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A Hori Hori Garden Knife

Hori Hori garden knife

A Hori Hori garden knife can be a valuable tool around the homestead. We typically think of garden tools as rakes, shovels, and hoes. Those are great tools to use, and most people use them regularly with everyday gardening chores.

But a garden knife is also handy. They can fill in for small tasks when you don’t need a really big power tool, or even a hand saw. A garden knife can often fit in your tool bag or can be strapped onto your belt in a sheath.

The Hori Hori Garden Knife is a Japanese design, with a narrow blade and a serrated edge on one side, and a sharp edge on the opposite. It also has a sharp tip and has many practical garden uses. I’ve used two brands and will be detailing the pros and cons of those in this post.

Uses for a Hori Hori Garden Knife

Some uses for a Hori Hori garden knife include, but are not limited to:

  • Digging out deep roots
  • Cutting through shallow root masses
  • Chopping tough weeds
  • Cutting through small and medium tree limbs
  • Transplanting–lift out the plant, roots and all with the tip of the knife
  • Measuring soil depth with the stamped on ruler
  • Marking lines in soil, sand, or turf
  • Scoring grass/lifting out turf
  • Cutting open bags of fertilizer/peat moss/gardening amendments
  • Mixing soil or fertilizers
  • Digging a “cat hole” while camping. ‘Nuff said!
  • Cutting twine or rope
  • Used as a temporary garden stake to hold twine or line for marking plants
  • Cutting potatoes and other small roots
  • Use as a machete to cut small tufts of grass
  • The list could go on, but you get the idea!

How I Use a Hori Hori Garden Knife

On our homestead, I generally use my Hori Hori garden knife in weeding, when I can’t pull a particularly tough weed out just using my own power. I use it to dig down deep, along the root, and try to lift the plant out, or sometimes I give up and just cut the stubborn root out!

I also use my garden knife for cutting the wild vines that get into my garden and snag me on their briars.

In the greenhouse, I keep my knife handy for transplanting. I find that I almost prefer a garden knife to a small trowel when it comes to lifting out small plants and placing them in the soil, because they cut a hole straight down and don’t lift out so much of the dirt, but different jobs require different tools, and I use a trowel quite a bit also.


Hori Hori Garden Knife from Emerging Green Product Review

Today I’m going to share with you a tool that I’ve been using in our garden. I was contacted back in the Wintertime by Emerging Green, requesting that I trial their Hori Hori garden knife. We do use plenty of tools around the garden and greenhouse, so I was happy to oblige. Emerging Green is a small family business specializing in sustainable and eco-friendly products. Emerging Green

See the Emerging Green store on Amazon.com

I finally pulled out my Hori Hori knife last week! We took some work days outside to plant potatoes and do some catching up on the weeding!

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Hori Hori Garden Knife

When I received this particular knife, it looked very similar to the Hori Hori garden knife I already use, which is the Fiskars Garden Knife I have used my Fiskars knife for probably eight years, and it has held up very well. One of the boys bent the tip, as you can see in the picture below. Don’t ask how that happened.

fiskars garden knife and hori hori garden knife
Hori Hori and Fiskars

You can’t really tell from my picture, but both of the knives have the inches engraved onto the blades. This is very useful for determining planting and transplanting depth. Or for measuring snow!

There are pros and cons to each style. I like that the Hori Hori comes with a leather sheath. But you can also get the Fiskars with a sheath that is hard plastic. See the Fiskars with sheath here.

Hori Hori Garden knife

The Fiskars is extended tang, and the Emerging Green knife has a full tang design. This is important for strength and leverage. I like the full tang design because it’s not going to snap off under a heavy load. That said, I’ve put my Fiskars through a lot, and it’s withheld so far.

I wasn’t looking to purchase another garden knife, but am very happy with the new one that I was sent.

Digging Gloves

Emerging Green digging gloves
Digging gloves

My order came with a pair of digging gloves. These have “claws” on the fingers! The claws are made of tough plastic and are a little bit sharp. They are designed for digging in the dirt to help root out weeks. At first, we laughed at them, but they are the real deal for weeding! Here they are next to the old usual blue kind I often grab.

Emerging Green digging gloves
Digging gloves and my old blue gloves.

The following is my Amazon.com Review

Hori Hori Garden Knife from Emerging Green

We do a fair amount of gardening and greenhouse work.
I tried this knife and found it to be very sharp and strong.
I already owned the Fiskars garden knife, and so I wondered if this one would be the same/similar. I included a photo of the two knives side by side.

I found this knife to be surprisingly strong. I used it for several garden weeding projects, including rooting out yellow dock, which had a long, thick taproot. I also used it to cut through wild raspberry vines and some type of tree that keeps popping up in our blueberries that was very thick and tough. I honestly expected it to be more difficult to cut through the wood, but I cut through an approximately 1” root within maybe 30 seconds.

The knife has a serrated blade on one side and a sharp plain blade on the other. It had a pointed tip, versus the forked tip of the Fiskars. I don’t know that one is better over the other, they are just different.

Hori Hori garden knife with digging gloves
The Hori Hori garden knife with digging gloves

The knife seems to be made of strong stainless steel that does not flex, so I wasn’t worried about it snapping, even though I put it under a moderate load. The knife is full tang, with the metal running through the whole wooden handle. One thing I did not like so well was that the handle, obviously, sandwiches the metal between the wood. Initially, it felt pretty smooth, but I will admit that the knife was outside under the porch overnight, and the next day the wood felt like it had swelled a little, so wasn’t as smooth. This was not a problem using it with gloves, which I always wear when weeding.

The gloves are a nice idea, but for me, they were too large. I wear a small size, and these seem to be probably large. But I have wished for something like these in the past, when I’ve been using my fingertips to grub out weeds or tough roots. I will still keep them in my garden bag to slip on if I need them, but I felt like I was wearing Lee Press On Nails when I put the gloves on, with those fingers sticking out so far! Try gardening with super long fingernails and you can imagine what it felt like! This is not me knocking the gloves, because we thought they were kind of cool. They’d work for larger hands better than for me.

The sheath is handy and is made from leather, from what I can tell. It seems better than the canvas sheaths that I’ve seen with some machetes, that the knife slices through too easily.

Hori Hori Garden knife
Uprooting Yellow Dock

I thought the knife was a great tool, no pun intended. I was contacted by the company to trial it, since we do greenhouse and gardening work, but I actually would buy it again. I will also be reviewing the product on my blog, https://ridgehavenhomestead.com and am impressed by the company, which seems to be a family-run business that values its customers.

Hori Hori garden knife
Hori Hori Garden Knife uprooting Yellow Dock

Overall, I think you will find that a Hori Hori Garden knife will be a useful tool for your homestead. I merely shared the two I’ve personally used, but there are many brands available of the same basic design.

Whatever you do—get out there and plant something! And enjoy!


6 Replies

  1. I do quite a bit of gardening, and I am thinking of buying one of those gardening knives for this new season. The digging gloves look great, but I have small hands, too, so the hugeness of the gloves could be an issue for me!

  2. I realized I do have a garden tool like this and do find it useful, especially when I am digging out dead plants/weeds.. Loved your detailed review of this tool and now know how to use it better as a result

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️