The Best Weeding Tools of 2022

Weeds are part of every landscape. They infiltrate flower beds, lawns, and even container gardens. Get the right weeding tool to deal with these invaders.

By Heather Blackmore and Timothy Dale | Updated May 12, 2022 3:17 PM

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The Best Weeding Tool Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Herbicides control weeds, but they pose serious health risks to humans and wildlife. Manual weeding, on the other hand, gets the job done without harm to you or the environment. With a well-made weeding tool and some vigilance, you can control weeds.

Weeds proliferate seemingly overnight, and it’s easiest to remove them when they’re young.

Some weeds, like dandelions, develop a single taproot that grows deeper into the soil as the plant matures. The longer the taproot, the more difficult it becomes to eradicate. Though some weeds release without a fight, others will have you wondering if a jackhammer would be more appropriate. Just keep in mind, with all weed removal, timing and soil conditions matter. After a rainfall, soil is softer and more willing to release roots.

Consider these recommendations for the best weeding tool and the following tips for selecting one that suits your needs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: CobraHead Original Weeder & Cultivator
  2. BEST KNIFE WEEDER: Fiskars Big Grip Garden Knife
  3. BEST STANDING WEEDER: Garden Weasel Step and Twist
  4. BEST FORK WEEDER: GANCHUN Hand Weeder Tool
  5. BEST ERGONOMIC WEEDER: Radius Garden 102 Hand Weeder
  6. BEST SHORT-HANDLE HOE: Edward Tools Carbon Steel Hand Hoe
  7. BEST LONG-HANDLE HOE: Bully Tools 92353 12-Gauge Garden Hoe
The Best Weeding Tool Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Types of Weeding Tools

The method of weed removal, such as digging, chopping, cutting, slicing, or raking, distinguishes the several different types of weeding tools from one another.

Digging and Chopping

Taprooted weeds like dandelions require a digging tool that penetrates soil deeply enough to dislodge the entire root. Traditional fork-tongued fishtail weeders work well. Snakehead and spear-point tips also rise to the task. Grub hoes, the toughest of these tools, may make the best match for large weeds in heavy soil.

Short-handled chopping hoes help remove large weeds that require more precision, like around the base of perennials and shrubs. Steel diggers, perhaps the best digging tools for hard clay soil, won’t bend or break in denser soils.

Cutting and Slicing

Although not always useful on deeply rooted weeds, cutting tools like knives and sickles work well on more fibrous roots, like those of crabgrass and creeping Charlie, that sit close to the soil surface.

Knives cut away entire pieces of weed-infested turf and scrape out weeds from sidewalk cracks and pavers. Slicers, like stirrup-style hoes, skim the surface of the soil with a push/pull motion. They quickly remove smaller weeds or those in cultivated beds.

Raking

Ideal for loose, easy-to-work soil in cultivated flower and vegetable gardens, raking weeders like stirrup hoes, forks, and hybrid cultivators combine digging and raking tools on a single head to lift clusters of shallow-rooted weeds.

These tools work with a push/pull action, skimming the soil surface and dislodging smaller weeds that you can gather up and discard or leave in place to decompose and feed the soil. Consider a long-handle raking weeder for removing weeds around shrubs and a short version for raised beds and tight spaces.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Weeding Tool

With a wide range of weeding tools to choose from, it may be difficult to decide on the best weeding tools to maintain your garden bed and lawn. However, you may appreciate the variety when you understand the features that each tool offers, from pulling weeds to cutting through compacted soil. Take some time to learn about these products and the factors that set them apart in order to find the best tool for weeding your yard.

Size and Weight

The size and components of a weeding tool have the most impact on its weight. Hand tools may weigh less than a pound and usually no more than 5 or 6 pounds. Lighter manual, full-length tools like hoes and forks usually weigh between 5 and 10 pounds.

Try to strike a balance between durability, weight, and cost in your choice of weeding tool. Aluminum and plastic garden tools are lighter and less expensive but most likely won’t last very long. Steel and fiberglass cost more and last longer. Wooden tools weigh more and cost less.

If you are working on a small flower bed with minimal growing areas, a smaller, lighter tool may be sufficient. Smaller tools allow for more flexibility and precision in tighter spaces. More extensive gardens require heavier, sturdier tools that give users more leverage for digging and breaking up soil.

Blade and Handle Material

Stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, wood, and fiberglass figure prominently into the handles and blades of weeding tools.

  • Steel lasts a long time and gets the job done, but it’s not lightweight. A steel shaft or handle weighs more than aluminum, plastic, and fiberglass. And only stainless steel or powder-coated steel resists rust.
  • Aluminum weighs less than steel and resists rust. On the other hand, this cheaper material bends and dents more easily than steel. Aluminum may not stand up well to hard, rocky soil.
  • Plastic handles weigh less and cost less, but the lightweight, cheap material may not save much in the end. It can break or crack with heavy or extended use.
  • Wood handles and shafts provide a cost-effective, durable, and moderate weight option. But wood can break, crack, and rot in certain weather conditions.
  • Fiberglass provides a strong and lightweight handle at a slightly higher price. This material stands strong against rust and extreme weather.

Handle Length

For the right handle length, consider the area where you’ll be working and your own physical limitations. Large garden beds and walkways are best weeded from an upright position that takes the stress off your back, helping you do the greatest amount of work with the least amount of effort. If bad knees or hips make it difficult to kneel comfortably, choose a longer handle.

Some weeders include a feature that lets you pull the weed and discard it without ever bending over. Raised beds, tight spaces, and healthy joints are conducive to short-handled weeders that let you get up close. Some weeding tools include an ergonomic grip that keeps your hand and wrist at the same angle, eliminating strain on joints from prolonged repetitive use.

Grip

Rubber coating on grips and handles can help alleviate wear and tear on your hands. Keep in mind that regardless of the ergonomic or fatigue-relieving features any handle or grip might offer, it’s still a good idea to wear a quality pair of gardening gloves to avoid scratches and cuts from branches, stones, and thorns.

Plastic handles designed in ergonomic shapes that offer a comfortable grip work fine for smaller tools. However, they can’t handle the leveraging pressure you can apply to larger tools, and they will snap easily.

Our Top Picks

The best weeding tool is comfortable to use and well suited to your soil and physical abilities. Check out these weeding tools that stand above the rest for eliminating uninvited garden visitors.

Best Overall

The Best Weeding Tool Option: CobraHead Original Weeder & Cultivator
Photo: amazon.com

Great for removing stubborn weeds from heavy soil, this weeding tool’s curved, forged-steel end hooks deeply beneath the weed to lift and remove it. The shovel-like tip resembles a snake head and makes a great tool for planting rows of seeds, scratching in fertilizer around plants, and scraping out young weed seedlings.

A comfortable plastic grip helps gardeners keep a firm hold on the tool while they work. With its unique shape and lightweight design, CobraHead’s weeder tackles many garden-related tasks. It easily pierces soil to apply pressure from the side, bottom, or any angle in between to find the weed’s weakest point.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Material: Forged steel and plastic
  • Weight: 1.8 ounces

Pros

  • Durable forged steel build
  • Comfortable plastic grip
  • Lightweight tool

Cons

  • Less durable plastic component

Get the CobraHead weeding tool on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Knife Weeder

The Best Weeding Tool Option: Fiskars Big Grip Garden Knife
Photo: amazon.com

Not only is the Fiskars Big Grip Garden Knife a weeder, but it also has several added features that make it a great multipurpose tool for raised beds and smaller spaces with loose soil. A notched tip at the end of the blade penetrates the soil to lift weeds, roots and all. Made of rust-resistant cast aluminum, the knife has a sharpened blade on one side for slicing and a serrated one on the other side for cutting through tough roots. It’s also effective at cutting open bags of soil, lifting seedlings for transplant, and cutting rows into the soil for direct sowing of seeds. A thick padded grip minimizes hand fatigue.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Material: Cast aluminum
  • Weight: 0.6 pounds

Pros

  • Highly versatile tool
  • Lightweight build
  • Rust-resistant blade
  • Thick padded grip

Cons

  • Some complaints of handle breaking over time

Get the Fiskars weeding tool at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Walmart.

Best Standing Weeder

The Best Weeding Tool Option: Garden Weasel Step and Twist
Photo: amazon.com

With the Garden Weasel Step and Twist standing weeder, gardeners don’t need to drop to their knees to struggle with tough weeds. Instead, they can simply grip the handles, apply pressure with their foot to the pedal located above the steel blades, and sink the blades into the soil around the weed. Twist the handles to rotate the blades, then lift the tool to extract the weed. To release it from the tool, push the thumb release to pop the weed into a bucket or lawn bag.

The cushioned handles make the tool comfortable to use and easy to control, but the real benefit of this tool comes from the ergonomic design and the lightweight, durable carbon steel shaft that easily plunges down into the ground with a simple push of the foot, taking the strain out of gardening.

Product Specs

  • Type: Standing
  • Material: Carbon steel
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds

Pros

  • Reduces back strain
  • Comfortable cushioned handles
  • Durable carbon steel build
  • Lightweight tool

Cons

  • Some complaints about quality

Get the Garden Weasel weeding tool on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Fork Weeder

The Best Weeding Tool Option: GANCHUN Hand Weeder Tool
Photo: amazon.com

Fork weeders, like this lightweight product made by GANCHUN, make an excellent tool for dealing with weeds that have thick roots buried deep in the ground, such as dandelions. This fork weeder has a one-piece shaft and blade made of a durable aluminum alloy that resists bending, breaking, and rusting, allowing it to drive deep into compressed soil to dig and pry the roots and stems of tough weeds.

This weeding tool has a nonslip rubber-coated grip that’s easy to control and comfortable to use. Take advantage of the curved blade to increase the leverage while weeding the garden, then hang it up with the reinforced handle hole for simple storage.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Material: Aluminum and rubber
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces

Pros

  • Resists bending, breaking, and rusting
  • Nonslip rubber grip
  • Curved blade increases leverage
  • Handle hole for storage
  • Lightweight tool

Cons

  • Some complaints about quality

Get the GANCHUN weeding tool on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Ergonomic Weeder

The Best Weeding Tool Option: Radius Garden 102 Hand Weeder
Photo: amazon.com

Gardeners need a strong grip to weed in dense soil. But when hands tire, grip strength suffers. The curved handle on the Radius Garden weeder keeps the user’s hand and wrist aligned as they push the serrated aluminum tool next to the root and lift the weed out. This impressive weeding tool helps remove deeply rooted weeds that grow at the base of other plants like vegetables, shrubs, and perennials.

The narrow blade easily cuts through any type of soil in order to remove pesky weeds and help to navigate around nearby plants without damaging the roots. The odd shape of the thermoplastic grip provides a smooth, comfortable surface that’s easy to hang on to. Its smooth surface might otherwise make the tool slippery, but the hooked handle helps keep it in place.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces

Pros

  • Ergonomic curved handle
  • Narrow blade cuts through any type of soil
  • Lightweight tool

Cons

  • Some complaints about the tool bending

Get the Radius Garden weeding tool on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Short-Handle Hoe

The Best Weeding Tool Option: Edward Tools Carbon Steel Hand Hoe
Photo: amazon.com

Short-handled hoes offer increased maneuverability and control over their long-handled counterparts. The heavy-duty blade on this one from Edward Tools slices through thick roots and easily plunges through hardened soil to cut up weeds, pry up roots, or simply move dirt in order to prepare the garden for planting.

A durable carbon steel blade and shaft with a powder-coated finish resist rust and corrosion. The shaft ends in a nonslip rubber grip that increases control and comfort while using the tool. After use, the short-handled hoe can hang by the built-in handle hole.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Material: Carbon steel
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

Pros

  • Heavy-duty carbon steel build
  • Powder-coated finish resists rust and corrosion
  • Nonslip rubber grip
  • Lightweight tool

Cons

  • Some complaints that handle came off over time

Get the Edward Tools weeding tool on Amazon.

Best Long-Handle Hoe

The Best Weeding Tool Option: Bully Tools 92353 12-Gauge Garden Hoe
Photo: amazon.com

Bully Tools’ long-handled hoe has a 12-gauge steel blade and a lightweight fiberglass handle to make the tough task of weeding and garden prep easier.

Make use of the extra-thick, 12-gauge steel hoe blade to slice through dry, compacted dirt and create wide or narrow furrows through the garden soil in order to prepare the garden for planting season. The long handle gives the user extra leverage to push or pull heavy soil and uproot tough weeds in the process, clearing out any nuisance plants obstructing the garden bed.

While the blade of the long-handle Bully Tools hoe is made with heavy-duty steel for slicing through roots, the fiberglass shaft and handle are lightweight materials that help to reduce user fatigue. A rubber-capped handle ensures the user’s work gloves don’t simply slide off the end of the tool while they are working.

Product Specs

  • Type: Standing
  • Material: 12-gauge steel and fiberglass
  • Weight: 3.19 pounds

Pros

  • Heavy-duty steel and fiberglass build
  • Long handle provides extra leverage for weeding
  • Lightweight shaft and handle

Cons

  • Heavier than other tools

Get the Bully Tools weeding tool on Amazon and at Lowe’s.

Our Verdict

Both long- and short-handled tools are effective options for managing the yard. The CobraHead weeder is designed to hook roots for a clean removal while the long-handled Bully Tools weeder can reduce back strain. Just make sure that you have at least two or three different weeding tools in order to dig, chop, cut, slice, and rake as necessary.

How We Chose the Best Weeding Tools

When selecting the best weeding tools available, we made sure to thoroughly assess each product and only chose tools with high customer satisfaction. The list of top picks takes into account the type of weeder, material, weight, handle and blade design, and other features included by the top brands.

To cater to a range of weeding tasks, the list includes both handheld and standing tools. The blades on each tool vary based on purpose, from a handheld garden knife to a long-handled hoe. We prioritized tools with durable steel and fiberglass components, with some options in aluminum. The majority of the weeders on the list have comfortable grips and a lightweight build that make it easier to perform the tasks at hand.

FAQs

Q: What are the best tools for removing weeds?

Many different tools can aid in removing weeds. As noted within this guide, weeding tools typically fall into three categories: digging and chopping tools, cutting and slicing tools, and raking tools. Within these categories, there are a variety of weeding tools including fork weeders, snake-head weeders, spear-point-tip weeders, grub hoes, knife weeders, sickles, and stirrup hoes.

Q: What tool is used for removing weeds around plants?

It’s important to move carefully around flowers, shrubs, and other plants in order to avoid damaging their roots. With this in mind, an angled hand hoe is a good choice for maintaining control while removing weeds from around your plants.

Q: What is the best tool for removing dandelions?

Diggers and choppers tend to be the best dandelion weeder tools. One of the best tools for removing dandelions is the GANCHUN Hand Weeder Tool.

Q: What is the best hand weeder?

The best hand weeder can vary depending on the user and the task at hand, but the CobraHead Original Weeder & Cultivator and Radius Garden 102 Hand Weeder are among the best hand weeders available.