The Best Garden Trowels for Potting and Planting

A true and trusted trowel is a helpful tool in a gardener’s arsenal. Dig a little deeper, plant a bit easier, and weed out the undesirable growth in your garden with the best garden trowel.

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Best Garden Trowel Options

Photo: amazon.com

According to research, gardening can help you stay in shape both mentally and physically. Gardening involves exercise in fresh air, which helps promote good health. Moreover, it can increase serotonin levels, reduce anxiety, and lower stress.

Even though gardeners worry about caring for, watering, and fertilizing their plants, doing so is easier with advice from gardening books and the right gardening tools. With all the digging, planting, potting, and weeding gardeners must do, they need the best garden trowel.

Trowels, which are small handheld shovels, are a must-have tool for both beginners and seasoned gardeners. If you’re new to gardening or need help finding the best garden trowel, this guide can help. The best garden trowel is made from quality materials and lasts through many years of digging holes, planting bulbs, transplanting, and more.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Homes Garden Hand Carbon Steel Trowel
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: HOMY Garden Tool Set, Stainless Steel
  3. BEST ERGONOMIC: Radius Garden 100 Ergonomic Aluminum Hand Trowel
  4. BEST FOR POTTING: Edward Tools Garden Trowel – Heavy Duty Carbon Steel
  5. BEST FOR DIGGING: Garden Guru Super Strong Garden Trowel
Best Garden Trowel Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Garden Trowel 

Selecting the best garden trowel is easier when you follow a few helpful tips. The plethora of different shapes and material options can overwhelm even the most dedicated gardener. This list contains some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a quality garden trowel.

Material 

Trowel blades are made of stainless steel, carbon steel, or aluminum.

  • Stainless steel blades often are made in a single piece, which makes the blade strong and more resistant to bending, breaking, or rusting.
  • Carbon steel, one of the strongest materials, doesn’t rust and is virtually impossible to break.
  • Aluminum is lighter, which makes it better suited to light tasks, such as potting, rather than digging into rocky ground.

Garden trowel handles are manufactured of wood, plastic, or fiberglass.

  • Wood handles are sturdy, and if the wood is high quality and kept out of the elements, they can last a long time.
  • Plastic handles comprise a plastic-layered metal blade or a separate plastic blade. Over time, plastic handles and parts can break off the trowel.
  • Fiberglass handles are made with tough fiberglass resin. Unlike wood, this material doesn’t shrink or expand with changes in humidity.

Blade 

The shape of the blade, which may be flat, curved, or scooped, helps gardeners complete various garden tasks. Blade styles include traditional, transplanting, potting, digging, and planting.

  • Traditional blades have a rounded or slightly pointed end.
  • Transplanting blades are longer and narrower so they can get deep enough to remove a plant and its roots.
  • Potting blades, which have a pronounced concave curve, help transfer soil from one location to another.
  • Digging blades generally have a wider trowel blade with a scoop shape for digging up plants or digging holes.
  • Planting blades traditionally have a pointier tip for digging and planting in tighter places.

Handle

The best garden trowels incorporate a good length and decent grip, and they offer an ergonomic design to provide the best performance in every type of soil condition.

  • Handle length affects how the tool feels in the hand and can contribute to or decrease pressure on the palm. Too short, and the handle causes pressure on the hand and less room to grip. A handle should be a minimum of 4 inches, but closer to 5.5 inches provides the best ergonomic benefits.
  • The grip makes the trowel more comfortable and easier to hold. Handles with cylindrical or oval shapes instead of flat edges typically offer the best grip.
  • Ergonomic handles help gardeners perform repetitive tasks easier and safer and help reduce muscle injury or strain. Ergonomic handles minimize flexing, extending, and radial deviation of the wrist (bending or twisting of the wrist toward the thumb) by creating a neutral wrist posture.

Additional Features 

Some additional features affect garden trowel capabilities, including weight, handle holes, and sharpening.

  • Trowel weight affects how gardeners use the tool. Look for a trowel that weighs 3 pounds or less, but optimally, a trowel should weigh less than 1 pound.
  • Some trowel handles have holes at the bottom for storage that make it easy to hang the trowel on a hook in the garden shed or garage.
  • The metal construction of most trowels makes it easy to sharpen, so gardeners can keep them in working order when the edges start to dull.

Our Top Picks

Choosing a trowel is the fun part. Based on the criteria described, this list features the top garden trowels in several categories. Individual needs and gardening styles dictate the type of trowel that’s best for you.

Best Overall

The Best Garden Trowel Options: Homes Garden Hand Carbon Steel Trowel
Photo: amazon.com

This Homes Garden carbon steel trowel is built for many years of gardening chores. The blade material is durable, rust resistant, and bend-proof. An ergonomic gel comfort grip on the trowel’s PVC handle features finger grooves for better positioning. At just 9.6 ounces, this trowel is easy to hold throughout an afternoon of potting and planting.

Best Bang For the Buck

The Best Garden Trowel Options: HOMY Garden Tool Set
Photo: amazon.com

Gardeners need a variety of hand tools for planting jobs that are too small for a garden fork or shovel. HOMY’s stainless steel gardening kit includes a hand trowel, transplant trowel, and cultivator. Stainless steel is not only strong, but it’s also easy to clean. An oversize, nonslip handle with a soft grip on the finger side can help reduce hand fatigue. The size of these tools and the handle grips suit all ages, even kids.

Best Ergonomic

The Best Garden Trowel Options: Radius Garden 100 Ergonomic Aluminum Hand Trowel
Photo: amazon.com

The Radius Garden 100 ergonomic trowel features a helpful design for those who spend hours doing repetitive movements. Gardeners who have arthritis, limited strength, or other conditions can especially benefit from this trowel’s ergonomic design.

The ultra-lightweight aluminum blade and the thermoplastic handle combine for a low overall weight of about 7 ounces. For most tasks, especially repetitive ones, the ergonomic design’s natural radius grip enhances leverage and maneuverability when digging and helps minimize stress on the body.

Best For Potting

The Best Garden Trowel Options: Edward Tools Garden Trowel
Photo: amazon.com

Edward Tools’ tough, bend-proof carbon steel trowel suits most everyday gardening chores. The base of the heavy-duty carbon steel blade is almost 4 inches wide. The trowel’s tip has a spade shape that fits into various pot sizes without creating a mess. The trowel blade features depth markers for consistent potting or transplanting to the same depth. An ergonomic rubber grip handle ensures comfortable use and additional leverage when digging or planting in heavier soils. Weighing 9.1 ounces, this sturdy trowel is built to last many years with proper care and storage.

Best For Digging

The Best Garden Trowel Options: Garden Guru Super Strong Garden Trowel
Photo: amazon.com

The thick stainless steel blade on this Garden Guru trowel is strong enough for digging even in rocky soil. The concave blade shape may minimize the number of scoops required to dig a hole. The trowel’s large and thick ergonomic handle has a thumb rest and finger grooves for a good grip. Weighing about 9 ounces, this trowel is heavier than some. This trowel also helps users plant, remove weeds, mix soil, and perform other basic gardening tasks.

FAQs About Garden Trowels 

After purchasing the best garden trowel, you might have questions about how to use and care for it to ensure the tool lasts a long time. Keep reading to find some frequently asked questions and answers about trowels.

Q. What is a trowel for gardening?

A garden trowel is like a handheld shovel or spade that’s used for potting, planting, transplanting, weeding, digging, and more.

Q. What’s the difference between a trowel and a transplanter?

While very similar to a trowel, a transplanter has a longer, narrower blade for precise digging under plant roots for digging up and moving the plant to other locations.

Q. How do you use a garden trowel?

Trowels are used primarily for digging, such as when planting, transplanting, or weeding. Insert the tip of the blade into the soil of a garden bed or pot and scoop it out. For transplanting, the trowel needs to dig deeply enough to lift out the plant and its roots.

Q. How long does a garden trowel last?

Quality garden trowels can last a decade or longer with proper care. To ensure a longer life, clean, sanitize, and wipe the blades dry after each use. Also remember to store the trowel safely out of the elements.