Most garden tools have fixed handles. The handles may be made of wood, fiberglass or metal. Some tools, however, are available as separate handle and toolhead components that can be interchanged as desired (Figure 1).
Handles for this system are available in both wood and aluminum and in several lengths and configurations. The toolheads lock when a tang on the toolhead is pushed into the handle. Pushing a button on the handle releases the toolhead.
Although common toolheads such as garden rakes, lawn rakes and garden forks are available, there are also several unusual toolheads offered for this system. Several types of scuffle hoes are available (Figure 2). These hoes are excellent for slicing off weeds under the surface of the soil, and some work very well close to crop plants. One interesting and useful tool is the “crumbler” (Figure 3) that combines a scuffle hoe to undercut the soil crust and slice weed stems with a rolling tine cultivator to break up the crust. This tool is easy to use and very effective in a vegetable garden.
The interchangeable tools are available as small tools with short handles for close-up gardening and as larger tools with long handles for stand-up work.
These tools are available in some major home center chains. They are designed to be homeowner tools, not professional tools. These tools will not replace dedicated, heavy-duty garden tools for extensive work, but they offer a useful alternative for the homeowner. And some of the more-unusual tools such as the “crumbler” are not otherwise available. They certainly conserve space in the garage or garden shed.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture