Best garden hand trowels - BBC Gardeners' World magazine

7 of the best garden hand trowels on test

Looking for a new hand trowel? Browse our pick of the very best, from budget to premium models.

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Our expert testers trial hundreds of garden tools to work out which will do the job well and offer the best value, comfort and quality.

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We’ve tested essentials like the best garden spades and best hoes as well as more specific kit like the best spray guns and best secateurs.

In this article, we review the best garden hand trowels for different needs and clearly list the pros and cons of each one. Each gardening trowel has been assessed thoroughly by our gardening experts and has been awarded a clear star rating out of 5. Only tools scoring at least 4 out of 5 stars have made it onto our recommended list.

Plus, if you’re looking for ideas on other types of gardening kit to make your work a little more comfortable, have a look at our pick of some of the best garden kneelers and best gardening shoes.

7 best garden hand trowels

Find out how our top-rated hand trowels fared in our expert testing below:


1

Kent and Stowe Heart Shaped Hand Trowel

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Kent and Stowe Heart Shaped Hand Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Kent and Stowe Heart Shaped Hand Trowel

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Well balanced
  • Good depth to head
  • Ideal for weeding, digging and planting

Cons:

  • Pointed head not ideal for scooping

Our testers were impressed with this heart-shaped trowel from Kent and Stowe. We thought it was the best garden hand trowel for use on difficult ground and awarded it Best Buy status. The sharp point on the carbon-steel head was a big win with our experts, who found the trowel worked well when digging and planting in stony ground. Plus it’s great for weeding in and around plants and rows on the veg plot. It’s comfortable to use, with an FSC-certified ash handle and handy leather hanging strap. It comes with a 10 year warranty.


2

DeWit Planting Trowel

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

DeWit DeWit Planting Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World magazine
DeWit DeWit Planting Trowel

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Great for most jobs
  • Strong and long lasting
  • Excellent quality and value

Cons:

  • Hanging hole rubs

This tempered carbon-steel head has been hand-crafted and has bevelled edges and a sharp, pointed tip. Ours testers loved the workmanship on this model and awarded it a Best Buy for quality and value. It’s sturdy too and effectively cuts through all types of soil, plus it comes with a lifetime warranty.


3

Niwaki Moku Trowel (large)

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Niwaki Moku Trowel (large) - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Niwaki Moku Trowel (large)

Pros:

  • Light, comfortable, strong and sturdy
  • Digs, weeds and plants effortlessly
  • Excellent quality

Cons:

  • Best for light use
  • Small

Another hand crafted, carbon-steel tool, our experts awarded the Niwaki model Best Buy status as the best premium performing trowel. All garden jobs, including digging, weeding and planting are virtually effortless for this Japanese tool and the Beech wood handle is comfortable to hold when working. It comes with a two year guarantee.


4

Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel

Pros:

  • Great for scooping, digging and weeding
  • Comfortable
  • Light and well balanced
  • Well-made and long lasting

Cons:

  • Best for lighter soil

Our expert testers judged the Wilkinson Sword stainless steel trowel as the best garden hand trowel for all round use, awarding it Best Buy status. The narrow ash handle is comfortable to use and it’s weatherproofed to keep it in good shape. The traditional head of the trowel is well scooped and sharp to help it cut efficiently through the soil but it’s also useful for potting on and planting. It comes with  a 10 year warranty.


5

Gardena Comfort Hand Trowel

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Gardena Comfort Hand Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Gardena Comfort Hand Trowel

Pros:

  • Light and comfortable
  • Built to last
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Cumbersome for some jobs
  • Not for small hands

This is a light and comfortable gardening trowel to use but one that still feels strong and works well for planting. The corrosion-resistant steel head is long and large and great for planting but it could be awkward to use during tasks like weeding, particularly for smaller hands. It’s guaranteed for 25 years.


6

Sneeboer Transplanting Trowel Half Round

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Sneeboer Transplanting Trowel Half Round - BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Sneeboer Transplanting Trowel Half Round

Pros:

  • Rust resistant and strong
  • Excellent quality
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Poor leverage
  • Expensive

Our expert testers thought this stainless steel trowel worked best on lighter soils. It’s comfortable to use and well balanced, but doesn’t have as good leverage as others in the test. However, the ash handle is comfortable, made from FSC certified wood and comes with a warranty of one year. The head has a warranty of 10 years.


7

Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Collection Never Bend Carbon Hand Trowel

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Collection Never Bend Carbon Hand Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Collection Never Bend Carbon Hand Trowel

Pros:

  • Good leverage
  • Simple but sturdy
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Stumpy handle, best for smaller hands
  • Feels heavy
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This gardening trowel by Spear and Jackson has good leverage and works well for both digging and planting. The carbon-steel head feels sturdy while the FSC certified ash handle is weatherproofed for enhanced durability, but it is quite short and therefore best for smaller hands. It’s guaranteed for 15 years.