Hori Hori Digging Knife
The Hori Hori Digging Knife From Japan
A Hori Hori? Well, what do we have here you may well ask!
If I had to translate Hori Hori for you, I would say this knife is called a ‘Diggy Diggy’.
A Diggy Diggy Knife.
Is that enough of a clue to what it does and how you should use it?
This incredibly sharp and slick blade, bolted to a beech handle, is a weeding tool. Basically, the Japanese version of a trowel.
I find it nicely weighted and the carbon steel blade is run by the tool makers right into the handle, making it stronger and less likely to bend or snap.
What About The Holster The Hori Hori Comes In?
The vinyl holster it comes in is a bit flimsy and silly. We guess the Japanese are so good at the tools side of things, they just don’t bother with the decoration. So don’t be alarmed if the holster doesn’t last long, it is the knife that is important.
Scratch all of the above. It now comes in a canvas sheath that is a terrible colour but will hold up longer with lots of garden use.
What is the colour of this new sheath? It is a sort of…. beige…. but not ‘ooh, these fish and chips look yummy’ beige…. more an ‘oh, this community centre kitchen could do with a freshen up’ beige…
Neither Messrs Farrow nor Ball were on hand when the sheath design was decided upon. That is what I’m saying.
But please don’t let it distract you. The knife itself is what is important!
And it will have weeds quaking to their roots….
What Else Can I Say About The Hori Hori?
As you know, I love the Japanese tools. Certainly the shiny and sharp pruning blades – which meant it was just a matter of time before I was going to try the ‘Diggy Diggy’ knife.
With a beech wood handle, a 7 inch long (or approximately 17cm) carbon steel blade, it sits beautifully in the hand. I love it, and have been messing about with it in the garden
all year for several years now.
I even started using it to plant bulbs with. Then what did I see a few weeks ago on Gardeners’ World? Monty Don himself using it to plant crocus bulbs in his orchard.
A fantastic endorsement of the Hori Hori trowel!
(I have found an earlier video of him using a slightly different hori hori knife here. This has a serrated edge and he is using it for planting crocus in his dry garden. As you can see in the video, the soil is stony but the knife, because it is Japanese steel, can be sharpened again, minimising the problems associated with cheaper steel blunting quickly when actually used.)
Using The Hori Hori
Use it for weeding, levering plants out of pots, tracing bindweed roots through the soil, planting bulbs and just looking cool, Crocodile Dundee style, whilst in your garden.
Please note, though the knife is stronger than a regular trowel, like all tools it is not invincible. Get to know what it can handle when you first start using it.
Although I bet you’ll be surprised what it can manage….
Kit yourself out for the garden with another product from Japan (you have the secateurs yes?) as Modern Mint share with you the Hori Hori digging knife!