The Best Garden Trowels for All You Lawn Lovers

Introduction

Having the best garden trowel means you have a jack-of-all-trades in your garden because a trowel is one of the most versatile and useful tools you can ever own. It may be small and simple but it can do a long list of tasks like digging, breaking up earth, mixing in fertilizer, and transplanting, among others.

However, although the humble garden hand trowel is very basic, it does come in all shapes and sizes in stores, making trowel-shopping difficult and confusing. That is the reason we decided to come up with this guide. Aside from having garden trowel reviews, this article will also go over some of the things that make top garden trowels.

Buying Guide and FAQ

Although even the best garden trowel has only two parts--the handle and the blade--there are at least six things you need to consider when shopping for this gardening tool. Those are the following:

Price

Despite being one of the most important tools in gardening, hand trowels are generally inexpensive. You can find most trowels to fall within the $5 to $20 range while only a select few sell for as high as $30 or more.

However, just because a garden trowel is cheap does not mean it is of low quality or that it performs poorly. In fact, thousands of gardeners will tell you that the best garden trowels they have owned cost under $20. They do not think twice about buying cheap trowels because those work just fine.

What usually makes a trowel expensive is the blade. There are garden trowels with blades that are forged out of specialized steel or some other material or alloy, giving the trowel unique properties.

Although that sounds attractive, you do not always need to go for a “special” trowel. Ultimately, you have to find one that serves your needs well. For example, there is no point in investing in a garden trowel that is marketed for its super strength (which comes with a super price too!) if you only garden occasionally.

Handle

When it comes to handles, it is all about what is comfortable to you. You need to look not just at the material but also at its shape or design. The best garden trowels have handles that ergonomically optimize grip and enhance comfort at the same time.

Make sure to choose a garden trowel with a good handle. Aside from letting you finish your work faster, a nicely designed and well-made handle can greatly reduce or delay the onset of fatigue especially during heavy gardening work.

Rubber is a good choice of material for trowel handles. Try to stay away from garden trowels with plastic handles if you can unless you will not be using it that often. Plastic is hard and can be uncomfortable to hold for long gardening periods.

You may also want to look for handles that have grooves or depressions for your fingers because those features can improve grip as well. Pay attention to the hanging hole too. It is a small detail that many gardeners overlook until they have to find a storage area for their trowels.

Blade

There are several things to consider when looking at different gardening trowel blades. First you need to see how curved it is and if it matches the kind of job you are going to use it for.

The more concave a blade is, the better it will do at digging into gravel, soil, etc. A nice curve also reinforces a blade’s strength and keeps it from breaking easily due to heavy loads.

The next thing you need to take a look at is the width and shape of the blade. The advantage of wide blades is that they are able to carry or scoop more soil. Narrower blades, on the other hand, can dig more easily but will not lift much.

You also want to consider the shape of the blade, especially of its tip. Is it pointed or rounded? Again, your choice of tip should depend on what kind of work you will be doing in your garden.

There are also blades with special features that add to the trowel’s versatility. Serrated blade edges, for example, make a trowel better at cutting stubborn roots and the like.

Finally, of course you have to pay attention to what material the blade is made of. You want heavy-duty stainless steel, aluminum alloy, or other materials that are rust-resistant and can withstand the activities of the most abusive gardener.

We do not recommend ever going for a plastic blade unless you will only be using it for light jobs every now and then or giving it as a gift for a child!

On the other hand, if you are feeling like splurging on a garden trowel, you might like ones with blades made out of copper alloy, which does a good job of absorbing water and keeping pests out.

Leverage

You need leverage especially if you will be doing a lot of digging and scooping up heavy items like rocks with your garden trowel. This is why you have to find a model that is designed specifically to function as a mini-lever without requiring too much exertion from your wrist. The higher the handle is relative to the blade, the better the leverage.

Weight

Trowels are generally light and do not vary much in terms of weight. However, you start to feel the impact of every ounce after you have been using one continuously for hours. Find a garden trowel that will not take a toll on your wrist even with prolonged use.

Many models have reinforced handles that are designed for better grip but tend to be on the heavier side. Those will do for quick gardening work but not for those times you want to spend the entire day working on your lawn.

Portability

There are models that fold and can fit in your pocket. You may get one of those if you will be taking your trowel around with you and do not have a decent toolkit. However, we do not recommend that you put such trowels to heavy use because their joints (where they fold) tend to break easily.

Top Brands

When it comes to the best garden trowels and other gardening tools, it is impossible not to hear about companies like Wilcox, DeWit, and Fiskars. Wilcox is known for being a top manufacturer of professional-grade, heavy-duty digging tools. They are based in Iowa and proudly offer products that are made in the USA.

DeWit, on the other hand, has a long history in the tools industry. The company was established in Holland in 1898 and is now being operated by the fourth generation of the same family that founded it.

History is also the most interesting piece of information about Fiskars. The company was founded in the mid-1600’s in Finland and now carry several world-renowned brands that produce a wide range of tools--from gardening and home improvement to classroom and craft tools.

Aside from having a rich background, these companies have one thing in common: It is not marketing that propelled them to success but the tested and proven quality of their products. Year after year, these companies produce quality tools, which are constantly lauded by both experienced and new gardeners for their durability and effectiveness.

Reviews of the Best Garden Trowels

SE Stainless Steel Folding Trowel

SE Trowel

The SE is a sleek-looking folding trowel made out of high-grade stainless steel. It is recommended for use during camping trips and the like. Its folding design enables it to fit in small bag pockets without being a nuisance.

Main Features

Folding Design - The key feature of the SE is its foldable handle, which is bent to form a U-shape that locks into the sharp point of the head when folded. The problem with this design is that although it does a good job of folding, it does not lock open.

That means there is a great possibility that the trowel will fold while in use, especially when digging. That is more than just inconvenient because it increases the risk of injury.

Customer Feedback

The good comments about this compact trowel is mainly about its rugged nature. According to many users, this tool can withstand moderate to heavy use outdoors.

Meanwhile, the most prevalent negative review we see is about the faulty handle structure and its relatively smaller size compared to standard trowels.

Things We Liked

  • Compact and folding
  • Strong steel construction
  • Can withstand rugged use

Things We Did't Like

  • Handle design does not seem ergonomic
  • No lock to keep trowel unfolded when in use

The Verdict

We do not doubt customer claims that this trowel can stand heavy use because that is what stainless steel does best. However, it is missing a simple mechanism for locking the handle open, which should have been considered a given in the first place.

Radius Garden 100 Ergonomic Aluminum Hand Trowel

Radius trowel

The ergonomic aluminum hand trowel’s blade is made of high-grade aluminum and magnesium, giving it strength while remaining lightweight. Much thought has also been put in the design of the handle, which aims to give more than comfort.

Main Features

Natural Radius Grip - Aside from letting you have a good grip of the trowel, the patented Natural Radius Grip handle design provides for maximum leverage without requiring much effort from you. At the same time, it helps reduce fatigue and stress on the wrist during extended use.

Santoprene thermoplastic elastomer is used as protective coating for the handle. It is a non-latex material that allows the user to have full control over the handle regardless of whether it is wet or dry.

Beveled Blade - The trowel’s blade’s edges are beveled. This kind of structure is highly effective when piercing through or breaking apart hard objects such as rocky lumps of dirt.

Customer Feedback

A big chunk of the good reviews for this product are mainly about its sturdy construction and innovative design. Even people with muscle and joint issues find this tool comfortable to work with because of the handle’s curved design and soft material.

Although the 100 Ergonomic Aluminum Hand Trowel’s body and design work for some, they do have their share of detractors too. Some reviews say that the blade accumulates dirt quickly while the blade is not sharp enough to accomplish cutting tasks that are usually entrusted to trowels.

Things We Liked

  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Elastomer handle coating
  • Good and reliable blade material

Things We Did't Like

  • May not be sharp enough to cut through hard materials quickly
  • No hanging hole

The Verdict

We feel like a lot of people who have used this product before will agree that this trowel does the job, but not too well. Surely it was designed and built with the best intentions in mind, but it could be improved.

Fiskars FiberComp Trowel - Best Budget Trowel

fiskars Composite Trowel

This garden hand trowel from leading gardening tool maker Fiskars aims to do its job well with as little fuss as possible. Its body is forged out of a single sheet of Nyglass (nylon and fiberglass) composite, which is known for being remarkably lightweight but long-lasting and allegedly stronger than steel.

Main Features

One-Piece FiberComp® Design - FiberComp® is defined by Fiskars as “an advanced composite of fiberglass in a thermoset polymer matrix.” In the case of the FiberComp Trowel, this composite comprises of fiberglass and nylon, which are both known for their durability and rust-resistant properties.

Meanwhile, since the handle and the blade are forged out of a single sheet of composite, there is a relatively smaller chance of breaking compared to two-piece trowels, which tend to break where the handles and the blades join.

Oversized Head - the FiberComp® Trowel has a big tool head, which makes it ideal for digging. With its blade size, it is able to dispose more dirt for a speedier job. However, its edges are still not quite sharp enough to be used for cutting roots and weeds quickly and easily.

Oversized Handle - This garden trowel has a fat, easy-to-grasp handle with a large hanging hole.

Customer Feedback

Most of the positive comments online revolve around the product’s durability and affordability. Some reviewers have been using their FiberComp® trowel for years and have bought several of it.

The one issue that many people notice is that contrary to what the manufacturer claims, the Nyglass composite material that make the blade and the handle does not seem to be so strong after all. In some cases, the trowel broke after just a couple of uses.

There are also comments which say that this trowel does not seem to be sturdy enough for clay and other hard outdoor soil.

Things We Liked

  • One-piece design is smart
  • Big hanging hole
  • Very affordable

Things We Did't Like

  • Not as sharp as steel
  • Does not seem to hold up well against outdoor soil

The Verdict

To sum it up, we think Fiskars’ FiberComp® trowel is intelligently designed but may need to be developed further judging from users’ feedback. The trowel works but does not cover all of what is expected of it.

Fiskars Ergo Trowel

Fiskars Ergo Trowels

The Ergo trowel’s head is not made of our favorite, stainless steel, but it is made out of the second best thing--aluminum. Because of that, the Ergo trowel can tackle on the heaviest gardening tasks while staying ultra light at a mere 3.2 oz.

Main Features

Special Handle Design - The handle design on this Fiskars trowel shows us that something does not have to be fancy in order for it to work. The trowel’s design looks common but promises to make a big difference.

Polished Aluminum Head - Aluminum is one of the top choices for tools like trowels because of its high strength-to-weight ratio. Since the blade head of the Ergo trowel is made of polished aluminum, you can be sure that it can easily cut, break, and dig without showing the slightest sign of giving up.

Customer Feedback

An overwhelming majority of the positive reviews we see for the Ergo trowel talk about how much value it gives for your money. For less than $10 you get a reliable tool that will last a long time and can survive your abuse.

Many of the negative comments are about various parts of the trowel breaking apart or not being good enough for the user. However, most of these either just reflect personal preferences or are isolated cases.

Things We Liked

  • Good construction and material
  • Simple but functional handle
  • Wide blade is ideal for digging a lot of material quickly

Things We Did't Like

  • Blade is not sharp enough for extensive cutting work
  • Padding may make the handle too big for comfortable use if you have small hands

The Verdict

For the price, the Ergo trowel is already a good buy. We believe it shines best when used for gardening work that is by no means light but is not too heavy either.

DeWit Forged Transplant Trowel with Short handle

DeWit Trowel

DeWit’s transplant trowel says exactly what it is best used for: transplanting, as well as other tasks where precision is important. Its thin body also makes it a good tool to use in narrow areas that standard trowels can’t reach.

Main Features

Steel Blade - The blade of the trowel is hand-forged out of tempered Swedish boron steel, which is a high-grade material that can be used for even the toughest applications.

Wooden Handle - The handle is made of strong and elastic ash hardwood, giving the trowel an expensive look and a lot of flexibility. However, we are not sure as to how it would fare in terms of comfort during prolonged working periods.

Customer Feedback

Most of the positive feedback from buyers are about the heirloom-worthy look of the product and the way it balances aesthetics, durability, and strength.

Things We Liked

  • Premium, durable steel for the blade
  • Good appearance
  • Solid construction should last a long time

Things We Did't Like

  • Trowel is a little on the heavy side, weighing 8 oz.
  • Wooden handle may be uncomfortable during extended work hours

The Verdict

Priced under $30, this little trowel from DeWit is a high-end tool. However, although it works as promised, we think the expensive price has more to do with novelty than with functionality.

Fiskars Big Grip Trowel - Runner-Up

Fiskars Big Grip Trowels

Measuring 2 x 4 x 13 in, the Big Grip from Fiskars is truly big and means serious business. Its blade is made of cast-aluminum, a heavy-duty material which is incredibly durable and rust-resistant.

Main Features

Oversized Head - The generous width and curve of the Big Grip’s blade is what makes it ideal for digging, transplanting, and other tasks that require you to move as much dirt as you can as quickly as possible.

Softgrip Handle - The Big Grip has an equally big handle with soft-molded, padded grips. This feature minimizes if not completely eliminates fatigue or wrist pain when working on your garden for long periods.

Customer Feedback

Many buyers are surprised with its size and even more so with its good performance despite just costing under $10. It is highly recommended because of the value it gives for your money.

Things We Liked

  • Robust body makes it great for heavy gardening tasks
  • Polished cast-aluminum looks good and is sturdy
  • Great value for money

Things We Did't Like

  • Size and handle angle may not be comfortable for people with small hands
  • Rubber on handle comes off against the skin

The Verdict

We like the Big Grip very much because it clearly prioritizes function over anything else. Its size and material make it useful for a long list of tasks that may even extend past the garden. We just hope the rubber on the handle can be improved.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Wilcox Stainless Steel Garden Trowel - Best Garden Trowels

Garden Trowel

Being long, thin, and sleek, this 14-in garden trowel from Wilcox can be used in tight or hard-to-reach areas with ease. Furthermore, it is made out of tough, 16-gauge stainless steel, which is one of the best materials out there for trowels.

Main Features

Leather Strap - Instead of putting a hanging hole on this trowel’s handle, Wilcox chose to attach a leather strap instead. We think that is okay, albeit less secure compared to a hole.

Depth Markings - There are depth markings incised on the blade to help you see just how deep you are digging. This feature is extremely beneficial when transplanting and you have to be careful not to hit bulbs, roots, and other sensitive things buried in the soil

Sharp Edges With Bevels - The head has a sharp point and beveled edges, enabling the trowel to break even the hardest and rockiest lumps of soil.

Customer Feedback

This stainless steel garden trowel is getting mostly glowing remarks from the lucky people who bought it. By “mostly,” we mean there is hardly any negative review at all. Many customers seem to agree that it is just as strong, sharp, and durable as it claims it is.

Among the few complaints we notice is a comment about how the trowel’s design encourages the buildup of dirt on the handle. There are some other negative things mentioned in passing but they seem to be isolated cases.

Things We Liked

  • It is stainless steel
  • Depth markings take the guesswork out of digging
  • Premium performance within budget

Things We Did't Like

  • Narrow blade may not be ideal for some tasks
  • Plastic handle may cause the hands to hurt when trowel is used continuously for several hours

The Verdict

We think the reason this trowel was not given a model name is so that you will remember it strictly for its indestructible nature. Stainless steel tools have quite a reputation, and this 14-in trowel from Wilcox does not deviate from that stereotype.

Conclusion

For us, the clear, landslide winner of this best garden trowels roundup is Wilcox’s stainless steel garden trowel. At first glance, it looks too skinny to be able to do any real work but the trowel proves that wrong. Its heavy-grade stainless steel blade is up for any gardening task you throw at it.

Furthermore, its blade’s incised depth markings are a small feature that no other trowel on this list has. The blade’s point and edges are also expertly engineered to be able to penetrate the most stubborn materials your lawn has.

The only pressing matter about it is its blade size, which is not as wide as the average trowel. However, we think that can even work to its advantage. You can use a thinner blade both for narrow and wide spaces but you can only use a wide blade for wide spaces.

With all these features, we did not have a hard time declaring Wilcox’s stainless steel trowel the best among the best garden trowels.

Malcare WordPress Security