If you have ever done any hoeing in your garden since you passed the age of forty, you know that it falls justifiably under the category of “work”. The constant sideways jarring takes its toll on less-than-youthful backs and leaves an indelible impression for hours if not days. Enter the wheel hoe. This is a truly remarkable tool in that it eliminates the sideways jarring and converts it all into a “user friendly” push and pull motion oriented in line with your normal walking motion. My wife and I enjoy using this tool, extensively at times, with no uncomfortable after effects even though we are near sixty.
Although we like to think we have made a few minor improvements, this basic design has been popular with serious gardeners for well over a hundred years. It is very maneuverable, much more so than its “high wheel” cousin, and can be fitted with a variety of attachments. The translation of thrust to work done seems to be more efficient with the low wheel design than the high wheel design also.
Smooth sanded oak handles fall readily to hand (they are adjustable for different height operators). There is nothing that quite matches the feel of a smooth wooden handle polished over time through use. We finish these with a coating of time-honored linseed oil. (We put an additional coat on the handles of our garden tools after each season of use for a lifetime of service). The main body of the hoe is sand cast in bronze which will develop a patina over time but will not rust. Our wheels are hand made of steel with brass bushings in the hubs. Unlike every other tool I have ever purchased with pneumatic tires, these steel wheels will never go flat!
Our favorite attachment is the oscillating stirrup hoe. The included mounting block allows the blade to rock forward and backward, changing the angle as you push and pull the wheel hoe. This not only slices the weeds off just below ground level but also breaks up the soil above the cut.