With the exception of container gardens, having a garden means needing a hoe in your tool collection. And like any “best” tool, the best garden hoe is the one that makes gardening tasks less of a strain on your body and your time.
Below I’ll explain how hoes are used, the different types of garden hoes, offer tips on selecting a hoe, and share my picks of the best garden hoe models in different categories.
Types of Garden Hoes
You might not realize that hoes are used for all sorts of tasks – weeding, cultivating soil, removing rocks and roots, digging planting trenches, creating furrows, and building soil mounds for seeds or seedlings. Hoes are designed differently to perform these tasks efficiently and without risk of physical injury to the gardener.
These are some of the most common garden hoe designs and what they’re used for.
When most people imagine a hoe, it’s a draw hoe they’re thinking of. This is the hoe that has a steel blade sitting at a 45- to 90-degree angle to the handle. A draw hoe’s handle is typically 45 to 65 inches long and is meant to be used while standing.
A draw how is named for how it’s used – a gardener chops down into the soil and then “draws” the hoe toward them. This hoe lets a gardener do two main things well – digging up weeds and cultivating hard-packed soil for planting.
The Dutch hoe is designed with a narrow horizontal blade and steel loop brace. You place the end of the blade near your foot and push it just under the soil’s surface to remove shallow weeds. They are also known as “loop” hoes and are an effective weeding tool that’s fast and easy to use.
A heart-shaped hoe has a blade that begins wide and narrows to a point at its tip. All of the pressure of the blade is concentrated on cutting into the soil. Depending on the specific design, it can be used like a draw hoe or a Dutch hoe. While this type of hoe is easy to use, it takes longer to clear weeds due to its blade shape.
The Stirrup (or hula) hoe has a sharp blade that resembles stirrups on a horse saddle. The edge can feature either a rounded or flat bottom that’s sharpened on both sides. Gardners use it to cut weed roots and create furrows in the soil for seed sowing.
The Best Garden Hoes You Can Buy
Here is our collection of 11 of the best garden hoe models. Since gardeners often have different needs, we’ve included hoes designs suitable for tackling a variety of different gardening tasks.
Best Overall Garden Hoe
Hoss Tools Push Pull Hoe
The Hoss Tools Push Pull Hoe gets rave reviews from gardeners about how quickly they’re able to hoe their garden spaces with this tool. It works great for gardeners who are on the petite side as well as older gardeners. One reviewer even loaned the hoe to a neighbor who had back and shoulder issues and the neighbor was easily able to use the hoe in his garden.
The push-pull motion of this hoe is faster than the lift-chop of other styles of hoes. The design allows a gardener to use it like a scuffle hoe or to penetrate the soil to remove weeds. It’s worth noting that the unique design makes this the hoe to use around your drip irrigation system since the hoe slides beneath the hose lines without damaging them.
Even though the hoe is lightweight, at just four pounds, it gets high praise for its sturdy construction. This is the favorite garden hoe for many gardeners and it might just become your favorite too!
- Easily gets rid of weeds
- Reaches areas other styles of hoes can’t reach
- Sturdy construction
- Works for shorter or older gardeners
- Need to watch the video demonstration to know how to use the hoe correctly
- A little pricey (but reviewers say it’s worth it!)
Best Stirrup Hoe
Hoss Stirrup Hoe
While it might be a funny-looking hoe, a stirrup (or hula) hoe is beloved by gardeners and the Hoss Stirrup Hoe is a must-try! The special design for this hoe allows you to use it near plants without accidentally damaging them.
Gardeners love this hoe for quickly and easily getting rid of large areas affected by lots of shallow-root or young weeds (“unequaled,” one review claimed). Another reviewer said it was after buying and using this hoe that he realized how much time and energy he’d been wasting with regular hoes.
The blade is sharpened on both sides to make weed removal a breeze. The sturdy construction that Hoss Tools products are known for means this garden hoe will be around for many gardening seasons to come!
- Praised for effectively removing weeds
- Easy “scufflling” motion means less fatigue than using other hoe styles
- Sharp blade on both sides
- Hoss doesn’t sell replacement blades or handles
- Takes some practice to get the technique right
Best Field Hoe
Hoss Tools Field Hoe
The field hoe is what you need when there’s serious work to be done on your garden and the Hoss Tools Field Hoe delivers. The sturdy construction makes it ideal for chopping and digging out roots or weeds that have gotten bigger than what other hoe styles can handle. This is your garden hoe if you need to break ground for new gardens or for construction projects. You can even use it if you’ve got small trees you need to clear.
This hoe weighs 5 pounds so it’s got some heft to it for getting those heavy-duty gardening jobs done. The welding to connect the handle socket and the blade means there’s little risk of breaking the ash handle.
- Arrives sharpened and ready to use
- Welded handle socket and blade construction
- Ash handle
- Stands up to heavy-duty digging and weeding tasks
- Heavy for some gardeners to use
- Not for weeding in tight space
Best for Hoeing Large Gardens
Hoss Wheel Hoe
You might not have thought of hoes that have wheels, but this Single Wheel Hoe from Hoss Tools is a must if you have a big garden to keep weed-free. One reviewer with a 100’ x 100’ garden said he gets weeding accomplished in 45-60 minutes that used to take hours with a traditional hoe.
As Hoss says on their website, the trick to keeping weeds under control is not allowing them to become established and weeds are easiest to remove when they’re barely visible. Using their wheel hoe each week to break up the soil means weeds don’t stand a chance – you’ll look forward to walking up and down your garden rows each week because you’re winning the weed war!
The hoe is constructed of a powder-coated steel frame, adjustable hardwood handles, and comes with a three-tine weeding tool. It can also be used with different attachments like a stirrup/hula hoe attachment. This is an excellent way to give your garden multiple, shallow cultivations throughout the season without the need for gas- or battery-powered tools.
Hoss also sells a Double Wheel version of their hoe.
- Much less back-breaking than handheld hoes
- Allows you to weed larger gardens faster than with other kinds of hoes
- Encourages frequent soil cultivation, which is effective at keeping weeds from taking over
- Doesn’t use gas or batteries
Best Dutch Hoe
Wolf-Garten 2348002 DH-M Dutch Hoe-Hand Tool
When it comes to removing weeds from light or sandy soils, the Wolf-Garten Dutch Hoe is what you need. Stubborn weeds are no match for this hoe’s sharp blade. Weighing in at only 12 ounces, it’s lighter than similar garden hoes.
Wolf-Garten tools are meant to be used interchangeably with their Wolf-Garten ZMAD Multi-Change Aluminium D-Grip Handle. This means you can store more tools in less space!
- Blade is hardened and very sharp
- One handle can be used for 50+ Wolf-Garten tools
- Comes with a 35-year manufacturer warranty
- A little pricier than other Dutch hoes
- Some reviewers didn’t realize the handle is sold separately
Bully Tools 92353 12-Gauge Garden Hoe with Fiberglass Handle
If you’re just beginning to build your garden tool collection, an all-purpose hoe is a staple for every gardener. The Bully 12-Gauge Garden Hoe is a perfect hoe to start out with, but it’s also a well-built tool that will be around for many years to come.
The fiberglass handle means no worries about splintering or cracking during use – it also means not having to oil or seal the wood as part of tool maintenance and care. The heavy-duty steel head stands up to most gardening tasks (for heavy-duty jobs, you’ll want to look to something more along the lines of a field hoe).
This might seem like it’s on the pricey side for beginner gardeners, but this garden hoe is an investment tool that you won’t need to replace for a long time (if at all).
- Fiberglass handle
- 12-gauge steel construction
- Made in the USA
- A little pricey for new gardeners
Wolf Garten HWM15 Multi-change Draw Hoe
Hoeing is hard work! The motion required by a traditional draw hoe can quickly tire you out and make gardening feel like a chore. That’s what makes the ergonomic design of the Wolf-Garten Draw Hoe so great – the angled blade means more efficiency with less energy required.
Like other Wolf-Garten tools, the draw hoe is made to be used interchangeably with a single handle that fits over 50 other tools. This means the draw hoe can be used as a long-handled or a short-handled garden hoe. It’s also easy to sharpen the blade when the hoe isn’t attached to a handle.
Reviewers love Wolf-Garten tools for their ergonomic features and how the one-handle-for-many-tools design saves on storage space.
- Ergonomic design
- Easy to sharpen
- Blade is replaceable
- One handle can be used for 50+ Wolf-Garten tools
- Comes with a 35-year manufacturer warranty
Best Heart-Shaped Draw-Action Head
Kings County Tools Wide Heart-Shaped Hoe
Spring soil is typically compacted from the winter’s snow and rainfall. You need a hoe that’s up for the task of breaking up the ground for the upcoming planting season. The Heart-Shaped Hoe from Kings County Tools is more than capable of getting the job done.
Like the Hoss Field Hoe, this garden hoe is made for heavy-duty digging jobs. The unique pointed-blade head makes it the ideal tool for preparing your garden beds for spring annuals and seed-sowing.
- Sharp, pointed blade
- Hardwood ash handle
- Ideal for early spring cultivation
- No comfort grip on the handle
- Not for use close to plants
Best Mini Hoe
AMES 1985450 Mini Action Hoe
The Mini Action Hoe by Ames gets great reviews from gardeners for being sturdy, comfortable, and easy to use. One reviewer described how she gets carried away and often ends up doing more weeding than she planned when she started!
This garden hoe weeds like its big brother, the hula/stirrup hoe, with a back and forth motion that removes weeds easily.
- Cushioned handle
- Easy to use close to plants
- Solid wooden handle
- Easy to use
- Has to be used while kneeling or sitting
- Does not come sharpened
Best Budget Hoe
Truper 30003 Tru Built 48-Inch Welded Garden Hoe
Let’s face it – budgets are real things. Maybe you’re starting a garden,but you can’t invest in some of the more costly tools just yet. Or perhaps hoeing isn’t something you do very often, but you want to be sure you’ve got one when the need arises. Then you’re in luck! There are affordable options that don’t sacrifice on quality, but you’ve got to be smart about which budget tools are worth buying.
This Tru Built Garden Hoe is perfect for those who are new to gardening or when you only need to hoe occasionally. It’s a basic, all-purpose design with a sturdy hardwood handle for most light- to medium-duty digging and weeding tasks. Properly used and maintained, this garden hoe will be around for many years.
- Very budget-friendly
- Hardwood handle and welded design
- Ideal for occasional use
- Not for heavy-duty digging or weeding
- Wooden handle requires periodic oiling or sealing
Best Garden Hoe for Raised Beds
Corona GT3060 Extendable Handle Hoe
When it comes to gardening in raised beds, long-handled tools are too long and hand-held tools are too short. You need something in-between to provide the right reach and this Cornona Extendable Handle Hoe fits the bill.
The aluminum handle adjusts from 18”-32” which makes it great for using along the edge and in the middle of your raised garden beds. It’s durably constructed and has a comfortable, non-slip grip to prevent your hands from getting fatigued. The head design gives you the versatility of a traditional hoe for removing more established weeds, with the added functionality of a cultivator to keep new, young weeds at bay.
Your back and shoulders will thank you for getting this garden hoe!
- Ideal handle length for gardening in raised beds
- Adjustable handle
- Durable construction
- Comfortable grip
- Two-tools-in-one head design
- Some users reported problems extending the handle
How to Keep Your Garden Hoe in Top Condition
Once you’ve found the best garden hoe for your gardening needs, you’ll have to do a few things to keep it in the best working condition so that it lasts for years.
Dirt is a tool’s worst enemy – especially if the dirt contains moisture. Moisture creates rust that weakens a tool over time. This is why you should clean tools of dirt after every use and dry them after you’ve removed the dirt.
Don’t make the mistake of storing your tools outside in your yard. In addition to the risk of rust formation, wooden handles suffer from exposure to the elements. Store garden tools in a garage or garden shed.
Like kitchen knives, digging and weeding tools need to be sharp. Otherwise, you work harder than you have to and you may put tasks off that keep your garden in its best condition. Here’s a video of best practices for keeping tools sharp.
Every Garden Tool Collection Needs a Hoe
Getting the right garden hoe (or hoes) makes weeding jobs easier, which means you’re more likely to do them on a regular basis.
To learn about other useful tools, check out our Garden Digging Tools page to learn more about cultivators, tillers, and much more!
Need some more weeding guidance? Then learn more about common weeds, including prevention and treatment!