Japanese gardening tools are worth the investment – and I've put hundreds to the test to find the best ones

These Japanese gardening tools can revolutionise your gardening

A three-panel image of the best japanese gardening tools; ARS shears, a Niwaki Golden Spade, and a weeding sickle
(Image credit: ARS, Niwaki, Amazon)

As a product tester, I've tested hundreds of products, particularly gardening tools. In all the thousands of hours I've clocked up digging my way through different products, one nation's manufacturing output has stood out among all the rest: Japan.

I don't want to give the wrong impression. The notion of Japanese gardening tools is something of a marketing gimmick, and many brands will tell you that their tools are 'artisanal' or 'traditional' when they've really just been mass-produced in a factory. There's a lot of Japanese tools out there that aren't worth your money. However, several of my favorite essential gardening tools just so happen to be Japanese-made.

I've collected together the very best Japanese gardening tools from my years of testing, so you can evaluate for yourself if these tools are worth your money.

The best Japanese gardening tools

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Japanese gardening tool FAQs

Are Japanese gardening tools better than other types of tools?

It's not so much a question of 'better', but Japanese tools use high-quality Japanese steel, and unlike many other countries' tools, they tend to use wood or metal handles rather than plastic and TPR rubber. This tends to mean that Japanese tools are harder wearing.

Some of the marketing copy you'll see out there will claim that these tools are 'handmade', or 'artisan', which is often untrue, but the reality is that many Japanese-made gardening tools are better than their mass-produced equivalents manufactured in China, America, and India.

For more help with gardening tools, take a look at our guides to deadheading mistakes, or how to use a pruning saw.

Alex David
Head of eCommerce

As Head of eCommerce, Alex makes sure our readers find the right information to help them make the best purchase. After graduating from Cambridge University, Alex got his start in reviewing at the iconic Good Housekeeping Institute, testing a wide range of household products and appliances. He then moved to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, assessing gardening tools, machinery, and wildlife products. Helping people find true quality and genuine value is a real passion.