Whether you have a front-facing flower garden or a backyard vegetable lawn, gardens can accentuate the landscape of your property. If they aren’t properly maintained, untamed growth of shrubs and saplings will only make your lawn appear awful—and not to mention, put your precious vegetables in jeopardy.
Keeping your garden nicely trimmed and your vegetables nourished requires appropriate tools. Although chainsaws and hedge trimmers make the trimming part substantially easier, they can prove overkill when you only have one or two flowerbeds to look after.
Despite being an ancient horticulture tool, the hatchet-blade hybrid design makes billhooks effective and popular even today. If you are looking for something that will clear your flower beds and chop thick bushes, then you can rest assured you can end your search here.
To help you out, we’ve curated a list of the highest-rated billhooks of 2023!
Unlike your average trowel, garden fork, or clippers billhooks rank somewhere at the bottom of the buying list. It’s not every day you consider clearing unwanted clutter from your garden or harvesting your backyard vegetables, especially if you are a beginner in the field. And being an ancient agricultural tool, it’s hardly referred to when you have far better electrical versions.
On the flipside, billhooks are more effective than you might think.
From helping you get rid of weedy grass to cutting protruding shots and veins, the extensive range of applications makes billhooks a gardening tool in recent times. The curved design is considered a hybrid between ax, knife, and sickle.
Modern billhooks can help cut slightly thicker stems such as grapevines and extrusive tree shoots. This makes billhooks perfect for those who want to do light gardening maintenance.
The term billhook is often used alongside machete since both are used for the same clearing and cutting purpose. However, there are many differences when it comes to their shapes and the way they operate.
Billhooks, as the name suggests, have a curved blade design that can clear out shrubs, saplings, and woody bushes without putting in much effort. While the blade is sharp enough to sever the outgrown weeds, the hooked end allows you to pull the cutouts to the side.
Machetes, on the other hand, have a straight blade that’s better suited for cutting and severing thicker stems that are no match for sickle-like billhooks. The unique design makes it an effective survival tool in harsh environments.
There are plenty of hybrid versions available in the market. Being the best of two, they can help clear bushes, trim grass, felling small trees, and even chop firewood.
Billhooks feature a wide range of designs, including but not limited to:
Apart from the unconventional beveled edge with a blunt tip, this style of billhook offers a notch at bottom of the blade. The blunt tip at the edge of the curve is used to dig around the vegetation for a softer soil bed. Adding to this, the round incision at the bottom allows convenient mounting.
Instead of offering a hook at the bottom, the Knighton billhook pattern has a straight blade with a rounded backend, making it a closer depiction of a machete.
Yorkshire billhooks feature dual beveled edges with an extended handle attached to the bottom, making them bigger and heavier than their counterparts. In addition to the basic grass trim and harvest, these billhooks are most effective in clearing away thicker branches and wood logs.
Although it features a dual-edged blade, the sides of this billhook are slightly different from each other. While one side has a curved hook, the other side has a straight cutting edge— making it fit for extensive trimming and cutting tasks.
Billhooks have remained a popular trimming and chopping tool throughout the edges. Despite the technological advancements, billhook machetes are still a convenient and effective gardening tool. Whether you are looking for your first billhook or looking to replace your worn-out garden helper, this article has four high-quality and reliable tools you can trust.
Although it’s not prioritized in the list of basic gardening tools, this billhook sickle by Z & G deserves to be included in your toolset if you are thinking of growing a backyard garden. Featuring a medieval curved sickle design, the blade is built out of heavy-duty carbon steel, making it resistant to rust.
The 14-inch blade length makes it an ideal size for clipping extended branches, clearing out weedy grass, and harvesting your vegetation. The comfortable hand grip lets you get the job done before your grip starts getting lousy. Keep it in your gardening toolbox or take it with you on an outdoor trip into the wilderness, the choice is yours.
Sometimes you need a billhook that’s capable of managing tasks beyond clearing out the weedy grass and unwanted saplings. Built with high-grade carbon steel, the Zenport K310 offers versatility when it comes to clipping tough vines and shoots. The razor-sharp blade does not come with a sheath, so you might need to be extra cautious while using it.
The stout and sharp machete blade are coupled with an extended nine-inch aluminum handle and rubber grip, allowing you to give your maximum using both hands. While the curved blade extends its usage in horticulture, the hooked sickle can fulfill your survival needs as well. Adding to its functionality, you can also clip it to your backpack when planning a trip to the wilderness.
Fiskars is one of the leading tools manufacturing companies operating from the US. With popularity expanding beyond the borders, if you are looking for a beginner’s billhook to keep your garden tidy and rightly maintained, then perhaps the 10-inch steel blade is just the equipment you need to begin with.
The heavy-duty steel blade features a rust-resistant coating and lowers friction, allowing you to make precise cuts with higher force. Not to mention, the lightweight fiber comp handle offers a better grip for quicker swings. Despite the curved sickle design, the Fiskars billhook also comes with a sheath to ensure you don’t have trouble while storing or carrying it.
Let’s go back in time with the KEYI steel grass sickle with an elongated hardwood handle. While the curved blade is sharp and durable, it is cheaply priced and ideal for your gardening toolkit purchase. The farmer safety sickle champions the charts with a minimalist design that extends its usage to animal husbandry as well.
The traditional long handle ensures multi-purpose use, from edging lawns to clearing branches that are no match for standard knives. On the downside, this billhook’s blade does not have a long enough shank—limiting you from exerting your full force while clipping shoot extensions.
As a result, this KEYI sickle is best suited for homegrown lawns and vegetations.
A: The terms billhook and bush ax are often correlated. As a beginner, you might not notice between the two. Bush axes have a serrated curved blade attached to a long wooden handle just like a normal ax. On the other hand, billhooks have shorter hand grips.
A: Due to the bending and kneeling these tools require, they aren’t the best for those who suffer from arthritis.
A: Billhooks offer a wide range of uses when it comes to gardening. Being a combination of machete and bush ax, billhooks are efficient in clipping and cutting offshoots, weeds, and unwanted saplings.
A: The billhook is specifically designed for light work such as trimming grass and clipping shrubs and saplings. However, there are models with heavy-duty blades that may help you chop thin wood pieces.
A: Generally speaking, you’ll know your billhook needs replacement if it shows signs of general wear and tear. Other signs include excessive rusting that doesn’t go away after treatment, as well as chipped edges that interfere with its operation.