After reading the "favorite garden tool" thread, I'd like to know:
if you (that is, me) could only buy one for digging and all purpose -- pickaxe or digging bar? Or do I really need both? (doubtful face)
I like a pick mattock. You have the pick side for rocks etc and the mattock side for digging hard ground.
We also have a digging bar but I rarely use it. It is great though for loosening big rocks or stumps.
Depends on the condition of your soil and your body :-)
If your soil isn't too calichey or hard, doesn't contain big rocks (football size and up), and if you're in pretty good shape with not a lot of of back problems, the pickaxe is the way to go. Easy to store, too.
On the other hand, if you have hard/calichey soil, lots of buried rocks, or you're not athletic or have back problems, the digging bar is better. Also if you need to dig deep, relatively narrow holes where there's not enough room to swing a pickaxe.
The bar is awkward to store though. In my small shed, I have to prop it up diagonally. It's like trying to pole vault inside the shower.
Pick all the way. My bar is busy rusting away somewhere -- used once in 8 years out here
Pickax. Get a heavy one, like 6#. With a little practice, it really takes very little effort, as gravity supplies much of the momentum. You'll work harder with a lighter one.
thanks, guys. In my wildest dreams, I've never seen myself swinging a pickaxe. Live and learn.
Make that three who like a 2.5 lb. pick-mattock. Besides a 5" wide trenching shovel, I don't know how I could live without it. If you are young and strong a 5 lb. might be better. Don't lift it above your shoulders or you lose striking accuracy. The mattock also cuts through roots pretty well though a Pulaski works better. I like my spading fork and pitch fork too.
The only other tool that I really like though rarely use it and it is expensive is a post hole digger. Planting nut trees which have 2.5-3 foot tap roots it is worth every dime.
Here is a link that might be useful: HD seach
^ I'm sorry, but that's not right at all. A light pick never lifted above the shoulders is ineffective and leaves you supplying all the muscle, thus doing all the work.
You should get as heavy a pick as you can find, then raise it as high as you can before letting it drop. Don't drive it down, just let it drop, and use your muscles judiciously in an effort to steer the pick to the proper spot. Like many things, it takes a little practice, but before long, you too can be working on the railroad all the live long day.
I'm with you on the trenching shovel, my second favorite tool.
I am not old or feeble, but neither am I young and strong. . hmm. Do little kids still sing that song?
This post was edited by Violet.West on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 14:13