Whether you plant a small flower garden or fields of vegetables, a garden hoe will come in handy every time you work with soil. This versatile tool features a durable blade (sometimes referred to as a paddle) attached to a strong handle. There are several types of hoes available to suit different gardening needs. When it comes to slicing through soil to plant seeds, removing weeds, digging shallow holes, marking rows and more, there's a hoe to get the job done.
For most gardeners, the classic draw garden hoe is the preferred choice. However, other types of hoes are just as helpful at tackling specific chores. Read on to learn more about how different hoes vary, then check out the models we recommend when you are ready to buy.
The garden hoe is arguably one of the most versatile garden tools and the one you’ll reach for when you need to do certain gardening chores.
A hoe's blade is well-equipped to loosen soil and chop up large clumps. It’s also suitable for manipulating soil around plant stalks to improve aeration and water absorption.
Many hoes have angled blades for digging shallow rows for sowing seeds or small holes for placing seedlings. They are also helpful for covering seeds with soil or arranging it around plant stalks for support.
Garden hoes are as equally useful at removing weeds from a garden as they are at cultivating. This task is done by simply making a striking motion at weeds and drawing the hoe towards you to remove them. In contrast, some hoes work using a push-pull motion and have narrow or looped blades for targeting weeds in tight areas close to flower and vegetable plants.
All hoes have a basic structure, but they aren't all exactly alike. Here's a look at the most popular hoe designs and the garden tasks that each one is best suited to accomplish.
A draw hoe is the most commonly used type of garden hoe. It features an angled blade with a sharp front edge designed to chop, manipulate soil, and remove large weeds. While not ideal for intricate weeding around delicate plants, a draw hoe is a popular choice among gardeners for its versatility.
The narrow structure of a collinear hoe's blade makes it perfect for removing small weeds close to plant stalks or working in tight spaces. It’s also called an onion hoe; it’s suitable for working in shallow soil but not ideal for heavy-duty use.
This tool is also called a beet hoe and is similar to an onion hoe but has a smaller blade. It's made for light weeding and cultivating work.
When it comes to putting seeds or seedlings in the soil, a warren hoe's triangular-shaped blade makes it ideal. That's because the pointed tip of the blade cuts through soil and can dig small holes with ease.
A scuffle hoe is often referred to as a stirrup hoe due to its loop-shaped blade. It works by maneuvering soil and extracting weeds when moved in a back-and-forth motion that allows the dual-sided blade to do its work. A variation of this type of hoe has a circular blade designed to remove weeds close to plants without damaging stalks.
Although similar in structure and use to a scuffle hoe, a Dutch hoe typically has a longer blade that slices through soil to remove weeds at the roots. The sharp blade edge is also good at edging work around garden parameters.
If you have major garden work to attend to, a field hoe is a good choice. It features a rugged design with an elongated blade that's sharp on the front and sides. You can use a field hoe to tackle thick weeds and roots, dig holes and break up dense, rocky soil.
We love the extra handle on the ErgieShovel hoe’s shaft that is designed for excellent leverage and to be easy on your back while you work. It also features a solid 12-gauge steel blade. Sold by Amazon.
A handheld hoe is a good option for working in small flower beds. Features including a rubber-coated handle, carbon steel blade, and lifetime warranty make the affordable Edward Tools hand hoe an outstanding deal. Sold by Amazon.
The long handle and narrow blade of the Dewitt onion hoe are designed for leverage when working close to the ground and reaching around plants. The hoe is strong, lightweight, and easy to use. Sold by Home Depot.
Major gardening work requires a tough hoe like Rogue's heavy-duty field model that sports a 60-inch fiberglass handle for reliable leverage. It's up to tackling tasks like digging, knocking down large weeds, and working in dense soil. Sold by Amazon.
Removing weeds, digging holes, and chopping through soil – these jobs are easy to accomplish with the triangle hoe by Nisaku. The stainless steel blade resists rust and corrosion and slices through weeds effortlessly. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot.
The Prohoe's three-sided narrow blade grabs weeds that grow close to plants and fits easily in tight spaces. The tool is also durable and backed by a lifetime guarantee. Sold by Amazon.
Featuring a durable blade that gently whisks weeds at root level, the Action scuffle hoe will allow you to eliminate weeds in your garden while protecting flowers and vegetable plants. The handle has a cushioned grip for comfort as you work. Sold by Home Depot and Amazon.
This model has a sturdy forged blade and a strong fiberglass handle, making it a versatile tool with a classic draw hoe design. The easy-to-grip cushioning on the handle top is a nice bonus. Sold by Home Depot.
This handmade hoe is crafted with an oval-shaped handle that's easy to grip, reducing hand strain. Combining the angled head and pointed blade tip makes it an excellent tool for etching out furrows for planting in rows. Sold by Etsy.
This Dutch hoe's long, tough blade slices through weed roots and is made of stainless steel that will hold up well to years of working in soil. The long handle provides excellent leverage, too. Sold by Amazon.
Designed with a seven-gauge steel blade to remove large, thick weeds and work through rocky soil, this field hoe is worth considering for challenging garden tasks. The fiberglass handle is sturdy and comfortable to maneuver. Sold by Home Depot and Amazon.
With a hoe on one end of the head and cultivating tines on the other, this hand-held hoe is perfect for weeding and planting in small and raised gardens. It has a solid beechwood handle that’s easy to grip. Sold by Amazon.
A nursery hoe like this one by Bully Tools may be all you need if you have minimal weeding and cultivating to do in your garden. You'll love how easy it is to work the durable 12-gauge narrow blade around small plants and tight rows. Sold by Home Depot and Amazon.
Jennifer Manfrin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.