Niwaki tools review – and some garden snips to give away

I don’t use chemicals in my garden. Some weeds are allowed to thrive, if they are useful to insects and pollinators. Dandelions are particularly good for bees, especially in early spring when pollen is scarce. There are some types of solitary bee that only feed on dandelions. I wouldn’t want to deprive them of their vital sustenance. But, I don’t want a lawn predominantly covered in dandelions. It’s all about striking a balance, so I start to thin them out in mid-summer. Niwaki sent a Hori Hori knife for a trial and It’s perfect for deep-rooted weeds such as dandelions. I was using a trowel before, which often didn’t get to the bottom of the tap root, and was hard work over a large area. The Hori Hori is sharp enough to easily slice through grass, and strong enough to gently lever weeds out of the soft wet ground. I notice, on the website, it says the knife is: “Mighty, but not invincible. It’s best not to stick it in heavy clay and yank back hard.”

When I’ve removed the dandelions, plantains and thistles, I pop a Seedball into the hole that’s left. Seedballs are wildflower seeds encased in clay. They can simply be scattered around the garden. They come in selections named bee, butterfly, poppy, urban, bat, bird and beetle. Hopefully, in time, I’ll end up with a flowering lawn, full of cowslips, self heal, wild marjoram and primroses. I’m aiming for a tapestry carpet effect.

The Hori Hori has a strong canvas holster which I think could be attached to a belt. The hand-forged carbon steel blade runs right through the handle, for strength. Tough and strong, it seems built to last. The handle is FSC beech wood and the blade is 7″ 17cm long.

As well as digging up weeds in the lawn, my knife is great for removing weeds from between paving slabs. I also spent a happy hour digging up ‘free’ plants which had self-seeded in the gravel. I found bellis daisies, perennial geraniums, sedums, erigeron daisies and several seedling trees- silver birch, maple and mountain ash. Much easier to lever them out with a sharp blade than using a trowel.

Bellis daisies seed readily around and make lovely bedding plants for borders and plant pots. Free plants are always welcome here.

Here’s a seedling mountain ash rescued from the gravel path. Beautiful spring flowers for bees, and autumn berries for birds. Great for any wildlife garden.

Erigeron karvinskianus also seeds readily between paving and in gravel. Another ‘free plant,’ dug up and transplanted into a 9cm pot.

My Hori Hori has quickly become a tool I reach for whatever task I’m doing, planting, weeding, slashing bramble roots. It’s comfortable to use and makes life much easier. And that’s what gardening is all about for me, managing the weeds, not totally obliterating them, just tipping the balance, and keeping me in charge, rather than always rushing around desperately trying to keep up.

I’ve asked the team at Niwaki to offer a reader prize. They have currently sold out of Hori Hori knives, probably due to the upsurge of interest in gardening over the covid period. So they are offering some forged garden snips instead. Keep an eye on the blog, and when they send me another item to try, the Hori Hori will probably be back in stock for a prize at a later date.

Meanwhile, to enter for the garden snips, just leave a comment in the box below and Niwaki will randomly select a name. Usual rules apply. Niwaki’s decision is final and there’s no cash alternative.

A winner will be announced on Monday. Please check back. Thank you.

Do you have any favourite garden tools. Nearly all of mine belonged to my grandfather Ted Foulds. And some belonged to his father, so they date back to the 1930s. They have certainly stood the test of time, and I wouldn’t be without them.

Links : Niwaki https://www.niwaki.com/store/hori-hori/

Seedball : https://seedball.co.uk/product/bee-matchbox/

I write for Garden News Magazine: https://www.gardennewsmagazine.co.uk/minimag

58 thoughts on “Niwaki tools review – and some garden snips to give away

  1. I have Niwaki topiary shears. They are worth every penny and make pruning a joy. Also attended a topiary course run by Jake which was a revelation. Highly recommend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah thank you Alison. I’ve been on a tool -sharpening course with Jake. Would love to attend his topiary course. Have ordered the topiary shears. They are so well balanced. Gardening is hard work, but good tools and equipment make things easier. Thank you for reading and getting in touch.

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  2. Pingback: Niwaki winner… prize draw | Bramble Garden

  3. I love my Hori Hori as I imagine everyone who tries one will. It is also worth getting hold of a copy of there paper brochure which is beautifully produced, funny. And inspirational. A great read for a tool catalogue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ivan. I’ve asked for the brochure. I’ve got my eye on quite a few new tools for my garden. A few birthday and Christmas presents sorted. Thanks for reading. Have a great week.

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  4. A knife for dandelions – looks a useful investment… I am well blessed with them in my
    garden. I have a long handled (18″, 45cm) hand fork that was my Great Aunt’s. It has had a repair or two along the way but is far from “Triggers broom” status and is just so comfortable to use. I’d be lost without it

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Had thought about getting one of those for my hubby for clearing out between slabs. Whilst i am deadheading etc. Might keep eye out when they back in stock.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am intimidated by the Hori hori knife. Looks like one slip and I could lose a finger! My colleague at work swears by his. I do however love their products including the tripod ladder which I use indoors to change light bulbs( v high ceilings here) and recently I ordered three pairs of their garden gloves. They are excellent as the wrists are longer than most and seem hard wearing. Generally I get through about 12 pairs a year. I also have their secateurs which are 10 out of 10

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been thinking about getting a pair of new secateurs for a while and looking at Niwaki website. If this hori hori review is anything to go buy, it looks like a pair of Niwaki secateurs will be worth their money. Thanks for reviewing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Alice. I’m hoping to try the secateurs next. To be honest, there’s quite a few items now going on my birthday list. Thanks for reading the blog. Look back on Monday to see who the winner is. All the best. Karen

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  8. So enjoying your blog. Thank you. New to WordPress so excuse any errors.
    Also hoping to replace an old round ended kitchen knife with a proper job tool. Received first Niwaki catalogue recently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Thanks for reading the blog. I’ve got the latest catalogue. Quite a few items have gone on to my birthday list. They certainly make very good tools and equipment. Please look back on Monday to check who has won. All the best. Karen

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  9. Great review. I had a Hori Hori last week for my birthday. Absolutely LOVE it. Wasn’t sure how I’d get on with it as I’ve got my tool kit perfected to my needs BUT it didn’t leave my hand. So easy to weed, dig out tap roots & saw off stubborn roots without needing to grab another tool. Really good for the tougher jobs if you are needing to dig out and cut off invasive weeds and roots. Does the job slickly without devastating all the surrounding soil so low impact rather than digging out with a garden fork. So pleased to finally know what all the fuss is about.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gave both Lou and Rachel a Hori Hori for Christmas but I don’t have one. I do have the snips and have been using them today deadheading dahlias and cosmos. They are brilliant for that job plus cutting string for tying the dahlias in. Wouldn’t be without them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Philippa. I can’t imagine how I managed without my Hori Hori. Makes life so much easier. I’m looking forward to trying out the snips next. Quite a few items have gone on to my birthday present list. Enjoy the weekend. Karen ❤️ xx

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  11. Hi Karen. I have a nifty tool for getting weeds out with prongs at the end. But my favourite tool is my trowel. It‘s from the company Implementations and is made of bronze, with a smooth wooden handle. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that sounds great. I’ll have a look for them too. It’s sunny today. Thankfully. Poor garden has been battered by wind and rain for the past few weeks. Lots to do. Enjoy your weekend. Karen.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a massive fan of Niwaki Tools and couldn’t be without them. Got a Hori Hori but a cheap one and not sure how long it will last. Good for many jobs

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for reading the blog Kevin. I’m pleased to have discovered Niwaki too. Have a good week. Enjoy your garden. Look back at 6pm tonight to see who has won the prize draw. All the best. Karen

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  12. Love my Hori Hori ❤️ Use it all the time, as it is so versatile. Even if it does make me look like some sort of warrior 🤣.

    Would love a pair of snips to go with it ……might make me appear slightly more dainty 💃🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sue. I must admit, I thought it would be excellent for dandelions, brambles, thistles….and vampires! Thanks for reading. Look back on Monday to check for the winner please, as I cant easily contact people without a blog link. Enjoy the weekend.

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    • Same here. Thanks for reading. Please look back on Monday evening for the winner’s name, as I can’t easily contact people who don’t have a blog. Enjoy the weekend.

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    • I must admit, I’m finding it very easy to use, and the little seed balls are working already. I’ve got wild thyme and marjoram popping up in the little low clumps all over the lawn. The bees will love the flowers. Thanks for reading. Look back on Monday for the winning name. Enjoy the weekend. Karen

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  13. Wow!! Thar sounds very interesting. I have a couple of tools I use for dandelions & growth between paviours but that would be a ‘2in1’. Like the idea of putting seed balls in the holes 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Marg. the seed balls are working really well. I’ve got little clumps of marjoram popping up all over, and the bees love the flowers. I can still mow over the. As they are low growing. But actually, I’m enjoying them so much, I mow around them. Enjoy the weekend. Thanks for reading 😃👍🌺 x

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    • Thanks for reading Sian. I’ve seen other gardeners using the kit before, but never got round to treating myself to anything from the range. I rather fancy the garden shears next. They look well balanced and well designed. Look back on Monday for the winner, as I can’t easily contact people without blog links. Draw is at 5pm Monday. Thanks again. Karen

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  14. I have a similar knife; in fact I used it today to plant some colchicum bulbs that I decided to move to better spots. Those snips look perfect for deadheading things like rose campion (I have lots!) and peach-leaved campanula.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love colchicums. That’s a reminder, I must plant more. We have masses of the pink campion here too. We watched a pair of bullfinches yesterday, eating the seeds. They were there about 20 minutes, looking very relaxed. Such bright peach-red colours on the male bird. We haven’t ever seen them here before. Good luck in the draw Audrey. Look back on Monday to see who has won. Have a good weekend. x

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I have a Hori Hori and am very happy with it for a lot of uses. From time to time I forget it is in my repetoire as it were, and am always glad when I remember. Sometimes on sale.

    Those garden snips would be perfect for precise tasks.They look like they would be very well balanced and comfortable to use as well.

    We also have one of hei r ladders which are very stable and confidence-giving when up higher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Suella. I love the Hori Hori. I must admit, it goes everywhere with me, in a little wicker basket. It makes digging up stubborn long roots much easier. I’m taking root cuttings today from some beautiful blue phlox I want more of. Have a great weekend. Enjoy the sunshine. Karen

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  16. I got a hori hori for Christmas a couple of years ago and it has been my favourite tool ever since. They may not be indestructible but they’re pretty strong – in two years of heavy use I have only managed to bend
    mine a couple of millimetres, and that was digging out an established bamboo on heavy clay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Crikey, bamboo on clay! What a job. Sympathies! Thanks for reading. Glad you are happy with your Hori Hori. I must admit, it’s doing all the tasks I want it to, and I was careful to start with, but it’s tough as old boots. Have a great weekend.

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    • Interesting, Karen – I haven’t been persuaded that the hori hori is for me but I love the Niwaki hand hoe for breaking up the soil with an axe like motion, which puts less strain on hand and wrist. The long snips would be great for deadheading and precise pruning!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Geoff. Those snips do look great. And the hand hoe is now on my list to try out next. I rather fancy the garden shears too as they look lightweight, well balanced and well designed. Thanks for reading. Please check back on Monday at 5pm to see who has won, as I can’t easily contact people who haven’t got a blog link. Thank you 😊

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