Using Hand Weeder Tools: How To Use A Hand Weeder Tool In The Garden

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Weeding isn’t fun. The rare lucky gardener can find some zen-like peace in it, but for the rest of us it’s a real pain. There’s no way to make weeding painless, but it can be made bearable, especially if you have the right tools. Keep reading to learn more about using hand weeder tools and how and when to use a hand weeder tool in the garden.

What is a Hand Weeder?

When people talk about a hand weeder or a hand-held garden weeder, chances are good they’re all thinking of the same tool. A hand weeder is small, about the size of a regular garden trowel. It has a very similar handle in size and shape. Instead of a trowel’s head, however, the handle is attached to a long, thin metal pole that ends in two forking tines that are roughly 1 inch (2.5 cm.) long.

Sometimes there will be an extra piece, like a wedge, running along the length of this pole. This is used as a fulcrum for leveraging weeds out of the ground.

How Does a Hand Weeder Work?

Using hand-weeder tools isn’t quite self-explanatory, but once you know what you’re doing, you can’t fail. Simply find your offending weed and poke the hand weeder into the ground around it a few times to loosen the soil.

Then hold the weed by the stem with your non-dominant hand. With your other hand, sink the tines of the hand weeder into the soil at a 45-degree angle about 3 inches (7.5 cm.) away from the base of the plant.

Next, push the handle of the hand weeder straight down toward the ground – the length of the tool should be acting as a lever to lift the weed’s roots out of the ground. This is when that extra fulcrum on the tool comes in handy. Make sure it’s touching the ground when you do this.

It helps to pull gently on the plant as you do this, but don’t pull so hard you break it. If the plant isn’t budging, you may have to loosen the soil some more or push the tool deeper in order to get under more of the roots.

With any luck, the entire weed will pop out of the ground without leaving behind any roots that will resprout.

This $17 Extendable Weed Remover Is Made to Save Your Back in the Garden—but It Has Other Clever Uses

Ridding your garden of weeds will help to maintain its overall health, but you don't want to compromise your overall health in the process. If you experience back or knee pain from tending to your garden, the Corona Extendable Handle Weeder might give you some relief: It allows you to remove weeds while standing up.

The "indispensable" weeder is made of a strong yet lightweight aluminum, so carrying it around your garden won't tire you out. The tine bottom allows you to get under the root of the weed, pulling it up whole with nothing left behind. The device is also fully heat-treated, so it's extra durable, and the handle reaches out by 32 inches.

One shopper, who calls this their "favorite garden tool," says, "This thing is very high quality. Plenty strong enough for the jobs you will want to use it for. [It's] death on weeds. I'm 66 and in a power wheelchair due to Guillain-Barre syndrome. I used to have trouble pulling weeds by hand but not anymore. When you plant the razor-sharp tines deep on the far side of a weed, pulling it up roots and all is a snap."

Another customer mirrors that sentiment: "This thing is perfect for me. I need to sit while working in the garden and with this, I have a great reach. It's narrow enough to get in between bushes and sturdy enough to scrape along the edge of the grass to keep a nice clean edge. Use the tool extended or shortened—it's great."

Shoppers have found other clever uses for the device beyond weeding. They're using it to clear leaves out of their gutters, to dig for clams, to remove debris before setting up a tent for camping, and even to stir up their compost bins.

If you're looking for a device that's tough on weeds and easy on your back, shop the Corona Extendable Handle Weeder at Amazon while it's on sale for $17.


PictureNameWeightLengthProsConsCheck price
Fiskars 4-Claw Weed Remover2.8 lbs39"Telescopic shaft, removes roots too, lightweightNonePrice
Radius Garden 2056.7 lbs44.7"Can be used for weeds in borders, durableHeavy, takes out more soilPrice
Worth Garden Stand Up Weeder2.2 lbs34"5 claws, sturdy, money-back guaranteeClaws not massive enoughPrice

Our Top Picks for the Best Gardening Hoes

For Weeding and Cultivation

Our top pick for the best gardening hoe: weeding and cultivation is the Flexrake Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator.

For light cultivation and maintenance weeding in established gardens and beds, the Flexrake Hula-Ho makes your work quick and easy. It requires minimal maintenance and holds up well with frequent use.

For Heavy-Duty Work

Our top pick for the best gardening hoe: heavy-duty work is the Rogue Garden Cultivator Field Cotton Hoe Tool.

For moving dirt or breaking up heavy soils, the Rogue Garden Hoe comes out on top. The heavy-duty construction coupled with its relatively light weight makes it a good choice even for gardeners with limitations.

Watch the video: 8 Weeder Gadgets put to the Test

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