The Best Tools for Weeds in the Garden

The best tools for weeds in the garden is the one that you have by your side when you see the weeds.  However, when planning to work in the garden select the tool for the task at hand.  Picking the right tool is half the battle.  Wheel hoes are excellent for large garden plots while a hand tool like a hori hori is exactly what a container gardener needs to get the job done effectively.

Weeding Tools for Garden

What makes weeding tools for the garden a good choice or not?  It all depends on the type of weed and where it is located in the garden.  The best time to kill any weed is right when it germinates.  The tiny threads that shoot up from the seed get cut with ease.  Tools like a stirrup hoe or a wire hoe can glide over the soil barely making any disturbance to the ground below, but cutting off all the weeds before they get a chance to get established.

Once mature plants, weeds can be a bear to remove.  Therefore, get them out of the ground early. All in all, if you don’t remove them early you will end up spending a lot more time and energy cutting them or digging the tap roots later.

weeds to pull in garden

What Tools for Backyard Gardens

There are many options for weeding a backyard garden.

If you have a big garden with many rows of vegetables a stand-up tool is going to be necessary.  A wheel hoe, stirrup hoe, or a traditional garden hoe is going to be essential. Consequently, these allow you to cover larger areas quickly.

Gardeners growing in containers or raised beds can use smaller hand tools like a trowel or a hori hori.  However, even a weeding small raised beds will go much quicker with a stand-up tool like a wire hoe or hula hoe.

dandelion weed in garden

Garden Hoes

The garden hoe lineup of tools is perfect for weeding.  There is a hoe for every situation. Learn how to use a garden hoe for the job at hand.  Whether weeding, cultivating, making furrows or hilling plants, the garden hoe is the right choice.  Each hoe is used slightly differently. Ultimately, if you have a lot of land then you will really want to consider a tool like the single or double wheel hoe to weed the garden efficiently.  Smaller gardens and raised bed gardens can be weeded with a traditional hoe, stirrup hoe, or even smaller hand tools.

Use a hoe when working large areas of a garden.

wheel hoe tool

Single Wheel Hoe

The single wheel hoe is the best wheel hoe option for most gardeners.  Weed, cultivate, and make furrows all with the same tool.  Add a few attachments like a seeder and the garden wheel hoe is a tool that will be used all season long.  Equipped with a large oscillating blade and a single wheel this model works well to weed entire garden beds or just down the paths in between the rows.

garden wheel hoe

Double Wheel Hoe

The double wheel hoe is very similar to the single however it has an extra wheel for stability and ease of use.  This tool excels at breaking up the top layer of dirt and weeds from the hardest of soils.  Gardeners methodically remove the weeds by using a push and pull method as the walk down the rows of vegetable crops.

High Arch Wheel Hoe

The high arch wheel hoe works like the others to cut weeds off at the soil level.  The biggest advantage of the high arch design is hilling crops.  It is helpful to push dirt against the stalks of corn or potatoes as they grow to add stability to the plant.  Hilling serves a few purposes aside from stability, it adds a layer of dirt to protect the growing tubers, while disrupting the weed growth in the rows.

Stirrup Hoe

The stirrup hoe also known as the hula hoe or hoop hoe is a workhorse in our garden.  This hoe is designed to cut weeds right at the surface level.  This removes the weeds from their roots.  This hoe is excellent for keeping weed development down. The long handle makes it is easy to work the tool around plants.  As a result, use it frequently during the season to kill weeds as they first germinate.

Keep the blade of the long-handled stirrup hoe sharp to improve efficiency so you can work it all day long as needed.

The best stirrup hoe

Traditional Garden Hoe

A traditional garden hoe is an excellent tool for any homestead.  The regular hoe can be worked near the surface layer when worked back and forth.  Using an up and down motion it is possible to use a regular hoe to get under established weeds to assist in removing the roots.  Well-established weeds can be difficult to remove.  The classic hoe lets you get below the surface layer and loosen the roots from the soil.

Contour Wire Hoe

A wire hoe is the best tool for removing small weeds as they pop up.  A wire hoe should be lightweight for working quickly around established plants.  Simply, walk down a row in the garden and manipulate the hoe around the base of each plant.  The wire glides below the surface of the soil and decapitates the weeds from their roots.  This hoe is the best for working in tight quarters.  It is designed to remove new weeds as they emerge while causing the least disturbance to the roots of your crops.

Hori Hori

We love the hori hori for a small handheld tool.  It is a jack-of-all-trades kind of tool.  You can cut down weeds both big and small with the knife blade.  As well as dig deep roots from established weeds or use it to plant in the garden.  When doing a series of general tasks in the garden and bouncing from one to another the hori hori is good to have on your belt.  I use it in the garden nearly every single day from planting to weeding to harvesting and everything in between.

Hand-held tools like a hori hori are perfect for when you are doing small scale tasks in the garden.

hori hori a weeding tool

Cape Cod Weeder

The cape cod weeder is a hand-held scythe-type blade that excels at cutting thick weeds at the ground level.  Slide the blade behind the plants you want to remove and simply pull it towards your body and cut the weeds off. Despite being a smaller hand tool the cape cod weeder makes fast work.

This tool is for precisely removing individual weed plants one at a time.  This is not the tool to use to clear a large area or work down a 50 or 100-foot garden row working in between every single plant.

hand held weeding tool

Crack and Crevice Weeder

When you have weeds popping up in the cracks in your concrete or in between stone paths a crack and crevice weeder is the go-to solution.  Run the tool with the pointy end sticking in the crack to disrupt the weeds and kill them.  Ultimately, this is a specialized tool and you may choose to use something else to help with this task.

tool for weeds in concrete cracks

Tine Weeding Rake

A tine weeding rake is a specialized tool designed to run directly down garden rows.  Notably, the rake is flexible and designed to work over and around vegetables but catch emerging weeds before they get established.  Generally speaking, it is a tool for market gardeners that are growing multiple crops in a garden bed during the season.


The shovel always has a place in the collection of tools for weeding.  All things considered, other tools generally are better for removing different types of weeds.  However, double digging or even just digging and flipping the dirt eliminates the weeds currently during bed preparation.

A shovel is necessary to get deep tap-rooted weeds out of the garden.  Certain weeds get very well-established roots and will come back year after year if you leave any of the roots in the ground.  The shovel will help you get them out.

tool for digging weeds


The mattock or pick axe is another tool that excels at breaking up clumps of hard soil.  However, it does a good job in the early season of weeding a plot for the first planting.  This is not a tool to use once vegetable crops are established.  Obviously, the pick axe is not a finesse approach to weeding, but sometimes it just feels good to go swing in the garden and break up the dirt and remove some stubborn weeds.