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Chillington hoe, or baby hoe, as alternative to a mattock.

ErgatesErgates Devon, east of ExeterPosts: 1,493
I frequently resort to the mattock for pulling out entanglements of ivy, plus shrubs rooted where I don’t want them. It is quite heavy though, and I’m not getting any younger!
Would a Chillington hoe be more suitable, and is the ‘baby’ version too small and light to be very useful? I want something for fairly rough work, but a bit easier to use. 
Anyone with experience of these tools? Would be grateful for the benefit of your suggestions.
Thanks


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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    You can get 1lb mattocks rather than the usual 5lb ones, like this one, with a 15" handle:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ErgatesErgates Devon, east of ExeterPosts: 1,493
    Thanks, bob, that’s certainly worth a look, and reasonably priced. Also easy to get from local screwfix. I’ll try and pick one up this week.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,983
    @Ergates - I am a weak and feeble 5 foot nothing lady gardener - absolutely pathetic when it comes to wielding heavy tools - and I have one of those 1lb mattocks. Just right for me.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Desi_in_LondonDesi_in_London London regionPosts: 530
    Please could I ask @Topbird or @BobTheGardener .. what is the usage difference between the 1lb micro-cutter / mattock ( as per Bob's link) or a similar looking 1lb pick-mattock ( with a pointy end) . I'm a similar build to you Topbird, and purpose would be to break up soil and some weeding of bits of ivy etc - are these both suitable and just a case of some people prefer one vs the other? Thanks very much in advance.
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 4,987
    edited April 2021
    I have a large and small chillington hoes , the large can get a bit heavy after a while.  The smaller one is a double header, with flat blade and 2 prongs, it's very sharp so surprisingly effective even in tough conditions.  My only gripe is that at 5'10 I find the handle a bit short. 
    AB Still learning

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,983
    edited April 2021
    @Desi_in_London I think the one in Bob's link is the same as mine. One end is a flattish 2" blade which is good for chipping through and levering underneath roots. The other side is a pointed pick which is good for getting a purchase into heavy clay when it's set like concrete or for starting work in tiny spaces between roots. I have also used it to break up huge clods of set clay. Sounds much the same as you need it for. 

    A word of warning - you can get chips of stone / roots flying up when chopping into stuff in the ground. A pair of safety goggles is a wise investment....
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Desi_in_LondonDesi_in_London London regionPosts: 530
    thanks very much @Topbird .. that helps a lot!
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • ErgatesErgates Devon, east of ExeterPosts: 1,493
    I’ll certainly pick up a lightweight mattock, but I think I’ll also like something with a longer handle to stop me bending. Five foot four and female, relatively tough, but my back has always been a weak area, and having hit 70, I’m trying, not very successfully, not to tackle the gardening as if I was in my thirties! I make a point of stopping when joints start to complain, but there always seems to be one more weed or bramble that I can’t resist on my way back to the house!
  • NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 656
    I saw a root chopper IIRC in the crocus website but I've been looking at many tool sites recently, could be wrong. It's a long handled tool with a flat blade on the end. I think it's a heavy tool too like a wrecking bar. I reckon that could chop through even thick roots. Might be better for your back than a mattock or other tool with a similar action.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,126
    Ergates said:
    I’ll certainly pick up a lightweight mattock, but I think I’ll also like something with a longer handle to stop me bending. Five foot four and female, relatively tough, but my back has always been a weak area, and having hit 70, I’m trying, not very successfully, not to tackle the gardening as if I was in my thirties! I make a point of stopping when joints start to complain, but there always seems to be one more weed or bramble that I can’t resist on my way back to the house!
    I have an azada, or digging hoe, which is great for hacking things out of the soil as well as for digging. I too am not able to tackle gardening with as much vigour as in my youth, in fact I am very angry about the deterioration brought on by age, so finding a tool that makes things easier has been a boon.


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