Which Is The Best Garden Hand Trowel?

A good garden hand trowel should penetrate easily into the soil, be lightweight and have an ergonomic handle that’s comfortable in your hand. Furthermore, it should be durable.

The best garden hand trowels are versatile, meaning they can do a number of tasks in the garden from planting seedlings to digging up onions or Jerusalem artichokes. They also double up as mini spades, helping you collect soil, compost and other garden materials.

In this buying guide, I recommend the best garden hand trowels you can order online in the UK. I also have some tips to help you compare different trowels and pick the right one.

Features to Consider When Choosing a Garden Hand Trowel

A. Build Quality

A cheap plastic hand trowel is tempting, but you’ll end up replacing it in no time when it inevitably breaks.

A hand trowel with a metal blade will last longer, especially if you garden a lot. It’ll cost you more, but it’ll save you money in the long term and give you a better gardening experience.

Most metal garden hand trowels are made with stainless steel, which has excellent corrosion resistant. Cheaper carbon steel trowels are not as corrosion-resistant, but they are still better than plastic trowels.

B, Lightweight

Even as you get a durable heavy duty hand trowel, make sure it’s not too heavy. A heavy trowel will tire your hand quickly, turning your beloved gardening time into a tedious chore.

Also, it will be harder to plant, transplant and do other gardening activities with a trowel that feels heavy in your hand.

To keep weight down, most gardening hand trowels use metal in the blade only. The handle is a lighter material like plastic, rubber or wood.

The best and easiest to use gardening hand trowels weigh 300 grams or less.

C. Ergonomic Handle

Weight is not the only factor that affects how comfortable a particular trowel is to use. The design of the handle matters too.

The handle should fit perfectly in your hand – not too wide and not too thin. It should also provide a good grip and have a nice balanced feel.

I love garden hand trowels with wood or rubber handles. Some have a contoured shape to fit more comfortably in your hand.

If you get a trowel with a plastic handle, make sure it has grooves or contouring to improve grip. Plastic can get slippery.

D. Size

The size of the trowel is important for comfort as well as gardening effectiveness. You don’t want to get a trowel that’s too big that it’s heavy and unwieldy. On the other hand, you don’t want one that’s too dainty to be any good in the garden.

To find a good balance, look at the trowel’s length and width.

The best hand trowels have an overall length of around 30cm, take or give a couple of centimetres. This is long enough to give you a good reach into the soil when you are on a garden kneeler, but not too long that the trowel becomes cumbersome.

An exception is if you prefer gardening while bent down rather than kneeling. In that case, get a long-handled trowel that gives you a longer reach. Gardeners on a wheelchair or mobility scooter will also appreciate the long reach of a 40cm or longer trowel.

Next, check the width of the blade at its widest point. The magic number is 8-10cm. That’s narrow enough for a wide variety of gardening tasks, including digging up small tubers, and wide enough for the trowel to double up as a mini spade when you need to scoop soil, compost and other materials.

Best Garden Hand Trowels: Top 5 Reviews

1. GARDENA Classic Hand Trowel

The GARDENA Classic Hand Trowel is the best choice for most gardeners. It’s durable, lightweight and comfortable to use.

The trowel is made with steel that has a corrosion-resistant coating. To show just how well made it is, Gardena offers a 25-year warranty.

Despite being metal, the Gardena hand trowel measures a light 240 grams.

The handle is designed to fit perfectly in your hand and provide a good non-slip grip. There’s a dotted area at the top where you rest your thumb to get a good grip, and the bottom is curved so that your hand doesn’t slip off the handle especially when it’s wet.

The only thing I don’t like about the handle is that it is hard plastic, not rubber. This may cause some discomfort for gardeners with tender hands.

The Gardena trowel is the perfect size for most gardening tasks whether it’s planting, transplanting, harvesting or scooping. It is 33.5cm long from the tip of the handle to the end of the metal blade. The blade is 8cm wide at its widest point.

What I like about it:

  • Durable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Incudes hole on handle for easy storage.
  • Ergonomic handle.

2. Fiskars Solid Planters Trowel

If you are looking for a gardening hand trowel that’s even lighter, I recommend this one by Fiskars. It weighs just 96 grams.

The secret to its ultra-lightweight design is in its construction. Instead of metal like most garden hand trowels, the Fiskars hand trowel is made with plastic.

I know, that doesn’t sound good. But this is not just any plastic; its fibreglass-reinforced plastic.

This makes a big difference. While an ordinary plastic trowel would probably break in no time, customers have had their Fiskars trowel for years without even a crack.

The fiberglass and plastic combo allow the Fiskars trowel to be super light while offering the durability of a metal trowel.

Another secret to the Fiskars trowel’s strength and longevity is its single-mould construction. The entire trowel, from the handle to the tip of the blade, is a single piece. There’s no weak point where the trowel can crack or break.

The plastic construction also means you don’t have to worry about rust and corrosion, even if you accidentally leave the trowel out in the garden for days.

As for performance, the Fiskars trowel digs into the garden and scoops up soil and tubers just as effectively as a metal blade.

Its 29cm length gives you good reach into the soil and the 8.3cm wide scoop is perfect for a variety of gardening activities.

What I like about it:

  • Very light yet durable.
  • Contoured handle.
  • Hole for hanging.
  • Easy to clean.

3. Spear & Jackson 2058NS Select Carbon Steel Hand Trowel

If you prefer a hand trowel with a soft grip handle, I recommend this one from Spear & Jackson.

The soft handle feels comfortable in your hand and is especially suitable for gardeners whose skin blisters easily. It is also helpful if your gardening sessions run for hours at a time.

The blade is made with heat treated carbon steel. It’s strong, digs easily into the soil and is likely to last for years. To keep out corrosion, the metal part is powder coated.

The Spear & Jackson hand trowel is 32.5cm long and 8cm wide at the widest part of the blade. This is the perfect size for most gardening activities.

The Spear & Jackson trowel is a bit heavy compared to other trowels because of the thick rubber handle and the metal construction. But at 300g, it’s still light enough even for elderly gardeners.

What I like about it:

  • Durable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Soft handle.
  • Hole in handle for easy storage on a hook.

4. Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens 3080KEW Stainless Steel Hand Trowel

If you are looking for a long-handled garden hand trowel, I recommend Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens stainless steel trowel.

It has a 30cm handle and an overall length of 49cm. The increased length is great for gardeners who don’t want to bend down too much or kneel. It also works better for gardeners on a wheel chair or mobility scooter.

The blade is stainless steel, so you can be sure it will last a long time. The wooden handle is the weak point because of rotting. But with good care (don’t leave it outside and wipe it dry after cleaning it), it should last as long as the blade.

Despite its longer size, the Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens trowel is not that much heavier than other trowels. It weighs 305 grams, so most gardeners should be able to use it without a problem.

Our only complaint is that a rubber handle would have been better. The wooden handle can cause blisters when gardening for long periods. It also lacks contouring or grooves to improve grip.

As for the blade, it’s 8.5cm wide at the widest point. It’s suitable for planting, transplanting, harvesting and other activities. Because of the long handle, you can also use the blade to dig deeper into the tub to harvest tubers or loosen the soil.

What I like about it:

  • Long handle.
  • Durable steel blade.
  • Lightweight.

5. Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel

If your garden consists of soil that’s difficult to handle like clay, the Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel hand trowel is the best choice.

The curved stainless steel blade and contoured wooden handle make it easy to work with difficult soils. It‘s also great for loosening hard and compacted gardens.

You can also use the trowel to plant, transplant, harvest and scoop soil or compost.

The handle is just the right thickness for most people and has a contoured shape for a better fit and to prevent slipping when wet. A leather strap attached to the handle allows you to hang the trowel from a hook or nail on the wall.

What I like about it:

  • Durable construction – comes with a 10-year guarantee.
  • Leather strap for easy storage.
  • Ergonomic handle.
  • Lightweight – weigh 240 grams.

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