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The Best Trowel

Last updated on March 15, 2024

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Our Picks For The Top Trowels

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best Overall

Edward Tools Oversized Bend-Proof Garden Trowel

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Edward Tools

Oversized Bend-Proof Garden Trowel

Made from one solid piece of stainless steel, this trowel is bend-proof. It's an excellent choice for gardeners with less than ideal soil types. The trowel is also outfitted with an ergonomic rubber handle that provides a secure grip while also reducing hand and wrist fatigue.

Overall Take

Digs Through Rocky SoilsIf the soil in your backyard is tough, you'll want to go with this heavy-duty trowel.

 Camping Pick

Coghlan’s Backpacking & Camping Trowel


Backpacking & Camping Trowel

Thanks to its bright orange color, you won't have to worry about losing this trowel. It's designed for campers and backpackers and is both lightweight and easily portable. The trowel measures 11 inches in length and does just as good of a job as its more expensive stainless steel counterparts.

Overall Take

Portable DesignYou'll find this trowel is one of the most affordable on the market.

 Multiple Uses

iunio Hiking Trowel & Shovel


Hiking Trowel & Shovel

This trowel is one of the most versatile on the market. It's designed to work as a saw, nail puller, ruler, paracord, hex wrench and a shovel. The tool is even constructed from a durable stainless steel that won't rust or wear over time.

Overall Take

The Ultimate Survival ToolIncluded with this trowel is a handy carrying pouch with a built-in belt loop.

 Construction Pick

M-D Building Products 49120 Margin Trowel

M-D Building Products

49120 Margin Trowel

If you work in construction, you'll want to pick up one of these functional trowels. They are designed to spread thin set mortar in all those hard to reach cracks and crevices. Users will appreciate the thermo plastic resin handles, which are extremely comfortable to hold.

Overall Take

Best for BuildersThis trowel can be ordered in a 1, 2, 3 or 4 pack.

Buying Guide

If you do any gardening work at all, you know how essential a trowel is to your tool collection. This device is capable of doing everything from digging small holes to softening the soil to transplanting seedlings. Some gardeners even use trowels to help remove stubborn weeds that are too difficult to pull up by hand. Before you begin shopping for the best trowel on the market, there are a few features you need to know about.

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Consider the soil type you’re working with. Any trowel can handle softer soil types; however, you need a high-quality trowel for rocky and heavy soils. The Edward Tools Oversized Bend-Proof Garden Trowel is a good choice for homeowners who have difficult soil types. It’s made from one solid piece of stainless steel, which gives it added strength and eliminates the chance that the handle will bend under pressure.

Examine the trowel’s handle next, as you need a model that provides a firm grip. For example, a trowel set that features a soft-grip handle that is also ergonomical in design is a great buy. Thanks to the handle’s high-quality TPR material, both hand and wrist stress are reduced. This feature is especially important if you enjoy spending long periods of time working in your garden.

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Look at the shape of the trowel’s head. Some models are more ideal for general tasks, while others are specifically designed for transplanting. There are trowels that are outfitted with an extra-large polished cast-aluminum head. Their heads have sharp edges that make them the best choice for cutting through tough turf. Aluminum is also well known for resisting rust, which means you’ll get a longer life out of it.

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Decide if you’d like to go with a specialty set. There are trowels that come in full sets. Some offer small sets with just a traditional trowel, a transplanting trowel and a cultivator hand rake, while others go a step further by adding a weeding tool, spray bottle, pair of gardening gloves and a polyester organizing tote. There are also trowels that are actually made for hikers and campers, as their sole purpose is to dig catholes and holes for tent spikes.

What to Look For

  • It’s important to clean your trowel after each use. Not only will this extend the life of the trowel, but it will also reduce the chance of cross-contamination. Otherwise, you can unknowingly have fungus or aphids on your trowel from working with one plant and then transfer them to another. Run the trowel under your garden hose to rinse away any loose dirt and then set it in a bucket of soapy water. After a 15 minute soak, rinse the trowel clean and dry it with a lint-free cloth. If you encounter any stuck-on dirt, you can use a soft-bristle brush to remove it.
  • If storage is an issue, look for a trowel with a hanging hole. You can hang these from a wall in your shed or garage without taking up any room on a shelf or in a drawer.
  • Some trowels come with markings that let you know the plant depth. This may be helpful to beginner gardeners who haven’t learned to eyeball the depth yet.
  • While the cost for a gardening trowel varies slightly, none of the price tags are out of reach, even if you’re shopping with a limited budget.

More to Explore

Hand trowels have been in use for a long time. In fact, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has a portrait on display called “Man with Trowel.” It was painted by artist Jacob Kainen back in 1935. It’s a watercolor piece that depicts a man kneeling over the earth with a trowel in hand.

Speaking of the Smithsonian, the National Museum of American History has a ceremonial trowel that was created for President Dwight D. Eisenhower on display. The president used the trowel during the dedication of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s headquarters building in Germantown, Maryland on November 8, 1957. The trowel sits inside a felt-covered wooden box that is further protected by a clear plastic display case.

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