What I love about the Professional Gardener’s Digging Tool:Offset blade. With most soil knives the blade extends straight out from the handle. That’s a straightforward design, yet it misses the opportunity to help you in your digging by giving you leverage. This is one of the primary ways in which the Garrett Wade digging tool beats the competition. That offset blade feels like it’s doing some of the work for me, and after testing the two soil knives side-by-side I found that the Pro Gardener’s Digging Tool caused less wrist fatigue than weeding than my old one. Tough alloy steel. While I prefer smooth, rust-free stainless steel for most of my tools, I have to admit that many of my stainless tools have bent or broken over time. Yet the tough alloy steel of this digging knife has proven resistant to even the worst types of misuse. I have used the Pro Gardener’s Digging Tool to pry up rocks, hammer in stakes, and to do all kinds of rough work that I would usually consider improper for a soil knife. I even left it out for two weeks, and no rust developed on the surface. Compare that to some of the cheaper brands of hori hori out there which rust as soon as you look at them funny, and the Pro Gardener’s Digging Tool starts to seem like one of the few tools that’s really up to the task of professional work. Rounded handle. The handle is another area where this digging knife blows the competition away. It has a smooth, rounded grip that’s comfortable and makes it easy to control the knife. It’s perfectly formed to the natural grip of your hand and is comfortable even for long days of weeding. Plus, the entire handle is made of metal (with a plastic coating for comfort and visibility). Most soil knives have a wooden handle with just a small bar of metal running halfway up, and that handle area is usually the first spot to fail. So seeing that this tool doesn’t have the usual weak spot makes me think it’s going to stick around for the long haul, no matter how many times I use it as a pry bar. Hand guard. If you look at the photos, you’ll see that between the handle and the blade is a large area of metal that looks like a flat shield. Before trying out the tool, I thought the shield would get in my way and be an irritation. Boy was I wrong. The shield provides an excellent balance point, so I can move my grip upward and rest my fingers against the shield to give me extra stability. It’s also great when I’m digging around rock or concrete because it keeps me from knocking my knuckles. Serrated blade really means it. You may have seen the cute little serrations on other hori horis and tittered to yourself about how sharp they looked. But you haven’t seen sharp yet. The teeth on this Pro Gardener’s Digging Tool are downright lethal to even the most congested root systems, making it great for digging, dividing, planting, or cutting sod. Between the teeth and the offset blade, it makes even tough jobs feel easy.
Of course, the true test of a tool comes when I let my employees at it. There are two main criteria here:
- Do my employees break it?
- And are they willing to give it back when I ask?