If there’s one gardening job we hate, it’s weeding! Crouched over for hours, pulling at troublesome weeds that snap instead of coming out of the ground. And knowing those pesky roots will be throwing up new leaves in a day or two…
We hate it!
If you feel the same way, invest in a gadget to make the job easier. Here we review 10 of the best weeding tools to get your garden neat and tidy in no time.
Best Weed Puller on the Market 2019
1. Fiskars 339950-1001 39" 4-Claw Weeder
There’s a lot to love about the clever design of this weeder from well-known manufacturers Fiskars.
It’s designed to be used standing up, so you’ll avoid back-ache from crouching down to the level of your weeds. And it really is a joy to use.
You simply position weeder over the offending weed and press down on the footplate. The four serrated metal claws will dig into the soil around the root. As soon as you pull back on the weeder, those claws clasp around the root – and out it comes!
Then push down on the handle to eject the weed in one smooth movement. There’s a satisfying noise as the weed comes out too. What more could you ask for?!
Unfortunately, although this works brilliantly while it lasts, it’s just not durable. The metal claws are surrounded by plastic casing, and it’s prone to snapping.
If Fiskars replaced the plastic with metal or fiberglass it would be an unbeatable weeder. As it is, it’s best used only on damp soil. Even then, you may find you need to replace it sooner than you’d hope.
- No need to bend over or twist your back while weeding
- Will get the root right out of the ground
- Huge fun to use
- Plastic components just aren’t strong enough to last.
2. Garden Weasel Step And Twist Hand Weeder (Our Top Recommended)
Similar in concept to the Fiskars weeder, the Garden Weasel uses claws to puck out weeds at the root. In this case, there are two claws, and they’re curved. The whole weeder is made of carbon steel, making it a lot more resilient than the Fiskars version. But does it work?
To use it, position the claws over the weed and press down on the footplate to drive it into position. Then instead of pulling back on the footplate, rotate the weeder before pulling it upwards. The weed will come with it, roots and all.
It can take a fair few rotations to deal with tenacious weeds. And if your ground is hard, you’ll need some strength in your upper arms.
The claws here are fairly wide, so you can end up removing a chunky plug of soil. Good positioning and technique will minimize the size of the hole. Practice makes perfect! You can also use it to make planting holes without disturbing the surrounding soil.
The ejector mechanism is the one part of this weeder we found didn’t work reliably. It’s easy enough to operate – simply press down on a button on top of the handle. But often, especially with clay-based soils, the earth stays packed in and you’ll need to remove it by hand.
All in all, a good, effective tool for those who don’t want to bend to weed.
- Robust metal construction
- Effective removal of weeds right down to the root
- Doesn’t disturb surrounding soil
- The weed ejector function isn’t perfect.
3. Nisaku NJP650 Hori-Hori Weeding & Digging Knife
If you want to strike terror into your weeds, this weeding and digging knife from Nisaku will fit the bill.
It’s a seriously vicious looking weeder, more like a dagger than a garden tool. There’s a single 7.25-inch concave blade, serrated on one side and smooth on the other. The smooth edge will allow you to slice through weeds, while the serrated one allows for sawing through tougher roots.
The blade is made of Japanese stainless steel, and it’s sharper than sharp. It’s easy to clean, resistant to scratches and rust, and keeps its edge. It’s light too, making it easy to maneuver without straining your hands or wrists. And it won’t bend when you apply pressure.
The handle is made of wood, so it’s not as comfortable as other options with cushioned handles. If you’re using it for long periods, we’d recommend wearing gardening gloves.
This is a versatile tool that can be used for digging as well as weeding. There’s a gauge on the blade with markers every inch. If you need to dig to a precise depth for planting seeds or bulbs, that’s a handy feature.
It comes with a neat leather sheath to protect the blade. There’s a hanging loop too, making it easy to store in the garden shed.
- Excellent quality blade makes short work of weeds
- Long lasting and rust-resistant
- Great for digging too, with inch markers to measure depth easily and accurately
- The handle isn’t cushioned, so best used with gardening gloves.
4. Wilcox All Pro 13" Stainless Steel Garden/Lawn Weeder
This inexpensive weeder from Wilcox is a good option for anyone looking to remove deep-rooted weeds like dandelions or borage.
The design is a simple scoop with a V-shaped end. It’s made of stainless steel, so it will stand up to the elements without corroding.
It’s 13 inches long from the top of the handle to the business end. You’ll need to get close to the ground to use it, but you’ll get plenty of leverage when you do. If you’re working in a tight space, however, opt for something with a shorter handle.
It’s a tough little blighter too. It will handle dandelions with ease, as well as coping with weeds with tougher roots. Burdock, thistles and Queen Anne’s lace will come out with a little bit of effort.
The stainless steel is both sharp and sturdy. If you’ve been frustrated by weeders that bend when you apply pressure, you won’t have that problem here. Wilcox claims it’s indestructible.
So are there any negatives?
Well, perhaps one. The downside of the brilliantly sharp steel edge is that it can cut through roots before they’re scooped out. That will leave you with a bit of root that’s inaccessible. And that, of course, means the weed will be showing its face above ground again all too soon.
- Simple, effective design
- Sharp and durable stainless steel construction
- Long handle provides plenty of leverage
- Not the best for tight spaces
- The sharp edge can cut through roots rather than scooping them out.
5. Yard Butler Twist Tiller Heavy Duty Manual Raised Bed Garden And Flower Box Claw Weeder
Fed up of an aching back after an afternoon’s weeding? This ergonomic tool allows you to pull up weeds without bending.
It looks like a cross between a hoe and a fork, with a bit of litter-picker thrown in. Standing 38 inches tall, it’s designed to be pushed into the ground with your foot. A quick twist and the angled tines will hook out those irritating weeds.
The tines are about four inches long, making them easily able to deal with most garden weeds. But if your garden suffers from weeds with particularly long tap roots, like borage, other options will work better.
Because the Yard Butler doesn’t rely on leverage to remove the weeds, you can use it in tight spaces. The only requirement is that there’s room for you to stand upright. If you’re tall, though, beware: gardeners over 6 feet will find they need to stoop to use it.
The twisting action used for weeding can also be used for plenty of other gardening jobs. It’s great for aerating the soil, promoting healthy root growth for your grass and plants.
If you’ve got clay soil, however, this won’t be the best choice. The heavy earth will clog the tines and make it nigh on impossible to turn them. And if you’ve got hard, compacted soil, giving it water before you weed will make the job much easier.
- Great for weeding without bending over
- Works just as well in tight spots
- Durable all-metal construction
- Won’t uproot weeds with roots longer than 4 inches
- Hard work in areas with clay-based or compacted soil.
6. Red Dragon VT 3-30 Heavy Duty Propane Vapor Torch Kit
If you want to go Game of Thrones on your weeds, the Red Dragon may be the weeder for you.
It connects up to a standard propane cylinder and has a capacity of 500,000 BTU per hour. That basically means it’s one powerful vapor torch.
The kit comes with everything you need to operate it, except the propane cylinder. It runs on the pressure in the tank, so you won’t need a regulator.
You’ll need to spend a few seconds turning it on, allowing the torch to start without engaging the safety valve.
After you’ve done that, it couldn’t be easier to blitz your weeds. A quick pass will leave a black thumbprint on the leaf of the weed. Shortly afterward, it will turn dark green. A couple of days later, and it will have wilted and died.
You can use it without bending over, so it’s great for gardeners with bad backs. And it has plenty of other uses too. It’s just as good for thawing out frozen pipes, or removing paint from metal.
This is a great gadget and a lot of fun to use – but be careful with it. If you’ve got weeds near flammable objects – a wooden garden fence for example – use a different tool.
- Minimal effort to blitz weeds
- A lot of fun to use
- Won’t put pressure on your back or hands
- It’s a beast – it needs to be handled with care
- No good for weeding near wooden fences or any other flammable objects.
7. DeWit Right Hand Cape Cod Weeder With Short Handle
This weeder from Dutch manufacturers DeWit has a heritage look that screams quality. The handle is made from ash wood, emblazoned with the DeWit logo. And the weeding blade is constructed from tempered boron steel that’s been forged by hand.
It’s designed to break off weeds at their base in a similar way to a hoe. The handle here is short, though, so you’ll need to be close to the ground to use it. (DeWit make another version with a longer handle, but it’s still not tall enough to be used whilst standing upright.)
We’ve heard some people use this to dig below the soil to get the roots of tenacious weeds like dandelions. It really isn’t designed for this, though. If you want to uproot your weeds entirely, you’re better off with a weeder designed to get below the surface.
Where this does work well is if you’re weeding an area that’s been mulched. Simply drag the weeder over the surface and it will snap off weeds without disturbing your mulch. It’s great for removing weeds growing through cracks in hard paving too.
This is a high-quality tool, and it comes at a price. Make the investment, though, and it will last for years.
- Great for weeding mulched flower beds
- Good option for paved areas
- High quality materials and construction means it will last for years
- Not designed to remove the whole root
- Pretty expensive.
8. Edward Tools Weeding Tool
If you’re looking for an effective but inexpensive hand tool, consider this weeder from Edward Tools.
This clever gadget combines a curved base and a deep V-shaped nose. The curved base allows you to see-saw the tool against the ground, while the V-shaped nose digs out the weed. It’s a combination that provides maximum leverage for minimal effort.
If you’ve got weeds with deep, thick roots – dandelions, borage, burdock and the like – it’s a godsend. It will hook around the root and bring up the whole thing. It’s immensely satisfying, and you won’t have to worry about the weed growing back.
The design relies on being dug into the root, though, so it won’t work for pulling out weeds in paving. And because it’s the V-shaped nose that wedges around the root, it won’t be effective for weeds with spindly roots. They’ll just slip straight through.
It’s solid and well-made, with a steel blade and wooden handle. The handle is covered in cushioned rubber, making it less hard on your hands when weeding for long periods.
The whole thing comes with a lifetime warranty. Pretty impressive, when you can pick up one of these for the same price as two cups of artisan coffee.
- Long v-shaped nose allows you to uproot tenacious weeds
- Clever design gives great leverage with minimal effort
- Cushioned handle for comfortable use
- Won’t be effective on weeds with spindly roots
9. CobraHead Original Weeder & Cultivator Garden Hand Tool
The name of the tool here gives you a clue to its appearance – it really does resemble a cobra! The business end is shaped like a snake’s head and made of tempered steel. It’s attached to the resin handle with a long, curved arm that hooks around weeds for removal.
It’s simple to use. Simply position the head at the base of the weed and dig it into the soil. Then lever it up and down – and out pops the weed. It will work on weeds with tap roots and those with spindlier root systems.
It’s also very neat. It won’t dislodge large clods of soil, and it’s easy to use in tight spaces. If you’ve got weeds popping up between your bedding plants, it’s a great choice.
The handle is comfortable too. It is, though, short – you’ll need to kneel or bend to get close to the ground.
The downside is that the curved shape isn’t as effective for plants with very sturdy roots. When you try to lever out the weed, it’s prone to slipping to one side. The V-shaped notch on weeders like the one from Edward Tools will work better on these kinds of weeds.
And if you have very hard ground, this will require a bit of muscle power. Make life easier for yourself by giving the soil water before you start.
- Works well on weeds with fine to medium roots
- Great for neat weeding in tight spaces
- Handle is cushioned for comfort
- Won’t be as effective on weeds with thick roots
- Hard work in compacted soil.
10. Nisaku NJP1010 Medium Length Nejiri Gama Sharpened Weeding Hoe
If you prefer your weeders traditional, this sharpened weeding hoe from Nisaku may be the right option for you.
It slices through weeds at the base, and can be used just as easily in flowerbeds as on patios. You don’t need room for leverage, and there’s no hacking into the soil. Unless the roots are very shallow, though, you’ll be leaving them behind.
The handle is made of wood and it’s 45 inches long. That’s a good length for most people to weed comfortably whilst standing upright. The 4.5-inch blade is made of Japanese steel, and it’s forged in a single piece with the shank. That makes it very strong. It’s also exceptionally sharp. Weeds beware!
The beauty of choosing a hoe is its versatility. As well as weeding, you can shape soil and easily harvest root vegetables. One thing you won’t be able to use it for, though, is to cut planting holes.
- Very sharp blade slices through weeds with minimal effort
- No need for any bending
- Equally usable in flowerbeds or on patios
- Will leave the roots of weeds behind – so they’ll come back.
The range of different options for weeding can be pretty bewildering. But don’t despair! Read on for our guide to choosing the right tool for the job.
Where do you want to weed?
First up, consider what kind of surface you want to weed.
Do you need something to remove weeds from cracks between patio stones or in pathways? If so, you’ll need a tool that doesn’t need to be dug into the ground. A hoe is a good option here, and the sharpened blade of the Nisaku weeding hoe works particularly well.
If you want to weed a lawn, you’ll need something that won’t disturb too much of the surrounding grass. A weeding knife or short-handled weeder may offer you better control.
And if you’re weeding between existing plants, opt for a weeder that doesn’t require a lot of leverage. The Cobrahead, for example, works well in tight spots.
Lastly, consider your soil type. If you have very compact soil, you need a robust tool. The Garden Weasel will allow you to put your full weight behind the footplate for good results.
If your soil is heavy clay, on the other hand, avoid weeders with claw-based designs. The soil will clog up the claw and it will take a lot of work to get decent results.
What types of weeds do you want to remove?
Different types of weeders work better with different kinds of weeds. Getting the whole root out is important if you don’t want to see the weeds popping up again in a few days. But the size of the root will determine the effectiveness of different weeding techniques.
If you have weeds with thick tap roots, go for a claw weeder, or one with a V-shaped nose. They can grasp the root and pull it out. They don’t work as well for weeds with spindly roots though, as they can easily slip through the v-shape.
For weeds with thinner, shallower roots, a hoe or weeder like the Cobrahead will work well.
And for all-purpose weeding, the Red Dragon torch kit is a great choice – as long as there’s nothing flammable in the vicinity.
Any aches or pains?
Short handled weeders give you lots of control, but will require you to get down to ground level. If you’ve got a painful back or mobility difficulties, a long-handled version will work better.
If you’re looking for something requiring minimal physical exertion, the Red Dragon torch is a winner again. Bear in mind, though, that you’ll need to pull out the dead weeds later.
If your ground is hard and dry, make your life easier by giving it water first. And look for weeders with sharp blades and cushioned handles to reduce strain on your hands and wrists.
Ready to choose?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the different gadgets that can make your weeds a thing of the past!
Our favorite is the Garden Weasel, which works brilliantly on the dandelions that plague our lawn. But if you don’t have wooden fences to worry about, the Red Dragon torch kit is well worth considering.
With the right tool, weeding really can be fun. So choose the best weeder for you, and enjoy a neat garden all summer long!
My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.