Whether you're working with containers or borders, sowing seeds or planting vegetables, a garden trowel is one of the most important garden work tools there is. So, we'd always suggest finding a really reliable one.

Think carefully about the type of garden trowel you need. Would you prefer a long- or short-handled tool, and will you be working with compact soil, rockeries or containers, for example? There are many different shapes and sizes for a variety of different tasks.

If you find the right garden trowel for you, you're much more likely to make your jobs easier, so it's worth spending a bit of time thinking about your choice.

Here's our pick of the best.

Best garden trowels for gardeners in 2023

Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens trowel

Spear and Jackson garden trowel

This tough and durable transplanting garden trowel from the Kew Gardens Collection has an ergonomic ash handle that fits well in the hand, feeling comfortable, sturdy and balanced.

The mirror polished head has depth markings to help with bulb planting, and is rust-resistant and easy to clean. The trowel also has a leather wrist strap for easy storage.

Kent & Stowe Border Trowel

Long handled trowel

This stainless steel Border Hand Trowel is hand crafted and of traditional quality and is an ideal hand trowel for raised beds and backs of borders. At 60cm it should be very helpful to anyone who wants to avoid bending down too much, but also offers a way of getting to tricky-to-reach corners.

You can use this hand trowel for anything from planting seedlings and bulbs to bedding plants. The wooden trowel handle is 32 cm long.

Burgon & Ball RHS Transplanting Trowel

Transplanter to measure the depth

An ideal garden trowel transplanter for working among densely-planted borders. The face of the trowel is marked with depth in inches, which is really very helpful when planting bulbs.

It's stainless steel and resistant to rust and the tang is designed ergonomically, so it is the perfect angle for working with and is made from a different steel composition to maximise on strength. This garden trowel is also endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society and comes with a lifetime guarantee. The handle is 100% FSC certified wood and the overall length is 30cm.

Find more ergonomic garden tools in our round-up of cleverly designed kit.

Mira garden trowel

Mira Hand Trowel

This is the Mira Trowel, handmade in the EU by artisan coppersmiths for PKS Bronze. The head of this garden trowel is solid bronze (copper with tin) and the wood is sustainably-sourced European hardwoods. There's no rusting, no sharp edges and these garden trowels are incredibly hardwearing. These excellent garden trowels come with a lifetime guarantee and are not meant to only last for a year.

As a bonus, the metal is also a deterrent to slugs and snails and copper is generally very good for soil, so when you use your trowel you'll be safe in the knowledge that you're also helping the garden.

Bulldog Transplanting Trowel

Rockery Hand Trowel

Looking for a specific trowel for a specific job? If you're planning a rockery then you will need a particular tool. Thin and lean, perfect for getting into cracks and crevices, this Bulldog garden trowel is ideal.

This trowel has a carbon steel blade and a heavy duty tang and the handle is made from German and American FSC ash. The handle itself is 6 inches, the blade 1.25 inches and the width of the blade is also good for patios and paths.

Read our feature about how to build and plant a rock garden.

Niwaki Forged Trowel for compact soil


This forged garden trowel from Niwaki is hand forged and 6 inches of carbon steel. The head is slightly scooped and is ideal for weeding, burrowing, scooping and the sharpened blade cuts easily through compacted soil.

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There's a chunky oak handle has a robust feel and is rounded at the end, for ease of use. The head is 160mm long and 65 mm wide with the total length of this garden trowel being 370mm.

Pedigree garden trowel

A steel hand trowel with blue text on a white background.

A stainless steel garden trowel from Pedigree Garden Tools which will work for bedding plants and vegetable planting too. The blades are rust resistant and easy to keep clean and the edges are bevelled for sharpness.

This trowel also comes with a leather hanging loop for easy storage. It has a simple but efficient design with not too many frills which results in a reliable trowel for many of your garden jobs.

Sneeboer & Zn Great Dixter Trowel

Great Dixter Trowel

This long garden trowel is made by Sneeboer & Zn and comes highly recommended by the team at Great Dixter. In fact, the trowel itself was designed according to the specifications of Christopher Lloyd and was one of his favourite planting tools.

A long trowel, which is useful for planting into tight spaces and a long blade gives extra depth and extra reach. The full length of the trowel is 34 cm and the handle is made from ash. The small blade enables it to cut through even the most heavy clay soil.

Mini Essential Cell Tray Trowels

Two mini hand trowels on a white background.

Anyone who enjoys growing plants from seeds should find these trowels useful. They’re designed specifically for tending compact cell trays and, at just 17cm in length with narrow heads, they’re small enough to avoid tipping soil over the sides. Use them to set up your cell trays and then transplant your seedlings into larger containers or beds.

These high-quality garden trowels from Burgon & Ball are made from stainless steel and have FSC-certified wooden handles.

Radius Garden Root Slayer Carbon Steel Hand Shovel

A steel hand trowel with two serrated edges on a white background.

Choose the ‘Root Slayer’ for two functions in one handy tool. With its sharp, serrated double-edged blade, it can cut through weeds and roots easily, before you use the scoop to pull plants out of the ground. It also doubles as a twine cutter and bottle opener.

Thanks to the thermoplastic handle, you should be able to grip the trowel tightly during tough jobs. And you can sharpen the powder-coated steel ripsaw blades to lengthen their lifespan.

Looking for inspiration for planning your garden borders? Read our expert guide to border planting plans.