top of page

Barebones Living: Hori Hori

The key to suburban bushwacking.

A gardening tool laying on wood with weeds surrounding it.



Multi-purpose is a hell of a concept. There’s little more satisfying than finding, testing, and ultimately adopting a new tool that truly enhances your life. I liken the feeling to wearing your favorite pair of jeans, or a properly worn pair of Vans - unmatched comfort, versatility, and ease of use. I was given such a tool not that long ago, the Hori Hori Ultimate from Barebones Living.

Hori Hori roughly translates to “dig dig” (or so the Barebones website says). But damned if this thing doesn’t dig dig. Designed to emulate a traditional Japanese gardening tool, the Hori Hori has become my daily driver for massacring weeds, and general backyard debauchery.


My wife gave me a Bespoke Post Box for Christmas in 2022, and in that box was the Hori Hori Ultimate. I was immediately attracted to it. I’ve always admired Japanese culture. The architecture, discipline, and philosophies on life all make a lot of sense to me. Japanese ingenuity, in its simplest form, is reflected in the Hori Hori. It’s a tool designed specifically for versatility.

First, it has a pommel base which can be used to drive in tent stakes, wood posts, or smashing stuff for fun. I often use it to crush cans and cardboard boxes for recycling. The blade has one smooth edge and one serrated edge, which is pretty effective for sawing small branches or rope. It also has a twine cutter that doubles as a bottle opener (or in my case the reverse of that). 

The blade is curved, which aids in digging and shoveling, and its underside has engraved inch marks that measure up to six inches. The inch marks are quite handy if you’re measuring plant depth, or, more likely, on a fierce bluegill bite at the neighborhood pond and don’t want to fabricate the size of your trophy catch.

Spring has sprung, and my yard is quickly being assaulted by dandelions, spurge, and that blasted crabgrass. The time for the Hori Hori to show its merit is upon us. If you’re on the lookout for a new tool to help get you through yard glow-ups and summertime camping trips, this might be the one for you. It even comes with a durable sheath that looks great hanging from your belt.

A man wearing a gardening tool on his belt with a pair of gloves hanging out of his back pant pocket.


bottom of page