A garden hoe is one of the workhorses of the garden shed. Whether you’re preparing soil for sowing, or cleaning weeds from your path or patio, it’s an essential tool.
But when it comes to choosing one, you may be surprised at just how much variety is out there! That’s where our handy guide comes in.
We’ll take you through the best options on the market. And we’ll set out some considerations to help you make the perfect choice.
So if you’re ready, let’s hoe!
The Best garden hoe
The Best garden hoes on UK Market 2023
1. Srendi Digging Garden Hoe
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty hoe with a sharp blade, check out this one from Srendi. Its robust construction makes it a great choice for tough jobs like digging up turf or cutting through roots.
The blade is made of forged steel, so it’s very strong. And the leading edge is really sharp. If you’re looking for an alternative to a fork for digging up stubborn roots, this is a great option.
The blade is 25 centimetres long and 19 centimetres wide. It’s attached to a 120-centimetre-long wooden handle. The timber will absorb the vibrations as you work, so it’s easier on your back, arms and hands. And the weight is nicely balanced for a smooth and powerful swing.
The length will be fine for average or shorter gardeners. But if you’re very tall, you may prefer an option with a longer handle.
The handle and the head of the hoe are packaged separately, so you’ll need to attach them before use. It’s easy to do. The handle is tapered, so the blade will stay on securely. Just give it a couple of knocks with a hammer to lodge it firmly in place.
One thing to note is that this is a little heavier than some hoes. That’s great if you’re looking to generate lots of power. But it does require more energy than lighter versions.
- Strong, sharp cutting blade
- The robust wooden handle absorbs vibrations
- Well balanced for a smooth and powerful swing
- It’s fairly heavy – great for power, but demands more energy
- The 120-centimetre handle may be a little short for taller gardeners.
2. Harbour Housewares Azada Garden Digging Hoe (Our Top Pick)
This digging hoe from Harbour Housewares is very similar in design to the one from Srendi. It occupies roughly the same price point too.
It uses the traditional Azada design, with a sharp leading edge that’s great for cutting and drawing compacted soil.
The blade is made of solid forged steel, so it’s very strong. It’s attached to a wooden handle that’s very slightly longer than the Srendi hoe, at 122 centimetres.
The blade, on the other hand, is slightly smaller, at 16 centimetres wide and 21 centimetres long. That may make it a better option if you need to work in tight spaces.
It weighs 2.3 kilograms, so it’s another fairly hefty hoe. That weight is well balanced, though, making it comfortable to swing. And you’ll generate plenty of power when you do so.
But if you use it for a long period of time, you’ll feel it in your arms and shoulders afterwards. The upside is that the weight makes the cutting action very effective.
We’ve heard of a couple of issues with handles breaking. It’s difficult to pin down whether this is a result of poor quality assurance or user technique.
The key here is to let the blade do the work – don’t whack it into the ground as if your life depends on it! If you use it properly and still run into problems, there’s a two-year warranty for peace of mind.
- Strong, sharp forged steel blade
- Solid and well-balanced
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Rather heavy – you’ll feel the burn in your arms and shoulders if you use it for a long time
- Don’t whack it too hard on the ground, or the wooden handle may break.
3. AB Tools Garden Dutch Hoe
This Dutch hoe from AB Tools is a great choice for anyone looking to remove weeds and cultivate soil.
It has a 140-centimetre-long handle, so it will be comfortable for average and taller gardeners. It also means you’ll be able to reach the back of deeper flowerbeds without trampling the soil.
The handle is made of tubular steel, meaning it’s both strong and fairly lightweight. A rubber grip at the end makes it comfortable to hold. And there’s a hanging hole for easy storage in your shed.
The head is made of resilient carbon steel, and it’s 12 centimetres wide. The whole thing is solidly constructed and robust, and it weighs 2 kilograms.
There’s very little not to like about this hoe. It has a simple design, it’s well built and it’s very modestly priced. You can pick up one of these for about the same price as three cups of coffee in an artisan café.
The only real niggle we’ve found is that the packaging has in one case involved lots of brown tape. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, it was wrapped around the handle and left behind a sticky residue on the grip. This, however, appears to have been a one-off.
- Long handle for reaching the back of deeper flowerbeds without trampling the soil
- Strong carbon steel head
- Robustly built
- The handle may be a little long for shorter gardeners
- Watch out for packing tape leaving sticky residue on the handle.
4. Spear & Jackson Garden Dutch Hoe
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of Dutch hoes, this one from Spear & Jackson is a worthy contender. It’s more expensive than many (although you may be able to find a good offer) – but it’s a quality tool.
The head is made of stainless steel and has a mirror-polished finish. It’s very strong, and it looks exceptionally smart. It will also resist rust, and the smooth surface means soil just slides off. The blade is nice and sharp too.
The handle is made of a robust hardwood. The pale colour looks great, and it’s been treated so that it’s waterproof. You won’t have to worry about any part of this hoe corroding if you’re gardening in the rain.
It’s considerably lighter than some of the hoes on our list, weighing just 750 grams. It’s got the seal of approval from horticultural experts too. It was a winner at the annual Great British Growing Awards in 2018.
The total length is 132 centimetres. That does mean that the tallest gardeners may find they’re bending more than is comfortable in order to use it.
But if that’s not an issue for you, this is an excellent hoe that looks very attractive too.
- Mirror-polished stainless steel head is strong and looks great
- The smooth surface resists corrosion and prevents soil from sticking to it as you work
- Robust and waterproof hardwood handle
- Very tall gardeners may find the handle too short to be used comfortably
- It’s rather expensive – although look out for promotions to grab a bargain.
5. Bargains-Galore Dutch Hoe for Garden
If you want a Dutch hoe at a more economical price point, this one from Bargains-Galore could be a good shot. It costs about as much as three posh coffees at your local artisan coffee shop. But you’ll still be getting a decent tool that does the job well.
It consists of a long green handle made of tubular steel, and a grey tempered steel head. That head is 14 centimetres wide, so it’s a good width to get between seedlings. It’s very strong too. A rubber grip at the end makes the hoe comfortable to use and avoids blisters.
The handle is about 140 centimetres long. That will make it a comfortable option for taller gardeners. But if you’re shorter, you may find it a little unwieldy.
If you like a traditional look to your tools, you may prefer an option with a wooden handle. But the tubular steel has the benefit of being both strong and lightweight. And it’s powder coated, so you won’t have to worry about it rusting if it’s left out in wet weather.
- Strong but lightweight
- The 14-centimetre steel head is a good width for weeding between smaller plants
- Shorter gardeners may find the handle rather unwieldy
- Some may find the tubular steel handle less appealing than wood.
6. Spear & Jackson Garden Hoe
The second option from Spear & Jackson to make our list, this draw hoe is another tool that’s rather expensive. But if you’re prepared to spend the money, it has some excellent features to recommend it.
Like Spear & Jackson’s Dutch hoe, this one is a real looker. It has a handsome stainless steel head with a polished mirror finish. And the handle is made of ash, which looks great against the metal.
That handle is a generous 152 centimetres, so it’s best suited to taller gardeners. As long as you can manage it, it will give you the ability to reach right to the back of deep borders. And you won’t have to tread on the soil to do so.
The ash is treated so that it’s waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about leaving it out in the rain. And the stainless steel won’t rust, no matter how wet or cold it gets.
Although it can be used for weeding, this is a draw rake –designed to draw up the earth. It’s best suited for use on compacted soil. And it weighs just a kilogram, so it’s light and easy to manoeuvre.
This tool is part of Spear & Jackson’s Kew Gardens range. A proportion of the price of every hoe sold goes to support Kew’s work in plant science and conservation. So you can have the satisfaction of knowing that your shopping has helped improve the sum of human knowledge!
And while this is the most expensive hoe on our list, it’s also very resilient. It comes with a ten-year warranty, so you’re guaranteed many years of faithful service.
- The stainless steel head is strong, looks great and is rust-resistant
- Waterproof ash handle
- Every sale contributes to Kew’s work in plant science and conservation
- The handle may be too long for some gardeners to use comfortably
- More expensive than most.
7. Green Blade Garden Hoe
This Dutch Hoe from Green Blade is one of the cheapest full-length hoes to make our list. But it packs plenty of punch for its diminutive price.
The handle here is made of steel, so it’s exceptionally strong. It’s coated in plastic so it’s nice and smooth, and there’s no chance of it rusting if it gets wet. And it’s finished in bright green, so it will stand out in your garden shed!
The head is made of carbon steel, and it’s coated with a rust-resistant finish. The whole thing is very light and easy to handle, weighing just a kilogram. A tactile rubber grip makes it comfortable in your hands.
It’s suitable for use for both weeding and cultivating. The head is 14 centimetres wide, so it’s narrow enough to get between young plants without damaging them. The head and handle come ready-attached with this one.
The handle here is pretty long, so shorter gardeners may prefer a different option. And while the edge is decent, it’s not the sharpest out there.
But these are minor niggles with a hoe that’s excellent value for money. And the construction is every bit as solid as more expensive options.
- Strong carbon steel head with rust-resistant coating
- Lightweight and easily manoeuvrable
- The 14-centimetre head is narrow enough to weed between young plants
- The handle is rather long – shorter gardeners may find it awkward
- The edge isn’t as sharp as some.
8. Draper 88799 Garden Hoe
Draper’s 88799 is a mid-priced and well constructed Dutch hoe.
The handle here is made of black tubular steel, and there’s a carbon steel head. The latter has an epoxy coating so it will resist corrosion. And it also means the soil will slide off easily as you work.
There’s a plastic grip so you can hold it firmly without getting blisters. And a hole at the end of the handle allows it to be hung up in your garden shed.
If you’re looking for a lightweight hoe, this is definitely one that should make your shortlist. It weighs in at just over 900 grams. You’ll be able to use it for ages without feeling the burn.
The head here is also one of the narrowest we’ve found in a full-length hoe – just 12.3 centimetres wide. That makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a tool to weed between seedlings.
We’ve heard of a couple of cases where the plastic grip has had rough edges. These can be covered with tape to protect your hands, but that’s clearly not ideal.
And this is another instance where the blade could be sharper. If you need a keener edge, though, the carbon steel is easily sharpened.
- Very lightweight – just 900 grams
- Narrow head, perfect for weeding between seedlings
- Tough tubular and carbon steel construction
- The blade could be sharper – though it is amenable to sharpening
- We’ve heard of a couple of cases where the plastic grip has had rough edges.
9. AB Tools Telescopic Garden Hoe and Fork
If you’re looking for a hoe that also doubles as a fork, check out this clever design from AB Tools. It’s also got a telescopic handle. All that, and it’s one of the cheapest hoes on our list!
The hoe and fork are both made of carbon steel, so they’re nice and strong. They sit opposite one another, so it’s a simple matter of turning the tool to the side you want to use.
The handle extends from 63 to 90 centimetres. The shorter length makes it easier to keep the dual heads under control. But it does mean that you’ll need to bend more to use it. Taller users, in particular, may find it harder work than a hoe with a full-length handle.
You get a lot of versatility here for a very low price. But the build quality isn’t quite as high as it could be. We’ve heard of cases where the hoe and fork head have come detached from the handle. And others where the telescopic action failed after relatively little use.
At this price, though, you may feel it’s worth taking a risk. If you’re looking for a versatile tool for lighter use, it could be the perfect choice.
- Hoe and fork in one tool
- Telescopic handle extends from 63 to 90 centimetres
- Both the fork and hoe head are made of strong carbon steel
- Not as robust as some
- The maximum handle length of 90 centimetres will still require some bending.
10. Gardena 8913-20 Hand Garden Hoe
So far, all the hoes we’ve looked at have been primarily designed for use standing up. But what if you want to get closer to the action? Step forward the 8913-20 hand hoe from Gardena.
This hoe has a short handle for maximum control. It’s great for weeding in containers, or around small and delicate plants. And although it’s little, there’s nothing flimsy about it.
One side has two prongs for loosening soil. The other has the flat blade of a typical draw hoe. That’s 5 centimetres wide, so it will fit into the smallest spaces.
Both the tines and the blade are made from carbon steel, coated with a substance called Duraplast. This resists rust and helps the soil slide off the surface.
The handle is slightly angled, so it’s comfortable to use. And the grip can be removed and replaced with Gardena’s combisystem handle if desired. The durable design comes with an impressive 25-year warranty.
This is surprisingly heavy for a small hoe. And it obviously won’t be the right choice if you want to weed standing up. But as a hand hoe, the quality here is hard to beat.
- Narrow blade, perfect for weeding in containers or tight spaces
- Twin tines on one side and blade on the other, for maximum versatility
- Good, robust build with a 25-year warranty
- Rather heavy for such a small hoe
- Obviously not the right choice if you want to hoe standing up!
So you’ve read through all the reviews, but you’re still not sure which is the hoe for you. Don’t worry – our buying guide is here to help! Just check out these simple questions to help you narrow down your search.
What type of head do you need?
To begin with, consider what kind of hoe you need. Dutch hoes are great for weeding, while draw hoes have a flat blade that’s ideal for moving earth. And traditional Azada hoes are perfect for cutting turf and compacted soil.
Some designs incorporate more than one tool. Gardena’s hand-held version, for example, includes two prongs for loosening the soil and pulling out stubborn weeds. And the AB Tools model combines a traditional flat bladed hoe with a fork for extra versatility.
How long should the handle be?
Next, consider how long you want the handle to be.
If you plan to hoe standing up, the main consideration is how well it will suit your height. If you’re shorter, a 120-centimetre handle will be perfect. But if you’re over 6 feet tall, that will mean you’re bending over a lot as you work. 140-centimetre or longer options will be far more comfortable.
If you want to use your hoe for weeding in containers, a hand-held version will be much better. They’re also a great choice if you want to have maximum control when weeding between delicate seedlings.
How durable is the hoe?
Last but not least, look for materials that will meet the test of time. Blades made of forged or carbon steel will be strong enough to cope with heavier use. Look for options that have coatings to resist rust and keep the soil from sticking to the metal.
When it comes to the handle, wood is both attractive and strong. But make sure the timber has been treated so that it’s waterproof.
Tubular steel handles are lightweight and robust – but their precise strength will depend on the thickness of the metal.
There’s a trade-off here between weight and resilience. If you’re going to be using it for hours at a time, you may prefer a lighter hoe. But the handle is likely to bend more easily, or even snap, if subjected to high pressure.
Ready, steady, hoe!
You’ve reached the end of our round-up of ten of the best garden hoes out there! We hope it’s helped you to find the one that’s right for you.
Our top pick is the Azada digging hoe from Harbour Housewares. This simple design has been used by gardeners for hundreds of years, and it’s just as effective today. We love its sharp, strong blade and sturdy construction.
But whichever hoe you choose, we hope you enjoy using it to maintain a beautiful outside space. Happy gardening!