Rogue Hoe Questions
Am looking at a picking up a Rogue hoe for both trail maintenance and home garden work.
Was wondering what the recomendation's are...
I'm thinking 55F ( 5.5 " with 1" spike ) or the 60A ( 6.5" with 2" spike ) good / bad ?
I like the idea of a short (60A with 40" Hickory) handle for packability, but I'm 6"2" and don't know if this is too short.
Anybody had a custom hoe done? ie Head X with handle Y?
I have seen an online retailer offering this, but they did not stock the heavier trail-friendly hoe sizes.
This weekend I used the 5" with the Hickory handle. Nice tool,but the handle is too short for my taste and I'm only 5'8". I also think the 6" would be better. I was making drain ditches and the wider hoe would have been nice.
Yellow fiberglass handles are great for trailwork. They have good weight (not to light) and they're easy to find if the tool gets tossed beside the trail.
5.5 vs 6.5? Do you like a little weight in you tools (sometime prefer a mattock over pulakski)? The 6.5 will obviously do more work but its more to swing. I think the 5.5 is a bit lighter than a pulaski, but I have a hickory handle. I bought a 5.5 for a friend w/ fiberglass and the yellow handle has more weight IMO, more similar to a pulaski. I'd be all over the 6.5 yellow handle if I was shopping again.
Our club started out with a few 55F's and 55A's. They're both good tools if you're careful how you use them, but after two workdays (and some overzealous volunteers) most of them were broken.
We subsequently purchased ten 55H's with 40" hickory handles. I've carved out quite a bit of benchcut trail with my 55H and we've had several workdays with no trouble. The design of the 55H works better than any of the other prohoes that I've used.
The 55F with a long handle is nice if you're only digging in fairly loose soil with little to no roots, but the second encounter roots, you have to get down closer to the head of the hoe to avoid breaking the long handle. That's when the long handle start getting in the way.
My advice is leave the long handles for the garden, and get something with a curved hickory handle. As long as you're not using them as a substitute for an axe or prybar, you'll be very happy. Of course you can move dirt, etc all day long. You can also take out wrist size trees as long as you stay below the soil and work on the roots instead of chopping at the trunk.