengths from 48 to 60 inches. The 48-inch version will work best for gardeners around five feet tall. If you’re 5 feet 9 inches or taller, go for the 60-inch handle.
The 60-inch version comes with the option of a rubberized grip for comfortable use. For some reason, that’s not available with the shorter handles. We think that’s a bit of a shame. Shorter gardeners deserve to be protected from calluses too!
But set that to one side, and this is a good quality hoe at a fair price.
7. DeWit Right Hand Dutch Hand Garden Hoe
If you’re looking for a hoe that’s death to weeds, this Dutch hoe from DeWit should be on your shortlist.
It’s 18 inches long with a sharp, crescent-shaped blade that curls back towards the shaft. The design is incredibly effective at weeding.
The head will skim beneath the surface of the soil to remove seedlings. And for weeds with deeper roots like dandelions, use the point to get underneath and dig them out. It’s fast and easy, and you can weed in confined areas without disturbing nearby plants. You will, though, need to kneel to use it.
The only type of growth this will struggle with is crabgrass. Here, the length of the handle is a disadvantage. Shorter-handled hoes will give you more control as you dig in around the roots.
This weighs in at just three-quarters of a pound so it’s easy to handle, even for frailer gardeners. And left-handed gardeners will welcome the fact that it comes in both left- and right-handed designs.
This is a hoe that’s built to last. The boron blade can be re-sharpened using a whetstone. And DeWit provides a lifetime warranty too.
8. Sungmor Wrought Steel Garden Hand Hoe
If you’re looking for a hoe with a sharp point to dig out weeds, take a look at Sungmor’s offering.
It’s made of wrought steel for strength, and it’s a very simple design. The blade is pointed in an A-shape, great for digging into the soil around weeds with long taproots. It’s eight inches long, so it will take a very big weed to defeat it.
Turn it on its side and the flat edge also allows you to move around and level off the soil with ease. The handle is 18 inches long, so this is another hoe to use whilst kneeling or working on raised beds.
The blade is forged in a single piece with the shaft, so there’s nothing to snap apart. A simple rubber casing on the top of the shaft provides a comfortable handle. And there’s a plastic top with a cord through it for hanging up when you’ve finished hoeing.
It is, though, a little heavier than some other hand hoes, weighing 1.3 pounds. On the plus side, that means it’s very robust. But if you suffer with aching hands, it won’t be the best choice.
9. Truper 30002 Tru Tough Welded Warren Garden Hoe
The second Truper hoe to make our list, the 30002 Tru Tough model is a competitively priced long-handled hoe. It’s also part of Truper’s best-selling range of tools.
The handle is 54 inches long, making it a comfortable option for gardeners of average height. It’s made of North American ash coated in lacquer to help it resist the elements.
The head is 4.75 inches long, and it’s shaped like the tip of a spear. This design is known as a “warren hoe”. It’s a great shape for weeding around plants, though you won’t get as deep as with hoes like the Sungmor. It’s wider though, so it’s excellent for making furrows for planting.
The whole thing weighs 2.8 pounds. It’s heavier than some, but it does mean you can let the hoe do the work for you.
The head is made of steel coated in lacquer for a longer life. It has a nice smooth finish, and the hoe comes with a ten-year warranty. It’s easy to clean – just spray it with a garden hose. Another coating of silicone spray every year or so will keep it in tip-top condition.
10. Backyard Garden Pros 65VW Garden Hoe
If you want a hoe that doubles as a rake, check out this interesting design from Backyard Garden Pros.
Its triangular blade has a W-shaped cut-out at the top. Turn it upside down and you can use it to collect debris from the surface of your garden.
The pointed end is great for planting or digging up the roots of pesky weeds. And the triangular shape means it’s perfect for digging irrigation trenches or furrows for seedbeds. The long handle means you won’t need to bend, making hoeing and raking easier on your back.
The head is made of hardened steel, and it’s pretty chunky. If you’ve got hard-packed or stony soil to deal with, it will handle it well. There’s also a cool “Rogue” logo on the base – a mean-looking elephant to frighten the weeds into submission!
One thing to bear in mind is that the pointed end is really sharp. That’s great for dealing with weeds, but you’ll need to use it with care. And unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a scabbard to cover it when it’s not in use. So make sure you store it somewhere it won’t cause injury.
Still not sure which is the best hoe for you? These questions will help you decide.
Where will you be hoeing?
Are you looking for a hoe that will allow you to cover large distances fast? Or do you need something that can weed in tight areas without disturbing the surrounding soil?
For larger areas, a long-handled hoe will work more efficiently, as well as being more comfortable to use. But you’ll need room to maneuver it.
If you’re looking or something that can fit into smaller spots, look for a hand hoe instead.
How will you use your hoe?
A hoe is a versatile tool – but the shape of the head will determine the tasks it’s best suited to.
If you’re going to be digging furrows or irrigation channels, a triangular-shaped blade will work well. If your priority is clearing shallow-rooted weeds and leveling soil, consider one with a flat edge. And for digging out weeds with longer roots, a hoe with a long, rounded blade will be best.
Some hoes also come with other tools, or double as other tools themselves. You can turn the 65VW Rogue upside down and use it as a rake. And the hoe from Edward Tools includes a hand tiller positioned opposite the head.
How will the tool work with you?
If you’re taller or shorter than average and looking for a long-handled hoe, check the handle length before you buy. The handles on our list range from just 45 inches all the way up to 60 inches.
As a general rule, if you’re around the 5-foot mark, look for a handle around 48 inches long. If you’re 5 foot 9 or taller, go for 60 inches. Select the right option, and you’ll be able to hoe comfortably without bending.
With hand hoes, consider the weight. Lightweight options of less than a pound are great if you suffer with aching hands. If you can handle something heavier, though, it will give you more power when removing weeds.
Ready, get set, hoe!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to some of the best garden hoes on the market today. With such a range of different designs, think through the features you’ll need in your garden before you choose.
Our favorite is the Rogue ProHoe Field Hoe. Its hard-wearing construction and simple but effective design make hoeing if not a pleasure, certainly less of a chore. And although it’s expensive, it will last a lifetime.
Whichever option you choose, happy hoeing!