Navigating our way through the vast range of garden tools can be something of a daunting task. Our readers often ask me to recommend the best weeding tool, but the truth is that all tool designs have a place and a scenario where they offer an advantage over others.
So… I have listed the weeding tools that I use, which of course are also what I consider to be the best weed pullers, hoes, and blades. I have also written about how and when I use them for the best possible results.
So let’s get going and weed out the best weed removal tools every serious gardener should own.
- Choosing The Best Weed Removal Tool
- Stand Up Weed Pullers
- Hand Weed Puller or Weed Popper
- Weed Knives
- Cape Cod Weeder
- Crack Weeder or Crevice Weeding Tool
- Weeding Hoe
- Loop Hoe or Hula Hoe
- Dutch Hoe
- Nejiri Gama Weeding Hoe
- Circle Hoe
- Weed Twister
- Hoe & Cultivator
- How To Weed A Garden
- Final Words On The Best Weed Removal Tools
Choosing The Best Weed Removal Tool
When assessing whether a weeding tool is good…or not, you need to appreciate what the tool was originally designed for and whether it’s fit for purpose. It’s all too easy to say a tool is not good enough, only to find you are using it in the wrong way or in the wrong situation. So in my guide below, I will provide you with a basic outline of when to use a specific weeding tool, and how to use it for maximum effect.
Once we know we are using the right tool for the purpose it was intended, then we can establish if it’s built well enough to last the rough and tumble of being pushed through the dirt repeatedly. This is where my hands-on experience using tools over many years will help you short-cut the trial and error phase and get straight to the tool make and model that I trust and use.
So I’m really interested in sharing the best of each type of weeder. This is not a comparison of the best hoes or the best weed puller. It’s simply the best model or type of weeding tool that I found after years of trial and error of putting tools to the test in the garden.
So with that out of the way let’s get our hands dirty and look at the best weed removal tools.
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Stand Up Weed Pullers
If you are looking for a tool to pull out weeds in your lawn or flower beds from a standing position, then weed pullers or weed claws are probably going to be a very appealing option. Originally designed to extract tap-rooted weeds such as dandelions through a 3-claw mechanism. They are also often referred to as a Weed Grabber, Weed Picker, or Weed Wrench.
As with all things technology moves on and there are now many designs available including the 4-claw Fiskars weed pullers. Now Ames has a cork-screw version that screws around the base of the weed and extracts it by the root.
You push down on the peddle with your foot to drive the head of the weed puller into the ground. Once the weed is extracted there is a handle to release the head mechanism effectively dropping the weed directly into your waste bucket.
Stand-up weed pullers are best suited for use on flat open surfaces such as lawns. They are too big to perform detailed work and the mechanism won’t work on weeds in cracks or crevices, as the tool head needs to penetrate deep into the soil to lift the weed root.
I have no idea how many thousands of weed pullers Fiskars have sold, but they are definitely the number one product based on durability and innovation.
The stand-up weed puller is the perfect tonic for anyone who has spent hours on their hands and knees slowly working their way across a lawn full of tap-rooted weeds.
I have always used Fiskars stand-up weeder, but there are new kids on the block. So I am also going to include the other two front-runners Ames and Tacklife who have brought two great-looking weed pullers to market. I have not used them extensively, but on first use, they performed well. But until they prove their durability over time, I’m sticking with Fiskars Weed Puller. You can check the latest price here on Amazon.
- The perfect tool for tap-root weeds on large flat areas of lawn or soil
- Fiskars weed puller is the leader in innovation and design for this product type
- Proven to be the most durable stand up weed puller
Hand Weed Puller or Weed Popper
Despite the similarity in the name, a hand weed puller is not a smaller version of the stand-up weed puller. It is instead a hand tool that uses leverage to lift weeds at their base, pulling out deep roots.
This is a cost-effective method of weed removal and is great for use on raised areas or between vegetable or flower beds or other planted areas.
Sit the curved side of the tool shaft on the ground and push the tip of the tool into the base of the weed. Then lower the hand towards the ground using a leveraging motion to lift the root base, along with its root.
Edwards Weed Puller is well designed, with an extra-large handle with a soft-touch grip. This is the perfect tool for popping out dandelions and other deep tap-rooted weeds. I have used this for two seasons now without any issues at all, but the manufacturer does offer a ‘no questions asked’ lifetime warranty, just in case you run into any problems.
Rest the curved base of the weed puller on the ground and push the forked tip into the soil at the base of the weed. Push the handle down towards the ground to leverage the weed root out of the soil.
This tool is great for pulling up weeds in tight spaces amongst plants and shrubs. If you are plagued by dandelions in your flower or vegetable beds I suggest you pick one of these weed poppers up online here.
- An excellent weed puller, perfect for lifting tap-rooted weeds
- Extra-large ergonomic cushioned handle
- Lifetime warranty ‘no questions asked’
Weeding knife is a very broad term used to describe hand-held blade tools for performing detailed weeding work. Here are a few designs that I really like to use and you should consider having in your gardening tool shed
Probably my favorite weeding tool of all time, this traditional Japanese tool has stood the test of time, based on practicality and durability. In fact, it’s more than a weeding tool it’s a multi-tool. Personally, I like to use the Barebones knives as they are of exceptional build quality, and what the heck I’m a guy and I feel like I have a gardener’s survival knife on with this tool.
Their primary function in weeding is to push the blade down into the soil around the weed base. Do this on two or three sides of the weed and leverage it out using the length of the blade. Very simple and effective.
Many of the best Hori Hori knives come with a straight edge and a serrated edge for cutting turf, branches, and tough stems, as well as an engraved ruler for depth measurement. They’re a survival knife for gardeners and this particular one is an outstanding piece of craftsmanship.
If you have not heard of Barebones before check out their product range, it’s a little different and I am a huge fan of their weeding knives. You can check the price of this knife online at Amazon.com. Also worth a mention is the Nisaku Hori-Hori Weeding & Digging Knife, which is another high-quality weeding knife with a great reputation for quality and durability.
- Outstanding quality and one of the best looking tools I’ve used in a long time
- A multi-functional tool that I keep with me whenever I’m in the garden
- If I could only have one tool, this might be it!
- I just wish it came with a belt strap knife sheath
Cape Cod Weeder
The cape cod weeder is a cross between a mini sickle and a path weeding knife. You can use it in a hooking action by placing the blade head behind the base of the weed root and pulling the blade under the weed root base. This action lifts or cuts out the weed’s root system.
Great for tackling individual weeds, this tool can be found with various handle configurations, long, short, straight, P grip handle or T grip handle like the example above.
This particular tool that I use above is available on Amazon.com and made in Holland from Boron Steel and has a nice lightweight Ash handle which I find more comfortable and practical in the long-form T grip handle.
- A versatile hand weeder to reach the back of borders and into the undergrowth
- Forged from Boron Steel for a long-lasting blade
- Various grip formations are available
- Not as easy to control as the Nejiri Gama Hoe or Circle Hoe
Crack Weeder or Crevice Weeding Tool
As the name suggests this tool is for getting into those tight spots around hard landscaping like paths, edging, or driveways. Use a scraping or pulling motion you simply cut out any weeds that have managed to find a home in between stonework or other hard surfaces.
This is a no-fuss type of tool. The crevice weeder can be used with the cutting action of the heel or corner of the blade to pull out weeds, or you can flip it over and use the sharp point of the tool to leverage more pressure into deeper cracks.
Grebstk has produced a comfortable handle on this 13″ tool ideal for removing grass, moss, and weeds from cracks but you could also double-up and use it as a weeding knife by digging into the grass to pull out smaller tap-rooted weeds. Check the latest price here.
- A versatile tool to get into the narrowest of cracks between paving or driveways
- Basic in its function but very well made
- Nothing. It is what it is, but still a well-made tool.
The weeding hoe comes in several forms. They pretty much all perform the same function of slicing weed to separate the roots from the foliage, leaving the foliage to decompose and add nutrients back into the ground. Not suitable for tap-rooted weeds such as dandelions. They will simply re-grow if the root is not lifted.
Here are three garden hoes to consider, all of which are designed for use on soil surfaces and cannot be used on lawns without causing damage to the grass.
Loop Hoe or Hula Hoe
Sometimes called a Push-Pull Hoe, Hula Hoe, Oscillating Hoe, or Scuffle Hoe this long-handled tool is used to push placing the loop blade on the surface of the soil and pushing the head back and forth in a straight motion to cut down weeds.
Loop Hoes are more common as a long-handled tool, but I have a strong preference for using Dutch Hoes from a standing position. More on that later. However, this short-handled Hula Hoe from Ames is a tool that’s really well made and great for use in raised beds or large planters. But it also works great in flower borders where a long-handle hoe gets a little tricky to maneuver.
Ames has a great pedigree for producing long-lasting quality tool and this Hula Hoe is no different. You can buy it online here.
- Super short-handled weeding hoe for working around plants and shrubs
- Ames has a pedigree for quality and durability
- Great for working raised beds
- It gets used a lot than my Dutch Hoe. But that’s just my personal preference
The Dutch Hoe operates in a similar same motion as the Push-Pull hoe. You sit the heal of the Hoe on the grounds and move the blade backward and forwards to slice through weeds, separating the foliage from the roots. This is a long-handle tool that is perfect for weeding soil on dry days.
I prefer to use the Dutch Hoe over the Hula Hoe just because it’s what I have always used and it feels natural. But both are great designs for that large-scale weed cutting over large flat areas of soil. Perfect for vegetable beds and flower borders.
Use it on dry days when the soil has a crust and the blade will skim over the ground slicing weeds with ease. You can clear large areas in no time at all.
If you like the look of the Spear & Jackson tool that I use you can buy it from Amazon.com and it will last you a very long time. If you are not familiar with the brand, it is a British brand that has been around since 1760 and has a great name for garden tools. This particular tool won Gold at the Great British Growing Awards 2020.
- The best long-handled Hoe I’ve used
- Well made, lightweight, and built to last a long time
- Perfect for allotment, vegetable beds, and open flower beds
Nejiri Gama Weeding Hoe
The Japanese Nejiri Gama Hoe is an ultra-efficient tool for weeding in-between rows of vegetables and is perfect for use in raised beds. You may also see this tool called Nejiri Kama Hoe.
The blade is typically around 3-4” wide and is extremely sharp, so keep it that way for exceptional results. You simply sit the blade face on the surface of the soil and draw the blade back towards you pulling it slightly under the surface of the soil. This action will slice clean through every weed in its way, leaving a beautiful clean soil surface.
Don’t be fooled by the unfamiliar labeling on the handle, this is not a cheap imported tool, this is a high-quality Japanese steel blade. It’s the equivalent of a gardener’s scalpel as long as you take care to keep the blade sharp and in good condition. Check the latest price here.
- Incredible for clearing annual weeds and leaving clear soil for planting
- An unusual tool that western gardeners need to get their hand on
- To get the best from any blade it will still need to be sharpened from time to time
The circle hoe is not that common nowadays, which is a shame, as they are outstanding for working in very tight spaces in between plants.
This short-handles tool has a circle head with one side sharpened into a cutting blade. You place the blade on the soil and draw the hoe back towards you in a scrapping action. The tool cuts and scraps weeds. The action is similar to a Nejiri Gama Hose but the head is much smaller, around 1.5 inches in diameter.
I had a circle hoe handed down to me many years ago, which sadly I lost. They are not easy to find nowadays, I found my current Circle Hoe online at Amazon, and it is a great replacement. It’s very well made by a company called Carrot Design. In fact, it’s the only one I’ve seen recently online to buy.
- The ultimate detailing too, you can weed around corners with this!
- A great scraping tool to cutting off weeds in hard to reach places
The weed twister is primarily designed for cultivating soil to loosen and aerate. If you have good quality soil and a well-cultivated bed, then the weed twister is a great option for lightweight maintenance.
Hold the T-shaped handles, push the head of the weeder into the ground, and twist the handles anti-clockwise to cultivate the soil. Within this same motion, you will lift weeds, making them easy to pick out. Great for short-root annual weeds such as Chickweed or Crab Grass.
If you have a small area of ground to weed and till, but it’s not enough to rent a tiller then a weed twister is a great option to cultivate the ground when soft, adding air and loosening the soil. Plus you will work out any weeds in the process, allowing you to hand pull or pick them once they are on the surface.
- Perfect for opening up soil whilst pulling out Chickweed or Crab Grass
- I like to use it in loamy soil in my raised beds prior to sowing
- It can be hard work in compact soil
Hoe & Cultivator
Combination tools like Hoe Cultivators are perfect for flower beds or raised vegetable beds. There are obvious benefits from buying a 2-in-1 tool, such as cost-saving and only having to carry one tool to your working area.
Having a fork cultivator on one side and a hoe weeder on the other is something that appeals to a lot of gardeners and it’s hard to argue against it. Again great for raised beds and smaller areas of soil.
I often use a pick-ax when I’m cultivating hard clay ground or when the soil surface is baked. This tool allows you to go halfway and use this mini pick-ax style and break through the crust and into the lower levels of softer soil to get at the roots of the weed. You can buy the Flexrake at Amazon.com, I find it a great tool when you need a bit more muscle to excavate those weed roots.
- Perfect in baked clay soil when you need a bit more muscle to reach weed roots
- Dual-purpose will save you money and less to carry
- It’s a heavy-handed tool, not suited to delicate work
How To Weed A Garden
The short answer is to weed your garden as soon as you see weeds emerging and stay on top of them. The longer you allow weeds to grow the stronger they become and the more likely they are to spread through seed distribution, putting out new runners or whatever other form your local weeds propagate.
It may seem like a simple enough question to answer for most experienced gardeners. But let’s face it we could all do with stepping back from time to time to check we are getting the best from our gardening and working in an effective way. If we do that, we can spend more time on the things we really love to do like planting, pruning, or just simply looking at our garden.
How To Pull Weeds Fast
Tools are designed to offer us efficiency, to make our lives easier. So if you’re looking to pull weeds fast then make sure you follow the guidance provided in this article and select the right tool for the job you are looking to undertake. Whether you choose a Stand Up Weed Puller to quickly get rid of a lawn full of dandelions, or a Dutch Hoe to slice away annual weeds in a vegetable bed, removing weeds fast is possible and can be good fun.
To get the best effect from using a garden hoe you really need the right conditions. Ideally flat ground, relatively stone-free, and with some firmness in the soil so that the hoe can skip across the surface. When the ground is wet the hoe will most likely cut into the med and either run under the weed roots or drag the weed including its roots onto the surface of the soil. If this happens it is likely the weed will regrow in its resting position. A hoe needs to cut through the root and separate it from the plant to be effective.
Pulling Weeds By Hand
Pulling weeds by hand is a good way of listing individual problem weeds. Tap-rooted weeds in wet grass or soil will sometimes pull out by hand, I would guess with around a 60% success rate. The other 40% of the root will be left deep in the soil and regrow at double speed.
Using a weeding tool like a weeding knife or weed twister to loosen the soil before lifting weeds by hand is by far the most effective way to succeed in pulling weeds by hand.
How To Get Grass Out Of Garden
Patches of grass growing in flower beds or borders is one of the most common issues gardeners face. Grasses are very resilient plants, capable of withstanding burning and all other forms of damage, only to regrow.
The key to removing grass is to lift the root system out of the ground completely. Think of it as lifting mini sections or tufts of turf. Cut or dig down deep enough to get under the matted root section and lift the whole piece out. Depending on the grass type around 1.5-2 inches is usually deep enough. This is where a cultivation tool, spade, or trowel may be required.
Final Words On The Best Weed Removal Tools
So there we go, a list of my favorite weed removal tools how to use them, and the brands that I have found are the most durable to stand the test of time. Not everyone will want to buy or own a list of tools as long as this. So, if you are looking to buy just a couple of tools for general use then I would recommend a long-handled Dutch Hoe, one of the Weeding Knives from Barebone, and the Nejiri Gama Hoe.
If your problem is all about dandelions on your lawn, then there is no substitute for the Fiskar’s Stand Up Weed Puller to save your backache and leave you with a beautiful green lawn.