The Only Garden Knife You’ll Ever Need

A close-up photo of the Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | DalstrongHori Hori Blade

If you enjoy spending time in your garden but you don't yet own a garden knife, it’s probable you are working harder than you need to and having less fun than you could have. 

A garden knife can perform almost all of the tasks required for gardening and is very easy to use, so you don't need to be a professional landscaper.

Read on to discover everything about the types of gardening knives (and which one will become your ally for your garden design!)

    1. What Is A Garden Knife?

    A photo of the Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong with sheathHori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

    A garden knife is multifunctional tool that can be used for cutting, digging, planting, pruning, weeding and many other orchard and garden tasks.

    The knife itself has a simple structure, consisting of a large, sharp blade (usually made of stainless steel), and an ergonomic handle that facilitates its grip and handling. This knife can perform clean cuts without damaging the plants.

    2. Why Do You Need A Garden Knife?

    A photo of the Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | DalstrongHori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong 

    These are all the ways a garden knife can make your life easier:

    • Performing different types of cuts on plants and shrubs
    • Pruning dead or unwanted branches
    • Removing wilted flowers
    • Planting different types of plants 
    • Dividing a plant into several parts
    • Avoiding unnecessary damage to the root, stems and leaves
    • When taking care of flowers, using a knife instead of scissors helps prevent flowers from being crushed or losing their freshness
    • Cutting stems and leaves to achieve the desired shape and size 
    • Removing roots easily
    • Helping tie plants that need support 
    • Opening fertilizer bags 
    • Removing dirt or debris from pots
    • Opening seed packets
    • Carve wood 
    • … and much more! 

    To summarize: having a garden knife makes the job easier while protecting your beautiful plants and flowers. 

    3. The Qualities Of A Good Garden Knife

    A photo of the Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong with sheathHori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

    What makes a garden knife stand out above the rest? Let’s check:

    Made to last a long time

    The garden can be a rough and nasty environment. A good garden knife should be made of tough materials that can withstand daily wear and tear. For example, the blade should be made of stainless steel or carbon, materials known to last a lifetime and retain their sharpness.

    Comfortable to use

    The knife should have a comfortable grip for those long hours of garden work. Using an uncomfortable handle quickly fatigues and could even cause blisters to appear on the hands. 

    Heavy, but not too much

    In general, a garden knife should be heavy enough to provide stability, but not too heavy to make you tired. If it’s too light, it can also become inefficient when cutting or pruning. 

    However, the proper weight of a gardening knife will depend on the type of work you will mostly be doing and your personal preferences. You should hold and try different knives to determine which weight is right for you. 

    Blade length

    As a general rule, the longer the blade is, the better suited it is for digging. Most garden knives measure between 11″ and 15″ (the blades measure between 6.5″ and 7.5″). 

    With a protective sheath

    Look for models with a protective sheath that allows you to store and carry the knife safely. Some sheaths come with belt loops that you can use to attach them to your waist.  

    Non-slip handle

    A non-slip handle ensures a secure grip. This is important in the garden, when you need good control of the knife. 

    The shape of the blade

    Gardening knives come with different blade shapes. For general purposes, it’s likely that you will benefit from a double-edged blade with a serrated side. A serrated edge is perfect for sawing, while the straight edge is ideal for chopping and cutting. With this type of knife you’ll be able to do more.

    Measuring marks

    Measuring marks could be considered an extra, but they are great for knowing how deep you should dig into the soil, which sometimes can be confusing.

    4. Types Of Garden Knives

    A photo of the Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | DalstrongHori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

    There are several types of garden knives, each designed for specific tasks.

    Hori Hori Knife

    Also known as the "soil knife," the Hori Hori is the most popular type of garden knife and perhaps the most traditional. Its name comes from the Japanese word for “dig”, which is "Hori,". Also, Hori-Hori represents the imitation of the sound of digging in spoken Japanese.

    Hori Hori knives can be used for planting, transplanting, weeding, cultivating, sawing, removing plants, dividing perennial plants, cutting roots and clumps, loosening root-bound plants, and much more. When it comes to gardening, it is truly the ultimate knife! 

    You will find slightly different versions of the Hori Hori with different types of handles or blades; but they usually have one serrated side for cutting tough roots and one straight side for more delicate cutting tasks, such as trimming. Some Hori Hori knives will include printed measurements.

    Pruning Knife

    This type of knife is used for trimming, shaping  and cutting all types of plants, branches and stems. It has a sharp, curved blade, which facilitates access to difficult places. The smooth rounded tip allows cutting stems without damaging anything.

    Grafting Knife

    As the name suggests, this is a precise cutting tool with a sharp, slightly curved blade and a blunt tip, perfect for grafting tasks.

    Weeding Knife 

    With this type of knife, gardeners can remove weeds from the garden. To this end, weeding knives often have a long handle and a blade shaped like a hook that allows cutting weeds from the root.

    Harvest Knife

    A type of garden knife with a curved blade specifically designed for harvesting crops and produce like fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, and other crops.

    Planting Knife

    This knife comes with a narrow, pointed blade for making holes in the ground and some of them also have marks on the blade indicating the proper depth for planting seeds.

    Floral Knife

    If you are a flower lover, you’re going to want a floral knife and you will use it regularly. They have small blades with a straight edge, allowing clean cuts without bruising the stems. They are usually small (some are folding knives).

    Mushroom Knives

    These are knives with a curved blade designed for facilitating the collection process and pricking mushrooms while leaving the mycelium intact.

    Budding Knife

    A budding knife is a garden tool used for a plant propagation technique called "budding". It has a narrow blade and a curved tip. 

    Folding Gardening Knife

    This is a garden knife with a folding design, in which the blade can be tucked away when not in use. This is also one of the most popular outdoor tools for hikers and campers.

    5. What Is The Best Garden Knife?

    A photo of the Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | DalstrongHori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

    After doing my research I have concluded that the Japanese Hori Hori is the best garden knife out there.

    This knife does the job of a machete, a shovel and of pruning shears. You can do a wide range of cutting tasks without having to alternate between several outdoor tools. The versatility of Hori Hori knives for gardening activities is indisputable, and this is even more evident when you’re into more complex work. 

    It will conserve you time, effort and maybe even money, by not having to purchase other gardening tools.

    Having a Hori Hori garden knife can translate into a better experience when gardening! And, if used correctly, cleaned and cared for properly, the Hori Hori can last a lifetime.

    6. Must-Have Dalstrong Garden Knife

    Hori Hori Blade 6.5" | Gladiator Series

    Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong 

    If you love gardening (and I don’t mean just “like”, or “would like”) then a Hori Hori garden knife should be on your wish list if it’s not in your tool kit already. 

    And this Dalstrong Hori-Hori is an innovative, high-performance tool backed by the prestige and professional quality of the renowned Gladiator Series. The shape and dimensions make it easy to maneuver when you're doing your working or digging the soil, planting and transplanting, cutting flowers and a lot more.

    This is a very special acquisition for landscapers, farmers, or just people who like growing their own herbs and vegetables. Even if you just need to open bags or remove dandelions, you’re going to want this knife attached to your belt at all times.


    • This Hori Hori is a multi-purpose gardening tool that can act as a razor-sharp knife but also a trowel, or even a pruning saw, if you need it to. 
    • The ergonomic handle, as with all the items in the Gladiator series, allows for a great grip even in prolonged use. 
    • Highly resistant to stain and corrosion, it was built to last a lifetime thanks to Dalstrong's exclusive LionShield treatment.
    • Premium German high-carbon steel blade with extraordinary durability.  
    • Measurement system engraved on the blade for calculating depth when digging or planting.
    • Rugged handle for traction and maximum stability.
    • Includes a custom sheath with rivets and leather straps that you can snap onto your belt to keep your Hori Hori handy while you're gardening.


    • Many entry-level gardeners consider the Hori Hori a versatile but not essential knife, and will use a hand shovel and an old steak knife for basic gardening work. I would not recommend this, though.
    • The price of this knife is slightly higher than other gardening knives of various ranges in the market.

    7. How To Care For A Garden Knife

    A close-up photo of the Hori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | DalstrongHori Hori Blade 6.5" Gladiator Series NSF Certified Dalstrong

    A garden knife can last a long time if properly maintained. Here are some tips:


    A garden knife can get nasty pretty quickly and frequently. Don’t worry, cleaning it properly is very simple: just rinse the blade with cold water, scrub with a stiff brush to remove most of the dirt and wipe it with a cloth or paper towel. You can rub the blade with a light coating of Vaseline or oil (machine oil or camellia) to protect it.


    Frequent use can dull the edge of a garden knife, and you need sharp edges for it to perform at its best. You can use it with a whetstone or a sharpening stone. Sharpening rods will allow you to sharpen the serrated edges of the blade if this is the case. Remember to apply a thin coat of oil when finished.

    Use a sheath

    It is important to protect your knife when it is not in use using a high-quality sheath, thick and sturdy enough to store the blade safely until next use.

    8. Frequently Asked Questions About Garden Knives

    What knife is better for small plants and branches?

    Any pruning knife will work for light pruning or grooming tasks. Even a small folding gardening knife can do the job.

    Can I use a sharpening rod on a garden knife?

    Yes, absolutely. It is very practical to maintain sharpness in garden knives, and its compact size is ideal for carrying outdoors as part of a garden tool kit.

    Are there different types of Hori Hori?

    Hori Hori knives on the market generally differ from each other by the handle material and construction. The most traditional styles usually have a wooden handle, but there are also Hori Hori with rubber and plastic handles, for example.

    What are pruning saws?

    Pruning saws are garden tools used for pruning and trimming thicker trees, shrubs, and branches that are too large for a regular garden knife.


    Written by Eva Contreras
    Food & travel writer based in Buenos Aires. Superpowers include relentless curiosity and high tolerance to spicy foods.

    The Only Garden Knife You’ll Ever Need

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