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Weeding Tools

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Whether you've got a green thumb or are just trying to keep a neat lawn, a weeding tool is an essential item for gardeners of all abilities. We find out if one works better than the rest.

The Basics

  • There are three basic types of weeding tools:

    • Cultivators have claws that you drag through areas of spreading weeds to grasp and uproot them.

    • Slicing tools are diverse type of weeder used for scratching the soil surface to remove the tops of weeds.

    • Dandelion tools are designed to dig deep into the soil to remove the entire weed, root and all.

  • If you don’t want a sore back, look for a tool with a long handle so you don’t have to hunch over as much.

Other Considerations

  • It’s difficult to eradicate weeds altogether, but get them before they go to seed to prevent them from spreading.

  • Chemical weed killers (herbicides) are an alternative to manual weeding, but their use is being frowned upon and even banned in some cities due to environmental concerns.

TEST CRITERIA

We found a dandelion-filled lawn and tried out these dandelion weeding tools:

  • Botanica (manual, long handled): $10.95
  • The Dandy Weeder (drill-powered): $29.99
  • Water-powered Weeder: $42.50
  • Fiskars (stand-up weeder): $49.99

Weeding Test

  • Though the Fiskars has moving plastic parts that could potentially break down, it was fairly easy to use and efficient. We also really liked the hands-free quick-release, which kept our hands clean.

  • The drill-powered Dandy Weeder didn’t get deep enough to remove the whole root.

  • The Water-powered Weeder made a lot of puddles but didn’t work well at removing weeds.

  • The Botanica, a no-frills weeder, worked well and was comfortable to hold, but was almost as labour-intensive as the regular-sized weeding tool.

OUR TOP PICK

If you’ve got a lot of weeds to tackle, an investment in the pricier Fiskars tool will probably save you money on trips to the chiropractor. However, for smaller jobs, the least expensive tool by Botanica should do the trick.

Update: Viewer Sherry P. notes that Fiskars has a lifetime warranty , so if you’re worried about the tool construction, know that the company stands behind its products. Sherry also says: “You can apply for the lifetime warranty online with very little hassle. How great is that? I will buy their products from now on!”

 


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