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What is your favorite tool?

Since we all have opposable thumbs, some evolutionarily derived and others by devine design, we are capable of using devices that help us do our work ...

Please post a picture of your favorite tools and tell us your story, we could all benefit from a little story telling and an experts tool knowledge!

My personal favorite digging device is the STRUCTRON Series 'The Worlds Best Tools' available at HD.

The narrow blade on this puppy alows for a concentrated force that will conquer all but the most stubborn hard-pan layer. Every time I purchase one of these items, I recall the sticker shock ... but alas it has outlasted wooden handled devices over and over again. The fiberglass handle takes a serious amount of bend before it deflects to the point, wher I can observe that I ought not be using it in that manner anyway ... the PRO GRIP Durable Non-slip Comfort Fit Handle is a sure benefit to those of us men + women who refuse to wear gloves. The PERMAGRIP Steel Collar. Stronger. No Bivet. appears to be a reference to the compression fitting that holds the stick part to the blade part ... Bivet? ... really ... who makes these description up? ... I want that job! The tool takes some getting used to, using this device amounts to learning to ride a 'pogostick' the deformed foot rail is minimal to say the least and may require a bit of dexterity for proper performance ... I use this tool too 'dig' / 'chop' / 'trench' and 'break' up native soil ... it is nearly useless as a form of transporting soil ... the blade 'cup' has no capacity for loose soil removal.

Over all I rate this tool 4 out of 5 Stars ... hoping that someday I will find the 5 Star model that blows this one away!

Now, with the above testimonial out there ... there is nothing better than when the tool that you love the most is mated with another of its kind, and morphs into a similarly destructive earth shattering device called the 'Post Hole Digger' by RIDGID Large Diameter Blades to Improve Efficiency / Bolt-through Hinge for Added Strength / Full lifetime Warranty ... Now these handles I can loosen up, but to date they are easily tightened. While using this tool you really know what work is: sweat / blisters / pain and then ... there you are 2'-6" deep 8" diameter hole ... good for something right? ... I use it to set chainlink fence posts / dig most of my planting holes (works well in tight locations, since it operates in a verticall fashion) / dig compost hair transplant plugs / etc ... the one caveat here is that the next day, you can feel muscles that you never thought you had!

... but opposable thumbs or not, it is truley the feeling that you have worked hard, managed to grow your own food, in your own backyard ... now that provides you with the satisfaction that you have 'devinely evolved' from the couch potato that you once were!

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Comment by Dianne Felder on October 27, 2010 at 4:39pm
I forgot to mention that another favorite "tool" is an old laundry basket I use for collecting weeds and other compostable debris around the yard. You can see it just behind the rake in the picture. :)
Comment by Dianne Felder on October 27, 2010 at 4:37pm
OK, I'll play. At first I thought there is no way I have a single favorite tool. But then I remembered my rake. I have owned this particular type of rake for many, many years. When my first poor overworked one lost a couple of tines, I paniced because I couldn't find another one. Then Home Depot started carrying them. I believe this is my third one in 23 years and I really worked them hard, cleaning barns, raking horse and goat poop around the barns, raking out rocks in the garden and whatever else I needed to smooth over. It does the best job of any rake I've ever used.

Comment by Nick on October 24, 2010 at 8:32am
Does this count? :)

Comment by bryanwhitebeyondthekitchengarden on October 1, 2010 at 11:06am

a torquer / a pounder / and a cutter of some magnitude!

I like the concept of using a minimal quantity of tools to intentionally 'synthesis' another, unlimited set of tools ... that sounds 'sutainable' it also indicates that you have not lost the basic human skill sets ... and that is what the PPG teaches: basic human skill sets!

There is also something nice about the age of these tools, this may indicate the contemporary product design sequence, known as 'heirloom design' - where a product is designed well + constructed well- so to be specifically not disposable, (therefore multigenerational), thereby creating a longer 'cradle to cradle' cycle which could be viewed as 'sustainable design'. see link
Comment by Rachel on September 29, 2010 at 12:33pm
Hands down (for gardening anyway) my digging fork. Sorry, no photos... I prefer the wooden handles because fiberglass tends to give me fiberglass splinters as it ages and I don't like to wear gloves. I use it to put soiled straw into the compost, turn the compost, breaks up hardpan, digs potatoes, easily aerate garden beds and most importantly--- it makes digging up bermuda MUCH easier.
Comment by bryanwhitebeyondthekitchengarden on September 29, 2010 at 12:13pm
Love the scraper - every chicken house should have one, I use the flat square edge shovel for that duty, but there is something remarkably attractive about the 'Gilligans Island' version ... it is truly inventive!
Comment by bryanwhitebeyondthekitchengarden on September 29, 2010 at 12:09pm
Well Chris, show us your top 3 ... you are not getting away that easily.
Comment by Anita Mahaffey on September 29, 2010 at 6:19am
After we got chickens, I didn't like going out on our back porch, because the chickens were really making a mess of it. So my husband rigged up this handy-dandy, poop-scraper. It even matches the chicken coop!

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