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Friday Favorite: the Hand Hoe

August 3rd, 2012

One day, on a whim, I added a hand hoe to an on-line purchase. I’ve tried all sorts of hand tools in the garden and have been disappointed almost every time. Like my cobra head weeder, most of them are gathering dust.

Little did I know how much I would love this tool and how often I would use it. In fast, it’s probably my most used garden hand tool. Why do I love it so much?

It has a very sharp edge, which I sharpen a few times each season. This edge allows it to cut through tiny seedlings. You can drag the sharp edge and skim the top of the soil cutting off tiny seedlings as you go. If you get them small enough, they won’t come back.

Thanks Maybelline for asking in the comment section about what I use to sharpen my tools. I have used the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker for 17 years for all my sharpening needs from garden tools to kitchen knives.

The pointed tip is great for digging up the entire roots of larger weeds. It can also be used as a small maddox for whacking at tough weeds to get them up. The pointed tip also allows enough precision to weed around plants, even if they’re growing fairly close together.

The shape of this tool makes it much easier on the wrist than a regular trowel. Weeding for a couple hours does not result in any wrist pain or strain. It also provides some much needed leverage when trying to “pop” tenacious weeds from their spots.

This is the tool you will find me using most often in the garden, especially when weeding. I will never be without a hand hoe in my tool shed! I noticed there are a variety of hand hoes on Amazon. One of these days I’ll buy another one or two of these other options for my garden toolbox. Now that Mr Chiots is getting more into gardening he might start making mine scarce.

What’s your favorite gardening hand tool?

10 Comments to “Friday Favorite: the Hand Hoe”
  1. Corrie on August 3, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I like the no-blister trowel for weeding. Seems like all the handheld hoes are right-handed, and I’m not!

    Reply to Corrie's comment

    • Susy on August 3, 2012 at 8:18 am

      I’ve seen a few that are ambidextrous, the hoe blade is centered on the handle.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Sietse de Wit on August 10, 2012 at 3:28 am

      Hi Corry, we do make many handhoes for lefthanded people. The hoe on the picture is a copy of the original dutch handhoe, in dutch called schrepel. I think at the website you can find dutch handhoes left handed and also the best one to use is the cape cod weeder also left handed. Made by dewit in holland since 1898 forging family of high end gardening tools

      Reply to Sietse de Wit's comment

  2. cecilia on August 3, 2012 at 8:31 am

    that look a lot like the Ken Ho weeder that I love:

    the nice thing about the Ken Ho is it’s one piece of steel with no welded points. A girlfriend of mine had one like yours and the head broke off after awhile.

    The other hoe I love is made by Rogue Tools:
    the short handled scuffle hoes are wonderful…fiendishly sharp! I have one of their short handled hoes and a regular full length scuffle hoe. Both great.

    Reply to cecilia's comment

  3. Songbirdtiff on August 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I have a hand hoe/cultivator that is my go-to tool when I’m heading out to the garden. I use it every day. I also have an OXO brand garden knife that I love. It has a smooth, sharp edge on one side and a serrated edge on the other. It has a pointy tip and the body has measurements so I use it for digging, cutting down big weeds, and occasionally weeding. Those two tools are about all I use.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  4. risa bear on August 3, 2012 at 9:32 am

    AKA Ho-mi, “little ground spear” in Korean. Here’s mine, designed for arthritic hands. Almost the only thing I use now, and this version out-transplants trowels by a mile.

    Reply to risa bear's comment

  5. Maybelline on August 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

    What do you use to sharpen your tools?

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

    • Susy on August 3, 2012 at 11:41 am

      I use the same knife sharpening kit that I use for my kitchen knives, pruners & anything with an edge. I have the hTri-Angle Sharpmaker and LOVE it. I find that it’s versatile enough for everything I need to sharpen from pruners and scissors to my chef knife. I have had my sharpening kit for 17 years now.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Claudia Fugate on August 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Seems so simple – no cords, no dragging, not noise. Hand tools in good condition – a good choice.

    Reply to Claudia Fugate's comment

  7. daisy on August 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    My hands. I don’t even wear gloves most of the time. Somethin’ about the way the soil feels on your skin.

    Looks like a great asset to the garden shed!

    Reply to daisy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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