How To Use A Hori Hori Gardening Knife

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At the end of last year, I got a Hori Hori gardening tool. I think this is my new favorite gardening and camping tool. It’s a Japanese knife/shovel hybrid called a Hori Hori. The blade is about 7 in. long and ⅝ in. wide. So it’s much thinner than most shovels. It also has measurements down the center of the blade. The right edge is a straight blade and the left is a serrated blade.

What are the uses of a Hori Hori?

Well, you can use it like you would a trowel and like you would a knife. The usefulness of this little gem is infinite, so here are the top five favorite ways to use it in the garden.


Cutting–Since it’s both a knife and a shovel it can be used to harvest herbs, vegetables, fruit or whatever ever else you’ve got growing. It can also be used to cut down weeds like thistles, or to cut vining plants like honeysuckle.

Weeding–A Hori Hori can also be used as a weeder for digging deep-rooted weeds. Just slide the blade down next to the center of the weed. Then move the handle away from the weed while at the same time pulling gently yet firmly on the weed. The blade will help to loosen the soil around the root so the weed can come right out and you won’t have to worry about it coming back in the next few weeks.

Planting–You can also dig rows for seeds or seedlings. For larger plants, you can use the Hori Hori to dig holes. The measurements down the middle make it perfect for measuring how deep your holes are. You can either use it like you would a trowel or depending on how loose your soil is, sometimes raking the dirt toward you might be quicker. Then you can use the measurements to determine whether you need to go deeper, if the hole is the right depth, or if you need to backfill a little. You can use the Hori Hori to plant anything you would with a trowel. It works for seeds, seedlings, root vegetables, or even transplanting larger plants.

Harvesting–As I mentioned above the Hori Hori is great for cutting herbs, vegetables, like rosemary or squash. It can also help you harvest root vegetables. All you have to do is repeat the process for pulling up deep-rooted weeds.

Removing stumps and roots–Like I mentioned already, the Hori Hori can help remove deep-rooted weeds but it can also help remove small stumps of old bushes and trees. Since it’s also a knife it can cut through the roots easier than a trowel and it’s a much better tool for prying. It can also cut through and remove sod and grass much easier.

The Hori Hori’s applications don’t stop at the garden. You can also take it camping with you, so here a few more uses for the Hori Hori in the campsite.

Tent stakes–Sometimes it can be almost impossible to stake your tent (or pull the stakes out) because the ground is so tough. We have thick clay soil here in Texas and when it dries out in the summer it becomes as hard as a rock. Since the Hori Hori is both a knife and a shovel it’s great for cutting through and loosening the hard soil so you can hammer your tent stakes in or pry them out when you’re ready to leave.


Cutting tinder and kindling–Sometimes when I’m out in the forest looking for firewood I’ll find a stick that’s just the right thickness to get my fire going but it’s too long to fit in the fire pit and too thick to break by hand. Now I can just chop and/or saw the stick up into smaller pieces that will fit in my fire pit.

Moving hot coals around–We often use charcoal bricks when we’re cooking outdoors so we have to move them around often when we’re cooking multiple dishes. Usually, we’ll have a pair of tongs handy but it’s not real camping trip unless you forget something, that’s why I love tools that have multiple uses. Since the Hori Hori is part knife it’s long enough to move a few aside charcoal bricks without getting burned, and since it’s part shovel we can also scoop them up and move them to another dutch oven.

The Hori Hori is a tool you should add to your gardening arsenal! Then once you own one, you might as well put it to good use on your next camping trip!

Hori Hori Garden Knife

Do you use a Hori Hori knife in your garden?

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