ISSUE 43  |  Lessons from Japan

Tools of the Trade: Japanese Garden Tools

October 28, 2014 10:00 AM

BY Janet Hall

The tool kit of Japanese master gardeners is the object of envy. Luckily for amateurs, beautifully made and durable Japanese garden tools are within easy reach. Here’s a collection of our favorites.


Above: The word Hori means “to dig” in Japanese. The Stainless Steel Hori Hori Knife is also fantastic for sawing, trimming, cutting, and transplanting in the garden. The two-sided blade on this Japanese gardening tool has a straight edge for weeding and cultivating, and a serrated edge for cutting roots, dividing plants, and trimming branches. Handmade at a 50-year-old workshop in Japan, it comes with a non-leather sheath; $34.95 from Williams-Sonoma.

Michelle’s a fan: see why in My Most Versatile Gardening Tool: Hori Hori Knife.

tobisho-fixAbove: As featured in our recent post Top Tools of our Favorite Gardeners, Tobisho offers handmade pruners of laminated high carbon and stainless steel. Hand forged, the Japanese gardening tool Tobisho Pruners are $118 from Paxton Gate. Photograph via Fine Tools.


Above: A versatile staple of Japanese gardening tools, the Japanese Cuttle Fish Hoe is a strong, solid forged hoe on one side and a heavy duty cultivator on the other; $42.95 at the Garden Tool Company.


Above: A Japanese hand saw, such as the Silky Gomboy 210 Folding Landscaping Saw with hollow-cut teeth and smooth parallel sides, cuts through branches quickly and smoothly; $28.64 through Amazon.


Above: Handcrafted in Japan with a high-carbon steel blade and a pine handle, the Short Handle Nejiri Weeder is coveted for one-handed weeding; $12.95 at Williams Sonoma.


Above: With a serrated stainless steel blade set at a 30-degree angle, a Short-Bladed Root Cutter is the perfect tool to stick down a hole to cut a root or stalk; $21.50 at Garrett Wade.

Updating your tool collection? See:

This is an update of a post published on June 20, 2012.