Best Garden Hand Trowels in 2022

There’s no garden tool more essential than the trusty trowel. It’s perfect for planting in both borders and containers, but is also great for weeding, getting bulbs in at the right depth, scooping compost, marking out seed drills and working in tight spaces.

Our expert testers trial hundreds of garden tools to work out which will do the job well and offer the best value, comfort and quality. We’ve tested essentials like the best garden spades and best hoes as well as more specific kit like the best spray guns, the best secateurs, and the best garden kneelers.

If you’re looking for ideas on other types of gardening kit to make your work a little more comfortable, have a look at our pick of some of the best gardening shoes, or our tests of the best wellies.

The best trowels at a glance:

Best Buy for versatility: Kent and Stowe Capability Trowel

Best Buy for quality and value: DeWit Planting Trowel

Best Buy for premium performance: Niwaki Moku Trowel

Best Buy for all round-use: Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel

Our expertise

We tested a range of trowels, using them for different tasks and situations to help you find the right one for your garden. Each trowel has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to comfort, performance, materials and value for money. Every trowel in our round up below has scored a minimum of four out of five stars, so you can buy with confidence.

In every review we award the outstanding products our coveted Best Buy award. To see these and the others we recommend, browse our pick of the best trowels below:

The best garden hand trowels in 2022

1

Kent and Stowe Capability Trowel

RRP: £14.99

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Kent and Stowe Capability Trowel

Pros:

  • Two blade edges for easy cutting through roots, soil, and compost bags
  • Hammer end on handle for stakes
  • Measuring gauge for seed and bulb depth
  • Comfortable handle
  • Very strong and sturdy

Cons:

This exceptional trowel is built to last and offers great versatility alongside a stellar performance at ordinary trowelling tasks. A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for versatility, it has sharpened and serrated edges for cutting through roots and compost bags, a depth gauge for accurate planting and even a hammer for stakes and small posts. Made from breathable ash, it sits well in the hand, and cuts through even compacted, dry soil. We found that after use there was little soil left on the blade. Despite its size, the hammer is effective at hammering in stakes.

In this in-depth video review, Alex David explains why the Kent and Stowe Capability hand trowel was awarded Best Buy status.

Read the full Kent and Stowe Capability hand trowel review.

2

DeWit Planting Trowel

RRP: £10.99

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

DeWit Planting Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

DeWit Planting Trowel

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Great for most jobs
  • Strong and long lasting
  • Excellent quality and value

Cons:

This tempered carbon-steel head has been hand-crafted and has bevelled edges and a sharp, pointed tip. Ours testers loved the workmanship on this model and awarded it a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for quality and value. It’s sturdy too and effectively cuts through all types of soil, plus it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Read the full Dewit Planting trowel review.

3

Niwaki Moku Trowel

RRP: £69.99

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Niwaki Moku Trowel (large) - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

Niwaki Moku Trowel

Pros:

  • Light, comfortable, strong and sturdy
  • Digs, weeds and plants effortlessly
  • Excellent quality

Cons:

  • Best for light use
  • Small
  • Short guarantee

Another hand crafted, carbon-steel tool, our experts awarded the Niwaki model BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy status as the best premium performing trowel. All garden jobs, including digging, weeding and planting are virtually effortless for this Japanese tool and the beech handle is comfortable to hold when working. It comes with a two year guarantee.

Read the full Niwaki Moku trowel review.

4

Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel

RRP: £10.99

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World magazine

Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel

Pros:

  • Great for scooping, digging and weeding
  • Comfortable
  • Light and well balanced
  • Well-made and long lasting

Cons:

Our expert testers judged the Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Trowel as the best garden hand trowel for all round use, awarding it BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy status. The narrow ash handle is comfortable to use and it’s weatherproofed to keep it in good shape. The traditional head of the trowel is well scooped and sharp to help it cut efficiently through the soil but it’s also useful for potting on and planting. It comes with a 10 year warranty.

Read the full Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel review.

The best of the rest

Although some models didn’t quite achieve a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award, they still have great features that make them worth recommending. Browse our pick of the best of the rest on test.

5

Gardena Ecoline Trowel

RRP: £12.99

Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Gardena Ecoline Trowel - BBC Gardener's World Magazine

Gardena Ecoline Trowel

The Gardena Ecoline Trowel is a great sustainable trowel. The blade is made of 25% recycled coated steel, the handle uses 85% recycled plastic, and the wooden tip of the handle is FSC wood. What’s more, the warranty is a whopping 25 years, so this will be a trusted companion in the garden for a long time. It feels very sturdy, and we like the thumb grip, but there’s a little ridge on the back of the handle that’s uncomfortable to hold. It digs very well, although the blade is a little dull, and it doesn’t have a depth gauge or other extra features like a serrated edge. The handle features a hole for hanging up, but it doesn’t come with a strap.

6

Gardena Comfort Hand Trowel

RRP: £11.99

Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Gardena Comfort Hand Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

Gardena Comfort Hand Trowel

Pros:

  • Light and comfortable
  • Built to last
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Cumbersome for some jobs
  • Not for small hands

This is a light and comfortable gardening trowel to use but one that still feels strong and works well for planting. The corrosion-resistant steel head is long and large and great for planting but it could be awkward to use during tasks like weeding, particularly for smaller hands. It’s guaranteed for 25 years.

Buy the Gardena Comfort Hand Trowel from Dobbies

7

Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Collection Never Bend Carbon Hand Trowel

RRP: £13.95

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Collection Never Bend Carbon Hand Trowel - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Collection Never Bend Carbon Hand Trowel

Pros:

  • Good leverage
  • Simple but sturdy
  • Long warranty

Cons:

  • Stumpy handle, best for smaller hands
  • Feels heavy

This gardening trowel by Spear and Jackson has good leverage and works well for both digging and planting. The carbon-steel head feels sturdy while the FSC certified ash handle is weatherproofed for enhanced durability, but it is quite short and therefore best for smaller hands. It’s guaranteed for 15 years.

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How we tested

We tested a range of trowels. Each trowel was used to dig, transplant, and turn over to see how they fared. They were assessed according to the following criteria with equal marks attributed to each:

Handle and blade: Looked at the sharpness, shape, and depth of blade. We assessed the size and weight of the handle, the trowel’s overall rust resistance and the quality of its materials.
Comfort: Focused on comfort and ease of use, and the balance of the blade and the handle.
Performance: Assessed strength and durability across digging, transplanting, and other common trowel tasks, as well as bonus features like hammers and depth gauges.
Value for money: Considered all of the above as well as quality, design, warranty and price.

For more information on our testing process, see How we Review

This review was last updated in September 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.