hori hori knife in potted plant Best Of ...

7 Best Hori Hori Knifes- Top Japanese Gardening Tools for 2023

Carrying a separate tool for every gardening task is annoying and heavy! That’s why it’s so important to find multi-purpose options. The best Hori Hori knives are the ultimate gardening multi-tasker. These fantastic tools can handle numerous jobs like digging bulbs, transplanting seedlings, pruning small trees, and pulling stubborn weeds.

Dating back to the late 1800s in Japan, Hori Hori knives were developed by swordsmiths after the government banned making swords. Using their precise techniques, these craft masters created a tool with a long concave blade, one side of which is straight, the other serrated. The design makes digging and cutting tasks a breeze. 

Finding the best Hori Hori knife can be challenging, though. There are several Hori Hori-style tools available, many of which fail to provide the durability or versatility these knives should have. 

That’s where this list comes in handy. We lay out the best Hori Hori knives available, given your needs. So whether you want something for basic gardening or need a universal outdoor tool, there’s something for you here.  

Keep reading to discover the best Hori Hori knife for your purposes. 

Key Takeaways

We found the best Hori Hori knife to be the Nisaku NJP651. It’s a fantastic multi-purpose tool that’s lightweight but sturdy enough to handle any task. The Black Iron Hori Hori knife is another excellent pick. It offers incredible, full-tang construction and comes with all the needed accessories. 

hori hori knife on cement block edge

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1. Overall Best Hori Hori Knife: Nisaku NJP651

Hori Hori Knife

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If you’re looking for an all-purpose Hori Hori knife, the Nisaku NJP651 is our top choice. This knife works well for everything from pulling weeds to hunting and camping. You’ll want to take this knife with you everywhere.  

It features a full-width mid-tang blade, making this knife durable without being overly heavy. It also helps that Nisaku manufactures its blades with 440c stainless steel hardened to HRC58. This knife will have a long-lasting edge and precise cutting capabilities, allowing you to hack through weed roots, prune small trees, and dig into moderately packed soil. 

The Nisaki NJP561 comes with a leather sheath that features a snap belt loop and offers a traditional wood handle. It looks stunning hanging in any garden shed. However, the wood grip is rectangular, and those with small hands may find it uncomfortable to use for long periods. 

What We Like

  • Hardened stainless steel blade offers durability and precision
  • Comes with a leather sheath 
  • Relatively lightweight 

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • The rectangular wood handle is uncomfortable for some users 
  • No finger guard 
  • Serrations on the small side 

Blade Material: Stainless Steel | Blade Length: 7.25in | Handle Material: Wood | Weight: 10.6oz

2. Best on Amazon: Black Iron Hori Hori Knife

hori hori knife with accessories

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The Black Iron Hori Hori Knife is ideal for gardeners and adventurers who need to handle big tasks. Featuring a full-length, full-width tang with four sturdy pins, this knife can handle just about anything. Whether you need to prune back a small tree or cut through a thick rope, you can rely on the Black Iron Hori Hori.

Of course, there’s a cost to all of that durability. Namely, this knife is heavy. It weighs almost a pound. Using it to pull weeds for hours could get tiring. The handle is also on the bulky side, making it difficult for small-handed gardeners to yield. 

This knife comes with a sharpening stone and sheath. Because of this, it makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Hikers, anglers, campers, and gardeners will all find this knife useful. 

What We Like

  • Full tang makes this knife very durable
  • Comes with sheath and sharpening stone
  • Features high-definition measurement markings

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Exceptionally heavy 
  • Bulky handle may be uncomfortable for smaller hands
  • No finger guard

Blade Material: Stainless Steel | Blade Length: 7in | Handle Material: Wood | Weight: 15.2oz

3. Best Budget: Martha Stewart MTS-HHK Hori Garden Knife 

martha stewart hori hori knife

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The Martha Stewart Hori Garden knife is a fantastic option for budget-conscious gardeners handling smaller tasks. If you’re pulling weeds, planting bulbs, or doing some minor pruning, this Hori Hori-style knife is perfectly sufficient. 

It features easy-to-read inch markings and tapers to two points instead of a single tip. The two-point end makes it excellent for pulling pesky weeds in softer soil. And for gardeners who have arthritis or deal with achy hands and wrists, the ergonomic handle offers a hardy finger guard. 

Of course, the plastic handle will break down over time. And there’s no tang on this knife. So, the blade could snap if you’re dealing with packed soil or difficult root tangles.  

In other words, if you want a knife that will stand the test of time, this isn’t it. That said, if you just need a garden tool to last a season or two, this knife is perfect. 

What We Like

  • Easy-to-read measurement markings
  • Two-point taper for weed-pulling
  • Comfortable, ergonomic handle 

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • No tang means it could snap under pressure
  • Plastic handle will break down with prolonged use 
  • Galvanized steel is less durable and more susceptible to corrosion 

Blade Material: Galvanized Steel | Blade Length: 5.7in | Handle Material: Plastic | Weight: 7oz

4. Best Hori Hori Knife with an Ergonomic Handle: Nisaku NJP801

plastic hori hori knife

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With a lightweight and well-shaped handle, the Nizaki NJP801 is ideal for gardeners who intend to keep their knives in hand for longer stretches. Whether they’re weeding a large garden or planting fields of bulbs, they’ll be comfortable with this best Hori Hori garden knife in hand. This is especially ideal for anyone suffering from arthritis or wrist pain. 

On top of an ergonomic design, this knife offers an excellent finger guard and durable, full-width, mid-length tang. The hardened steel blade should last decades with proper care. 

Unfortunately, the plastic handle will degrade much faster, and the included hard plastic sheath isn’t the best form of protection. The sharp Hori Hori knife blade can dig into the sheath causing damage to both the knife and its case. 

What We Like

  • Ergonomic handle design reduces hand and wrist pain
  • A lightweight knife makes it ideal for long periods of use
  • Durable blade stands up to tough tasks

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • The plastic handle will break down with time
  • The plastic sheath isn’t ideal protection 
  • Requires regular sharpening but no included sharpening tool 

Blade Material: Stainless Steel | Blade Length: 7.25in | Handle Material: Plastic | Weight: 8.2oz

5. Best Carbon Steel Option: Kakuri Hori Hori Knife 

carbon steel hori hori knife

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If you want a Hori Hori knife that will last a lifetime, the Kakuri Hori Hori knife is a great pick. Kakuri constructs this knife using carbon steel, which has a few major advantages. First, carbon steel maintains its edge longer than stainless, meaning your Hori Hori knife will stay sharp. It’s also easier to sharpen than stainless options.  

On top of carbon steel, this knife features a full-width, mid-tang making it exceptionally resilient. It also comes with a leather sheath to help protect the blade long-term. 

Plus, the Kakuri Hori Hori knife has an excellent metal finger guard to help protect your hand. So altogether, whether you’re an avid gardener or outdoor enthusiast that wants something sharp and durable, this knife is near perfect. 

However, the Kakuri Hori Hori knife does have a few downsides. Its bulky wooden handle could be more ergonomic. Small hands may have a hard time holding it. Carbon steel also is prone to oxidation and rusting. You can prevent this, but it will take regular cleaning with steel wool. 

And this knife doesn’t come with a sharpening tool. Though carbon steel is easier to sharpen than stainless steel, you’ll need to purchase a whetstone separately. 

What We Like

  • Blade maintains a sharp cutting edge 
  • Comes with leather sheath
  • Features large serrations for better cutting 

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • Wooden handle is bulky and hard to hold 
  • Carbon steel may rust 
  • No sharpening tool included 

Blade Material: Carbon Steel | Blade Length: 7.25in | Handle Material: Wood | Weight: 11.5oz

6. Best Traditional Design: Barebones Walnut Handle Hori Hori Knife

barebones Hori Hori Knife

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The Barebones Hori Hori knife features a vintage-inspired design but doesn’t sacrifice modern comforts. It’s perfect for gardeners who also enjoy other outdoor activities like camping, hunting, or fishing. Those who like an old-world aesthetic will especially love this tool. 

This knife features a walnut handle that looks stunning but, unlike many wood-handled options, is also ergonomic. It curves with your hand, making it comfortable to use for long stretches. Even those with petite hands can easily use this knife. 

Featuring a full tang and heat-tempered stainless steel blade, the Barebones Hori Hori knife can easily stand up to tough tasks. It also has an extra twine cutter attached to the blade. The twine cutter doubles as a bottle opener, increasing its functionality. 

Unfortunately, this tool doesn’t come with any accessories. If you want your knife to last, you may need to purchase a sheath and sharpening stone separately. 

What We Like

  • Ergonomic wood handle 
  • Durable full-tang construction
  • Attached twine cutter increase functionality

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers 

  • No included accessories
  • The finger guard is minimal
  • Heavy at over 1 pound 

Blade Material: Stainless Steel | Blade Length: 6.75in | Handle Material: Walnut | Weight: 1.96lbs

7. Best Accessories: Truly Garden Store Hori Hori Knife

hori hori knife set

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If you’re the type of gardener who believes in taking care of their tools, the Truly Garden Store Hori Hori Knife may be your best option. This knife comes with top-notch accessories, allowing you to keep your knife in optimal shape. 

A retractable, diamond-tipped sharpening rod lets you sharpen the serrated side of your blade. It also works great on fish hooks. So if you happen to enjoy fishing as well as gardening, you’ll get a lot out of this tool. 

This knife also comes with a thick leather sheath that includes a handy belt loop. As far as protective sheaths go, this one is great—after some time. Initially, it’s quite stiff, making it hard to pull your knife out. But like most leather products, it will eventually soften and become more usable. 

The squared-off wooden handle may be uncomfortable for some users. And the full tang construction means this knife is heavier than other options. So those with small hands or wrist pains may do better with a different Hori Hori knife. 

What We Liked

  • Diamond-tipped sharpening rod handles serrated knife edge
  • Sturdy, leather sheath included
  • Quality full-tang construction

Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

  • On the heavy side
  • The handle may be uncomfortable for some
  • The sheath is stiff, making it hard to remove tool at first 

Blade Material: Stainless Steel | Blade Length: 7in | Handle Material: Wood | Weight: 10.1oz

RELATED: Truly Garden Hori Hori Knife Review

Hori Hori knife in a garden

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What To Look for in the Best Hori Hori Knives

Blade Material 

Most Hori Hori knives are either aluminum or stainless steel. An aluminum blade often means a lightweight, inexpensive knife that works well for a season or two of light gardening. However, aluminum is prone to corrosion over time, and the knife blade may bend under heavy loads. So aluminum isn’t ideal if you want a knife that lasts or can handle tough tasks. 

Stainless steel is a better choice. Though slightly more expensive, it’s able to resist corrosion and staining. It’s also less likely to bend. 

A few manufacturers use carbon steel blades. These are exceptionally strong and should last decades if not a lifetime. However, carbon steel is susceptible to rust. You can prevent this with regular cleaning, but not everyone wants a Hori Hori knife that requires regular maintenance. 

Blade Construction 

The best Hori Hori knife will feature a mid to full-length tang, be about 7 inches long, and have decently large serrations. The tang is the portion of the blade that extends into the handle. Full-length tangs provide exceptional leverage and durability, but they can be heavy, so many opt for a mid-length option. 

A 7-inch blade allows you to be agile with the knife while providing enough cutting surface to get jobs done. The serrations on one side should be decently large. Bigger serrations offer a better grip on the cutting surface. 


Traditional Hori Hori knife artisans used wood or bamboo to make their knife handles. Many manufacturers follow suit today, but a few use plastic instead.

While wood is durable and provides a nice, weighted feel, it may not be as ergonomic as some of the plastic options. It also tends to be pricey. Plastic will break down over time, but it’s inexpensive, so you might be okay with replacing it. 


Some Hori Hori knives come with accessories like a sheath and sharpener. You’ll want both if you’re opting for a high-end knife that will last a long time. Ideally, the sheath will be leather rather than plastic. Leather will protect your blade from the elements best. 

The sharpener may be a sharpening rod or whetstone. While you shouldn’t have to sharpen your knife too often, these are handy to have if you plan to keep your tool for several seasons. 


Higher-end materials and better construction techniques often add weight. Stainless steel and full tang construction can create a heavy Hori Hori knife. A knife that weighs close to a pound doesn’t sound bad until you need to use it for an hour or more. 

Smaller users, backpackers, and those dealing with arthritis or other issues will want to seek a lightweight knife. However, an extra lightweight option may not provide the leveraging power or durability needed to handle tougher tasks. 

For example, a heavier tool might make digging easier. The extra weight can help with leverage, so campers, hunters, or those with hard-packed soil in their yards may opt for a heavier option. 

hand holding hori hori knife

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Final Verdict

The Nisaku NJP651 is the best Hori Hori knife for most. It’s relatively lightweight, offers impressive durability, and comes with a leather sheath. However, another Hori Hori knife might be better for you. It all depends on your specific needs, including your hobbies, desire for ergonomics, and preferred accessories. 


How sharp is a Hori Hori knife?

Hori Hori knives are sharp enough to cut through thick roots, ropes, and sticks. Their exact sharpness depends on several factors, such as blade material and construction. 

What is the difference between Hori Hori carbon and stainless?

A carbon Hori Hori knife is technically stronger than a stainless Hori Hori knife, but that strength comes at a cost. Stainless options are rust and corrosion-resistant. That means they require less maintenance between uses. 

How can you sharpen a Hori Hori knife?

You can sharpen a Hori Hori knife using a whetstone or sharpening rod. Many Hori Hori knives come with these alongside sharpening instructions.