The Ultimate Garden Hoe Buying Guide

A garden hoe is essential in many gardening projects and buying it should, therefore, be done in a more careful manner than many might think.

How do you shop for gardening hoes and other tools? The first thing you need to do is figure out what type you need since there is more than one. Next, you need to look at the quality of the hoes since they will not be made the same, with things like the materials and the design potentially being wildly different between brands.

Shopping for garden hoes might seem easy, but it is not and if you get it wrong, you could be facing frustration at best or injury at worst.

Considerations When Buying Gardening Tools

You might not think it given the fact that gardening is often taken for granted as an easy, if, a bit troublesome, task to a lot of people, but shopping for gardening tools can actually be rather complicated. As with any field, the tools used in this particular activity can be quite varied and you would do well to remember that one brand’s equipment can be drastically different from another.

These difference can manifest in many ways, but they usually come down to the:

·         Quality

·         Durability

·         Functionality

·         Design

·         Cost

Suffice it to say, the cheaper tools are likely to be of lesser quality but you should not assume that the price is everything, either. As long as you know what to look for and how to judge the various characteristics of tools, you should be fine. This applies not only to garden hoes but to pretty much any tool of any kind.

With that being the case, you can take a look at the table below for some of the methods in which you can shop for the very best gardening tools available to you.

ResearchLook up the details about the tools that you are supposed to get, paying special attention to the features they are supposed to have and what they meant for
Window shopGo through a few brands and models of the tools that you are considering buying so that you get a better idea of what it is exactly you are supposed to look out for when shopping
Compile a listList the brands and models of the tools that you have judged to be potential investments that are worthy of your purchase based on the information you gained from your research
Compare and contrastOnce you have compiled a list of the tools that you are going to buy, you will need to compare them so that you can figure out which of the candidate products are worth getting
Narrow your candidatesIt is important for you to narrow your list of tools so that you will have an easier time examining them in person if they are available in an actual physical store near you
Examine the toolsIf possible, you should examine the tools that are available for purchase in your area in person so that you can judge their qualities for yourself
Shop around for optionsOnce you know which tool you will get from which brand and which type, try to shop around and see which store is selling them at the best price

The items listed in that table might seem like a lot of trouble to go through just to buy gardening tools, but they are worth it if you are adamant about investing in your garden. That is to say, if you are actually planning on creating a garden and maintaining it for years and years, you will need to have reliable tools. This is doubly true for tools like hoes, which you will be using quite often.

Gardening tools are often subjected to punishing conditions, with most being used to dig up dirt, hitting rocks, roots, and sometimes, even metal depending on where you are digging. With this being the case, if the tool is used a lot, those with a terrible quality run the risk of bending, breaking, or outright shattering.

It would be great if these things happen and the only thing hurt is the tool. However, there have been cases where splinters, jagged parts, and even the metal ends of the tool end up injuring the user. This alone makes looking into those details worthwhile.

Research – When it comes to making any kind of decision on any kind of thing, nothing beats doing a little bit of research first in order to get yourself ready to make the most of the activity. More than anything else, it is the information that you glean from doing your homework that will ensure a satisfactory conclusion to your shopping.

You have to remember that as far as shopping goes, you can either go into it informed or you can go into it blind. The former case basically allows you to know exactly what to look for and you won’t have to waste time asking too many questions that will only leave you feeling doubtful or confused. It’s always best to be a confident buyer who knows what they want.

More than that, you will also be able to avoid any issues with the tools that you buy when you know exactly what those issues are likely to be. For example, if you know what a hoe will be used for, you will be able to tell if a particular product meets the strenuous demands of such a piece of equipment. If not, then it is completely to your advantage to look for something else.

You owe it to yourself not to experience unnecessary stress over such a thing.

Window Shopping – Although it can be tempting to walk into the nearest garden store or hardware store and buy the first gardening tool you come across, you might want to hold off on that. The results that you get from the tools that you use will be directly proportional to the quality of those tools. This means that if you are going to buy one, it will need to suit your requirements exactly.

With this being the case, you will want to do some window shopping, which the internet has made a lot easier anyway. You will basically want to focus on stores, official websites, and review platforms for this particular task. The goal is to gather as much information as possible about the tools that you will potentially buy.

Depending on what kind of tool you are looking for, you will either find a ton of information or you will have to dig deep just to come up with anything you can use for comparison. The more common the tool is the more customer feedback it will likely have. You can visit online stores like Amazon for a good idea as to what you might need to look for.

In any case, you should focus on information that you can actually act on instead of opinions that don’t really have much merit to them. You need to know exactly what people liked about those tools and if their marketed features are actually worth your time. You will also need to know if they are durable, effective, and easy to use.

Compiling a List – Now that you know what you will need to look for, you can start compiling a list of all the potential brands, products, and models you are going to choose from. This is an important step since you don’t want to miss out on the smaller details, which you may miss from a general perusal of available tools.

If we are going, to be frank about it, though, this can be a bit of a hassle to do, especially if you are not exactly the type of person to pay much attention to the details. Even so, it is much better to have the option of looking closer so that you can have a more detailed inspects of the tools that you are going to purchase than not.

You might notice a feature that you have been looking for or there could be something in the tool that you don’t like. You can only really know about these things if you have data and a compiled list of potential products is exactly what this is. You need to remember that as far as the market goes, a huge majority of the options these days are of terrible quality.

Just think about where the tools you are considering are being made and by what methods. Even from the origins alone and the manufacturer, you can already tell if the product is trustworthy or not. You can then make your decision from there.

Comparing & Contrasting – With the list already compiled, you now have a nice set of products to choose from. To do so, you will want to do some comparisons so that you will know how the various brands and products differ from one another. You will want to do this if you have ever experienced what it’s like to buy something only to find something better the next moment.

Regardless of what you are shopping for, you can bet that there are alternatives to any leading item that will give you an offer that is more suited to your needs. It should also be pointed out that people have different preferences and goals, so there will be times when the top product in the market is not what you are looking for.

So don’t be afraid to look through the list of items that you have compiled to see which of them will be your best bet. It sucks to buy something and feel regret over what you might think is a missed opportunity later. On that note, you should be careful about mistaking features as something desirable when it is not.

For example, there are many tools out there that are multi-functional, which do have their uses. However, with the increase in function often comes the cost of the design or the durability. Since we are talking about garden tools here, it is very important that the tools that you get are tough and can withstand a lot of punishment. A lot of multi-function tools just can’t offer that.

Narrowing the List – When you already know what to look for, it will likely be much easier for you to decide which products on the list you compiled to keep and which to discard. This is the point where you narrow the tools to choose from so that you will have a much easier time with the next screening process that you will employ.

If you have only been getting your information online, there is a good chance that you are not getting the full picture. However, going through each and every one of the available products in the market that you might have access to is going to prove quite challenging. This is why you need to reduce the numbers a bit until you reach a more realistic number of options to check.

Make sure to take all of the information that you have managed to collect into consideration when you are doing this, though. Do not base your decisions on only a few reviews and make sure that you are actually getting your information from reliable sources when you do.

What’s more, you need to remember what your particular needs are with regard to the tools that you are going to buy when you are paring down the number of choices. Don’t keep an option just because it looks cool or is very cheap. Those are not your biggest priorities when you are shopping for gardening tools, with results being your biggest concern.

Tools Examination – Following your narrowing of the list, you can now go to actual stores where you can purchase gardening supplies and look for the tools on your list. Now, it is important to note here that the list that you ended up with is only meant to serve as a basis for your choices. If some of the tools or brands on there are not at the store, this does not mean that you are stuck.

Just fall back to the options that are available since the simple fact that they exist on that list means that you have already deemed them to be acceptable alternatives. The worst thing that can happen, though, is when the stores you visit have absolutely none of the products that you are looking for. However, unless you live in an incredibly remote area, this will not likely happen.

Coming back to the main point of this section, you will now find the tools that you have on your list and then check them for yourself. Pick them up, feel them with your fingers, grip them, swing them around if needed, and get a sense of how sturdy they are. This is basically the point in which you will be deciding if any of them is worth your time.

Once you have confirmed that the tools you are considering have earned their good reviews, the next step is to see if they are available in other stores in your area. You need to do this for comparing the prices.

Shopping for Options – While tools can generally have the same market prices, this does not mean that they will be sold at the same costs in different stores. There will be some providers that will be offering the tools at discounted prices at certain times, especially when there is a clearance sale going on. You never know if you can save a few bucks on a tool you were eyeing by going to another shop.

If you just can’t find a shop that can give you the kind of price you are looking for, you can always try ordering them online. There is always a chance that the tools will be cheaper if they are ordered off of the web. Since you already checked them at physical stores and confirmed that they are good products, there’s no need to worry about that part when shopping online.

One of the biggest issues with shopping for anything directly from the web is that you can’t really tell for sure that it is going to be at the quality that you were promised. It’s basically a gamble on your part and one that a lot of shoppers have already lost.

However, since you already overcame this hurdle, the only thing that can go wrong is that you will be scammed by the seller you purchased the product from. This is why it is always advised that you get your tools from trusted resources like the official websites of the brands making and selling them.

Why Buy a Gardening Hoe?

So, why exactly are you going through all the trouble to read through this guide only to buy a garden hoe? What is the point of all of this? Well, there is the fact that garden hoes are really good at what they are for and that if you use them, managing your garden will become a lot easier. This is only provided that you actually have a hoe with good quality, of course.

Going through them one at a time, the first reason for getting a gardening hoe has to do with digging up the soil and moving it in accordance to your whim. You basically strike the ground with the edged end to punch through the surface of the soil. You then pull on the handle and bring the soil either towards you or forward.

By using a hoe, you can create vegetable patches for growing all kinds of produce. In the same vein of thought, you could also easily create mulch using this tool. It’s quite the versatile piece of equipment, for sure.

Then there is the function of being able to remove grass, mulch, and many other kinds of weeds that can be found in gardens, fields, and the like. Cleaning the lawn of old, dead grass should be a lot easier with a hoe than with it, though, there are actually better tools for that particular job. It just so happens that if you have a hoe anyway, you might as well use it for as many jobs as possible.

Speaking of which, depending on the type of hoe that you have, you can also use it for harvesting or pulling out roots that are deeply embedded in the soil. So there is that to take into consideration, as well.

Action Hoes Vs. Garden Hoes Vs. Grub Hoes

It was already mentioned that there are many different types of garden hoes and these differences can manifest in several ways. In the case of action hoes, these are basically hoes that are meant for pulling out weeds. This is basically also called a stirrup hoe because it resembled the stirrup of a horse when you ride one.

Then we have your garden variety (pun intended) grub hoe, which is the most common type you can find in the market. It is also called a paddle or a draw hoe, as well as chopping or planting hoe. It is square or rectangular in shape and is quite versatile in use. You can use it for pretty much any situation and is suitable for a lot of needs that you can come up with.

Finally, we have the garden hoe, which can refer to all of the hoes in the market. It can refer to the collinear or onion hoe, the warren or dutch hoe, and those more unique pronged hoes. As such, if you are trying to find a more specific type of hoe, you might want to learn the actual names so that you will have an easier time finding them.

Related Questions

What is the Best Tool for Weeding?

A stirrup hoe would be an excellent tool to use for weeding but a spade would be effective, as well. It depends on how thoroughly you want to clean or how fast you want to be done. Of course, you might also use something like a machine tiller for the job if you can afford to rent or buy one.

How Do You Pull Weeds Fast?

Depending on the state of the weeds, pulling them out with your hands while wearing a glove might be your best bet. If not, you can use a trowel to dig them it from the roots, along with your gardening hoe or a spade. There are also specialized tools for the job, but you won’t often need those.

Do You Need a Gardening Hoe?

The question of whether or not you even need a gardening hoe would depend highly on just how dedicated you are to creating your garden. Different projects have different needs in terms of the tools that they are going to require. If you are actually making a gardening plot where you dig up patches for vegetables, flowers, and the like, a hoe might come in handy.

A hoe will basically ensure that you will have less of a reason to either get down on your knee or to squat while you are gardening. You will still have to do some of that, but you will be doing less of it. This is due to the fact that a hoe has a long handle and will pretty much allow you to get away with shaping a plot of earth on your feet.

It will also require less effort on your part to churn the soil when you are using a garden hoe, so you will be less tired. You will still need to expend some energy, of course, so you will still end up sweating. The garden hoe will just make sure that it doesn’t happen profusely.

What Can You Substitute for a Hoe?

Depending on what you are trying to achieve, there can be multiple substitutes for a garden hoe. There is the spade, for example, if you are using the hoe to get rid of the weed, dead grass, and the like. Obviously, you can also use a spade for digging up the earth to loosen the soil and make it easier for planting. However, it doesn’t work for every case.

If you are trying to collect the earth and create a vegetable patch, a garden rake would also work. It won’t be as effective as a hoe, but it can do the job as long as you are patient enough. You can also use rakes to get rid of rotting trash that might be littering your garden.

As for collecting root crops, you can just use a trowel for that one if you don’t mind expending some extra effort. You can just think of it as you making a necessary sacrifice for gardening when you have to squat or get on your knees to get those carrots, onions, or potatoes. Whatever the case may be, a trowel will make the job easier and will be quite simple to use, as well. 

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