The Japanese hori hori knife turns gardeners at any levels into real gardener ninjas. Weeding, digging, or planting. Imagine an ancient gardening tool perfected through thousand years of mastery right in your own hands. No more undesirable weed killers. No more "Damn, gotta go drag another tool". Nor heavy tool bags. You tend your garden with half the effort and two times the fun with this mighty little buddy under command.

The Nisaku 650 (Never-Bend Knife)

In Home Depot-type stores around Japan, you will hardly find one that doesn't carry the Nisaku brand. It is the cutting edge in the knife industry.

These hori hori knives, or this iconic 650, are well-known for their two edges. The serrated edge and the straight edge. Both of them are wickedly sharp.

Rocky soil breaks several of your tools before? Sliding the 650 out from the sheath–while feeling bad ass–you chop down into the rocks, wiggle them, twist them, lever them up. As those last weeds are pulled out, you feel "ahh" while the knife still stands up tall for the next abuse. The thick 420J2 stainless steel means it never bends.

Tough roots, overgrown plants that you've been dreading for weeks? You name the plants and the 650 gets the task done. It's not only the sharpness of the knife that works, it's the concave shape that works wonders. Planting time is now 3x shorter with no more blisters, hands or elbows strain. Left-handed? Just flip it around and you're good to go. Isn't this what gardening is supposed to be for people of all ages–nearly effortless and always enjoyable.

And this little thing needs little or no sharpening at all. After each use, run it under water, dry it, and oil it. After 20-30 years, it will still be going strong and rust-free. Without a cross guard, however, you might accidentally cut your finger in the first few uses if not careful. Wearing gloves can protect you from cuts and sore palms. Still, it takes little time to get used to this little guy.

Holding the hardwood handle with knife tip down, poor eyeball-ers now get an accurate depth measurement from 1 to 6 inches on the blade-engraved inches & metrics ruler. A headlamp and glasses may be needed if you're working it late in the evening. Folks are buying one for their gardening and non-gardening friends. Or as last-minute gifts for those "Oops of-course-I-remember" events.

See the demo:


Weeding raised beds:

Strong as steel
Cuts like butter
Lasts forever

The 650 knife at Home Depot (affiliate link)

Nisaku 650 Knife Feature Detail
Blade material 420J2 stainless steel
Blade length & width 7.25 x 2
Tang 2.25 half tang
Handle material Hardwood
Handle length 5.25
Blade-handle connection 2 solid stainless steel pins
Total knife length 12 1/2 long
Knife weight 8 oz + 2 oz (leather sheath)

The 651, at twice the price of the 650, is hardened steel infused with vanadium. Might worth a look for heavy-duty weeding.