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Whether you’re a gardening guru or occasionally potter with plants, having a tool that is multi-functional can be a huge bonus. This is where the Nisaku Hori-Hori knife can help.
Although it’s labeled as a weeding tool, it can do so much more. Let’s take a look where it originates from, what it can do and review its main features.
What is a Hori-Hori Knife?
The origins of this knife are vague and, to a degree, anecdotal. It seems to have originated as a tool used in the mountainous regions of Japan to harvest wild vegetables grown on the farms.
Its name is derived from the Japanese verb, to dig, which is Hori.
The knife generally has a wooden handle and a stainless steel blade. There is a sharp pointed tip to the flat blade, with a serrated side and a sharp side. The knives usually measure anywhere from 10 to 16 inches in total, with a blade of about seven inches long and two inches wide.
What Can a Hori-Hori Knife Be Used For?
In brief, these versatile tools can be used for just about anything related to preparing your garden for planting, or keeping it weed free. These include:
Getting Rid of Weeds
No matter how hard we try to keep them out, these pesky garden invaders slip through the net. They appear in flower beds, between paving stones and in the middle of pristine lawns.
The Hori Hori knife can be used to slice through small, thin weeds in the soil. Just hold the blade against the soil and slide it along to chop them down. This can help stop them taking hold and growing.
Bigger weeds can either be chopped or dug out by the roots. The sharp point will fit between pavers, to lift any weeds that are trying to take hold.
Marking Rows for Seeds
Do you like planting a vegetable plot in nice straight rows? Dig your Hori Hori knife into the ground and tie string around the handle. Mark out a straight row to sow your seeds.
Planting and Seeding
Once your row is marked you can use the knife to draw the line along the row, or mark indents for larger seeds with the tip of the knife.
It can also be used to plant bulbs, like onions or garlic or to plant flowers. Loosen the soil by stabbing the knife into it and shaking it around. Then use it to dig a hole to the depth you want. Leave the knife in the hole to prevent the soil from filling it again, and pop in your seed or bulb.
If you have a Hori Hori knife, you no longer need to use your hands or a trowel for this job. Just as you would when planting bulbs, you can loosen soil and dig a hole with your knife, for transplanting seedlings or other plants.
Harvesting Your Crop
Relegate the garden fork to the back of the shed. A Hori Hori pressed into the soil at an angle can loosen root crops like onions, carrots, or potatoes. All you need to do then is pull them from the ground. It can also be used to cut the stem of a head of lettuce or cabbage.
Removing Rocks or Stubborn Weeds
There are times when roots are buried deep and you just can't get them all out. Maybe you have small rocks bedded in the soil and want to clear it for planting.
Your Hori Hori knife will add a little finesse to digging the packed earth from around them, loosening them up for removal.
Nisaku Stainless Steel Knife Review
Unlike many of its competitors, the Nisaku knife is made in the country of origin for these knives, Japan.
The stainless steel blade has both a straight and a serrated edge, which is useful for many gardening tasks. It can help plant flowers, herbs and bulbs, loosen the soil around rocks and weeds, or cut through roots.
The blade measures 7.25 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. It also has markings along the blade in inches and millimeters. This means you can make sure you plant your seeds or bulbs at the exact depth suitable for them.
The wooden handle is 5.25 inches long and is sturdy and easy to hold. There is also a hole in the top of the knife handle, allowing you to hang it up when not in use. A leather sheath is supplied for storage and protection of the blade.
The blade is forged from Japanese stainless steel by master craftsmen. This durable material gives the blade a precision edge which will withstand the elements. It will also stand up to the heavy duty usage you need for digging soil or cutting weeds.
Stainless steel is also rustproof and doesn’t need a lot of care. Simply clean the blade in soapy water after use, and make sure it’s thoroughly dried. This will keep it shining and prolong its life.
This video shows you the knife in action.
Should You Buy the Nisaku Stainless Steel Knife?
This knife is durable and easy to use. It makes light work of weeds with long taproots, and loosens soil and earth with little effort. The stainless steel blade is sharp, make sure you don’t cut yourself when cleaning it.
Can it be improved in any way? Maybe adding a finger guard at the bottom the handle would stop your hands slipping towards the blade. A more ergonomic handle would also allow for longer usage.
Overall, it’s a good sturdy knife made from quality materials. It is suitable to be used for digging, cutting and much more.
If you want to see more, check out our 5 best Hori Hori knives review.