The Best Hand Trowels
Are you looking for a comfortable, rust resistant hand trowel you can use for digging, transplanting and more?
We’ve lined up five of the best garden hand trowels available online right now – check out our reviews and the further details on these trowels, and at the end of the guide, read up on what we have to say about the humble trowel in general!
In This Review
Best Budget Friendly Hand Trowel
Spear & Jackson
This budget friendly hand trowel is great for the beginner, and it comes from one of the best manufacturers of all garden tools on the market right now. Finished with an export and resistance against all kinds of rust, it also has a weatherproof handle and a leather strap, making it really easy to keep hold of.
Dimensions: 32 x 8 x 9cm
Blade Material: Steel
Best For Smaller Hands
Boasting a fibreglass synthetic handle and blade, this is one of well – the fanciest – hand trowel choices available to buy right now. But is it one of the best? This is specifically a planting and flower trowel, meaning it’s comfortable and hardy for long gardening stints. It should also be easy to handle if you have smaller hands. It’s fully reinforced and has a pointed blade, meaning it is made for sharp digs into the soil.
Dimensions: 4.7 x 29.1 x 8.3cm
Blade Material: Plastic
Best Universal Hand Trowel
Make gardening a doddle with this ‘universal’ hand trowel, ideal for planting and gardening over long stints. Well suited to those gardeners looking for a comfortable handle, this benefits from corrosion resistant steel, and boasts an ergonomic handle design to help make all those gardening jobs that little bit easier. It’s also a great trowel for some of the worst gardening jobs such as weeding.
Dimensions: 33.5 x 8 x 4.5cm
Blade Material: Plastic and Steel
Premium Planters Transplanter
This Fiskars planter stainless steel hand trowel is designed and made for all those planting jobs across your gardens where you’d normally need to bend and work hard for hours at a time. It comes with a pointed, stainless steel piece as its head, and it’s nice and comfortable even when used over long bursts of time. Ideal for those of us gardeners who spend a lot of time seeding and rebulbing across our gardens.
Dimensions: 4 x 27.5 x 7cm
Blade Material: Stainless Steel Alloy
Do I need a trowel?
A garden trowel is a great little tool that you can use to get down and deep into the soil, whether you’re digging up weeds or planting seeds. A stainless steel trowel, or garden trowels built in carbon steel, are likely to be even better, some gardeners might argue!
Over time you might find you need a garden hand trowel if you want to dig precisely into the ground. A fork or spade is only going to do so much, and at a distance, you’re not really going to get the same precision and control as you would from a hand trowel.
Built in stainless steel, the best garden trowels will help you to carefully dig holes and sift through soil so that you can prepare to sow seeds, as well as to get rid of nasty perennial weeds. The garden trowel is something of a staple tool for most gardeners, so if you don’t already have a hand trowel in your arsenal, it’s time to make a purchase.
Luckily, if you’re in the market for a stainless steel hand trowel, we’re here to help. Just consult our buying guide above and hunt down the best garden hand trowel for your needs! Your trowel is likely to be one of the best garden tools to have to hand in a pinch.
What is the best garden hand trowel?
It’s probably pretty easy to assume all garden trowel tools do the same thing, but you might find that some garden tools really differ in terms of comfort, ease of use, and diggability!
You should be looking, first of all, for a good quality metal head or tip. A heavy duty stainless steel hand trowel, for example, is likely to withstand years of use and will withstand weather damage. The same goes for carbon steel, too. Look for a hand garden trowel that boasts a good heavy duty tip or blade and you’ll have hours of digging pleasure to come!
Do also check that your perfect hand trowel is built with your hands in mind! The best hand trowels should have ergonomic grips to make sure that there is low risk of fatigue. For example, ensure the handle is made from a material or is in a shape that’s not going to dig into your palms or cause you strain over long periods. These trowel choices will be long lasting and easy to use, too.
High quality hand trowels should not only be rust resistant and long lasting, but should also be ready for all kinds of uses. These great tools aren’t just perfect for bulb planting and digging holes! They are superb for aerating the soil, too. Try looking for a steel blade on your garden tool that’s going to make a genuine difference to the way you manage your garden.
Of course, try to look at the size of your garden trowel, too. Look for something with a wood handle that’s built for smaller hands if need be. The last thing you are going to need while digging into the soil is to struggle with a heavy duty trowel that slips out of your grip.
Regardless of whether you opt for a stainless steel trowel or otherwise, we’d also seriously recommend you look at a tool with a lifetime warranty. This means you have the reassurance that your trowel is going to weather the years to come, regardless of whether it is built in stainless steel or not.
You might also want to look for tools such as transplanting trowel options. The transplanting trowel is one of the best tools for getting seeds and plants in place. If you know what’s good for your plants, look for reviews on the best set of transplanter trowel designs for your gardens!
What is the difference between a trowel and a transplanter?
There’s not too much difference between a garden hand trowel and transplanter, as they are both useful for digging up soil, but a transplanter will be used mainly for planting seeds and bulbs.
You’ll generally find the steel blade on a transplanter is much narrower and slimmer, for example, than the wide head or blade on an everyday garden trowel. Therefore, they are likely to be much more precise in helping you to dig out the right furrows for your seeds and growths for the months and years ahead.
The best hand trowel choices gardeners tend to buy for transplanting and setting plants will actually be ideal for normal digging, too. One of the main things you should be looking for in a good trowel is whether or not it’s set to handle one job or several. You should look to buy a comfortable garden trowel which can tackle as many jobs across your gardens as possible.
Otherwise, why by several trowels? Look for a design that’s easy to adapt – buy a several piece set if you really want that precision attack, but ask other gardeners what they suggest, and they may like to tell you a heavy duty, rust free hand trowel that does multiple jobs is going to be your best option.
How do you maintain a hand trowel
To maintain a hand trowel properly, you are going to need to clean and care for the blade and handle.
Whether the handles you are looking at are wooden or plastic, they are still going to need a little work from you to keep them working well for everyday use. Hand trowels might not come with all kinds of fancy features, but cleaning them properly really makes a difference.
You should generally take time to clean your garden trowel after each time it is used. Otherwise, the head or blade may clog down with dirt, and that’s going to make it less effective from use to use. A simple wet rag will help with this – if you like – but then you’ll need to dry it down and prepare it for oiling.
Yes – you might sometimes need to oil the head of your trowel! Not all hand trowels are designed to be so resistant against rust. Therefore, the best hand trowel available likely comes with a stack of rust resistance as one of its many features. However, learning to oil your trowel regularly isn’t something that’s too difficult to bend to, and it’s really not that much work.
Oiling your trowel blade regularly is a great idea. Older trowels and the like – such as those which are cheaper and which have a more classic design – will likely need a little more in the way of TLC. That’s why it’s always ideal to stock up on quality oil before you take any trowel into your gardens and start weeding.
Above all, you should be ready to store your tool in a cool and dry place if you want to keep it at good quality for the years to come. Unfortunately, one of the less desirable features of your average garden trowel is that it can take some work to get dirt and soil off. That’s why cleaning, oiling and safely storing the head, at least, are absolutely essential.
This all sounds a little bit more work than you’d expect, but don’t worry – it’s really easy to get your hand trowel looking and working well over the years to come. In fact, if you buy a great quality trowel in the first place, there’s every chance you won’t have to put this level of work in.
What makes a hand trowel or basic garden trowel such a useful tool? You’d have to ask seasoned gardeners! Ultimately, we really like garden trowels for the fact that they are designed for digging and transplanting without you having to bend too far or to strain yourself. One of the best features of any hand trowel is that it makes light work of what might otherwise be a pretty tough job.
Find a piece or tool that’s ideal for you – compare the types of spear and handle above and, as always, read those verified buyer reviews to get the full lowdown!