How to choose the best garden hoe for weeding

Weeding is generally one of the gardener’s least favourite tasks, but a good hoe can make the task not only easier but often, in my experience, actually enjoyable.

Now, I had better qualify that last statement. A lot depends on the type and quality of your hoe. So, let’s look at these points below.

When to use a garden hoe

Hoes are designed to clear weeds by skimming just under the soil surface and cutting the weed off at its roots. It follows, therefore, that the hoe is most effective when used to clear annual or very shallow rooted perennial weeds.

For weeds that have a taproot or which spread through their root systems (through rhizomes or stolons, for example), hoeing will remove the surface growth but will not prevent the weed from regrowing at the root. However, continual hoeing of perennial weeds in this way will weaken them over time, because the removal of the top growth prevents the plant from being able to photosynthesise.

Hoeing is best carried out in warm and dry conditions because the uprooted weeds can be left to shrivel up and die off on the surface of the soil. If conditions are damp, there is always a risk that the weed will re-root. So in that case, you need to make sure you pick up and dispose of the uprooted weeds.

But when conditions are right a good hoe will make short work of a weedy patch of ground, allowing you to make a big improvement in a relatively short space of time.

Choosing the best garden hoe

Martin's Sneeboer garden Hoe
I Have had my trusty Sneeboer Dutch hoe (above) for about 15 years

There are several different kinds of garden hoe (including some used specifically for digging, which I’m not covering here), and to add to the confusion they tend to be called different things in different places.

So, for the sake of simplicity and to illustrate the main garden hoe types, I will focus on a selection produced by the Dutch company Sneeboer. My lovely wife bought me a Sneeboer hoe (pictured above) – and a Sneeboer garden rake – about 15 years ago, and (along with my Felco number 2 Secateurs) these are probably the best tools I’ve ever had. In the UK, Sneeboer tools are available from Harrod Horticultural. In the USA, they are available here.

The pull or draw hoe

The pull hoe, unsurprisingly, is designed to be pulled towards you as you scrape under the surface of the soil. The angle of the blade and, in the case of the Sneeboer, the swan neck, ensure the blade can be positioned to gain good traction as you drag it towards you through the weed roots.

As you can see, the pull hoe comes with different shaped and sized heads. These Sneeboer hoes come with 10, 15 or 20 cm rectangular heads, and even with a half-moon shaped head. This means you choose the kind that suits you based upon the areas you will be working in and the use you want to put the hoe to. The narrower headed hoe, for example will be useful for working between narrowly spaced rows of vegetables.

Another advantage of the pull hoe, if it is of sufficient quality and strength, is that it can be used for some digging tasks, such as breaking up a hard surface, drawing out furrows or drills for seed planting or hilling up the soil around potato plants.

The push hoe

The push hoe – and here is another surprise – is designed to be pushed through the soil to cut off the weeds at their roots. This pushing action means you can put a lot of force behind your hoeing, which can be can be an advantage with particular overgrown areas, tough weeds, or hard ground.

This Sneeboer push hoe is available in 3 different widths – 15.5cm, 22.5cm and 27.5cm and like all Sneeboer hoes has an ash handle and a toughened steel blade. The push hoe’s blade is sharpened on all four sides, so you can clear weeds as you pull the hoe back or move it from side to side, as well as with the pushing motion.

The Dutch hoe

Sneeboer Dutch Hoe

As you can see from the pictures at the tope of the page, the Sneeboer Dutch hoe is the hoe I favour.

It has a fairly wide, 14cm, blade. So you have to be carefully if weeding in narrow spaces between plants. But the sharpened steel front and rear blades cut effortlessly through the soil – and the weeds roots – making weeding a genuinely satisfying experience.

The Ash handle is solid but smooth and comfortable to hold. The angle of blade to handle means that with a slight adjustment of the height at which you hold the handle you can easily find a position that is both efficient and comfortable for you to work in.

The whole tool has a balance to it that makes it feel quite weightless as you use it. So I have no hesitation in recommending these hoes.

Main points to consider when buying a hoe

  • Based on the descriptions above, think about the kind of hoe that is likely to suit you personally and the kind of hoeing you are likely to be doing.
  • A hoe should reach between the heigh of your armpit and the top of your shoulder to be suitable for you. Some shorter handled versions are available – usually called ladies hoes.
  • Choose the best hoe you can afford. Look for hardened steel, solid handles and extended manufacturers guarantees.

Alternative hoe selection

The hoes below are generally a bit cheaper than the Sneeboer hoes recommended above, but worth investigating. If you clink on the links you’ll be taken to the Amazon site where you are located.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Corona tools GT 3244 Extended Reach Hoe and Cultivator, Grey
  • Corona’s new line of EXTENDED REACH hand tools are designed for working in raised -bed gardens small garden and tight access locations
  • ComfortGEL grips deliver comfort to gardeners who seek an easier more therapeutic gardening experience
  • Optimal 36-in length for long reach and balance – ideal for gardeners who find many long handle tools to hard to manage
  • Country of Origin China
Bestseller No. 2
DonSail Hoe Garden Tool – Scuffle Garden Hula Hoes for Weeding Gardening Long Handle Heavy Duty – Adjustable Weeding Loop Stirrup Hoe 30-61 Inch Black
  • ▲【Push Pull Hoe Garden Tool】Our garden hoes are designed with push-pull motion which is safer and more efficient for weeding, cut weed roots or cultivating around live growing plants with ease.
  • ▼【Weeding Hoe Long Handle】Hoe Length is adjustable to be 30″, 43″ and 60″ which provides maximum comfort for tall gardeners and protect you from bending over.
  • ◀【Sturdy Quality】Weeding tools for garden are made of Commercial grade & extra thick 1.3″ diameter premium steel which is sturdier and made to last for years.
  • ▶【Easy to Install】1 mins to assemble this collinear hoe by screwing 3 pieces together with no extra tools required. Exactly different hoes gardening!
  • ▲【Service Best】DonSail provides 1 Year limited maintenance or replacement so that feel free to contact us whenever! Enjoy this all steel hardened hollow hoe for weeding!
Bestseller No. 3
Truper 30003 Tru Built 48-Inch Welded Garden Hoe, 6-Inch Head, Wood Handle
  • ATJ-PE, 48-inch premium grade waxed hardwood handle for strength and economy
  • Welded 6 inch garden hoe
  • Matt-black painted head
  • Handle length is 48-inch
  • Truper 30003, for occasional user looking for reliable tool
SaleBestseller No. 4
Truper 33119 Tru Pro Forged Eye Hoe, 7-Inch Head, Ash Handle, 54-Inch
  • 54-inch professional grade premium north american white ash handle
  • White ash handles give optimum ratio of resistance and flexibility
  • 7-inch eye hoe head
  • Use on farm or ranch for a lifetime of use
  • Tru pro is the contractors choice for professional use
Bestseller No. 5
Truper 30006 Tru Tough 54-Inch Welded Garden Hoe, 6-Inch Head, Wood Handle with Rubber-Grip (Packaging May Vary)
  • ATJ-E, 54-inch North American ash, lacquered handle for strength and durability
  • Hoe weeds up by the roots
  • Clear-coated gray-steel finished heads
  • Spray clean with garden hose, coat with silicone spray
  • Truper 30006, tru-tough: trupers best selling signature tool line
SaleBestseller No. 6
SANDEGOO Garden Hoe Tool,54 inch Weeding Tools for Garden,Handheld Weeding Rake Planting Vegetables Farm,Sharp Durable Gardening Gifts for Hoe Garden Tool Traditional Steel Quenching Forging Process
  • 🔨【New Design】It uses a special hollow design and is a very practical hand tool for gardeners. It can be used for daily gardening work such as weeding, loosen the soil, planting vegetables and so on.After the hoe reaching out, just pull it back to quickly weed,To save you from bending over
  • 🔨【High Quality Material】It is made of carefully selected high-quality steel, hand-forged and welded, and is very durable.Thickened steel bar More durable.
  • 🔨【Change the size at will】The pole is made of spliced stainless steel tube, you can change its length according to your height and living habits, and it can extend up to 54 inches to make your farming fun..Planting flowers and vegetables is convenient and easy to use.
  • 🔨【Wide Use】Household weeding/ ditching/ scarification/ seeding/ planing, etc.
  • 🔨【After-sales service】This brand focuses on making garden tools. Quality and service are the top priority. The one-year warranty period allows you to use it with confidence. If you have any questions during use, please contact me at any time. I will help you quickly within 8 hours.
Bestseller No. 7
Edward Tools Carbon Steel Hand Hoe
  • Heavy duty carbon steel garden tool does not bend or break
  • Multi use garden tool for weeding, moving dirt, and planting
  • Rubber Ergo-grip handle with anti slip handle
  • Powder coated finish to resist rust
  • Lifetime Warranty – We guarantee this tool for life
Bestseller No. 8
ERGIESHOVEL ERG-GHOE625 Steel Impact Resistant Garden Hoe w/ 6.25 in Shank Pattern Blade, 12 Gauge, 54-Inch Shaft, w/Patented Ergonomic Second Handle, Gray/Orange
  • Added handle: Extra handle for added leverage helps reduce the strain on your back
  • Large blade: 6.13″ Shank blade
  • Lightweight: durable design that weighs under 5lbs
SaleBestseller No. 9
VERNILLA Adjustable Hula Hoe Garden Tool 5.25FT Long Handle Action Hoe Weeding Loop Stirrup Hoe for Weeding and Loosening Soil
  • 【Garden Hula Hoes】: Our action hoes is quite sturdy , are designed with push-pull motion to cut weed and shallow roots.After the hoe reaching out, just pull it back to quickly weed,To save you from bending over.which is safer and more efficient for weeding .
  • 【Features】: Heavy duty stainless steel material ,63 inch adjustable long handle , protect you from bending over. Easy and durable to use .
  • 【Easy to Install】:it’s easy to assemble this garden hoe tool within minutes by screwing these sectional poles together with no extra tools required. Please wear gloves when installing.
  • 【Widely Used】:it is a necessary garden hoe tool for you to weeding, ditching , seeding, loosen the soil, Seeding and Planting.cultivate vegetables and flowers, uproot weeds.
  • 【Service】we provides 3 Year free replacement if product have any problem. Buy it with confidence , feel free to contact us whenever!
Bestseller No. 10
Martha Stewart MTS-TECH Telescoping Cultivator 3-Prong Culti-Hoe Combo Tool
  • [MARTHA STEWART + SUN JOE]: Two great brands, one powerful mission: to make the very best tools for your home, yard and garden.
  • [AUTHENTIC]: Old-world style craftsmanship meets precision yard + garden equipment
  • [COMPACT]: Designed for easy storage
  • [2-IN-1]: Dual-design cultivates soil and digs trenches with ease
  • [TELESCOPIC]: Pole extends up to 35-inches to reduce bending and back-strain

Last update on 2022-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Note – As per our general disclosure notices, all product links are affiliate links which mean I can receive a small commission if you purchase an item after clicking one of these links.

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