The Hori Hori knife has a wide range of uses in the garden such as weeding, cutting roots, transplanting, removing plants, sod cutting, and splitting perennials. A favorite tool for use in the garden as well as other outdoor activities like camping, hunting, or fishing.
What is a Hori Hori knife?
Often referred as a ‘soil knife’ or ‘weeding knife’, the Hori Hori knife is a multipurpose tool, used for both digging and cutting. The concave blade has both a serrated edge and a knife edge making it ideal for digging, scooping, prying and sawing. It is also equipped with measurement markings. The Hori Hori originates from Japan, where it was originally used for carefully excavating vegetables that grew naturally in the mountains.
The blade is razor sharp and is serrated for cutting through roots and tough soil. Functions include a knife, a saw, an axe, a digging tool, or a measuring device.
A Hori Hori knife generally ranges between 11-15 inches in size, including the handle. Many come with a sheath and can be carried like a holster.
How to Use the Hori Hori knife
The Hori Hori knife’s shape is ideal for weeding. The knife is designed to be used with one hand, so you can loosen the soil around the weed’s root with one hand and pull the entire weed out with the other. In no time you can develop a rhythm that makes the tedious task of weeding a breeze. The narrow blade assures you only dig up what you intend to.
The sharp blade will go deep to cut those pesky dandelion roots. I like to scrape the blade horizontally over dry soil to quickly remove unwanted seedlings. The straight edge does the job of a hoe by scraping the top of the soil to remove small weeds.
This dual-purpose knife has a multitude of uses in the garden. Use the serrated side to cut through roots and tough stems. Cut roots of old perennials and stems from bushes with the serrated side. The smoother blade can be used for deadheading, trimming stems and cutting through different kinds of foliage. The strong blade works well for cutting roots when dividing plants too. Use the smooth blade to cut twine or open bags of fertilizer and soil. Also useful for other outdoor activities such as cutting sticks for the campfire or cutting bait for fishing.
The narrow tip enables use for small applications such as planting seedlings, or seeds. Line small seeds along the scoop of the knife and carefully drop off the end into a furrow.
Use the handy measurement markings for correct depth when planting bulbs, or for measuring off spacing between annual plantings. Dig the hole, measure off, dig the next hole, measure off. Set annuals in the holes and use the scoop to backfill.
If you want to plant between existing plants, this tool is ideal. Its narrow blade allows you to dig in tight areas to avoid disturbing existing roots. Dig around old roots to clear the soil in preparation of removing stumps.
Benefits Of The Hori Hori Knife
The unusual shape of the Hori Hori knife combines the capabilities of a trowel, knife and saw all in one. If you like to “garden with the flow”, this tool is invaluable. Having one tool that performs multiple tasks doesn’t interrupt your flow with constant trips back to the shed to get the right tool. The tool is multi-purpose, so saves you from having to change up your tools as you undertake different tasks.
The Hori Hori knife’s shape and size means it can perform multiple tasks more effectively than individual tools. The two blades on either side perform cutting tasks, and the pointed tip aids digging, planting and weeding. I’ve provided many of the ways I’ve used the Hori Hori knife, but chances are you will discover many more uses for this ingenious tool when you have your own. It’s an invaluable tool for the beginner or experienced gardener.