The name kāheru applies to several forms of wooden spades and light cultivating tools known as ketu, wauwau and pinaki. There are three basic forms of kāheru: the spade-like form with a short blade, a long-bladed form resembling the ko, and the triangular blade form.
Kāheru were not used for heavy work such as breaking up soil or heavy digging, but for lighter cultivation work, such as loosening soil, weeding, and the various tasks involved with ngaki (cultivation operations). Kāheru were made from a variety of wood including maire, manuka, matai, akeake and sometimes bone or stone.
The constellation Hyades has a Māori name, Mata-kāheru, as this set of stars resembles a kāheru or spade blade.