Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The CobraHead® Weeder and Cultivator is a tool that was developed by Noel Valdes, the owner of Cobrahead LLC, as a result of his gardening hobby. The blade is called a cultivating tine.
The US garden tool industry cranked out hundreds of thousands of long handled tools with three and five of these blades on tightly curved tines locked into cast iron heads and with various forms of attaching screws., and the same is true for the garden tool industry in Britain and elsewhere. Those cultivators could be found all over.
Production ceased sometime in the late 1950s in the USA with the collapse of gardening as a necessity by most Americans. The old tools are still out there, and many are still in use by hard-core gardeners.
Noel modified the blade to work as a short handled weeder and cultivator. The tool is primarily a weeder, but it is an excellent cultivator and also an extremely useful planting device. Using it is mostly intuitive, but think of it as a "steel fingernail®" and its logic should become apparent.
It scrapes, scratches, and digs. It can extract huge tap roots, pull out grasses, and shave off small weeds. It works in the tightest areas, but it can cover an amazing amount of ground for such a small tool. It can clean out the cracks in pavers and flagstones. It lays down an excellent furrow for seeds and it makes a nice hole for transplants or bulbs. Its uses are, as they say, limited only by your imagination.
The CobraHead® Long Handle is actually a variant of another tool that used to be made in the US. It was called a single tined cultivating hoe. It used the same blade shape, but with a more pronounced curve, similar in shape to a shepherd's crook.
Noel realized an advantage of making the sharp all-around, flat blade absolutely perpendicular to the handle and this tool can be used as a scalping or scuffling hoe and by holding the tool like a broom, one can sweep off small weeds before they get established. With it, you have both excellent reach and the ability to work in the tightest areas. The tool is also a superb cultivator, and what it lacks in width, it more than makes up for in the efficiency of having the thin blade cut through soil with very little resistance.
As a company Cobrahead LLC decided to “walk the green walk” from the outset as regards tool production and for the company's business model.
The tools are made locally, right there in Wisconsin and all the rawmaterial inputs for both the tools are US sourced. The small tool features steel with a recycle content of at least 60% . Its handle is a unique "bio-plastic" – an injection molded blend of 80% recycled polypropylene and 20% agriculturally grown flax fiber. The flax makes the plastic lighter and stronger.
The long tool features replaceable parts, so should the blade be broken, the tool does not need to be discarded, but can be repaired. The handle is North Carolina ash, considered the best for wood handles of this type.
The CobraHead® Long Handle has an MSRP in the States of $59.95. It is available for that price (including shipping) from the company's website at www.cobrahead.com, and stores and catalogs listed on the site.
Customers outside the USA and Canada can order directly from the website but there will be a delivery charge added then to the cost of the tool(s).
I have have received samples of both the small tool and the big tool for review and I must say that the tools definitely live up to what has been said about them and the workmanship is superb.
They work both very well in small spaces while, as said, they can also cover large areas easily.
The CobraHead® tools are ideally suited for work in market gardening and raised bed operations and the intensive close growing operations that are favored now by many that grow produce for personal use and also for sale.
Having a tool that can weed, hoe and till the soil all in one, so to speak, is a great way to go and the depth of the tillage is very good as well. The CobraHead® tools are the kind of tools you always were looking for but did not know that they existed or you did not believe that they could work that well.
Personally I would not want to be parted from those tools ever again as far as my own gardening work is concerned. I am definitely finding the CobraHead® tools to be indispensable aids in my vegetable gardening endeavors.
Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)