A gardening knife is one of the most useful tools to have close at hand in the garden. A good pruning knife can be used for chopping lettuces, kale and other crops, chopping string, and cutting flowers. Whether you need to quickly tie in a climber or harvest your vegetables from the kitchen garden, a gardener’s knife is a good addition to any gardener’s tool box.
A good gardening knife should be the perfect size, safe and with a strong handle with good grip which enables you to use it in all kinds of weather and when your hands are cold. Avoiding rust is also important in a gardening knife and the blade may be a specific shape according to what you’ll be using your gardening knife for. Whatever knife you get, always make sure it’s as safe as possible and exercise caution when using it in the garden.
And let’s not forget how sharp it is. Using a blunt blade on your precious plants and crops can do serious damage. You definitely don’t want a garden knife that’s leaving jagged edges on your newly pruned trees and shrubs, as this will mean the plant is more susceptible to disease and pests. Don’t forget to pick up sharpeners with your knives and read our piece on how to sharpen tools.
Here’s our pick of the best gardening for pruning and more. Don’t miss our guide to pruning.
OAK HANDLE KNIFE
Compact Pruning Knife that has a slim handle perfect for hard pruning work. This gardening knife has less of a pronounced curve so that you can use it for several different tasks. The knife blade is high carbon steel and the handle is housed in solid brass.
This garden knife is made in the UK and is endorsed by the RHS. The blade is 9cm long and folds into a 10cm handle. If you get the gift set from Harrod Horticultural, there’s a sharpening steel in the display box.
This gardening knife is versatile, reliable and made from top quality materials. It’s lightweight and good for both big and small hands too.
£39.99, Burgon & Ball,
Buy from burgonandball.com and Harrod Horticultural
SWISS MADE KNIFE
This Grafting Knife from felco has the classic Swiss stamp of reliability and quality on it and is a great gardening knife for many different tasks.
The tough nylon handles doesn’t degrade and the blade, which measures 8.5cm is made from high carbon steel. Though this knife is not just made for gardening, it is a knife that gardeners love, and its compact design means it tucks away in a handy pocket and is lightweight too.
HAND FORGED KNIFE
The steel for this Tina 613 pruning knife has been hand forged and the handle is made of individually carved walnut. It comes highly recommended by Great Dixter, which calls its quality ‘unequalled’.The lengths of the gardening knife are 17 cm open; blade length 6.5 cm. The Württemberg-based company Tina has created gardening knives and tools for professional use for over 150 years.
£92.99, Great Dixter Shop,
No. 09 DIY Folding Knife, has a robust blade and a wire cutter (5mm max cable diameter) and with a wire stripper (1.8mm max cable diameter) included. There’s also two screwdriver tips in the handle, which means you don’t have to simply use this for gardening purposes. This gardening knife can also do in-house DIY. The blade length is 8cm and is made from Sandvik stainless steel, while the handle is made from durable fibreglass reinforced with polyamide. There’s also a strong safety lock on this and the garden knife can be locked when in use or when folded. Available in yellow and grey.
Currenly out of stock at conranshop.co.uk or buy at Opinel
This full pruner knife has a rosewood handle and has a blade that’s just under three inches. The stag antler handles are made from a sustainable source and the blade gives a very clean cut. The slight curve is also helpful for hooking under string and more to cut too. The overall length of the gardening knife is 7 inches, length closed is 4 inches and the blade is made from carbon steel by A Wright and Son Ltd from Sheffield.
£40, A Wright & Son,
sheffield-trading.com and Sporting Knives
COLOURED HORNBEAM HANDLED KNIFE
Traditional Folding Knife in blue from Opinel has a corrosion resistant stainless steel blade and a pierced handle and lace, making it convenient to hang. The gardening knife handle is comfortable in the hand and, like the other Opinel option, has both a safety lock when closed and when open.
The blade is 8.5cm long and is Yatagan shape which is inspired by a traditional Turkish saber, the toe up and is helpful for pruning on any other garden tasks. The handle is made from white wood from French forests and is varnished, to protect from dirt.
Buy from Opinel
HAND FORGED IN JAPAN
Baishinshi Kogatana gardening knife from Niwaki which is hand forged by Umeda san, 7th generation blacksmith of Baishinshi in Japan. The knife blade is made from Shirogami White Paper steel higane and it has soft steel jigane cladding. The blade is 5″ (13cm) and the handle is made of magnolia. Another versatile option, as this pruning or gardening knife will also double up as a handy knife to have around the house.
Crater C33 gardening knife that’s lightweight and has a rust resistant blade. This knife is also easy to sharpen and you can clip the knife onto your garden overalls. Or as a bottle opener! The knife is 2.6 inches and in total the knife is 3.87 inches long. The handle is nylon and glass-filled and the knife comes with a 25 year warranty. This is a perfect knife for general gardening tasks. You can also get this garden knife engraved.
leatherman.co.uk or Amazon