The story behind this particular hoe is that we met Eliot Coleman at the Virginia Association of Biological Farming Conference in February where he was the keynote speaker. He came to our booth and critiqued all the different tools. He told us he had an old dutch hoe that was the perfect hoe and challenged us to recreate it. When he returned home he sent us his original with his manufacturing specs. We sent it to the toolmakers at Dewit, and that is the story. His specs were "the perfect blade to handle angle is 70 degrees, and the edge of the blade should be in line with the center of the handle." The result is what you see. One of our favorite tools.
Quality is top notch. Extra long handle is to die for. Design of head is fantastic for grubbing out small weeds. When soil is loose, one can also use the pointy ends to dig for deeper roots. Works well for edging and weeding along the brick paths also.
On the other hand, when I'm dealing with hard ground I start with a mattock (actually a Magna Grecia hoe, but it's similar to a mattock with a nice long handle), then I move on to a large headed peasant hoe, after that I use the Coleman hoe to break up clods left by the peasant hoe and to further refine the soil. The last tool is a rake to smooth it all out.
I leant several hoes to a friend who is turning her yard into a native meadow and woodland transition habitat, and she chose this Coleman hoe as the best of all worlds. She really appreciated the long reach as the vegetative strips are too wide for a regular handled hoe.
Also of note is that this hoe is extremely light weight.
Just be sure, as with all tools, to keep it sharp! It wasn't terribly sharp when it arrived so my husband put it on the bench grinder. I can now easily keep it sharp with my honers.
That Eliot Coleman inspired Dewitt hoe is superb for removing Sod. #foodnotlawns