Need a Quality Garden Hoe? Use This Trick!

Don’t head to a big-box hardware store for your next garden hoe. Follow my lead for vintage hoes that offer higher quality and durability for your dime.

Need a Quality Garden Hoe? Use This Trick!

It’s not much of a trick, really, as eBay has been around forever. But it’s become my go-to source for the best quality garden hoes and other excellent vintage tools.

Hooray for eBay

Look at two of my recent old hoe scores:

A traditional potato hoe makes short work of cutting through clay-based soil. (The Grow Network)

Sweet, eh?

You’ll often find a plethora of great garden hoe heads on eBay. (I actually resisted putting this post up because I want to buy every single old hoe for myself to add to my collection of essential garden hand tools, but no … I am generous.)

Old School Is Cool

The old steel on these heads is a lot better than the new junk you get from the hardware store. Seriouslyit’s amazing. Put a sharp edge on an old hoe, and it slices through weeds like a knife. A new hoe just doesn’t “cut it.”

The two listings I won will be fitted onto new handles. The “potato hoe” style works great in the hard clay here.

I posted a video about my favorite vintage garden hoe so you can see just how awesome an old tool can be:

The tool in the video changed my whole perspective on hoeing. I just didn’t know what a real weeding tool was like until I got a good ol’ American steel garden hoe working for me.

A New Handle … and Voila!

Half the time, vintage garden hoe heads end up costing the same as a crummy new one from China … or less! I used a mop handle on one of my best quality garden hoe heads, and it works great. Some of my other ones were re-handled here by a local farmer who cut wild coffee wood to make solid handles. Those look really cool and work quite well.

You May Also Enjoy:

Garden Hand Tools: The Only 5 You Need

High-Performance Garden Show, Week 17: Growing a Garden for Happiness

Organic Matter 101: A Guide to Your Most Important Gardening Tool

What Do You Think?

So go ye forth and hunt! Beyond eBay, I also recommend yard sales. Look for the really old hoes with heads that are one solid piece instead of a couple of pieces welded together.

If you’ve bought a boss old-school garden hoe or other gardening tool of which you’re especially proud, let us know about it in the comments below. And if you have other “hidden gem” resources for old hoes, please share as well!


This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on April 4, 2018. The author may not currently be available to respond to comments; however, we encourage our Community members to chime in to share their experiences and answer questions!

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This post was written by David The Good


  • John Wages says:

    Estate sales are another great place for old (“vintage”) garden tools—often heavy-duty and made to last. A lot of what you’ll find in the toolshed out back will be junk or worn-out, but sometimes you find a treasure—double-headed mattock, cultivators that aren’t made anymore, or maybe a replacement handle for one of your own tools.
    Three other sources for quality tools: Earth Tools (purveyor of BCS walk-behind tractors, but also quality hand tools: http://www.earthtoolsbcs.com), EasyDigging.com (www.easydigging.com), and Meadow Creature (www.meadowcreature.com). There are many more.
    John Wages, Permaculture Design magazine (www.PermacultureDesignMagazine.com)

  • Josephine Howland says:

    We found a pair of great hoes at a local thrift shop. They were marked as from the WPA (Workers Progress Act) and one even had it’s owner’s name stamped into the head. They were $8 each and worth every penny. Like you said they work through our clay soil great. I also have picked up some nice tools at yard sales. I went to a huge church sale towards the end of the last day, not only picking up some great items including some long handled tools, but by the time I had gathered my loot, they made everything 1/2 price. What a deal.

  • Deborah Dailey says:

    When we were kids, my brothers went walking through the woods that adjoined our backyard, and found an area on the edge of a neighbor’s field that had apparently been used as a dump for unwanted items. They started poking and digging around, and found a lot of heavy old farm and garden tools. They made many trips back to bring them home, and my mother cleaned them up and painted them to hang on the wall as decorations. I wish I had some of those now. That was in the early ’60s, but if there are still such places around, from pre-trash-removal days, you never know what you might find. I believe they were made of cast iron, which is virtually indestructible.

  • Scott Sexton says:

    Love the music. Sharpening garden implements has never been so epic.

  • Marjory Wildcraft says:

    Love this vid David! ha ha though Scott, when I was in the Ozarks I think everyone over there had bought up all the tools at the antique stores – none to be found! Those Ozarkans know a thing or two… So EBay a much better choice.

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