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Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for Best shepherd’s hooks

They may have started off in the world of shepherds and sheep, but today’s shepherd’s hooks have evolved into potent standalone solutions for many landscaping situations. These versatile and elegant hooks can be used to hang plants, hold up bird feeders and waterers, keep bug zappers from pets and little hands, display signs, and hold wind chimes, as well as pretty much anything else that your gardening mind can imagine.

There are a number of features to consider to select the right hooks for your needs. From height and weight capacity to price, construction materials, and even the number of hooks that ship in a set, there’s a lot you’ll need to take into account when buying these garden accessories.

Using a shepherd’s hook for plants? Be sure you research the sun needs of the plants and position the hook in a section of your yard that meets those needs.

Key considerations

Weight capacity

You’ll need to carefully consider how you will use your shepherd’s hook before deciding which one to buy. This is particularly important when you’re comparing weight capacities. Some shepherd’s hooks can hold up to 20 or 30 pounds, while others top out at much lighter weights. If you’re using your shepherd’s hook to support something heavy like a large plant, you’re going to need a hook with a much higher weight capacity than if you’re using it for hanging a hummingbird feeder.

While weight capacity varies from shepherd’s hook to shepherd’s hook, features such as the thickness of the construction materials and a solid (as opposed to hollow) body tend to result in a sturdier shepherd’s hook with a higher weight capacity.


Shepherd’s hooks are available in a variety of heights, and you should give close consideration to this, too. Shepherd’s hook heights range from 15 inches to over 90 inches, and factors that determine how tall your hook should be include how you will use the hook, how much weight you’ll have on it, and even your existing landscape. Not sure how much height you need? Some shepherd’s hooks offer an adjustable height, providing you with a range of height options to select from.

Number of hooks

While sometimes shepherd’s hooks are sold individually, most are sold in sets. The actual number of hooks you receive will vary, with some shepherd’s hook sets including eight or even a dozen hooks. The average is four hooks per set. Some sellers will offer you a choice, so you can easily select the number of hooks you need without wasting money on those you don’t. That said, it’s always a smart idea to have a backup or two.


Some shepherd’s hooks ship in one piece, requiring no assembly. Others – particularly adjustable shepherd’s hooks – ship in several segments that you will need to put together yourself. Any assembly that you need to do should not be too arduous, requiring only a few minutes and few, if any, tools to complete.

When placing a shepherd’s hook, be sure that you position it out of high-trafficked areas to cut down on the possibility of people running into it or tripping over it.




Shepherd’s hooks are typically made from sturdy metals such as wrought iron or stainless steel. A thicker design tends to offer more strength, as will a solid body. As mentioned, the sturdier the design, the more weight the shepherd’s hook will generally be able to hold.

Shepherd’s hooks also usually have a powder-coated finish, which provides them with their almost universal black color. This finish will help a shepherd’s hook hold up better to the elements and not rust.


Integral to a shepherd’s hook is the actual hook that you hang the plant, feeder, or another object from. While these typically have one hook, some shepherd’s hooks have two or more hooks, allowing you to hang a variety of objects from one shepherd’s hook. Hooks usually employ a classic shepherd’s hook design, although some feature other designs – such as a spiral shape, which can help to better secure a feeder or plant.


While almost all shepherd’s hooks use a two-prong base to keep them upright, there are some exceptions. Some shepherd’s hooks have upward of four prongs that have to be pushed into the ground, providing even more stability for the shepherd’s hook. Some forego prongs entirely and use a weighted base, which works when prongs are not an option, such as on concrete, stone, or other hard surfaces.

Did You Know?
For the best results, insert a shepherd’s hook straight down into the ground. You can use a level to test vertical and horizontal positioning.

Shepherd’s hook prices

While shepherd’s hooks start out under $10, they can reach $60 or more. The average price for shepherd’s hooks is in the $20 to $40 range.

For $20 and under, you will find shorter shepherd’s hooks and those capable of supporting less weight, typically under 10 pounds. At this price point, you are likely buying individual shepherd’s hooks.

In the $20 to $40 range, shepherd’s hooks are sturdier, taller, and capable of supporting more weight. The build of these hooks is generally better than the sub-$20 styles. Shepherd’s hooks in this price range usually sell with two to four to a set.

Shepherd’s hooks over $40 are typically premium-quality hooks. These offer a heavy-duty design, usually in the neighborhood of a half-inch in thickness. These shepherd’s hooks tend to be both taller and more stylish than less expensive shepherd’s hooks. This is also the range where you will find sets with more hooks, with some ranging up to eight or twelve hooks per set.

Lifetime warranties are actually fairly common with shepherd’s hooks. If everything else is equal, go with the hook that offers lifetime protection.



  • If buying a shepherd’s hook for use with bird feeders, bird baths, or other types of avian devices, go with a taller hook to offer birds better protection from predators.
  • Some shepherd’s hooks ship with stickers attached to them, which can leave a sticky residue behind when you try to remove them. To rid yourself of these sticky remainders, use a special adhesive remover.
  • Shepherd’s hooks are available as single hooks, in sets of up to a dozen, and even as specially designed complete bird feeder stations. Carefully consider exactly what you need a shepherd’s hook for before you start shopping.
  • Due to their powder coating, shepherd’s hooks are a four-season fixture that you can use in your yard. If you live where the ground freezes, however, be sure you place your hooks where you want them before winter.
  • In search of a more permanent shepherd’s hook solution? You can easily ensure your shepherd’s hook will stand up to extreme weather and more by adding a bit of cement to the mix. To do this, simply dig a hole, fill it with mixed cement, and then insert the shepherd’s hook into the cement and let it set up.
  • Shepherd’s hooks are almost universally sold with a black powder-coated finish, but you don’t have to keep them that way. You can easily paint your hooks any color you want, so long as you use a metal primer as the first coat.
Bear in mind that several inches of the shepherd’s hook will be below the ground. This is important if you are shopping with a specific height in mind.


Q. Do I need to do anything special to the ground before inserting a shepherd’s hook?

A. A bit of ground preparation will help when you’re trying to install your shepherd’s hook. To do this, remove any stones, mulch, or other debris that can impede the hook. Once clear, simply push the hook in fully and you’re all set. For harder ground, use a rubber mallet to gently tap the hook in.

Q. Will shepherd’s hooks work in sand?

A. Yes, they will, although you might find that the shepherd’s hook will not be able to support as much weight in looser material such as sand. You can compensate for this by making sure the hook is inserted as straight as possible into the sand and that it does not lean in any direction. Use a level to check that the shepherd’s hook is straight and check back several times over a few days to verify that the hook is not leaning or settling.

Q. Can I use a squirrel baffle with shepherd’s hooks?

A. You can, but height is a big factor. Cone-shaped squirrel baffles can be an effective way to keep squirrels from your bird feeders. A baffle should work with a taller shepherd’s hook, but it may be less effective with shorter ones, as a squirrel may be able to leap over the baffle.

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