10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?

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Are you confused by all the different types of garden trowel available. Fear not because we’ll cover 10 different types of trowels and what they can be used for. So, the next time you need a trowel for a special purpose, you’ll know exactly which one to choose.

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Every gardener needs a garden trowel. If you’re new to gardening and you haven’t got one yet, you might be confused as to which one you need. There are so many different types to choose from. But, are they all the same.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?

Actually, each type of trowel is designed for different tasks around the garden. So, a trowel is not just a trowel. In fact, there are around ten garden trowel blades and all of them have a slightly different purpose.

If you’re confused, don’t worry. We will explain what each trowel is used for to help you decide which ones you need in your garden.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Traditional Trowel

This is the basic shape and style of garden trowel that has been around for many years. The blade looks like a miniature shovel. It has a rounded tip and slightly curved sides.

This type of trowel is used for digging small holes in the garden to plant seedlings and potted plants and it can also be used when you’re potting into containers. Basically, it’s the foundation model of all garden trowels and definitely one you should have.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Transplanting Trowel

This type of trowel has a long, thin blade with a pointed tip and slightly rounded sides. As the name suggests, it’s mainly used for transplanting seedlings, small plants and bulbs from one position to another in the garden.

This trowel is also useful for when you’re working in confined spaces or you’re transplanting from a small pot into a larger one. Because of the long, thin nature of the blade, it’s also very useful for planting bulbs that only need a small hole.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Dixter Trowel

The dixter trowel has a long, thin blade that is the same width for the length of the blade. The tip is rounded. This trowel is primarily designed for planting into rock gardens as the thinness of the blade allows you to get into tight spaces easily.

The trowel is also commonly used for digging up weeds. The length of the blade allows you to easily get down to the roots of weeds and lever them up out of the ground.

Another use for this trowel is when you want to plant seeds into a drill. You use the tip of the blade to create a narrow drill that you can then plant the seeds into. Then, use the edge of the blade to fill in the drill and lightly tamp down.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Ladle Trowel

The tip of this trowel is quite small and round with curved edges. It also has a long, thin tapered piece that leads to the ladle. This tapered “rod” is curved. The trowel is designed in this way to allow you to dig around a hole and then scoop out the soil. This creates a nice, clean hole for you to plant into.

A common use for this trowel is to plant out bulbs into the garden as well as annual seedlings.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Potting Trowel

Every gardener needs a potting trowel. It’s similar to the traditional trowel, however, the sides are curved up higher to create more of a scoop shape. This is the perfect trowel to use when you’re growing in pots.

It allows you to easily scoop up some potting mix to fill your containers with. The trowel is also useful for re-potting plants into larger containers. The curved edges of the blade allow you to push it into the container and easily scoop out the plant with all its roots intact.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Digging Trowel

A digging trowel has a different shape to the traditional trowel. It features a long, thinner blade with a pointed tip in the shape of an arrow. It’s useful for when you need to dig small stones out of the garden and it allows you to break up the soil with its sharp tip.

Because of this sharp tip, it’s also very useful as a cutting tool for when you need to cut an opening into bags of potting mix or compost.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Tulip Trowel

As the name suggests, the blade on this trowel is shaped like a tulip with three sharp points and rounded sides to create a deep dish. It’s designed for gardeners who have to work with heavy clay.

The sharp tips allow you to break up the clay and dig holes for planting your seedlings into.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Weeding Trowel

A weeding trowel really does make weeding easier and you definitely shouldn’t be without one of these. It features a long, thin blade much like the dixter trowel but with a forked end.

This tip allows you to dig underneath the weed and cut through the roots before pulling it out. If you use it correctly, you should be able to lift out the weed, roots and all, without too much tugging.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Tissot Trowel

This is an interesting looking trowel for a very specific use. It has a very wide blade with a V-shaped tip. It is primarily designed for dividing up large clumps of plants with rhizomes like orchids or clivias.

It can also be quite useful for digging into hard clay when you want to create some planting holes.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Planting Trowel

You guessed it! The planting trowel is designed to plant out seedlings into the garden or into containers such as hanging baskets. It is smaller than the traditional trowel with a diamond shaped flat blade that has a pointed tip.

10 Types of Garden Trowel: Which One Do You Need?
Final Thoughts

So now you have a better understanding of all the different types of trowels available and what their individual purpose is. Not every gardener will need each one of these trowels but most will want to have more than one.

When purchasing a trowel, make sure that you get the best quality trowel you can afford. Avoid trowels with plastic blades as these will break over time. It’s best to invest in a well-made trowel that has a coated steel blade.

If you choose wisely, your garden trowels should last you a lifetime.