When I was new to gardening, a Japanese friend of mine sent me a hori hori knife as a birthday gift. Since then, it's been one of my favorite gardening tools.
A hori hori knife is a relatively small knife with a 7-inch blade. It is sharp on both sides but heavily serrated on one. This makes it multi-purpose and is excellent for digging up plants and soil, and cutting stems.
The blade is usually concave for digging. It's so versatile that it often times takes the place of my other gardening equipment like my pruner, weed extractor, and trowel.
The unusual name is actually an onomatopeia of the sound that you make when digging on tough soil with the hori-hori. "Hori" (ホリ) means to dig in Japanese and is called by many names including レジャーナイフ or 'mountain vegetable knife'. The hori-hori knife was first used to dig up wild vegetables and plants in the mountains, hence the name.
See it in action in this video.
If you're looking to buy one, then I'll tell you you're making a great decision. I can't count how many times I've told fellow gardening enthusiasts to get a good hori-hori knife.
THE 5 BEST HORI HORI KNIVES – REVIEWS
#5 Truly Garden Hori Hori Garden Knife
If you're looking for a budget hori hori, try out Truly Garden's. For a reasonable price, you get an awesome multi-purpose tool for your garden or an excellent gift for friends who love gardening.
This knife is made in China.
Good value for money
Does its job of weeding, digging, sawing, cultivating, and cutting
Handle is not ideal for small hands
Blade is slighly crooked
#4 Garden Guru Hori Hori
Garden Guru's take on the hori hori is a Japanese-style gardening knife. As wittily stated by one buyer, this was not hammered out of meteoric iron by a blind samurai in a pit forge (D. Robinson of Amazon Reviews). Rather, it is China-made and imported by American company Garden Guru. Buyers overwhelmingly agree that this knife performs its duties superbly.
Works very well as a gardening knife
Good quality and well balanced in one's hand
Great for transplanting plants, digging out dandelions, digging through clay, etc
Owner is responsive and communicates with buyers
Replaces a lot of other tools; very handy and convenient
Not full length metal tang in handle
Blade has snapped for a small percentage of users
May break when pitted against rocks
#3 Dig Dig™ - NEW & IMPROVED Japanese Hori Hori Knife
I'm not sure if the Dig Dig label is an attempt at humor as "hori hori" originates from the sound one makes when digging with this gardening knife. Whichever the case, this brand has come up with a strong hori hori knife that would make an excellent addition to your gardening tool collection.
Really strong blade
Full length metal tang in handle
Works well with any tough soil, roots and plants
Has even worked well for metal detectors although the hori hori isn't really intended for their use
High satisfaction ratings from users
Seam alongside the handle may slice your thumb if you're not careful (use with gloves)
Handle is uncomfortable for some people
#2 Attican Black Iron Hori Hori Garden Knife
The Black Iron hori hori knife would get my seal of approval for durability. This doesn't apply to the sheath though because that's practically useless.
Ergonomic design; feels balanced in one's hand
Full tang handle and really strong blade
Comes with a 10-year global support warranty
Sheath is not a good fit; practically useless
The knife I received was fine but in some cases the metal along the handle protrudes enough to cause nicks (return the product if this is the case; always wear gloves)
#1 Japanese Hori Hori Gardening Knife by Nisaku
Just when I was starting to think everything was being made out in China, I stumbled across Nisaku's hori hori knife. This is a trusted Japanese brand and their products are made in Japan.
I highly recommend this brand out of all the others on our list. Shell out a couple more dollars and get Nisaku's hori hori.
It is Amazon's choice for best hori hori gardening knife.
See our full and comprehensive review here.
Finally an authentic Japanese hori hori knife
Extremely sharp steel blade
Excellent craftsmanship: beautiful and durable
High quality leather sheath; made in the USA
Very high satisfaction ratings from users; highly recommended by us
Not full tang but rather mid-point of the handle