Love My Hori Hori

By Bonnie Grant | February 26, 2021
by Bonnie Grant
February 26, 2021

My very favorite, can’t-get-along-without garden tool is the hori hori. I love that it can get deep dandelion roots all the way out. I also adore its serrated edge that can cut through firm vegetation. It is the perfect bulb planting tool, and it gets keen use in the veggie garden. Hands down, a hori hori is a must have item for any gardener. 

My Japanese Garden Knife

I had a job on a private estate. Among the gear each gardener received was a hori hori. I had never heard about the tool previously but it became evident quickly the multitude of hori hori uses. Also known as a Japanese garden knife, or mountain vegetable gardening knife, this multi-purpose garden gadget is a must have. I have managed to lose a few but I always purchase another. I simply can’t get on without it.

My First Hori Hori

My first hori hori was a thing of beauty. It really came from fine crafts persons in Japan and featured a leather carrying case that slid onto a belt. It had distinct markings down the blade and an ergonomic sheath. The steel was light weight but sturdy. I know it was sturdy because I accidentally ran over it with my estate vehicle and no damage was done. But as is my habit, I lost it somewhere and had to replace it. Not having the budget this estate had, I opted for one I found at a big home improvement store. It retailed around 19 US dollars and proved to be worth what I paid. 

The cheaper version was not really worth it. Among a hori hori’s uses, weeding is chief and it performed that task just fine. But if you hit a rock or tried to cut away an errant stem, the blade would bend. Not the best craftsmanship. It got me through a spring but I needed a better version for the next gardening season. I sourced a really nice one online and got three: one for me and one each for my Mum and sister for gifts. We have all treasured our Japanese garden knife individually. The item has even gone out to an aunt, my mate, and others on gift lists. It will probably remain one of my favorite presents to give fellow gardeners. 

Hori Hori Uses

Hori hori knives were initially used for digging wild root vegetables. The concave shape of the blade allows a gardener to easily slip along carrots and other root vegetables without damaging them. Other hori hori uses are planting bulbs, dividing perennials, sawing through tough roots, weeding, and more. The blade features measurements so you know how deep to plant your seeds and bulbs. The serrated edge isn’t knife-like in its keenness, but is similar to a sturdy bread knife. A sawing motion quickly cuts through thick plant material. It is simply the most useful item I have in my garden arsenal. This is not an ad — just an opinion, However, I highly recommend you get one.

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