How To Use a Scuffle Hoe for Weeds (Tips and Tricks)

Weeds are unsightly and troublesome in the garden because they compete with your plants for nutrients in the soil. They are also invasive and can overwhelm your garden before you know it. That’s why it’s necessary to use the right tools to eliminate as many weeds as possible.

You can use a scuffle hoe to remove weeds, taking advantage of the double-edge blade you can use in opposite directions. Be sure to use a stainless steel hoe for durability and clean the tool right after every use. Additionally, remove weeds when the soil is damp and avoid digging too deep.

I will discuss these tips in more detail in the rest of the article. Following these suggestions will help you remove weeds efficiently and extend the lifespan of your scuffle hoe. Let’s dig right in!

1. Use a Scuffle Hoe Made of Stainless Steel

The secret to the most efficient way of removing weeds is using the right tool. Although a blade made of carbon steel may work just fine, it is prone to rust and might not last as long as one made of stainless steel.

Ideally, you should remove weeds using a scuffle hoe when the soil is damp. The excess moisture in the ground and the soil particles are likely to stick to the blade, making it susceptible to rust, especially if you don’t clean and dry the tool right after use.

A stainless steel blade is resistant to rust. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean it immediately after every use. Extended periods of misuse and constant exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity will likely cause your stainless steel blade to rust.

Moreover, most scuffle hoes have wooden or plastic handles since the tool has to be light enough for easy use. Improper handling and storage can damage these handles sooner than the elements can damage the blades.

For the best tool, you can select a scuffle hoe with a stainless steel blade and fiberglass handle. This combination may be the priciest option in the market. Still, it offers the best value overall in terms of durability and efficiency.

With proper use and maintenance, a stainless steel scuffle hoe can last you several decades or even a generation. It may be more expensive than its carbon steel counterparts, but its durability and effectiveness in removing weeds can save you more money and effort in the long run.

2. Remove Weeds While the Soil Is Damp

As mentioned, you must remove weeds while the soil is damp. Dry soil will present more resistance to your scuffle hoe’s blade, making it prone to nicks or chips. On the other hand, moist soil has particles clumping together, creating a muddy mess when you run the hoe over it.

Damp soil has the right consistency for a scuffle hoe to dig into while cutting the weeds from its roots. It also allows you to slide the tool back and forth smoothly to utilize both edges of the blade.

More importantly, weeding can be a laborious chore. Unfortunately, it is not the only task we have to do in our garden. Yet it requires much time and effort because the pesky weeds can grow rather quickly.

Although weeding is a good exercise, you may want to aim for efficiency–removing as many weeds in a short period. Using your scuffle hoe in nice damp soil can provide you with just that.

3. Use the Blades in Forward and Backward Motions

A scuffle hoe is sometimes referred to as a hula hoe. It is shaped like a stirrup, with two sharp edges. This design allows the blade to cut weeds in both forward and backward motions without having to lift the blade off the ground.

The hoe also typically has long handles ranging from 4-6 feet (1.2 – 1.8 m), making it convenient to reach weeds from long distances. You can use the scuffle hoe by pulling it toward you or by pushing it as you walk forward as you would a lawn mower.

Alternatively, you can use it by pushing and pulling the tool to ensure you cut off all the weeds it passes through.

Check out this video to see how to properly use a scuffle hoe:

Although a scuffle hoe is a pretty helpful weeding tool, you may want to avoid using it too close to your plants. You can use it between plants spaced at least six inches (15 cm) apart, but avoid moving the blades too close to the stems.

The edges are pretty sharp and can easily cut through your soft-stemmed garden plants. Wounding your plants with the scuffle hoe’s blades may also make them susceptible to any soil-borne diseases carried by the weeds.

If the weeds are growing too close to the crown of your plants, you may want to save those for hand weeding. You can also use smaller handheld tools like a weeding knife to dig out the weeds from the roots. 

It may be time-consuming and defeats the purpose of using a scuffle hoe. However, it’s best to remember that scuffle hoes can remove most of the weeds but not all of them.

4. Avoid Digging Too Deep in the Ground

Weed seeds buried deep in the ground can survive for several years, depending on the species. Some can even survive decades! However, they cannot grow and spread because they are well below the germination zone.

The goal of using your scuffle hoe is to remove the weeds in your garden. Digging too deep will bring these weed seeds up to the germination zone, allowing them to grow and re-infest your garden.

To avoid such a problem, you may want to use the scuffle hoe at most 2 inches (5 cm) deep into the soil. Such depth is enough to bring the weeds’ roots up to the surface without unnecessarily bringing up the unwanted weed seeds.

5. Clean the Scuffle Hoe After Every Use

The lifespan of your garden tools and how well they perform greatly depend on how you manage them after every use. A scuffle hoe will likely have plenty of soil particles and weed sap by the time you finish using it.

Allowing the moisture to sit on the blade for extended periods will eventually damage your tool beyond repair. Although stainless steel is less likely to suffer such damage right away, constant neglect will leave it vulnerable to the elements.

If you use your scuffle hoe in damp soil as advised, you might not have to worry about excessive amounts of mud clinging to the blade. You can wash the dirt away with water from a garden hose.

Disinfecting the Scuffle Hoe

Weeds may carry soil-borne diseases, so you may want to disinfect your scuffle hoe before storage. You can use cheap homemade solutions like chlorine bleach diluted in water. Alternatively, you can clean the hoe with antibacterial dish soap or home disinfectant spray.

Drying and Storage

Be sure to dry your scuffle hoe properly. You can use a lint-free cloth to remove most of the water and prevent water stains. You can then dry the tool further by letting it sit outdoors and let the heat of the sun and the air dry your scuffle hoe.

Avoid leaving the tool out when there’s a chance of rain. Always store your scuffle hoe along with the other clean garden tools in a roofed storage area like a garage or garden shed. 

6. Sharpen the Blades Regularly

Garden tools with blades need regular upkeep. While you don’t need to sharpen the blades after every use, you must inspect them before use. If the blades have nicks or chips, you can run a metal file through them to smoothen and sharpen the edges as evenly as possible.

For some tips, you can check out my article: How to Sharpen a Scuffle Hoe: DIY Guide

Key Takeaways

A scuffle hoe is an excellent tool to remove most of the overwhelming weeds in your garden. However, it cannot remove 100% of the weeds, so you may still need to hand weed those that grow too close to your plants.

To maximize a scuffle hoe’s potential, be sure to follow the tips below:

  • Use both sharp edges of a stainless steel scuffle hoe in damp soil.
  • Avoid cutting too deep into the ground.
  • Clean and store the tool properly after use.
  • Inspect your scuffle hoe and sharpen it when necessary before use.

If you would like to explore more options for clearing your garden of weeds, check out my article: How To Make a Garden Weed Free (10 Methods)

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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