Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
All gardeners need to know is that it is important to have a spade with a handle that is long enough. Too short a handle mean that you never straighten up whilst digging and back strain and backache is a given certainty.
Put away that old, common, spade and dig from a standing position with the Standwell Long Pattern Spade. Do more work, minimise bending and reduce the likelihood of back strain and back pain.
The extra long handle and carefully designed socket & blade combination make this spade very different to other so–called long handled spades. It is so light and easy to use you will want to do more work!
EXTRA LONG HANDLE
SPECIALLY ANGLED SOCKET
FULL WIDTH, SHORTER BLADE
LIGHTWEIGHT STAINLESS STEEL
TRADITIONAL ASH HANDLE
SUITABLE FOR ALLOTMENT OR GARDEN
Maintain an upright position throughout the dig.
Grip the handle about a foot from the top and insert.
Gently lever back to break the soil.
Slide the right hand to the top of the handle and the left hand a little further down the shaft.
Lift the blade and turn over the soil.
About 5 minutes of practice is all it takes to be comfortable with the technique.
Alan Waterfall of Standwell Tools contacted me asking as to whether I wanted to try one of his long handled spades out and sent me one for review.
I have not used a long handles spade before as they are not all that common but I am familiar with the so-called “Irish Shovel” which is a long handles shovel and this spade is not dissimilar to one of them, though the use is a different one.
To be honest, I rarely use any other shovel in the garden than the Irish Shovel that came my way of having been dumped in the Park by someone.
The first thing I noticed with the Standwell Long Pattern Spade was the stainless blade, nicely made with a curved top, thus making pressing down easy. Curved tops are so much superior to the sharp ones that so many spades come with. The latter become painful in use over more than a few minutes; at least so I have found, especially when I do not use boots with a steel mid sole.
The wooden handle is lovely and well made, slotting into a deep tube, and the spade is very well balanced. You immediately know that it is a quality tool as soon as you handle it and even more so when you use it.
You do not use the Standwell Long Pattern Spade in the same way that you would use any “ordinary” spade as the idea is to avoid backache caused by bending when using a normal spade. You need to keep in mind that the handle can exert a lot of leverage and you could break it, thus you do not use it different to other spades.
On his website Alan shows you exactly how to use it efficiently and easily and while it may take a few minutes to get used to the new way of digging it is surprisingly easy.
The Standwell Long Pattern Spade is an addition to the gardener's armory and a spade for the digging of beds that often take a while and can cause us to suffer with back problems. An ordinary spade still also has its place in your shed for the jobs where the long handled spade would suffer, especially the handle when levering is required such as in dealing with boulders, rocks, etc.
For the job of digging the beds, whether at home or on the allotment, this is THE spade to get and own.
Please remember to clean and dry your tool after use and from time to time wipe the blade over with lubricant. Never leave tools outside, always store safely in the dry.
The Long Pattern spade is designed for use in the garden or allotment in previously broken soil. It is not a trenching tool, NEVER use it to lever up boulders or rocks, bushes, trees and the like; there are other tools for that.
More information here