Digging Trowel Garden Trowels

Garden Trowels Buying Guide – Find the Best for your needs

Generally, garden trowels are gardening hand tools that you can use to complete many different tasks during your gardening sessions. However, if you are buying a trowel for gardening for the first time, picking a perfect one might be an overwhelming task for you.
Think about a trowel for gardening as any other type of garden hand tool. If you choose to buy one and it is the wrong type or has the wrong blade or handle material for your gardening needs, you will have to spend more money to purchase the correct one. In this guide, we will explore some important points to note before buying garden trowels, so you can choose the best trowel for gardening that best fits your needs.

What is a garden trowel?

Garden trowel is a small garden tool with a flat or curved blade. It’s like a mini shovel or mini spade. It is a lightweight, portable and convenient one-handed garden tool. Generally, trowels for gardens are multi-purpose garden hand tools. Whether you need them to lift flowers, vegetables, seeds and other plants or dig holes at shallow depths, you are going to use them nearly every day.

What are Garden trowels used for?

Normally, gardening is difficult if you don’t have the proper hand tools. On the flip side, it is a lot easier to work in your garden if you use the right garden hand tool. You can use garden trowels to break up soil, loosen it and prepare it before you plant and dig holes. If you want to plant seeds with precision, plant or transplant your flowers and other plants and remove nasty weeds, these hand tools for gardening are great to have. Moreover, you can use them to scoop soil, refill the holes, turn over and mix compost, fertilizer and manure.

However, you should have in mind that the trowels for gardening are small hand tools, This means that you can just use them to dig rather small holes, move a limited amount of material per scoop etc.

The Wilcox All-Pro 251S 11 inches Stainless Steel Garden Trowel Garden Trowels
The Wilcox All-Pro 251S 11″ Stainless Steel Garden Trowel. Find it at amazon.com.

Where to use garden trowels

If you ask a professional gardener, a specialized tool like a gardening trowel is necessary when you have to plant and transplant small plants and flowers. These small hand tools for gardening will help you when you do garden activities in confined spaces. In addition, they allow precision when you are digging in and around plants in tight areas. Last but not least, sometimes it is uncomfortable to use a shovel or spade to do some work on your garden beds. On the other hand, trowel garden tools will help you to avoid such pains.

Types of garden trowels

When you are searching for the best garden trowel for your garden activities, you should consider the type of the garden tool. There are some specialized types of trowels for gardens on the market that will make you do your gardening jobs with even more ease.

1. Planting trowels

The planting or transplanting trowels have narrower heads than other hand trowels for gardening. This narrow head enables them to direct seeds in planting holes. Additionally, you can use the plant trowels to dig in your vegetable or flower beds and transplant plants from –  or to – other areas.

2. Digging trowels

Garden trowels for digging are small garden spades. These digging garden tools have a blade design that enables them to penetrate soil easier than other gardening trowels. Usually, the hand tools that belong to this type of gardening trowels have a sharp blade. The blade has a sharpened or pointed tip that helps the blade to cut through soil. Some of these soil digging tools have serrated edges with saw “teeth” on the sides of their head that helps them to cut through tough roots even easier.

3. Weeding trowels

Typically, these hand weeding tools have narrow and flat heads that help them to get rid of weeds without much hassle.

4. General-purpose garden trowels

It is OK to have trowels of each type in your garden tool shed. However, most of the times you don’t need all of them. Typically, one or two simple garden trowels are sufficient. These hand trowels for gardening are equally great to dig, transplant, scoop material or remove weeds. Generally, these are the best garden trowels to have. Some of them even have a unique design.

DeWit Tulip Trowel Garden Trowels
The DeWit Tulip Trowel. It’s a great Garden Trowel. Find more Garden Trowels like this at amazon.com.

What else to consider before buying garden trowels

Apart from choosing a general-purpose garden trowel or a more specialized type, there are several more important considerations you need to make before buying one. Therefore, you need to choose the best garden trowel for your needs. Like other hand tools for gardening, the correct material of blade and handle is a crucial factor for your gardening trowel. If you choose the right trowel for your garden, it will take a long time before you think of replacing it. Below are the most important considerations for anyone looking to get things done with a garden trowel.

Blade materials

Nothing makes gardening more frustrating than working with the wrong tool. Even the best plastic or fiberglass garden hand trowels are not able to dig the type of soil that trowels with metal heads can dig.

  • Fiberglass and plastic
    Typically, garden hand trowels with blades made of plastic or fiberglass are rather light duty. They bend and deform very easily when you are not using them in soft, loose soils. On the other hand, they don’t rust like some gardening trowels with metal blades.
  • Steel and Aluminum
    The metal hand trowels for gardening that are made of stainless steel are easy to clean and rust resistant. Their maintenance is very easy. The same applies to the aluminum ones. Gardening trowels with blades made of carbon steel maintain their cutting edge longer. However, you have to oil them very often because they rust very easily.
  • Titanium
    There are few garden trowels with blades made of titanium. We mean solid titanium and not a gimmick one like “titanium coating”. They are lighter than steel ones, they don’t rust and soil does not stick on them. Moreover, they are extra durable and as strong as the steel ones. Unfortunately, you have to spend a small fortune to purchase one. Nevertheless, if you plan to buy a hand trowel to use every day and do not have a problem spending much more money, then you should consider purchasing the best garden trowel you can afford.

Blade width and length

Longer and broader blades will help you to move soil out of the way quicker. On the flip side, garden trowels with shorter and narrower heads can move only a small volume of soil with each scoop . However, trowels that have narrower blades are the best to use if you want to use them to dig up and remove weeds.

Handle material

Metal (usually aluminum), plastic, fiberglass and wood are the usual materials for garden trowel handles. Our personal preference is the traditional wooden handle because wood is a natural shock absorber and we like the feel of wood when we hold it. However, wooden handle trowels for gardening need some extra care. For example, you must use oil to finish the wooden handle once a year or when needed.

Handle length

There are few garden trowels on the market that have very long handles. Most of the long handled trowels look like small shovels! The longer length of the handle gives you additional leverage when you try to pry small rocks.

Extra goodies

  • Many handles have ergonomic designs that make the garden trowels more comfortable to use.
  • Also, many trowel’s handles have a hole that you can use to hang the hand tool for more convenient storage.
  • Furthermore, there are many garden trowels on the market that have measure marks stamped on the surface of their blade. This is an extremely handy feature because it helps you to measure the depth of the holes that you just dug with your trowel. In the United States, most gardening trowels use incremental marks based on the imperial system. However, some models on the market have both the imperial and the metric systems.


Hopefully, most garden trowels on the market are very affordable. In our opinion, when you have to choose between a 10 dollars trowel for gardening and a superior garden trowel that costs just a few bucks more, then choose the best. In the long run there is a big chance that it will save you money because it might last longer. Moreover, sometimes the expensive garden trowel models are more effective to use.

In summary

The garden trowel is an essential hand tool for gardening. Once you know what features to look for in your trowel garden tool, the rest is just a decision based on your garden’s soil type or your budget. Look for the type of garden trowels you are most interested in. Finally, choose a garden trowel with a depth gauge on its blade if you don’t like to carry a measurement tape while you are doing gardening tasks.

Gardening is a relaxing activity and whether you are a hobbyist, a beginner or a professional gardener, you should seek the most convenient way to complete your gardening work. The best garden trowels are sturdy, they can dig and make a hole to plant new plants, remove weeds, scoop soil, and will last you a very long time.

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