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  #1  
Old 08-24-2017, 09:19 PM
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Default A good inexpensive trowel

I've been using this on the past couple hunts. I must have given it to Dad at some point (probably got it as a freebie) and ran-across it recently, and it's sat in the shed since. I got it out for a spare, and after actually looking at it, thought I'd give it a try.

I used it 2 days in the cow pasture, and I'll tell you, I've never dug in dirt so hard (on day 1, it rained that night), I wore blisters on my hand from forcing it into the dirt. I know for a fact I'd have broken my Lesche, as well as my Fiskars, or Lowes brand, seriously.

I could put all my weight on it (prying), and it never even thought about flexing/bending. It's one piece, with the handle being rolled from the same piece as the blade. Not sure what gauge stainless they used, but it's hefty.

If you're in the market for an inexpensive digger you'll never break, take a look at this one, even as a spare.

I snagged the pic off Amazon, and think the price there was $15. Couldn't tell you if that's low, high, or the goin' rate. I do know I won't be letting go of this one.

ETA: In event you can't make out the engraving, it's a Garrett.
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:05 AM
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The shovel I use is a $5 AUD ($3.73USD) foldable stainless steel camping shovel from Aldi. I've had it for nearly a year now and it's still going strong. It also works well in hard soils and tough grass.

Lots of people say don't buy cheap shovels as all they'll break really quickly (and this is true for a lot of gardening tools), but that certainly doesn't apply for my shovel.

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Old 08-25-2017, 07:26 AM
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I have a Kellyco sawtooth gator digger similar to that one. I welded up an 18" T-handle on it and it's my favorite digger. Dang near indestructible and the longer handle makes digging the harder soil a lot easier on the hands.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2017, 02:08 PM
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I just checked, it's 16 ga (.0625). I would have guessed it thicker. I've been happy with the HD/Lowes diggers, I know others haven't, but I never abused them. This Garrett digger I can and will never buy another of those other 2.

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Old 08-25-2017, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Gauntlet View post
I just checked, it's 16 ga (.0625). I would have guessed it thicker. I've been happy with the HD/Lowes diggers, I know others haven't, but I never abused them. This Garrett digger I can and will never buy another of those other 2.
Wilcox makes these things too, not really expensive either, all kinds of sizes, widths and configurations and they all have a lifetime warranty.

https://wilcoxallpro.com

I bought one from a dealer that was going out of business and he had a few...mine ended up costing me about $13 including tax.
I looked hard at a 16 gauge one just like yours but I still thought I could bend it one day because my ground is unforgiving, I have tons of big iron and large rocks and I tend to pry way too much.
Then I saw another one that was only a few bucks more that was 12 gauge.
If I stood on this one prying up a buried dump truck I don't think I could bend it in the slightest.
The only problem with it is the point is not pointy enough and it is a little too thick near the end so when it gets dry around here the thing won't penetrate the concrete hard dirt at all...nothing close to the way my thinner and more pointed Leche can, anyway.
In Kansas this thing would have worked well most of the time, here in my red clay not so much.
It was a big hassle using this thing when I tried but I know how to fix it.
I plan on buying a cheap grinder from HF one day and use it to make more of a point, shave the thickness down a bit more on the edges of the lower half and maybe put some cuts in one side for cutting roots.
That ought to make it into a premiere digging tool and might even replace my Lesche one day if it works as well as I think it might after I do these mods.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2017, 06:29 PM
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Digger27- I've leaned on this one pretty good, and I'm 230 pounds, it never gave the first inclination of bending or flexing. I was impressed with it, and I'm not easily impressed.

I'd bought a Lesche before, and it flexed too much for my liking, so I got rid of it. Since getting back into detecting, I bought another with the pinpointer "deal", still not impressed, and haven't used it but a couple times. It's uncomfortable for me to try to dig with, but carpal tunnel may play a role in that.

Thanks for the link, book-marked it

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  #7  
Old 08-25-2017, 10:40 PM
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Default A good inexpensive trowel

Greetings !

The unbreakable Arkie Tabdog Digger Replica ! (See pictures attached.)

I made this replica digger from a Craftsman breaker bar, after getting dimensions and details from the Tabdog man himself, David C. Brown.

In the process I used a hacksaw, bench grinder (6" coarse wheel) and belt sander with 60 grit belt for final smoothing and polishing. I used a set of clamps specifically made and sold to hold down my Skil belt sander on the workbench. That way, I could hold and apply the workpiece to the sander for optimal control.

If anyone is serious about making a digger like this, PM me with your E-mail address and I'll be glad to give you more details. Be aware though, this is a work intensive project.

In addition, I have a detail drawing of a leather holster that I'll share. I had to custom design this holster due to the 12" overall length of the digger and nothing was offered in my local stores that would fit. Being a crafty cuss, that has never deterred me; I love designing and making my own stuff anyway !

ToddB64
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2017, 11:06 PM
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I use a sabretooth trowel which is basically the same design. These diggers don't get much attention in spite of being the best deal out there and nearly indestructible as well as very good at what they are made for. One of these diggers should last as long as you do. The handle grip may need replacement eventually but the trowel itself can take the abuse and last. And if that's not good enough it costs less than $20 !!! There are a couple better hand diggers available , but the lesche is not one of them in my opinion , people like those because they look aggressive and if its expensive it must work better right ?....wrong. But everybody has their own preference. Sure the lesche slides into the ground better but actually moving dirt is the primary goal.....which they are not as good at. So I put a little extra pressure on my sabretooth and it gets the job done even in tough clay.

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Old 08-26-2017, 12:20 PM
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Default A good inexpensive trowel

Chris......Re link below. Is this an example of your "sabretooth" trowel ?

https://www.amazon.com/Trowel-Diggin.../dp/B00CEAQ8AA

I've used my Lesche digger for 9 years and it is still in great shape, despite doing some careful prying with it. But admittedly, my locale in OH hasn't presented me with consistently severe rock mining conditions and I always use my tools with respect....I'm not a rough "man-handler" type guy.

Bought my Lesche from a well-known reputable dealer in CT for $31.95 + 7.55 S&H = $39.50, and it has the yellow W.W. Manufacturing Company, Inc. sticker and the LESCHE hallmark metal stamp, both on the rear of the hand guard flange.

Possibly some of the cheaply made look-alike Lesche knock-offs are the ones that are bending and/or breaking.

Thanks,

ToddB64

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Last edited by ToddB64; 08-26-2017 at 11:49 PM. Reason: added text.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:10 PM
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I thought there was nothing better than a Lesche hand trowel.... so so strong.

Has anyone seen this digger? It is used by a detectorist on youtube goes by the name of DirtFishin.

I don't know how strong it is but he seems to dig out a ton of dirt in one scoop which is the down side to a Lesche, which takes out small scoops due to the narrow blade at the tip.

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Old 08-26-2017, 06:56 PM
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Smile Predatortools Raptor

https://www.predatortools.com/collec...el-31-c-raptor

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Old 08-26-2017, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Happa54 View post
I thought there was nothing better than a Lesche hand trowel.... so so strong.

Has anyone seen this digger? It is used by a detectorist on youtube goes by the name of DirtFishin.

I don't know how strong it is but he seems to dig out a ton of dirt in one scoop which is the down side to a Lesche, which takes out small scoops due to the narrow blade at the tip.
Looks to me like it's already been welded/repaired.

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  #13  
Old 08-26-2017, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ToddB64 View post
Chris......Re link below. Is this an example of your "sabretooth" trowel ?

https://www.amazon.com/Trowel-Diggin.../dp/B00CEAQ8AA

:



Yep , that's the one...

The same basic design sold under a few different names. Some varieties have a V shaped blade and pointed at the end and some have a round curved blade and rounded at the end......all one piece with a handle grip.

The metal is pretty thick and they appear to have started out as a section of pipe that has been cut and formed

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Old 08-26-2017, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Gauntlet View post
Looks to me like it's already been welded/repaired.
Did you hear that heavy thump when he laid the raptor on the table?

A bit more expensive that the Lesche trowel but from the looks of it, may be a lot better if you do not want to carry around a Lesche shovel.

I'm in.....
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:37 PM
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Default A good inexpensive trowel

My 9 year old Lesche is 12 gauge Steel (same as Digger27's Wilcox).
I just measured the thickness with a micrometer and it complies with the US Standard nominal thickness for 12 gauge Sheet Steel shown in the chart @ Wikipedia, i.e. 7/64 inch (0.1094) near the tip of the blade and the hand guard flange measured 0.104.

ToddB64

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Old 09-02-2017, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by X-Terra70 View post
The shovel I use is a $5 AUD ($3.73USD) foldable stainless steel camping shovel from Aldi. I've had it for nearly a year now and it's still going strong. It also works well in hard soils and tough grass.

Lots of people say don't buy cheap shovels as all they'll break really quickly (and this is true for a lot of gardening tools), but that certainly doesn't apply for my shovel.
Do you have a picture?

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Old 05-24-2018, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Happa54 View post
I thought there was nothing better than a Lesche hand trowel.... so so strong.

Has anyone seen this digger? It is used by a detectorist on youtube goes by the name of DirtFishin.

I don't know how strong it is but he seems to dig out a ton of dirt in one scoop which is the down side to a Lesche, which takes out small scoops due to the narrow blade at the tip.

Attachment 393451

Attachment 393452
I bought one from watching him use it in his videos. You have to have the right dirt for it, pretty much soft aerated loose type dirt. Otherwise the sharp end is so wide that you can't get any penetration. I also nicknamed it the knuckle buster, because the handle is really thin and the rubber slippery, so trying to get penetration I slipped off the handle and thrashed my knuckles more than once. I ended up selling or trading it here, it just didn't work for me around Maryland.

For some reason I bought the Little Mac, which is a T handle version of the same head design, and that didn't work out great either. My White's Digmaster is still king over anything I tried for hand diggers, including the Lesche. https://www.predatortools.com/products/model-little-mac

For an inexpensive digger, Fiskars just started making a full tang Hori Hori. Home Depot seems to exclusively carry them locally, haven't seen them elsewhere. I've been putting one through it's paces and I'm impressed, it cuts through the soil easier than others and I haven't bent it yet, and I'm pretty hard on diggers. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fiskars-...1001/300374030
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2018, 10:28 PM
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I have a predator tools raptor and so does my wife. I did some custom grinding on them and narrowed it up. It is rather wide at the digging end so I just ground about 3/8" on each side which is 3/4" total on the bottom half of the blade

I ground hers first to make it easier for her to push into the ground and once I tried it out, I liked it better and noticed it fit into my omegamill pouch tool pocket. So then I did mine next.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMD View post
For an inexpensive digger, Fiskars just started making a full tang Hori Hori. Home Depot seems to exclusively carry them locally, haven't seen them elsewhere. I've been putting one through it's paces and I'm impressed, it cuts through the soil easier than others and I haven't bent it yet, and I'm pretty hard on diggers. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fiskars-...1001/300374030
I have been using versions of the Hori-Hori for around forty years now and have never had one break or even feel like it might. And I am hard on them and have actually pounded then into rock hard clay. You can find them on Amazon starting at about $14.00.

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  #20  
Old 06-25-2018, 11:37 PM
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"For an inexpensive digger, Fiskars just started making a full tang Hori Hori. Home Depot seems to exclusively carry them locally, haven't seen them elsewhere. I've been putting one through it's paces and I'm impressed, it cuts through the soil easier than others and I haven't bent it yet, and I'm pretty hard on diggers. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fiskars-...1001/300374030[/QUOTE]

That looks pretty nice, I'm going to check that Fiskars out. There's (1) in stock at the local Home Depot.

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