Japan is famous for its incredibly specialized and functional knives – and they upkeep that image with the renowned hori-hori knife. We’re going to guide you to get the best Hori Hori knife for your needs, garden, and budget. Hori-hori knives are known for their razor-sharp cutting edges and incredible digging power.
We want you to get a knife that is functional and versatile enough to handle most of your landscaping work, with enough durability to stick around for longer than you’d expect. “Hori-hori” is a Japanese onomatopoeia for a digging sound, with “Hori” translating to “dig” in English.
They’ve got a long and rich history behind them, having been refined and re-interpreted over hundreds of years. Originally used in Japan’s mountains by locals to remove special plants and flowers cleanly from the soil, the hori-hori knife has been adapted to landscaping.
Nowadays, you can find these knives all over the world and in many landscaping and gardening enthusiasts’ tool kits. They’ve become tremendously efficient and easy to use but are not as well-known as other similar Western tools. Let’s take a look at what the hori-hori knife has to offer!
Top 7 Best Hori Hori Knife Reviews in 2023
We’ve carefully chosen 7 of the best Hori Hori on the market according to the balance they offer. You’ll find hori-hori knives that suit different need sets, while still being functional and effective. We’ve also tried to include knives with some unique and interesting features or add-ons, such as built-in measuring lines, diamond-coated sharpening rods, sharpening stones, and more.
Our goal is to help you find the best Hori Hori knife that strikes the right balance between price, performance, functionality, durability, and ease of use. By the end of this guide, you should have a clear idea of what you need in a hori-hori knife and where you can find it.
You’ll know what kind of value for money and features you can expect across different price points. We’ll get you ready and able to choose a hori-hori knife that’s perfect for your needs and gives your garden exactly what it’s looking for. Let’s dig in!
Nisaku Hori-Hori Weeding & Digging Knife
Let’s kick it off with perhaps the most popular hori-hori knife on this list. It’s received quite a few first spot rankings in various gardening magazines around the world, even though its appearance is deceptively simple. You’re getting the same concave blade shape, with a serrated cutting edge on one side, and a razor-sharp straight edge on the other.
There are measurement markers (in inches) engraved into the blade to help you keep track of the depth you’re burying your plant’s bulb. High-quality stainless steel gives the knife scratch and rust resistance, as well as making it easy to clean and maintain. You’re also getting a mid-tang with a full-width construction.
This adds a lot of versatility to the knife without getting too heavy or hefty for longer work. The handle is non-slip, natural-looking, treated, and rather attractive. It’s double-riveted to the handle and can take a lot of twisting and lateral force without buckling or snapping. Overall, this is one of the best Hori Hori knife options in this price range and with this level of popularity.
- Excellent leather scabbard
- Sharp straight cutting edge and rugged serrated edge
- Engraved inch measurements are easy to see and don’t fade
- Good balance between heft and functionality
- Takes a while to get used to the more square handle shape
- Shiny mirror finish doesn’t last very long
Truly Garden Hori-Hori Knife
Here’s an excellent 7” hori-hori knife that’s crafted from quality 420 stainless steel. It’s very resistant to corrosion and holds a sharp edge for longer than you’d expect from a knife this price. You get a lot of extra strength with the full-tang handle and hand-guard.
You don’t need to worry about your hand slipping onto the sharp edge or losing grip strength for tougher digging. There’s a serrated and straight cutting edge on opposite sides of the blade. It’s exceptionally good at cutting through thicker roots and doubling as a sort of hand ax.
One of our favorite features is the freely included diamond sharpening rod. It’s fast and efficient at touching up the sturdy steel in less time than steel rods – although you might need a little experience or practice to avoid ruining your cutting edge.
This all comes packaged in a modern and eco-friendly compostable package that stays true to values upheld by the landscaping community. You’re getting all this – along with an excellent warranty – for a very affordable and competitive price. It’s one of the best Hori Hori knives in this price range and well worth paying attention to.
- Fantastic value for money
- Full-tang and sturdy
- Great edge retention and corrosion resistance
- Includes a free diamond sharpening rod
- Diamond sharpening rods can ruin your cutting edge when used incorrectly
- The handle is a little on the thin side and sometimes a little hard to control while wearing thick gardening gloves
Black Iron Hori-Hori Garden Knife
The serrated cutting edge isn’t as rough as many of the other knives in this list. Finer serrations (when strong enough) are incredibly effective at cutting through thicker roots quite effortlessly. You get a blade crafted from 100% stainless steel with all its resistance to corrosion and rusting.
Edge retention isn’t bad, though you’ll find you need to touch up the straight cutting edge relatively often. The 7” blade has a powerful tip that’s great for rapid piercing. This helps you turn soil without needing to change tools or use a far heavier spade. We love that the measuring lines are easy to read and are seen in both inches and millimeters.
They’re engraved into the side of the blade and don’t fade easily. While the knife comes with a mirror finish, it’s not likely to last very long. Our favorite feature is the extra-large 5” hardwood handle with a full-tang and robust construction. It’s easy to hold in either hand and works well for longer landscaping sessions. You’re getting a top pick for the best Hori Hori knife on the market!
- Larger than usual handle that’s easy to use
- Excellent budget-friendly choice
- Awesome and sturdy leather sheath
- Full-tang construction
- The mirror-polished finish doesn’t last long
- The sharpening stone isn’t of great quality
Garden Guru Hori Hori Gardening Knife
The construction is a little different with this hori-hori knife. The blade has a more cylindrical center and thinner bevels leading to the cutting edge. While it might seem a little weaker based on how it looks, it adds quite a bit to the knife’s piercing power.
This is especially important for landscaping work as you can tunnel down and quickly cut through roots with the super-sharp blade. One side is serrated with shorter and more closely packed teeth, while the other cutting edge is your standard straight edge.
The tropical Rosewood handle is gorgeous and robust. Its non-slip and treated texture gives it plenty of resistance, further adding to the already highly-resistant steel. You’re also getting all the strength of a full-tang design that isn’t too heavy thanks to the slightly lighter blade profile.
This is a fantastic hori-hori knife for making quick cuts, digging, piercing, and prying. The triple-riveted handle is sturdy enough to handle heavier work, while still giving you good cutting accuracy. Overall, this is the top best Hori Hori knife made better by an affordable price and easy-to-use design.
- The good quality sheath covers more of the knife than most
- Excellent serrated edge cutting power
- Easy to sharpen and maintain
- Doesn’t come very sharp out the box
- Thinner bevels near the cutting edge are more likely to take damage from too much twisting force
BlizeTec Multipurpose Hori-Hori Knife
Here’s an awesome bare-bone style hori-hori knife that’s focused on top value for money. You get a pair of landscaping/gardening gloves for free with this set. They fit a wide range of hand sizes and are perfect for gripping the knife’s hardwood handle. They’re lightweight and combine well with the larger handle (and knife) or heavier cutting.
420 stainless steel gives this knife all the resistance it needs to look new even after months of frequent use – though you’ll probably lose the mirror-polished finish. With a total length of just over 12”, this knife is a capable landscaping tool. It’s easy to control despite the larger size and doesn’t fatigue your hands easily – especially when you use the provided gloves.
Value for money is incredible as you get a lifetime warranty and a pair of gloves. While it’s not a top-of-the-line choice, it’s a capable and inexpensive hori-hori knife worth checking out!
- Wonderful value for money
- Provided gloves are surprisingly good quality and durable
- Multipurpose and durable
- 420 stainless steel used here is excellent for the price
- The scabbard isn’t fantastic
- Straight cutting edge doesn’t come very sharp out the box
A.M. Leonard Classic Soil Knife
Here is a versatile gardening and landscaping knife that’s especially good at removing rocks, weeding, planting, and cutting through roots. With a slightly shorter 6” blade, you’ll have plenty of control over the strong tips and ultra-sharp cutting edges. The serrated edge stands out as one of the better options at this price.
We loved the non-slip and ergonomic orange handle. It’s a little shorter than many in this review, but it’s lightweight and stronger than you’d think. The blade is extra strong thanks to its compact and stocky build that can handle up to 300lbs of force without breaking.
The bright orange handle is easy to spot which makes working in a flower bed or low light is simpler. You won’t accidentally lose the knife in the soil or a bush. There is a handguard just as the blade meets the handle to stop your finger from slipping onto the devastating blade.
Due to the handle being a little shorter, the hand-guard sits in the perfect spot to give you a comfortable and tight grip on the knife. Overall, this is a cheap hori-hori knife that feels and performs like a much more expensive one. It has excellent value for money and strength for a smaller knife and is very capable of heavier landscaping work.
- Sturdy and stocky construction
- The bright handle makes the knife easier to work with when the light is low and when it’s dirty
- Versatile for both intricate and tougher landscaping work
- Excellent value for money
- The serrated cutting edge isn’t very long so your sawing motion need to be choppier
- Edge retention isn’t as good as some similarly priced knives
Hokuru Hori-Hori Landscaping Knife
You’ll immediately notice how the blade is rounder, especially towards the tip-side. This helps to improve the knife’s sturdiness and ability to handle rougher and tougher digging jobs. It’s a fantastic knife for planting thanks to the more rounded blade shape and extra-clear measurement markings down its side.
They’re in both millimeters and inches if you’re used to the metric system. The sides are very sharp and the serrated cutting edge isn’t bad at all. The teeth are a little wider than most, but it makes quick work of roots and weeds effortlessly. You get a decent leather scabbard that protects quite a lot of the knife without being too bulky.
It clips over your knife’s handle and fastens securely without being annoying to remove. We loved that there’s a hand/finger guard where the blade meets the handle. This helps you get extra force for digging and keeps you safely away from the sharp cutting edge.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Very well-suited to digging and planting
- Great edge retention
- The blade doesn’t come very sharp out of the box
- Provided sharpening stone isn’t great
How to Pick the Best Hori Hori Knife for Your Garden
Hori Hori knives are quintessential knives that you need, particularly if you own a garden. Some stubborn weeds can grow in any corner of your home or compound, and you need something sharp to eliminate them. Some people end up buying fake products because they were faced with several options on the market. However, with this best Hori Hori knife buying guide, you will know the factors to consider before buying one.
Before you buy a Hori Hori knife, you need to consider its handle. You need something that provides a comfortable grip when you hold it. Similarly, it would help if you had a knife that will not slip out of your hand when using it.
Also, the handle material of the Hori Hori knife matters greatly. Some people opt for the wooden handle because it is not affected by temperature. And another reason is that it is handy to use. Ideally, opt for the wooden variety for the best results.
The quality of the blade is essential. You don’t want a low-quality blade that will serve you for a short time and cause you to spend additional money for a replacement. It would interest you to know that your blade’s quality is a significant determining factor of how practical your gardening would be. We advise you to go for blades made with stainless steel for the best results.
To prevent your knife from lying around, you need a sheath. A knife lying around carelessly can cause accidents, and a sheath averts this possibility. A sheath is similar to a cloth material that conceals the knife’s blade. And it is made of either leather or rubber. When gardening, you need to consider your safety as a top priority.
Tang is the steel piece inside the knife. If there’s a full tang, it implies the presence of a piece of steel from the handle to the blade. When getting a Hori Hori knife, you need something with a full tang. The essence of a full tang is to provide the knife with strength, making it difficult to break.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How Do You Use a Hori Hori Knife?
A: A Hori Hori knife can be used for quite a few gardening tasks. You can use it for repotting plants, getting seedlings and saplings out of their container, harvesting root vegetables, weeding, planting, cutting, etc.
Q: How Do You Sharpen a Hori Hori Knife?
A: To sharpen a Hori Hori knife, you need to use the same method as you would while sharpening a finely serrated knife. Your best bet is a textured ceramic honing rod which would take some steel off the blade’s edge and give a sharpening effect.
By now you should have quite a good idea of what to expect at different price ranges. We’ve looked at 7 awesome knives for different styles and budgets. Hopefully, we’ve made your choice far easier. Feel free to go back over any of the reviews that caught your attention.
We put a lot of time into choosing the right knives to show you, so there are some great value options. With the best Hori Hori knife in your hands, your garden (and your back) with thank you! Happy landscaping!