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As a professional gardener and nurseryman of over 20 years working at my family garden centre, like most gardeners, one job I’ve never been keen on is weeding. Whether I’m maintaining a client’s lawn by removing dandelions in spring or weeding potted plants in my family’s nursery, the job of weeding is always one I’d prefer not to be doing.
Over the years, I’ve tested and used many tools for removing weeds than I can count. I’ve always preferred to try to prevent weeds, especially on lawns, using a weedkiller, especially on lawns, or even using glyphosate weedkillers on driveways and gravel paths using a garden sprayer to apply it effectively at the correct rate.
The problem is that even after using weed control fabric under gravel or wood chip paths and applying lawn weed and feed to lawns, weeds will always crop up; it’s a neverending battle. To remove these weeds, I use a handful of specific weeding tools that make light work of weeds.
First off, a decent weed puller is probably my favourite weeding tool, especially for larger weeds in lawns and borders. I’ve used just the Fiskars weed pullers for years. They do a fantastic job, and I highly recommend investing in one. I like that they are easy to use and very effective at removing large weeds, including the root.
Simply push the prongs around the weed and into the ground using the foot pedal and then lever the handle to the side. This closes the prongs, grips the weed, and lifts it out of the ground, usually with the tap root. They are particularly good for deep-rooted weeds as they remove the whole weed, including the root. In some cases, they can leave quite a large hole (perhaps an inch wide). I always have a small tub of soil handy to fill the holes as I make my way through the weeds.
More recently, for the past 12 months, I’ve been using the Gardena weed puller, which works similarly. I found that it’s very effective for all kinds of weeds, especially deep-rooted weeds and is a somewhat finessed version of the Fiskars. However, with this weed puller, you push it over the weed, twist the handle and lift, which removes a small core containing the weed and root. Next, you push down on the handle to discard the weed. It’s quickly replacing the two Fiskars weed pullers I’ve used for years. The build quality is fantastic, too. I’ve for the Gardena auto hose reel, and that is also a fantastic piece of kit as it is the lawn sprinkler I use that also Gardena.
One other weeding tool I have always used is the Spear & Jackson Elements Dandelion Weeder. So, Dandelions are probably one of the main weeds I find myself having to remove from lawns. If you only have a few weeds and your lawn is pretty well maintained, a Dandelion weeder is a brilliant tool to remove those occasional weeds that take root. They’re fairly cheap but very well made and super easy to use. Over the years, I have used a few different models, but this particular one by Spear & Jackson is very strong in comparison; it’s very well-made and doesn’t bend, which is something I can’t say about the cheaper Chinese versions. I like using them on small lawns, particularly hard, compact soil, to remove dandelions.
When it comes to removing weeds and moss between paving stoves or block paving, usually on paths and block paving. I have used two tools that are well worth considering. The first is the Gardena Combisystem Patio Weeder. Now, this is an excellent tool for getting between flags and removing weeds and moss and is very strong.
Over the years, I’ve used similar unbranded models, but I’ve had issues as they constantly bend or, worse, the blade snaps off. This Gardena patio weeder is by far the best example of a patio weeder I’ve seen. It comes with a small handle so you can work on your hands and knees, which is usually, how I use it. However, because it is part of the Gardena combi system, you can also attach a long handle to use it without being on your hands and knees. However, you don’t have the same control using it like this.
So, I also want to mention this Newman & Cole Weed Brush. Now, you can get these from most DIY stores for a few quid, and these are nothing new; the problem is, they simply don’t last. This version by Newman & Cole is a good example and is the one I recommend if you want this tool.
It’s particularly good for removing moss. Here is a little tip: treat your patios with a moss killer throughout the year, and this is usually enough to prevent moss build-up in the first place. I’m a big fan of prevention; some moss killers are organic and pet-friendly! Ise usually then seal the gaps with a paving grout, usually a brush in Silka sand.
Finally, I want to mention weed burners. They can be slow going, and I’ve tried a few different models over the years, including both electric and gas weed burners. However, I do have one that I use at home to literally burn away the odd weed on my resin driveway. Although this ToolTronix 2000W Electric Weed Burner is not the fastest way to remove weeds, it does a fairly good job and could be worth considering if you have a small yard or garden. I tend to use it every few weeks and burn any weeds that have cropped up. Just be careful that any dry material doesn’t catch fire, especially dry leaves. It’s not a fast option, but it’s certainly worth considering.
Below are some of my recommended best weeding tools
- Gardena Weed Puller – I have been using one of these for the last 12 months, and it is extremely well made, easy to use and great for removing deep-rooted weeds from lawns
- Fiskars Xact Weed Puller – I used one of these for years, and there ex excellent for removing weeds, especially dandelions, from lawns
- Gardena Combisystem Patio Weeder – A brilliant little weeding tool for removing weeds and moss from between flags, pavings and block paving
- ToolTronix 2000W Electric Weed Burner – Slow and steady wins the race, effective but not the fastest way to get rid of weeds
- Spear & Jackson 4059NB Elements Dandelion Weeder – A tool I would never be without, excellent for small lawns, compact and very little damage to lawns
- Wolf Garten Push Pull Weeder – Another great weed puller, great quality and robust
- Spear & Jackson daisy grubber – Another handy little weeding tool
- Newman & Cole Weed Brush – Brilliant weeding tool for removing weeds and moss from between paving and block paving
Weeding Tool Reviews
1. Gardena Weed Puller
This Gardena Weed Puller is what I’ve been using for the last 12 months in place of my Fiskars weed puller. It’s basically a manual weed puller that lets you stand up all the time you’re using it. No more having to bend down for any part of the weeding process.
I have found that whereas the Fiskars weed puller and other weed pullers can leave a relatively large hole, perhaps an inch wide, this removes a smaller, more compact core. I basically find it does a neat job as it cuts around the weed and root instead of pulling it out.
This extremely well-made weed puller, which I expected from Gardena, consists of a metal shaft with two blades at the end. These blades are set very close together, which is the unique feature of this particular puller. It won’t leave a large hole in your lawn, which has always been my main complaint about them. I usually fill the holes in with a little compost and maybe a little grass seed on top of the larger holes
The other end of the shaft is an ergonomic T-shaped handle, while just above the blades is a foot pedal. On the shaft is also a button to release the weeds using the built-in ejector mechanism, another unique feature.
When using this Gardena weed puller I have found it simple and easy to use. Just place the blades on the ground around the weed. Accuracy in placement is essential and may be a little difficult at first as there’s not much of a gap between the blades but a little practice and you soon get fast with it.
Then use the foot pedal to push the blades into the ground. The next step is to firmly grasp the handle and twist it 180 degrees, which creates a full 360-degree cut around the weed and, more importantly, the weed. Pull the weeder out of the ground. The weed and a small plug of soil around it come with it. Use the ejector button to drop the weed from the weeder. That’s it. I usually just drop them into a bucket and then recycle them in the compost bin or compost tumbler.
Some soil is removed with the weed but it’s limited to the small hole that the blades cut, I usually just fill them in with a little soil.
- Manual weed puller, which removes the weed and root.
- Built-in ejector mechanism.
- Blades are specially patented.
- T handle for ergonomics.
- Foot pedal to operate blades.
- Works upright without need to bend.
- Lightweight at just over 1kg
If you are looking to remove large weeds from lawns, then this is one of the best weeding tools and is one of the best weed pullers. I’ve even started using it instead of my Fiskars weed puller that I’ve used for over ten years.
If weeding hurts your back, the Gardena Weed Puller allows you to stand all the time, which is what I like. Yes, it leaves holes in your lawn, but these are relatively small compared to those left by other weeding tools, and it does somewhat help with drainage. I usually fill them in with a bit of soil. Overall, it’s a great tool and one I wouldn’t be without.
2. Fiskars Xact Weed Puller
This Fiskars weed puller is a modern take on a popular weeding tool. It is very well designed with high-quality stainless steel claws that clamp both the weed and root, which makes it very effective at removing weeds on the lawn. I have used this professionally and on my own lawn for removing large weeds for well over 10 years. I still think it’s a great piece of kit!
I find that it’s great for removing dandelions and very easy to use; simply step on the foot ram, put the jaws over the weed and push firmly into the ground, then pull the handle back and lift the weed out of the ground.
Finally, push the bright orange handle down the shaft to release the weed and dispose of it. I usually just drop them into a bucket and compost them. What is great is all this can be done within a few seconds, making removing large numbers of weeds from your lawn fast and easy, all without bending over or kneeling.
The ergonomically designed handle makes it very easy and comfortable to use. It isn’t cheap at nearly twice the price of some similar models. However, it is very effective at removing weeds and does get weeds out nearly every time.
On Amazon.co.uk, it is the most popular weed puller available despite its higher price mark and has over a staggering 1400 positive user reviews.
The Fiskars Xact Weed Puller is without doubt the best weeding tool available for removing weeds from lawns and beds. It is our top-rated weed puller and will not leave you disappointed. Once you use it you will wonder how you ever managed to remove weeds without it. A pricey but excellent weeding tool.
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3. Gardena Combisystem Patio Weeder
I’ve been using this Gardena Combisystem Patio Weeder for around two seasons, and it’s a great piece of kit for really getting between paving stones of block paving and removing weeds. The only downside is that it’s real manual work, and it works best when used with the included small handle. You can get a longer handle that’s compatible with it, but it’s not as easy to use, thats what I’ve found anyway.
This is a weeding tool that removes weeds, moss and grass from in-between paving blocks and slabs. It’s effectively a blade that’s ground on both sides, making it durable and resistant to becoming blunt. It’s made of rust-free hardened stainless steel too. Its curved shape allows you to put the end in the crevices between blocks or pavers and scrape out the weeds.
- Weeder for cleaning out joints between patio and paving stones and blocks.
- Blades are ground on both sides.
- Blades are rust-free, hardened stainless steel.
- Part of Gardena’s Combisystem family of tools
If you’re a Gardena Combisystem fan and already have tools in that line, then this Gardena Combisystem Patio Weeder is definitely a consideration as a weeding tool. Overall, it is a great tool, but it means getting on your hands and knees. The other alternative I use for similar jobs is the Weed Brush, which I review further down for Cleaning Patios, Block Paving and Driveway, for example.
4. ToolTronix 2000W Electric Weed Burner
This ToolTronix 2000W Electric Weed Burner is not a band tool for dealing with weeds but is a slow process. However, it means no chemicals and it’s perfect for hard surfaces. This is a 2000W heat tool that shoots a blast of hot air onto your unwanted weeds, but it’s handy for tight spaces or very narrow cracks. I don’t use it for large areas, more for a few weeds on my resin driveway.
So, it has two heat settings. The cooler one is for 500L/min of 50°C air, while the hotter one is the same flow of air at 60°C. Choose the right heat depending on the age, size and sturdiness of your weeds. In the real world, I just blast it on full! The attached cone directs the air in the precise direction you aim in.
In my experience, it takes a while to kill the weeds, and some larger ones take longer; it’s simply not a quick process. This burning weed tool is better suited to smaller weeds, and it’s worth noting it doesn’t kill the roots, so it’s more of a short-term solution.
What I do like is that this tool is designed for use standing up – it has a long handle for this. Not having to worry about your back aching after your weeding task should have you relaxing from the start.
- Electric 2000W weed puller that uses heat to kill weeds.
- Kills weeds within 5 seconds.
- Attached cone concentrates heat.
- Uses on multiple terrains.
- Use standing upright with the long handle.
- Two heat settings.
- Control button on top of unit.
- Soft grip on handle for ergonomics.
- Weighs 1.24kg.
- Takes a long time to kill weeds and doesn’t kill roots.
The ToolTronix 2000W Electric Weed Burner has two heat settings depending on your weed situation so you can use the appropriate amount of heat for the job. The hot air is directed accurately by the attached cone. Remember, it’s a slow process, and it is short-term as it doesn’t kill the roots.
5. Spear & Jackson 4059NB Elements Dandelion Weeder
This Spear & Jackson Elements Dandelion Weeder is by far the most basic weeding tool in my review, but it’s one of the most effective tools. The downside is that you do have to get down on your hands and knees to use it, and if there are a lot of weeds, it takes a fair bit of work.
This weeder is simply a rounded shaft made of hammered carbon steel that’s been coated with clear epoxy to protect it from rust and weather. One end of the shaft flattens into the head. This is a flat piece of the shaft that ends in two prongs that you use to dig in the ground.
At the other end of the shaft is the handle. In this case it’s an ash wood handle, shaped to fit into your hand.
Its use is pretty much self-evident. You use the prongs to dig away at the ground around the weed, as deep as you want to go, to the length of the shaft. When the weed’s loosened enough, you pull it out with your hand. You may have to wiggle the weed back and forth a bit to loosen it up a bit more. Hopefully you’ve dug deep enough to get out the root as well.
- Very basic weeding tool.
- Hammer finished carbon steel shaft and head that’s epoxy coated.
- Ash wood handle is clear lacquered to be waterproofed.
- Notched tip on a strong rounded bar for digging up weeds.
- Long shaft able to reach tap roots.
This Spear & Jackson 4059NB Elements Dandelion Weeder does the job effectively and is perfect for smaller lawns. While I’m OK using it for the occasional small garden to deal with a bucket full of weeds, I wouldn’t want to use it for a large lawn full of dandelions. However, it’s good to keep around for when it’s too much trouble to get your bigger weeding tools out.
6. Wolf Garten Push Pull Weeder
If there was ever a tool that deserves 5 stars then this is it. Manufactured by Wolf Garten, this tool is a new take on my old favourite, the Dutch hoe. It is part of their multi-changing tool range, so you do need to purchase the handle separately, but they have around 50 other tools that can simply ‘push-click’ to the handle. Wolf Garten makes some of the best quality tools.
This new take on the hoe has double-sided, wavy blades that slice through weeds and seedling with ease. The blade is 15cm wide making it ideal for weeding between plants, it constructed from quality, cold-rolled steel before being finished in zinc lacquer that ensures it is self-sharpening and will last for years, to support this it even has an impressive 10-year guarantee.
It is important to note that it does not remove roots and is designed for weeding tiny seedlings that shoot in their thousands into your beds, borders and veg plots. It’s a great tool to keep those weeds down before they turn into larger weeds that need to be manually removed.
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7. Spear & Jackson Daisy Grubber
This Spear & Jackson daisy grubber is the kind of tool that has been designed to last a lifetime. Made from hardened carbon steel before being coated in epoxy which protects it from rust, it simply is a quality weeding tool.
As the name suggests, it is designed for removing daisies from your lawn. Simply hold at a 70-degree angle, around 2 inches away from the weed and push it into the lawn cutting the root, before pulling the weed out. It is as easy and simple as that.
Again this tool requires a lot of kneeling down, it does take a lot of work especially if you have lots of daisies to remove from your lawn. Probably more suited if you have a few weeds you need to remove.
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8. Newman & Cole Weed Brush Long Handle for Cleaning Patios, Block Paving and Driveway
This Newman & Cole Weed Brush is brilliant for Cleaning Patios, Block Paving and Driveway. This brush is for removing the weeds, grass and moss away from the cracks and crevices between your paving blocks and stones.
This weed brush has two features for doing this. The first is the brush itself. The head of the brush is composed of three rows of triangle-shaped bristles. But rather than being made of nylon or stiff hair, these bristles are made of brass.
Brass is a fairly soft metal. It’s strong enough to hold its shape but pliable enough to have a bit of give. These brass bristles are securely attached to the wooden head of the brush and are great at getting into corners and other gaps.
The second feature for getting at the weeds is a metal scraper attached to the side of the brush. The scraper comes to a point and it’s this that you use to scour the weeds. However, some online reviewers complain that the point of the scraper quickly wears down and they’re left with nothing to scrape the weeds with.
The handle of this weed brush is sturdy. You can apply pressure to clean stubborn weeds.
- Sturdy patio brush with scraper.
- Brush has angled triangle-shaped bristles made of brass.
- Heavy duty wooden handle.
- Steel weed scraper on side.
- Weighs 420g.
- Dimensions: 120cm (length); 7.5cm (height of broom head); 11.5cm (width of broom head).
- Point at head of scraper wears away.
The Weed Brush Long Handle is another weeding tool that you use standing up, saving strain on your back body. This brush is made of brass bristles and is for use on hard surfaces and especially the cracks and crevices between paving blocks and stones. It’s sturdy enough for you to apply some pressure for the more stubborn moss and weeds. The attached scraper is of use for a while until it becomes dull.
Buyers Guide & FAQ’s
Why remove weeds?
There are numerous ways to help reduce weeds in the first place, firstly we look at why you need to remove weeds, some are obvious, some not so much.
- Weeds can make your garden unsightly and untidy.
- More importantly, weeds compete for food and water. They take up nutrients your plants need which in turn affects the health of your plants as they are outcompeted by weeds.
- Once weeds take hold, they can quickly get very invasive and take over.
- Weeds that are left to mature can be difficult to remove once they have established.
- Some weeds are poisonous and can irritate your skin, children’s skin and pets.
How to help to prevent weeds from growing (Prevention)
If you are putting down bark or stone in the garden, ensure that before you do, it is best to put down a weed-suppressing membrane. This is a woven material that helps to stop weeds from coming through but also lets water drain through at the same time. Never put down polythene sheet, this will cause flooding as it does not let water drain through and can kill plants.
Put bark, stone or mulch on beds to help suppress weeds, this is a very effective way to help prevent weeds and helps retain moisture which is good for most plants.
Never let weeds go to seed, pinch flower heads off. If weeds go to seed, this is when you start seeing thousands of tiny weeds in your beds and borders and your job just becomes a thousand times harder.
Spray beds with weedkiller, being careful not to spray your plants, this is simple when you have lots of bare soil.
Best garden tools for weeding
As you have probably guessed, there is no weeding tool for every situation. All of the 8 weeding tools in my review have made it onto the list because they simply get the job done.
Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API