Craftsman Long Handle Weeder 8398

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Digging Those Weeds with Craftsman

May 14, 2005 (Updated May 15, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:contoured wooden handle, strong metal, easy to use, Craftsman guarantee

Cons:no cushion-grip handle, no hole in pole to hang it up when not in use

The Bottom Line: The Bottom Line is arguing with me! It thinks dandelions are cute with their puffy seed heads. Ill let the Bottom Line weed out all those babies next year.


I am ready to tackle those pesky weeds in the garden. Mind you, I am an organic gardener. No chemical weed killers for me. It’s time to grab an old-fashioned tool such as the Craftsman Long-Handled Weed Digger (model # 8398), and meet those dandelions on the field of battle.


Description

The Craftsman Weed Digger measures 46" long. A 1" diameter smooth wooden pole is attached to a red metal shaft. The end of the wooden pole is rounded. The label along the side of the pole says, “Premium hardwood handle is strong and contoured for comfort”. The Craftsman logo is printed in black on the wood near the metal shaft.

The “business end” of this tool is a 5 1/4" long black metal piece with a forked end. I have heard some people describe a dandelion digger as a screwdriver with a forked blade. Nowhere on this tool does it say anything about the composition of the metal pieces.

The digger is designed to remove deep rooted weeds from lawns and gardens.


My Experiences

This weed digger is excellent for prying up weeds with long roots ... such as dandelions. The long handle makes it ideal for standing and moving around the lawn and gardens to get the job done. This is especially helpful when the weeds are scattered over a large location rather than grouped in one area.

Before using this long-handled tool, I had a dandelion digger with a short 12" handle. In order to use it, I had to either lay, sit or kneel on the hard (and often damp) ground. I find the long handle is a blessing and much easier for me to use, and it allows me to more quickly finish weeding. That’s a big bonus in my book!

The digger is easy to use, too. I prefer weeding when the soil is slightly damp. Not wet, but damp enough to encourage the weeds to more easily part from the soil. Holding the contoured wooden handle, I insert the pronged metal end into the ground at the base of the weed. It’s like using a pry bar. Once the tool is in the ground, I pry the weed upward.

A downside to this tool is that it does not grasp the weed. Manual labor is needed. I have to bend down to the ground and pull the loosened weed free. The pronged end of this tool does a good job releasing extra dirt from the root so that I don’t have to shake clods of dirt from the uprooted plant. Still, constant bending eventually causes a few back twinges.

You are probably wondering if I am able to capture all of the dandelion root with this tool. If the dandelion is young and a small plant, it is easy to pull the entire root free. Older, larger plants require more persuasion. Sometimes I insert the tool on several sides of the plant and pry upward before giving a final heave to lift the plant free. This Craftsman Weed Digger does a good job at getting most of the root. On the larger weeds, I find that the tool often misses capturing the last 1/4" of root. Anyone who has dealt with dandelions knows that if even a bit of the root is left in the ground, eventually the dandelion will grow back.

Pulling dandelions from the garden beds is easier than lifting them from a grass lawn. My garden beds are dirt whereas the lawn, where thick with grass, tends to hold the dandelions in the ground. The lawn is too possessive and the dandelion requires more work to evict it. The long handle of this tool makes it easy to pry around the weeds, though.

When finished weeding, the dirt is easy to wipe clean from the metal. I always clean the dirt from my gardening tools to avoid potential rust.

Since the prongs of this weed digger are sharp, I devised a protective sheathe for it made from folded cardboard. I was worried that someone might accidentally impale themselves on the end. There is no hole in the pole to hang this tool, so it stands upright in my floor tool rack.


Suggestions for Making It Better

Comfort Grip
If using this weed digger for long periods of time, you will find wearing gloves a must. Since this wooden pole is smooth and contoured, I find the grip comfortable. However, wood pressing into flesh eventually causes sore spots. A sleeve of rubber over the handle would create a cushy grip so that this gardener’s hands would feel more comfortable.

Toe Hold
It takes a bit of push to shove this digger into a thick lawn to root out weeds. At times I found myself lifting a foot to place on a non-existent brace to add weight to the push. It would be great if this Craftsman digger had a horizontal metal pole near the bottom so that my foot could help push the digger farther into the ground instead of solely relying on arm power.

Grabbing Those Weeds
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lazy. I don’t mind bending over to pick up weeds this tool pries free. However, after an hour of pushing, lifting and bending ... I would appreciate it if this digger had some kind of built-in clamp that would grab the weed as the tool rooted it free. Then I could lift the digger and have the weed clutched to the metal pronged end so that I wouldn’t have to constantly bend to collect weeds.


Purchasing

I bought my Craftsman Long-Handled Weed Digger at my local Sears Hardware/Appliance store for $8.99.


Summary

I like this Craftsman Long-Handled Weed Digger. It is easy to use and gets the job done. The long handle means that I don’t have to torture my knees or sit-bone. I can stand while removing weeds, and move around the yard at a good pace. I definitely finish the job faster using this Craftsman gardening tool. That gives me more time to lay in the hammock!

I hope you have found this review useful.

Enjoy your day,
Dawn
http://dlstewart.com


Additional Information

Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Dept. 817WA
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179

Warranty
“Guaranteed Forever – If this Craftsman Garden Tool ever fails to give complete satisfaction, return it to the nearest Sears store throughout the United States and Sears will replace it free of charge.” This warranty does not apply if the gardening tool is used for commercial purposes.


Please read my other reviews:

Fiskars Power-Lever Bypass Lopper

Step 2 Grass Hopper Wheeled Garden Stool / Cart

Swan Tuff and Flexible Garden Hose

Rubbermaid Tool Tower

Stanley Quick Point Knife

Pyrex Digital Timer

Craftsman 3-Drawer Portable Toolbox

Craftsman 2D Flashlight

Cramer Stop-Step Aluminum Ladder

Rubbermaid Jumbo 50-Gallon Roughtote

Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed

Black & Decker Cordless Battery Mulching Lawnmower



Copyright 2005 Dawn L. Stewart


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