The 5 Best Garden Knives Reviewed

Garden knives are handy, multi-purpose gardening tools great for weeding, transplanting, sawing, pruning and harvesting (Source).

You'll want to consider whether to buy a garden knife that has a 'full tang' and whether you require depth measurements on the blade (Source). 

Some of the garden knives feature full tangs (the Truly Graden knife and the LifeWell knife) while the other's don't.

A garden knife with a full tang means it is built from one single, solid piece of metal, with the handle pinned on to the full-length blade, through the handle. This is the strongest style of garden knife (Source). 

Another handy feature to consider is that some garden knives include depth measurement gradations on the blade- including the Truly Garden ​knife, the LifeWell soil knife, and the ML Tools digging knife

Garden Knives Compared

 Garden KnivesOur RatingPrice ($)Full tang?Depth Measurement?
The Fiskars Large-Grip Garden Knife4.3$NoNo
The Truly Garden Garden Knife4.9$$YesYes
The LifeWell Hori-Hori Garden Knife4.9$$YesYes
The MLTools Garden Digging Knife4.7$NoYes
The Zenport Plastic-Handled Soil Knife4.5$$NoNo

Best Garden Knife For 2017

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This garden knife with big grip offered by Fiskars is handy, light, and an excellent choice for digging, planting or transplanting. Users love that the knife is sharp and easy to use, but some do note that the handle is not durable.

The Fiskars big grip garden knife measures 0.8” x 1.5” x 13”, and it features a padded, oversized handle for improved control and comfort, a cast-aluminum rust-resistant head which is great because it won’t bend easily, and a sharpened blade with serrated edges. The garden knife comes with a lifetime warranty, and the handle has a hand hole for storage.

In general, users have a high opinion of the Fiskars garden knife, and they praise its durability, sharpness, and design. A buyer comments that the knife has a comfortable grip and that it can cut roots or pick out weeds with no issues.

Another reviewer states that the knife is weather resistant, light and durable and that it’s one of the best big grip garden knives available. He says that he has been using it extensively for weeding and planting and the knife doesn’t show any signs of bending. A user adds that the garden knife slices sod smoothly and that it’s sharper than he expected.  

However, some customers have complained that the knife snapped in two within a week at the handle and that the metal bends. Few users also note that the garden knife is not as sharp as they expected.

Pros

  • Handy
  • Sharp
  • Easy to use
  • A big grip
  • Rust-resistant
  • Serrated edges
  • A handle hole for storage

Cons

  • Snaps at the handle
  • Metal might bend
  • Quality complaints

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

If you are wondering what to gift to a garden lover, you might take a look at hori-hori garden knife offered by Truly Garden. Users love the free diamond sharpening rod, but some do note that they had issues with the handle.

The hori-hori knife measures 1.8” x 3” x 13.5”, and it features a curved, high-grade blade made of stainless steel, serrated blades, a metal safety guard which is perfect for protecting your hands, a beech hardwood handle, and a weight of 1.2 pounds. The package also contains a leather sheath with brass snaps so that you can store the knife easily.

In general, users agree that the Truly garden knife is one of the best knives available, and they praise its performance and sturdiness. A buyer comments that the quality of the steel is exceptional and that the Truly Garden knife is very well-made.

He observes that the leather sheath is well-stitched and that the blade doesn’t bend at all. Another user mentions that the honing diamond rod works perfectly and that the handle has a comfortable grip. He adds he highly recommends the hori-hori knife and that you need to wipe it with machine oil from time to time.

A reviewer also notes that the garden knife cuts through weeds and roots with no issues and that it’s a necessity for every gardener. However, some customers have complained that the metal protrudes from the handle and that you can hurt your hand. Some users also note that the sheath doesn’t look like genuine leather.

Pros

  • Well-made
  • A sharpening rod
  • A leather sheath
  • Serrated edges
  • A safety guard
  • A full tang
  • Hardwood handle

Cons

  • Metal protrudes from the handle
  • Sheath complaints

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This garden knife offered by LifeWell Garden Products is sharp, versatile, multi-functional, and suitable for gardeners, landscapers, and horticulturalists. Users love the high-quality blade, but some do note that it’s expensive.

The LifeWell garden knife measures 13.8” x 3.9” x 1.4”, and it features a triple-pin handle made of hardwood, a 6 ¾-inch rust-resistant blade with triple-point serrated edges which is great because it’ll stay sharper than other blades, and a weight of 1.1 pounds. This Japanese garden knife comes with a heavy-duty nylon sheath, a gardener guidebook, a lifetime warranty, and it’s packed in a gift box.

A reviewer observes that the steel is thicker than he expected and that the blade is sharp and sturdy. He adds that the full tang handle looks well-made and that the knife would last for years.

Another buyer comments that this is the best hori-hori garden knife that he has ever used and that you can use it to dig all sorts of soil. He says that the knife feels great in his hand and that it’s well-balanced. A user also states that the LifeWell knife is perfect for cutting roots below the surface and that it’s heavy-duty and ergonomic.

However, one customer notes that the metal sticks out from the wood and that it’s made in China. One other buyer also notes that he can’t snap the holder strap.

Pros

  • Well-made
  • Sharp
  • A triple-pin handle
  • A rust-resistant blade
  • Triple-point serrated edges
  • A nylon sheath

Cons

  • Made in China
  • Metal sticks out of the handle
  • Expensive

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This garden digging knife offered by MLtools is well-balanced, heavy-duty, and an excellent choice for gardeners, hikers, or hunters. Users love the lightweight design, but some do note that it is not full tang.

The MLtools garden knife measures 2.5” x 1.5” x 12.5”, and it features a plastic handle with a special textured finish for providing a non-slip grip, a high-quality mirror polished stainless steel blade, a serrated edge, a depth scale, and a weight of 0.63 pounds. Another great feature of this digging garden knife is that it comes with a nylon carrying sheath with a belt loop.

A customer mentions that the MLtools garden digging knife is made of thick steel and that it’s strong, durable, and sharp. He adds that it was invaluable for digging deep holes and that the knife goes through hard soil with no problems.

Another reviewer comments that the oval shape of the handle is very comfortable and that the depth markings are useful for planting. A user also observes that this hori-hori garden tool is more curved than similar knives, but it’s convenient for cutting roots and moving dirt. He says that he is very impressed with the quality of the steel and that he highly recommends.

However, most of the customers note that the nylon sheath is poorly made and that it tears quickly. Some customers have also complained that the handle is plastic and uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Well-balanced
  • High-quality
  • Non-slip grip
  • Stainless steel blade
  • A depth scale
  • Light
  • Nylon sheath with a belt loop

Cons

  • Plastic handle
  • Low-quality sheath
  • Half tang

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This garden knife offered by Zenport is light, comfortable to use, and you can use it as a scoop, saw, and as a weeding tool. Users love the price, but some do note that it’s made in China.

The Zenport soil knife measures 9” x 2” x 1”, and it features a weight of 0.5 pounds, a 6-inch stainless steel blade, and a bright orange plastic handle which is great because you can spot it easily in the garden. The knife fits the Zenport HJ245 sheath, but you should be aware that the sheath is not included in the package.

A buyer observes that it’s very easy to insert the blade into the soil and that due to the bright orange handle you can’t lose the knife easily. He adds that the blade is sturdy and that he didn’t have any issues while digging out dandelion. Another reviewer mentions that both the serrated and the straight edge are sharp and efficient for cutting weeds and root.

But, he notes that there are no increments on the blade. A user indicates that he uses the soil knife for metal detecting and that he is pleased with its performance and sharpness. However, some customers have complained that the steel is fragile and that the knife is not sharp at all.

Pros

  • Light
  • Comfortable
  • Multifunctional
  • 6-inch steel blade
  • Bright orange handle
  • Easy to spot

Cons

  • Weak steel
  • Not very sharp
  • No sheath
  • No increments
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What Are Buyers Saying?

The Fiskars Gardening Knife

The first garden knife we examined is manufactured by Fiskars. This large-grip or horticultural knife is designed for users to open up stubborn bags of mulch and to perform common spade-digging tasks in the garden. The blade is built from a polished cast-aluminum and features ann ergonomically padded handle to provide a comfortable, durable grip.

Its sharpened serrated knife blade edge makes it easy to plunge into the ground and carve into hard earth. It's marketed as a means of transplanting plants, digging through hard soil, removing delicate flowers from the earth or just tearing through rugged plastic soil bags.

  • Buyers say that this large-handled horticultural knife lets them get a solid grip on it, but at the same time it is lightweight enough to wield in the garden to cut through roots and pick out clumps of weeds that are deeply entrenched in the garden soil.
  • Buyers also say that it's weighted at the digging end so that it plunges easily through the earth without having to put a lot of pressure on it.
  • A great option for elderly individuals who suffer from arthritic hands, or just general frailty, do work in the garden digging up weeds and plants.
  • Another reviewer says that it easily slices sod and ships with their convenient plastic snap lock case that helps keep the knife sharp.

The Hori-Hori Soil Knife

The second horticultural knife we examined is manufactured by Truly Garden- it ships with an attractive leather sheath as well as a diamond sharpening rod. It's marketed as an especially dynamic tool that can work for cutting, harvesting, transplanting, measuring, weeding, digging and pruning purposes.

It's built from a stainless steel that has a curved blade featuring a full tang through the handle to ensure that it is extra resilient. This Japanese-inspired gardening knife, the company says, is inspired by a 16th-century version of the tool. It weighs 10 ounces and the company says that this Chinese-made garden knife works well for men and women of all ages, no matter their hand strength.

  • Buyers were relatively impressed, saying that it is a tip-heavy garden knife that is excellently forged with high-quality steel.
  • One buyer observed that the steel was hard, but in his experience usually bends past 30° in both directions, meaning that it is flexible enough to perform most of its work tasks.
  • Built from sustainable resources, reviewers applaud its ability to saw, cut and cultivate, though it's recommended by some savvy reviewers to apply some linseed oil onto the wooden handle to ensure its longevity.

The Life Well Hori-Hori Gardening Knife

The third gardening knife we examined is manufactured by Life Well Garden Products. They say that this horticultural gardening knife is a handy bonsai tool, weeder, a solid option for fishing and camping expeditions as an all-purpose hand tool. Built from rust-resistant stainless steel, it has a full tang handle.

It's marketed as a Japanese garden hori-hori knife- it features a gradation marks on its concave face to ensure highly accurate transplanting. Buyers often purchase rugged gloves to use with these bladed hand tools. 

A triple-serrated blade ensures that the knife edge stays sharp longer than other options, helping to split pots, unearth recalcitrant weeds that are deeply rooted, and quickly cut open garden bags built from that impossibly stubborn plastic material.

  • One reviewer said they appreciated the measurements on the knife, saying that it makes plant spacing during the seeding season much easier.
  • Now they know exactly whether they've spaced the plants out 10 inches or not, instead of hand measuring it.
  • Others like its rosewood handle, saying that it is a multi-purpose gardening tool that can be worn on the hip inside of its sheath.

The ML Tools Hori-Hori Gardening Knife

The fourth digging knife we examined is manufactured by ML Tools. It's marketed to hikers, hunters, campers, fishers and metal detecting enthusiasts- featuring a polished stainless steel blade with a single serrated edge and an integrated depth scale.

It is 12.5 inches long, with a 5-inch long handle and a blade that is 7 inches in length.

Conveniently, it ships with a nylon carrying case that includes an integrated belt loop so you can snap it on to your pants as you amble around your garden, or proceed up a hiking trail. This is not a full tang option, reviewers say.

  • Buyers applaud the quality of a knife, though they were unimpressed by the construction of the sheath- with many preferring a sturdier built leather sheath.
  • Another gardener told us they were impressed by how wide the teeth were on its serrated edge, saying that they are evenly spaced as opposed to other styles that combine two small serrated teeth with a large one.
  • They say that it's oval-shaped handle is a better ergonomic option than rectangular ones, with a round pommel that lets you give it a good solid pressure to push drive it deep into stubborn, dry earth.
  • Some buyers recommend giving it a polish on a belt sander- this can be used on the smooth edge to give it some decent sharpness to function as a pruning knife.

The Zenport Steel Gardening Knife

The last soil knife we examined is manufactured by Zenport- it features a 6-inch stainless steel serrated blade. It's marketed as an all-purpose gardening and horticultural tool that can weed, saw and scoop, great for home gardens that require transplanting and root cutting as well as for professional gardening contractors.

It ships in a box of 10 with an orange-colored plastic handle that makes it visible- which is convenient if you lose it especially in outdoor areas where people are prone to walk barefoot.

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