The Best Weeding Tools for the 6 Most Common Garden Weed Problems… Found in the Yard and Garden
PERSONALLY THE ONLY THING I DON'T LOVE about gardening is having to deal with the weeds. To me, there is nothing less enjoyable than bending over or kneeling in the garden to pull those pesky weeds by hand.
There are so many different tools on the market that claim to make this job easier. The big question is, which of them is the best weeding tool, not only for your money but to get the job done right.
Before We Get Started
Thing is, there is no such thing as a single weeding tool that will work for all of your weeding tasks. Unless, of course, your garden is a perfectly flat piece of super soft ground that has been planted with just the right amount of space between each plant.
We all know that the chances of having the perfect garden are pretty slim. There are varying distances between rows and plants to deal with, differences in soil, raised beds, and of course how you plan to weed to consider.
Here are four very important questions you need to be able to answer truthfully before you look for the best weeding tool for each condition.
1. Where Are You Going to Be Weeding?
The obvious answer to this is, of course, in your gardens. But are your gardens in-ground or in raised beds? Are you weeding between the pavers that make up your garden path, around trees and under shrubs, between your rows of plants? Will you be going all of the above and more?
2. What Type of Soil Do You Have?
Is this a new area of your garden? Is the soil hard and packed or is it nice and soft and lose?
3. How Big Are the Weeds You Need to Deal With?
Are you the kind of person who likes to stay on top of your weed problem or do you wait until they are three feet tall and threatening to take over?
4. How Do You Weed?
Do you prefer to most of your weeding standing up or on your knees? Do you have a medical condition such as back problems that make it difficult to take care of the weeds as they grow?
All of these situations call for a different type of weeding tool and only by carefully considering and answering them to the best of your ability can you truly choose the best tool for each task. The good news is that there are weeding tools designed for just about any situation you are ever likely to find yourself in.
Short vs. Long Handled Weeders
Now that you have a much better idea of where you plan to weed and the types of obstacles you are going to be dealing with, including any disabilities such as back problems, let's take a quick look at the two basic types of weeding tools, short-handled and long-handled as most weeding tools will fall into one of these two categories.
Many short-handled weeding tools are very similar in design to their longer-handled counterparts. However, the bulk of these tools have their own unique shapes and designs as they are intended to be used for very specific types of weeding.
The concept behind shorter handled weeding tools is to give you a tool that will give your more control to help you avoid uprooting valuable plants, while at the same time giving you enough leverage to make the job as easy as possible.
Depending on the styles and locations of your gardens and the types of weeding (i.e. around plants, between pavers, etc.), you may find you need several different types of weeding tool to get the job done.
While the standard hoe is the most common member of the long-handled weeding tool category, there are more gimmicky tools in this category than you can imagine (I know, I tried a few).
Picture if you will those infomercials touting tools that make weeding so easy ever your kids will love I and you understand what I mean. These tools are made for you to use in a standing position, which might be the better choice for those with back problems.
The 6 Most Common Types of Weeding Situations
As stated, different types of weeding call for different weeding tools. So let's take a closer look at the differences and what type of tools might make the best weeding tool for each task.
1. All-Round Weeding
While you may find that you prefer separate weeding tools for each task, there are a few tools out there that can be used for just about any type of weeding in your gardens. Most of these tools are going to fall into the short-handle category.
While this does mean you will spend your weeding time on your knees, these smaller tools let you get closer to each individual weed so that you can remove them without causing any damage to your plants. This category includes tools such as these:
Both of these tools feature ergonomically shaped handles and blades that are designed to help you get around and under the roots of the weeds in your garden so that you can remove them easily.
2. Bulk Weeding
When you have large areas of unbroken ground, need to remove weeds in a garden area that has been left to its own resources for too long, or need to clean up the garden plants at the end of the season, you need a tool that is going to make the job as easy as possible.
A propane powered garden torch is considered to be the best choice for this type of weeding.
At 100,000 BTU, this propane torch will turn any plant, living or dead, weed or not, into ashes in seconds.
3. When Accessibility is an Issue
When you have a bad back, weeding the garden can seem like a painful and often insurmountable task. Bending over or working on your knees for long periods of time can be virtually impossible.
Fortunately, there are a number of long-handled weeding tools designed to make pulling the weeds out of your garden something you can do by yourself rather than having to pay your kids, or someone else's to do the work for you.
Typically, these tools (see image) feature a foot pedal that closes the jaws around the weed so that you can easily pull it out of the ground. An ejector button at the top releases the jaws and lets the weed fall out. Not only do you get to pull the weeds out of your garden, your hands stay nice and clean.
4. Paved Pathways and Other Hard to Get to Areas
The cracks between the pavers you used to build your patio and pathways can be really hard to keep the weeds out of. Many crops are grown so close together, trying to weed between them tends to be so challenging, it almost never gets done.
What you need is a tool that has a long thin blade, one that sits at 90 degrees to the handle. This way once you reach the spot where the weeds live, you have the leverage to remove them easily.
While this tool comes with a short handle, the company that makes it also sells an extension handle that makes this tool far more versatile and can help ease back pain while you clean up those cracks.
5. Garden Bed Weeding
If you are like me and like to get up close and personal with your plants and weeds, you probably spend a lot of time on your knees. Also, if you are like me, your soil is probably nice and soft, which should make it easy to pull those annoying weeds.
This is the perfect place for a finger weeder. Essentially these are a tool that is designed to slip over one of your fingers (usually the index finger) and has a forked tip that can be used to dig around the weeds so you can remove them easily.
Simple and oh so easy to use, I have one of these and absolutely love it for those times when I am practicing my own form of "zen" gardening.
6. Bigger Weeds
While a ring weeder is perfect for smaller weeds it may not be the best weeding tool for tackling those bigger ones. One of my favorite tools for this job is the Japanese Hori Hori knife. This tool is perfect for digging deeper into the ground to remove bigger weeds with ease.
The best ones have a sharp knife edge on one side and a serrated edge that can be used to cut through roots on the other. The blade is usually concave and often has a ruler engraved into it for measure spaces between plants and rows or planting depths.
The riveted wood handle and extra sharp dual purpose blade make this an excellent choice for weeding your garden. The stainless-steel blade features a full tang for added strength and durability.
Our Top Manual Weeder Picks in Each Category
Now that you have a better idea of what you should look for in weeding tools for your garden adventure, let's look at one of the best weeding tools in each category.
Fiskars Softouch Weeder
Extra-large ergonomically shaped handle for added comfort and controllability
This weeder has a curved head with twin tines designed to give you plenty of leverage for uprooting even the toughest weeds. It is perfect for removing thistles and dandelions.
The head is made from long-lasting aluminum that will never rust or corrode. The Softgrip handle helps reduce wrist and hand fatigue when you spend hours out in the garden.
Softgrip handle is comfortable and durable
You have to work while on your knees
Aluminum head will not rust
Metal head is not strong enough to use in clay soil
Head design make removing weeds easier
Tines are short and close together
Red Dragon 100,000-BTU Propane Vapor Torch Kit
Burns everything in its path with ease
All you need to get started is a 20-lb. tank of propane and a way to light the fire. This weed burner has been given the National Home Gardening Club Member Tested Seal-of-Approval.
When turned all the way up, flame temperature can reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which will burn virtually anything, especially weeds, that gets in its way. The best part is you can use this torch for more than burning weeds, you can use it to thaw frozen water lines, melt ice and snow, burn stumps and heavy brush, and more.
Easy to use
Working with live fire
Burns everything to ash
Definite fire risk
Comes with 10 feet of hose
May not kill the roots
Yard Butler RKT-1000 Rocket Weeder Steel Weed Remover
Stand up, use your foot, and remove weeds with ease
When you can't get down on your knees to pull weeds or you simply prefer not to, the Yard Butler may be just what you are looking for. It makes pulling weeds from a standing position fast and easily.
All you have to do is open the jaws, dig down around the roots and push down on the foot operated lever. The jaws will seize the weed tightly so that you can pull it out. The quick-release button lets you drop the weed in your wheelbarrow or bucket.
Easy to use
Not for use on tough weeds
Leaves holes that must be filled in
Ergonomic handle design
Poor handle design
Paved Pathways and Other Hard to Get to Areas
GARDENA 8928 Hand Patio Weeder Combi System
Perfect for those difficult spots like cracks between paving stones
We all know how hard it can be to clean out weeds growing between paving stones, in the cracks between the sidewalk and your walls. This simple tool is thin enough to slip into these cracks with ease and sharp enough to get under the weeds and rip them out of the ground.
Best of all the kit contains an extension handle that lets you use it when standing up as well as when you are kneeling.
Long handle can slip out
Comes with long handle extension
Has few other uses
Blade is sharp
Garden Bed Weeding
The Ring Weeder
One hand or rather one finger weeding
When you have raised garden beds, the last thing you need is to be trying to use large garden tools to remove any weeds that grow.
This simple weeding tool slips on a finger so that you can weed your garden beds by hand. The twin prongs let you dig under the roots so that you can easily pluck the weeds from your garden.
Easy to use
Plastic may break
Twin prongs let you dig under weeds
Small and easy to lose
You get 3 per package
May be too big for small hands
Hori Hori Garden Knife with Free Diamond Sharpening Rod and Leather Sheath
The Ultimate garden weeding tool
The Japanese Hori Hori knife may truly be the ultimate gardening tool. This one has a 7-inch blade made from 420 stainless steel that will provide you with many years of flawless performance.
The blade features a razor-sharp edge on one side and a sharp serrated edge on the other. The tang extends all the way into the handle which is held together with 3 rivets for added strength. You also get a thick leather sheath and a diamond sharpening rod.
Top quality 420 stainless steel blade
Metal tang protrudes from handle
Heavy-duty leather sheath
Rivets not set flush in handle
Extremely sharp blade
Sharp edges of tang can cut handle
Down to the Last Weed
There are so many different types of weeding tools on the market it can be very hard to know which of them is the best weeding tool for your needs.
While I wish I could tell which of these is my favorite, I have, to be honest, I have at least one of each in my toolbox. Each type of tool gets used for specific purposes. But, if I had to choose one, it would be the Hori Hori knife because it has so many uses.
If you buy one of these, you are sure to fall in love with it, I guarantee it!
Consider usign some weed prevention methods to have less weeding issues.
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