Are you looking for the best vegetable or garden hoe? Read my reviews and my guide to choosing.

Garden hoes are indispensable allies for all agriculture enthusiasts and for those who care about seedlings. Dating back to the mists of time, these hand tools are still indispensable today due to their advantages. Thanks to the professional hoes, in fact, we can break the clods preparing the earth for crops, dig small holes for sowing, level the ground, create channels for the flow of water, aerate the lawn and eliminate brushwood. In summary, we are faced with a real all-rounder (economic too).

What is the hoe for

It is right to immediately clarify what are the enormous advantages guaranteed by these hand tools, which allow us to carry out many jobs that are part of the daily life of a grower or a gardening lover.

  • Soil preparation for sowing: first of all, the hoes allow us to break the clods of the earth and turn the layers on the surface, from about 5 to 15 cm. In this way we can prepare it for sowing and at the same time ventilate it, breaking the surface layer of the crust. Not surprisingly, they are often used together with spades for the vegetable garden.
  • Facilitation of seed germination: a seed, for a correct germination, needs air, humidity, water and heat. Thanks to hoeing, the soil is prepared exactly for this purpose, as it is turned over and made softer. In this way its permeability is facilitated, which allows water and light to penetrate more effectively than on beaten ground.
  • A boon for vegetables: hoeing is an ideal operation for growing bulb and tuber vegetables, because their development is favored in turned soils and therefore softer than normal and with little skeleton.
  • Weed and scrub removal: The hand hoe is also a fantastic tool for removing all weeds and weeds, in the vegetable garden and in the garden. It is especially useful when used to cut the roots of weeds, in such a way as to prevent them from re-growing, depriving our seedlings of nourishment.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, the hoes are also used to dig channels to facilitate the flow of water for irrigation, or to facilitate the drainage of rainwater. In addition, they are also ideal tools for planting potatoes, and for consolidating fertilizers into the ground.

Best vegetable and garden hoes

1. SHW-FIRE 59054 Steel and Ash Wood 135 cm

If you are looking for a professional, sturdy and heavy garden hoe, then I recommend that you evaluate this product from SHW-FIRE. The blade was in fact made of special steel, has a very high degree of sharpening and record resistance. It can also be understood by weighing it, considering that the hoe exceeds 2 kilograms. As for the handle, it mounts an ash wood stick which is in turn very sturdy, as well as traditional and aesthetically beautiful.

  • Template: square blade
  • Handle length: 135 cm
  • Weight: 2.1 kilograms
  • Usage: vegetable garden and garden

I would like to underline the presence of a “pot-bellied” section on the final part of the stick, which makes it much more resistant and reduces the risk of fractures. In addition, the thick structure improves the transmission of force given by the arms when you hit the blow. Also know that the blade fits perfectly on the stick, to the point that it never moves or wobbles, nor does it risk disassembling. If you are interested there is also a slightly cheaper and lighter version, and it is the following:

The total length of the handle is 135 cm, while the performance is excellent in any situation, even against particularly clayey and hard soil. You can use it to prepare fields or gardens, to move or dig any type of soil, or to remove weeds starting from cutting the roots. In conclusion, it is a very high quality hoe, capable of adapting to any situation, from garden care to very complex soils.

2. SHW-FIRE Steel and Ash Heart Hoe 135 cm

If you are looking for a professional garden hoe, then you will love this tool from SHW-FIRE. It is in fact a model with a heart-shaped blade, therefore with a pronounced tip that facilitates the breaking of the superficial skeleton of the ground, reaching greater depth with each blow inflicted. Not surprisingly, it is also efficient when it comes to digging and preparing rather hard and clayey gardens.

  • Template: heart blade
  • Handle length: 135 cm
  • Weight: 1.2 kilograms
  • Usage: vegetable garden and garden

It shares many of the characteristics of the previous model: it means that it has a special steel blade and a solid ash handle, 135 centimeters long. We also find the reinforced section near the joint between the stick and the cutting head, which equates to greater stability of the blade and greater blow power. Secondly, this garden and vegetable garden hoe is designed to perform at its best for working fields and flower beds, and for removing weeds.

The length of the cutting head reaches 18 centimeters, while the weight of the latter is equal to more than half a kilo (600 grams to be precise, total 1.2 kilos). I had the opportunity to try it and I must say that it is very versatile, perfect for example for digging furrows to let water flow, and obviously for aerating the ground. It is not very heavy and therefore can be used by anyone, it has a perfect length and also the blade is really sharp.

3. SHW-FIRE Steel and Ash Double Blade Hoe 40 cm

Another lap, another race, another tool produced by SHW-FIRE. Only in this case we are dealing with a small double-bladed hoe, with a 40 cm long ash handle and a 22 cm high special steel blade (weighing just under half a kilo). The secondary blade is heart shaped, while the primary one is square, therefore it is a particularly versatile tool.

  • Template: double blade
  • Handle length: 40 cm
  • Weight: about 500 grams
  • Usage: vegetable garden and garden

Being very sharp, the cutting head allows you to sink the blow to the roots without fear that the stick could break in half, as it happens with cheap hoes. Furthermore, having a higher weight than other hoes of the same category, you will have to use little force in the stroke, because the heaviness of the cutting head will do the rest and make your work easier. Know that there is also a double-sided version with fork (2 claws), ideal for aerating and breaking clods:

Sturdy but handy, this garden hand hoe is a reliable and ideal tool for certain operations in particular, such as cultivation and planting. Then consider that the blade is made of steel and not sheet metal, so it is super resistant, does not bend or deform, and is able to work even hard or clayey earth. Finally, it has excellent balance, the handle is comfortable to hold and the tool can be considered practically indestructible.

4. BELLOTA Azadilla with Mango 228-A CM 900

La Bellota is a well-known Spanish company specializing in the production of garden tools, and this model in particular mounts a double head with square blade and 2-pointed fork. The blade is of excellent quality, in forged boron steel, while the stick is not very sturdy, so it is a tool designed especially for gardens or vegetable gardens with earth already largely loose.

  • Template: bident
  • Length: 90 cm
  • Weight: about 900 grams
  • Usage: garden

As for the dimensions, the overall height is approximately 90 centimeters, while the weight is close to 900 grams. In spite of the not exceptional strength of the handle, this garden hoe fulfills its duty when it comes to preparing the soil for sowing, and cleaning the brushwood. I remind you, however, that it is not suitable for hard and clayey soils.

From a certain point of view, lightness is an advantage, especially if you will use it for not too demanding gardening jobs. The balance is excellent and the blade, due to its sharpness, penetrates the earth without too many problems. The presence of the bident turns out a lot convenient when you have to “scratch” the ground and to eliminate the brushwood that is around the shrubs.

5. Gaebi Verdemax Quadra Bidente with Wooden Handle

It is not a real garden hoe, but rather a tool designed for garden care. Don’t be fooled by appearances anyway, because it is a quality model, although it obviously cannot be compared to professional hoes. The cutting head is double-sided, with a square-tipped blade and a fork, and is made of forged steel, so it is really solid.

  • Template: bident
  • Length: 140 cm
  • Weight: 1 kilogram
  • Usage: garden hoe

The handle, as often happens in tools designed for gardening, is not very solid and therefore you should not subject it to excessive stress. In summary, it is never the case to sink the blow too hard into hard or stony ground, because the kickback could cause it to break. For this reason, I repeat to you that we are faced with a hoe for garden work and for the soft earth. Know that there are also two other versions: a classic and a double-sided with heart hoe:

On the other hand, it is great for removing brushwood and is also quite long (140cm handle), so it also suits users with a tall stature. Considering the price, in my opinion it is a competitive and very good quality hoe, as long as you use it in the right way, without forcing it too much. In summary, don’t expect a tool that can penetrate the surface layer of the earth a lot.

6. Draper DH Digging Hoe Square 122 cm

I decided to close my reviews on the best garden hoes with this tool from Draper. It has a competitive price but high-level performance, since it is equipped with a square cutting head in hardened and very sharp steel. The stick is quite long, considering a height of 144 centimeters, and also the weight (about 2 kilos) shows that we are dealing with a really sturdy instrument.

  • Template: square blade
  • Length: 144 cm
  • Weight: 2 kilograms
  • Usage: vegetable garden and garden

As I have already explained to you before, the heavy weight allows you to use very little force when you hit the blow, with great benefits for the back and for the arms. However, it is clear that, being heavier, it is not a very easy tool to manage, but in reality it only takes a pinch of training and experience. Furthermore, these characteristics make it ideal for digging the earth, for working rather large areas and for eliminating weeds by cutting their roots directly.

What are the other peculiarities of this tool? The balance is excellent, as is the strength of the stick, which does not break when you hit rather firm blows. It can penetrate even hard and clayey earth, and as I told you it is very sharp and therefore cuts the roots effortlessly. Of course, its size makes it unsuitable for hoeing between plants, as you risk damaging the good roots.

Types of hand hoes

As you most likely already know, there are many different types of hoes, and there are two systems to divide them into categories: the structure and the type of blade. The classic garden and vegetable hoe has a thick straight wooden handle, and a cutting head. Then we find the hoe or mini hoe, to be used crouched and especially useful for weeding the ground (removal of weeds) and to hedge it (accumulation of the earth at the base of the plants).

It is much more complex to divide them into categories based on the type of blade, because there are an infinite number of them. Let’s say that also in this case there are basically 2 main types of hoe: that is the single blade ones and the double blade models.

1. Single blade hoe

There is only one blade, often square in shape, but it can also be crescent, heart, triangle or trapezoid. The shape of the blade can change depending on the use and the region of origin, given that in certain areas of the Peninsula particular cutting heads are used (such as the Pistoiese hoe or the Sicilian hoe).

These tools are often used for hoeing soft or medium hard earth, aerating the soil, digging canals and for many general operations.

2. Double or double-bladed hoe

Also known as a combined or double blade, this model houses a cutting head with two blades. The first is often classic (square), while the second is thinner, and is used to hoe close to plants and vegetables without risking damaging their roots. As an alternative to the second blade, it is possible to find a bident, consisting of two claws (fork), while the main blade is not square but in the shape of a leaf or tongue.

The thin blade is useful as it penetrates deeper, and is therefore ideal for hoeing soils with higher than average hardness. As I explained to you, then, being thinner it is perfect for working the earth around plants and vegetables, avoiding the risk of breaking their roots. The bident cutting head, or the one with leaf plus claw, on the other hand is excellent for aerating the soil, for breaking clods, for scratching the earth and for weeding.

How to choose the garden hoe

1. Handle materials

The comfort of those who will use the garden or vegetable garden hoe depends on the handle, consequently it is important to dedicate a separate space to it, speaking both of the materials and the length of the stick. As for the former, wood is the most popular option, both for a question of durability and for its rather low cost. The sturdiness can however vary according to the type of wood, given that on the market we find professional hoes in pine, ash, beech and other essences such as acacia.

The first alternative to wood is fiberglass, along with other synthetic materials such as resins and polypropylene. Fiberglass is undoubtedly one of the best solutions in terms of resistance, and due to the fact that it is able to perfectly dampen the vibrations produced by the blows on the ground. As for vibrations, it must be said that wood also has excellent absorbing properties. As a result, these materials are able to protect the joints of the wrists and hands.

Fiberglass is an equally high-level choice, because it is very sturdy, but it is heavier and therefore could make it less comfortable to use the hand hoe.

2. Length of the handle

Traditional garden hoes have a fixed handle, as mentioned in wood, while the length of the stick is generally between 70 centimeters and 80 centimeters, but there are also models that reach 1.3 meters. The important thing is that the handle is long enough to meet the needs of those who use it. The hoes, on the other hand, have a handle that usually does not go beyond 35 cm in length, starting from a minimum of 20 cm.

Returning to traditional tools, know that some models have a telescopic handle: in this case the stick can be lengthened or shortened, thus adapting to the specific needs of those who use it. However, these are models designed for non-intensive use and certainly not professional, since they are less robust than the others.

3. Shape of the stick

In the professional models the stick does not resemble the classic one of brooms, but has a more “fat” final section. This larger part allows you to better distribute the weight inflicted by the user, and also protects the stick of the garden hoe from breaking. This feature also makes the tools in question more suitable for very hard and clayey soils, especially when combined with a forged steel blade.

4. Blade materials

The cutting head of a high quality hoe is always made of forged steel or iron, due to the strength of these materials, and due to their weight, which is necessary to obtain a discreet impact of the blade on the ground. Forged steel is a peculiarity of professional hoes, the cost of which is around 40 euros, while iron hoes usually have a price around 25 or 30 euros. Compared to other fields, in our case the blades have remained similar to those used in past centuries, precisely because of the importance of the weight of the cutting head.

On forged steel, other considerations must be made: it is in fact a more robust alloy than iron, therefore it keeps the wire for longer and is less afraid of blows on the stones, which instead tend to deform the iron blades.

5. Shapes of the blade

As I have already told you, there he would like an encyclopedia to list all the possible shapes of the blades of a garden or vegetable garden hoe. The most common shape is the square or trapezoidal one, excellent for cutting the roots of weeds and for breaking the surface layer of the crust. The heart ones, having a point, penetrate better at a medium depth and are excellent for moving the earth sideways and for digging holes.

  • Heart hoe: they are typical of the areas of Varese and Turin
  • Crescent hoe: they are often used in Sardinia
  • Inverted trapeze hoe: it is very common in Varese and Marsala
  • Narrow hoe: common in Tuscany, Sardinia and Sicily

I repeat, however, that these hoes are widespread throughout Italy, and that there are many different variants, some of which with the tip of the curved blade (both concave and convex). Finally, there are also open blades, which are used above all to move the already dried ground, as the “window” helps the passage of the earth.


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