Best Digging Hoe UK 

Thanks for taking your time to read our information on the best digging hoes, that are currently available on the UK market. The digging hoe remains one of the most popular of all the hoes on the UK market. The most popular will have a forged head and a wooden handle. These are the best all round all terrain tool for general surface ground work. They can be called Grub hoes and Mattocks.

The cutting blade is tough and sharp and ideal to chop through overgrown ground cover, small roots etc. You can get these with a long shaft or with a short shaft. The long shaft means you don't have to bend over, which can be really tough on the back and knees. If you want to use one of these on a smaller area then a hand digging hoe with a short shaft is a better option.

Digging hoes are used for making trenches and furrows which is ideal when planting seeds. They are used by gardeners and also used by many people who have an allotment.

 Just below we have listed the various types of hoes and their uses. After that we have included the important information to know before buying a digging hoe.

Different Types of Hoes

There are different types of hoes and we have listed those below:

  1. The Digging hoe - These are used for general purpose digging and come in a variety of shapes and sizes and may also be known as Grub hoes (mainly USA). You may also hear them called a "Mattock."
  2. The Dutch hoe - uses a shallow angled blade with a front cutting edge and used to remove weeds and to work between seedlings and established plants and shrubs
  3. The Draw hoe - this is also known as a digging hoe and typically this hoe is used in harder ground.  It has a wide downward facing blade set at right angles to the main shaft and used using a chopping action to loosen and break up soil
  4. The Swoe - these are ideal for use in confined spaces such as in and amongst established plants. They have an angled head and chamfered edges
  5. The Oscillating hoe - Also known as a reciprocating hoe, this type of hoe has a blade that moves, and they use a scrubbing action, and again mainly used for weeding.
  6. The Warren hoe -  this one is easily identified as it has a "V" shaped blade and no cutting edge. The blade is set at right angles to the shaft and is used for making seed drills as well as grading soil and backfilling.
  7. The Onion hoe - as the name would suggest this is used for working between rows of onions. It has a winged style head that lets the hoe work just under the surface of the soil
  8. The Cultivator - It is not a hoe as such, but does exactly the same purpose. It helps break up the soil using 3 prongs on one side, and a hoe on the other side. They are available as telescopic options

Digging Hoe Buyer Tips

Digging hoes take physical effort on your part to make them work. What you really need to consider with these is the balance of the hoe, or simply how it feels in your hands when using it. You have to swing these to make them work properly. So the head needs to be heavy but the weight distributed along the length of the shaft.

The blade needs to be sharp, hardwearing and large enough to do the job. Ideally a digging hoe with a single forged head is the best choice as it is easier to sharpen and also will not break.

It really depends what you plan on using this hoe for as people use them for slightly different things.

  • Removing the top layer of grass/weeds - A digging hoe is ideal for this and you really need one with a lighter head that just gets beneath the surface. One with a slight angle will work the best
  • Digging deeper and then breaking up the sod -  this is where we would recommend getting a digging hoe with a heavier head. That allows the blade to get deep enough into the soil so as you can pull the sod up and then chop it using the blade. - Heavier digging hoes take a lot of physical effort
  • Heavier types of weeding - for us this really depends on your size. Taller people will be better off with a longer shaft and smaller people with a shorter shaft. Most weeds don't have very deep roots so any weight of blade will be able to get rid of them.

Harbour Housewares Full Size Azada Garden Digging Hoe

88% buyer satisfaction rating based on 3,000+ online buyer reviews

This Digging hoe is by far the biggest seller online with thousands of buyers and a very high level of satisfaction

It has a forged steel blade with a really sharp edge, which is ideal for cutting and drawing

It has a wooden handle which is very comfortable to use

It is 110 cm long and the blade is 16 cm wide and 21 cm deep


This hoe is very well made and lightweight and feels really well balanced.

Ease of Use

The majority of buyers said the blade is sharp. They also said it is very light and the handle is very comfortable

Value for money

At around £25 this is about average for what you should expect to pay for a good quality hoe from a good brand.

Draper Digging Hoe

92% buyer satisfaction rating based on 600+ online buyer reviews

This digging hoe is from the popular British Draper brand

It is 122.5 cms long and the blade is 17.5 x 30 cms with a weight of 2 Kg

This would be classed as a heavy hoe ideal for cutting through tree roots and thick turf with ease

It has a tough wooden handle


This hoe is very well made and heavy but still feels really well balanced, and certainly built to last

Ease of Use

The majority of buyers said the blade is sharp and deep enough for heavier digging.

Value for money

At around £25 this is about average for what you should expect to pay for a good quality hoe from a good brand.

Short Digging Hoe - Forged Adze Grubbing Hoe

84% buyer satisfaction rating based on 400+ online buyer reviews

This is a smaller digging hoe (17" in size) and can be really useful for working in garden beds and borders - they can be really useful for getting into small spaces

The blade is 1.8" x 5.5" with an overall length of 17" and weighs 1lb

It has a nice grip, a wooden handle and a single piece drop forged steel head which can easily be resharpened when the time comes


This hoe is very well made and is certainly built to last. Make sure to add a fixing screw from the head to the handle through the small hole

Ease of Use

The majority of buyers said the blade is very sharp and is great for use in any small space for digging or weeding

Value for money

At around £17 this is about average for what you should expect to pay for a good quality hand hoe.

If this is not the type of hoe for you, then check out our article on the different types of hoes by clicking here.

Digging Hoe FAQ

Where can you buy digging hoes?

At places like Argos, B&Q, Screwfix etc you will only find a very small selection of hoes and mainly Dutch hoes. None of these stores are particularly good for any type of hand gardening tools. You will likely need to go to a good Garden Centre or online to get a proper digging hoe.

Should a Digging hoe be sharp?

Yes a digging hoe should be very sharp, as it is the blade that has to get through the ground. Ideally is should be set at a slight angle to get the best results. The sharper the blade the faster you will get the job done.

How do you use a Digging hoe?

The action depends on the use. Mainly it is a chopping action initially which is then followed by a pulling action.

Which hoe is best for weeding?

We like the Dutch hoe best for general removal of weeds. The Paxton's hoe will also do a very good job at removing the weeds as well.


I am someone who enjoys a little gardening. Now I am not someone who spend hours in the garden, but I do like both my front and back gardens to look really nice. Well kept lawns, neatly trimmed hedges, and borders filled with plants, make a huge difference, to how your property looks.

Enda McLarnon

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