Does anyone own a swoe?

anninmd(z7a MD)May 20, 2006

I bought one a few months ago and it's the most worthless garden tool I own. It's supposed to remove weeds, but it takes about 3 times the force of a hoe to get the weed up. I can't see that it has any advantage over a hoe. I'm wondering if anyone here is happy with their swoe, and if so, could tell me how they're using it.


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Some well intentioned soul gave me one of these as a gift. I thought I might be able to use it as a hammer or a defense weapon in a pinch but it turned out to have no use or purpose. I made sure that left it was left in the shed at my last home.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 7:23PM
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Return it to where you purchased it and try for an exchange for a different item

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 5:40AM
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I've never used a swoe but love a "scuffle" hoe or stirrup hoe. It cuts on the push and pull strokes and makes short work of weeds without having to "chop" at them like a traditional hoe. When hoeing weeds close to your plants you don't usually want to disturb the soil too deep anyway. That will bring up additional weed seeds and sometimes will damage the shallow roots of the plants you want to keep. The stirrup hoe only disturbs the top half inch or so of soil and is lots easier to use. JMHO

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 12:55PM
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I cannot recommend a hula hoe enough! Whatever a swoe is, I'd exchange it for a hula hoe.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 12:53PM
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maronark(z6 CT)

Last summer someone stole my swoe, what woe! For all of you who have posted spite for this sort of hoe, send it to me, they are hard to find and expensive in the USA. It is a wonderful tool for a quick garden touch up. It is not intended to break up the soil or cut well established plants and weeds, but rather to go through an established garden and nip new weeds in the bud. A swoe makes it easy to go in between rows of plants or across beds and aerate the soil as you slice through the top 1/2 inch of soil and cut down sprouting weed seeds with out bending down or getting to one's knees to pick them by hand. Do any of you unhappy souls want to put yours up on ebay so I can bid for it! Fooey on thee who took mine. My kingdom for a new swoe!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 6:32AM
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gflynn(z7 MD)

Has the swoe ever been used in poetry or music?

I was asking because I have a painting at home that is a still life of sorts that is called "Apple, bottle, book, wenier dog and swoe".

I figured that if folks were willing to paint it that it may have been the object of song.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 10:31AM
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Anyone who is using a hoe to "get the weeds up" needs to learn to hoe the easy way. The purpose of a hoe is to cut through the weed just below the soil surface so that it will wither and die, leaving its residues to be recycled by the soil life but disturbing the surface and turning up new weed seeds as little as possible. Chopping down into the ground is just asking for shoulder and back problems in the long run and leads to extra weeding. The swoe is a lovely tool, sharp on three edges, and will cut through weed stems closer to the plant you want to keep than any other I've tried. The art of the hoe is to slide it just under the surface so you don't disturb the surface and bring up more weed seeds.
If you do want to use the traditional American chopping motion can I recommend the cobra head which will hook out roots with less damage to its surrounding than others.
The value of the swoe can best be demonstrated by the fact that I've just had to buy my fourth (in forty years) because yet again its been stolen. and I'm delighted to find that the price here has just dropped by two thirds so I recommend shopping around.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 4:00AM
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Sharpen your swoes with a grinding wheel. then you can
slice thoe weeds close to your plants easily

sorry all you folks didnt have someone to show you
the best garden tool ever

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:59PM
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I'm gonna have to keep an eye out for one, sounds like a great tool. I have a hoe that is sharp, because I keep it that way. It's more like the type Sandy has. I keep it shap with a fine tooth knife file. Now THAT is a great tool to have.

Lee Valley has a great selection.

Just be sure to look to see that it was made in the USA! Remember,the money you make here, stays here!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 9:07PM
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sfmiller(z7 MD)

Ultimately it comes down to personal taste/preference, but I love the balance and lightness of this hoe for skim-weeding in tight quarters. It's lighter, more maneuverable, and, to my tastes, better balanced than the swoes I've tried.,44823&ap=1

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 11:04PM
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I purchased a swoe through Organic Gardening over 10 years ago. Paid less than $20 for it then and have used it every season since and wouldn't take today's new price for it. Handiest garden tool I own, even with having to replace the handle twice over time. This morning I cleaned the weeds from our entire raised-bed garden (9 beds, 12x4 ft.) in about 15 minutes. Then I sharpened it for the next use. Keeping it sharp and then practice through use are the two critical factors for efficient use and satisfaction.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 9:34PM
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