The Best Hori Hori Knives of 2022

Looking for the ultimate garden tool? Hori hori knives are a worthy contender. Cut, dig, plant, and weed with a practical and versatile hori hori knife.

By Jasmine Harding | Published May 25, 2022 12:45 PM

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The Best Hori Kori Knives

Photo: amazon.com

Originating in Japan, the hori hori knife is a multipurpose gardening tool used for digging, cutting, and weeding. A few qualities set hori hori knives apart from other garden knife tools. Also known as a “soil knife” or “weeding knife,” a hori hori knife has a pointed, concave steel blade that is sharp on both sides, often with one straight edge and one serrated edge.

The design makes them a versatile choice for a wide range of tasks. A high-quality hori hori knife is a long-lasting and incredibly useful tool for pretty much any gardener. Keep reading to learn about the important features to consider when selecting a new hori hori knife, and check out the top picks below. These picks for some of the best hori hori knife options are comfortable to use, remain durable, and simplify working in the garden.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Truly Garden Hori Hori Garden Tool
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Fiskars Big Grip Multipurpose Planting Knife
  3. BEST TRADITIONAL: Nisaku NJP650 Hori Hori Stainless Steel Weeding Knife
  4. BEST WITH SHARPENER: Hokuru Hori Hori Garden Knife
  5. MOST VERSATILE: Barebones Hori Hori Ultimate
  6. ALSO CONSIDER: Garden Guru Hori Hori Garden Knife
The Best Hori Kori Knives

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hori Hori Knives

The right hori hori garden knife can make light work out of a variety of gardening tasks. Finding the best hori hori knife is much less difficult when there’s a few important criteria in mind. When shopping for a Japanese garden knife, consider the blade material and length, the handle, and any included accessories that can make using and maintaining the knife even easier.

Blade Material and Length

All hori hori knives have a concave blade for digging but the knife edges can vary. Most have one straight edge and one serrated edge, while some have two straight edges. The former is a more versatile pick, allowing the tool to be used as a trowel, knife, and small saw. The blade often also includes measurement markings to gauge depth when digging or planting.

Blade material can vary, with higher-quality materials offering better rust resistance and durability. High-quality stainless steel is usually the best pick, which shoppers can find from reputable brands. Cheaper knives sometimes use lower-quality steel or aluminum that can rust and dull over time.

Hori hori knives are rather short items. The blade usually is around 7 inches long, and the entire knife, with handle, is typically between 11 and 15 inches long. Look for a length that suits the particular job requirements; shorter knives are more nimble and easier to carry, while longer knives have a longer cutting surface.

Handle

A good hori hori knife handle has a durable, balanced feel. Traditionally, this Japanese garden knife has a wood or bamboo handle, but plastic handles are also available nowadays. An ergonomic design makes the handle more comfortable to grip and work with, especially for long gardening days.

Wood and bamboo handles are attractive, long-lasting, and comfortable. Cheaper knives tend to come with plastic handles, which can break down over time. For shoppers who opt for a plastic handle, a nonslip rubber grip can make the knife safer and more comfortable to use.

A high-quality Japanese weeding knife comes with a handle that is riveted to the tang of the blade (the part of the blade that extends into the handle). A full-tang blade extends to the butt of the handle, making these knives the most durable option, while partial tang blades only extend partway into the handle. Some less expensive (and less durable) knife blades are welded to the handle and don’t have any tang at all.

Many hori hori knives are designed with little to no bolster or finger guard. It’s important to keep this in mind when using the knife, taking care not to let any fingers accidentally slip past the handle.

Accessories

A sheath is a useful accessory to have for both safety and storage. For even more utility, look for a sheath with a belt clip to make it safer to carry the knife around the garden.

High-quality sheaths are made from thick leather, which keeps the blades protected and safely covered. Fake leather and plastic sheaths won’t do much to protect the blade, and they tend to break down over time.

Like any knife, hori hori knives will need occasional sharpening. Some models come with a whetstone or sharpening rod, so gardeners can sharpen the knife themselves.

Our Top Picks

A good hori hori knife is durable, affordable, and comfortable to use. The picks below for some of the best hori hori knives are versatile and long-lasting for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Best Overall

The Best Hori Hori Knives Option: Truly Garden Hori Hori Garden Tool
Photo: amazon.com

Like other knives, hori hori knives benefit from occasional sharpening, which helps the knife maintain its weed-hacking abilities. Some knives include a sharpening block to make it easy to keep the straight-edge side sharp. For even more utility, the Truly Garden Hori Hori Garden Tool includes a sharpening rod, which allows users to sharpen both the straight edge and serrated edge of the knife. To keep the knife protected in between uses, this model also comes with a leather sheath that has a convenient belt loop.

Great accessories aren’t the only thing this knife set has going for it. It’s a durable, high-quality pick featuring a stainless steel, full-tang blade that extends through the beechwood handle. Three metal rivets keep the blade solidly in place. Additional features include measurement markings and a handguard to prevent fingers from slipping past the handle. It also comes with 5-year warranty.

Product Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel and beechwood
  • Length: 12 inches
  • Accessories: Leather sheath and sharpening rod

Pros

  • Includes a sharpening rod to sharpen both straight and serrated edges
  • Full tang, rust-proof blade
  • Attractive beechwood handle

Cons

  • Some users report the blade snapping with heavy use

Get the Truly Garden hori hori knife on Amazon or Truly Garden.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Hori Hori Knives Option: Fiskars Big Grip Multipurpose Planting Knife
Photo: homedepot.com

Inspired by the Japanese hori hori knife design, this garden knife from Fiskars is a more affordable alternative to similar options. It has a less traditional design, and its plastic handle makes it look more like the average gardening center tool. However, because it has a concave design and straight and serrated edges, it’s still useful for all the same tasks a hori hori knife can handle.

The budget-friendly cost comes with a few sacrifices in quality. This knife has an aluminum blade instead of stainless steel and a plastic handle instead of wood or bamboo. Although the materials aren’t top of the line, it still has attractive features, in addition to its low price. The blade has a forked tip that can help with weeding, and the plastic handle is larger than average with a soft-molded grip for extra comfort.

Product Specs

  • Material: Aluminum and plastic
  • Length: 14 inches
  • Accessories: None included

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Forked-tip blade for weeding
  • Large and comfortable soft-grip handle

Cons

  • Less durable materials than traditional hori hori knives
  • Does not include any accessories

Get the Fiskars hori hori knife at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Walmart.

Best Traditional

The Best Hori Hori Knives Option: Nisaku NJP650 Hori Hori Stainless Steel Weeding Knife
Photo: amazon.com

Hailing from its country of origin, the Nisaku NJP650 Hori Hori Stainless Steel Weeding Knife is the best garden knife for those looking for an authentic hori hori knife. This model is forged in Japan by artisans, with high-quality stainless steel and a traditional wooden handle.

Like most hori hori knives available today, this knife features a straight and a serrated edge to tackle garden tasks from planting bulbs to chopping through roots. Measurement markings on the blade make it simple to monitor depth while digging. To keep the knife protected, it comes with a leather sheath that has a convenient belt loop. With the versatile, no-frills design and high-quality materials, the Nisaku NJP650 brings it back to traditional basics in the best way.

Product Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel and wood
  • Length: 13 inches
  • Accessories: Leather sheath

Pros

  • High-quality materials
  • Made in Japan
  • No-frills design

Cons

  • Lacks a handguard

Get the Nisaku hori hori knife on Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best With Sharpener

The Best Hori Hori Knives Option: Hokuru Hori Hori Garden Knife
Photo: amazon.com

When it comes to choosing a hori hori knife, durability and ease of use are often top of mind. Several features make the Hokuru Hori Hori Garden Knife an excellent choice for the average gardener. This knife is built to last, made from high-quality stainless steel that won’t rust or corrode over time. The blade has a straight edge and a serrated edge, and it extends into a full tang through the handle, held firmly in place by three metal rivets—it’s a blade design meant for heavy-duty digging and cutting. Measurement markings add more utility to this sturdy blade.

This knife also features an attractive wooden handle, in the traditional design of Japanese hori hori knives. Besides the attractive look, the knife’s small protective handguard helps improve safety. It also comes with a small sharpening stone and a thick leather sheath with a belt loop.

Product Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel and wood
  • Length: 12 inches
  • Accessories: Leather sheath and sharpening stone

Pros

  • Rust-proof stainless steel blade
  • Full-tang design
  • Protective handguard

Cons

  • Simple handle is less ergonomic than some other options
  • Sharpening stone is only useful for straight edge

Get the Hokuru hori hori knife on Amazon or Walmart.

Most Versatile

The Best Hori Hori Knives Option: Barebones Hori Hori Ultimate
Photo: amazon.com

A hori hori knife is already a multipurpose tool, but the Barebones Hori Hori Ultimate adds even more useful features. This knife features a high-quality build, with a stainless steel blade that has one straight and one serrated side. The concave blade includes measurement markings and is mounted in a beautiful walnut handle that not only looks rugged and sleek, but also has a contoured design to fit comfortably in hand.

Some design perks add more utility to this knife. At the base of the blade, it has a small notched section, which functions as both a twine cutter and a bottle opener. With so many uses, this knife is a good pick for a range of outdoor activities, including gardening, fishing, and camping. Some retailers sell the knife and sheath separately, while others offer it as a bundle. It’s worth grabbing a sheath for this knife to keep it protected.

Product Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel and wood
  • Length: 13 inches
  • Accessories: None included

Pros

  • Built-in twine cutter/bottle opener
  • Heavy-duty build
  • Gorgeous walnut handle

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the Barebones hori hori knife at Amazon, Barebones Living, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Also Consider

The Best Hori Hori Knives Option: Garden Guru Hori Hori Garden Knife
Photo: amazon.com

With a comfortable and long-lasting build, the Garden Guru Hori Hori Garden Knife is another appealing hori hori knife for all types of gardeners. This knife features a rust-resistant stainless steel blade with a full tang. With a serrated side and a straight side, it can tackle heavy-duty activities like digging through roots or sawing small branches without wobbling. Markings on the blade make it easy to measure while working.

The blade’s full tang extends through the three-rivet rose hardwood handle, which is as sturdy as it is beautiful. The handle has a comfortable grip and is decay resistant for long-term use. This knife includes a woven nylon sheath with a belt loop that protects the knife somewhat, but it’s usually better to upgrade to a leather sheath.

Product Specs

  • Material: Stainless steel and hardwood
  • Length: 12.25 inches
  • Accessories: Fabric sheath

Pros

  • Sturdy, stainless steel blade
  • Full-tang design
  • Hardwood handle

Cons

  • Lacks handguard
  • Fabric sheath rather than leather

Get the Garden Guru hori hori knife at Amazon, Wayfair, or Garden Guru Tools.

Our Verdict

With a sturdy, full-tang build and an included leather sheath and sharpening rod, the Truly Garden Hori Hori Garden Tool is an excellent hori hori knife for most home gardeners. Those looking for a less expensive option may want to consider the Fiskars Big Grip Multipurpose Planting Knife, which is budget-friendly but less durable.

How We Chose the Best Hori Hori Knives

The best hori hori knives are practical, durable, and comfortable to use. We kept these three criteria top of mind when choosing the top picks for our list. We considered more than 15 models and made our top picks based on extensive product research.

All of the knives on this list feature a straight edge and a serrated edge for better versatility. We prioritized knives made from high-quality materials, including sturdy stainless steel with wood or bamboo handles. We did include a few knives with decent plastic handles; these were affordable picks. A hori hori knife earned more points for a full-tang blade, which will hold up better through tough gardening tasks.

While material is important, it’s not the only factor that affects use. We also looked for balanced and ergonomic designs, so the knives feel comfortable in hand.

FAQs

A hori hori knife can be a useful tool for any gardener, especially those looking for a low-effort and affordable tool. Because of its design, a Japanese gardening knife is extremely versatile, useful for a range of tasks from tackling tough weeds to handling more precise work. Still on the fence about adding a hori hori knife to your gardening arsenal. Read on for some common questions and answers on this practical gardening tool.

Q: Do I need a hori hori knife?

While a hori hori knife is not a necessity, most gardeners won’t regret adding one to their tool belt. A hori hori knife can combine the functions of a trowel, knife, and small saw to handle multiple gardening tasks with one affordable tool.

Q: How sharp is a hori hori knife?

Hori hori knives aren’t as razor-sharp as a chef’sx knife, but they are still sharp enough to require caution while working. Users will want to be careful not to run their hands across the blades to prevent cuts.

Q: Are hori hori knives safe to use?

Yes, hori hori knives are a safe garden too to use. Just use common sense—its blades are still sharp!

Q: How do I use a hori hori knife?

A hori hori knife is an extremely flexible garden knife tool. Gardeners can use it for digging, cutting, sawing, and weeding.

Q: How long should a hori hori knife last?

A well-made hori hori knife can last upwards of a decade. High-quality steel and a riveted wood or bamboo handle are signs of good craftsmanship and a long-lasting tool.

Q: What does hori hori mean?

“Hori hori” is a Japanese onomatopoeia that mimics the sound of digging into soil, which is the main use of this tool.