CobraHead® Long Handle Weeder and Cultivator: Product Review
Well-made, comfortable to use, and highly effective in pulling out a wide range of weeds.
Available on Amazon
Do you have a never-ending battle with weeds?
Always avoiding chemicals, I have tried so many different methods for weeding my garden and have ended up pulling out my hair instead of the weeds. The weeds have won every round.
So, I was quite skeptical that the CobraHead Long Handle Weeder and Cultivator would be the best tool in my arsenal of weeders. Would it get under the roots of my invasive zoyzia grass in my raised vegetable beds?
When it arrived I had to assemble the blade onto the handle. The instructions are quite detailed and have careful warnings about the sharp blade which is covered with a plastic sleeve for shipping.
The method for attaching it to the handle involves a hex wrench (included) and a little extra hand strength to adequately tighten the locking hex screw (I put on leather gloves to do this and it worked fine). Once it was tightened it seemed quite solid.
Specifications and Features
- One year unconditional warranty.
- The CobraHead® Long Handle weighs about 2.4 pounds and comes in three (3) handle lengths of 48″*, 54″ and 60″ (inches). The blade assembly adds 8″ to the length, so the overall tool lengths are 56″ (48″ handle), 62″ (54″ handle), and 68″ (60″ handle).
- Gardeners under 5′ 2″ may prefer the 48″ handle.*
- The 54″ handle (62″ overall) is typical and recommended for most gardeners.
- Gardeners over 6′ 2″ may prefer the 60″ handle.
High Quality Materials
The blade is made of a very durable metal that does not rust. I have used the short handled version for many years and left it out in the garden (accidentally!) and it has never rusted.
The long wooden handle could not be made from the recycled plastic that was used for the original short handled version. Instead, they made it out of a very smooth North Carolina Ash that is varnished and very comfortable on the hands. Gloves are always recommended when weeding and would give a little extra protection when using the wooden tool for long periods of time. The handle is made from a very high quality wood but, like any wood handled tool, will benefit from staying clean and dry when not in use.
Replacement Parts Available Online
The blade is easily replaced, making this a longer-term investment choice. The wood handle is replaceable too, but that need seems highly unlikely.
The CobraHead website has all the contact information you would need for any questions or repair issues, including video demos of their products. All replacement parts can be purchased directly through the website.
Now For The Real Test… Zoysia Grass!
I know, zoysia is an environmentally friendly lawn grass that needs little in the way of fertilizers or watering. But it also has the habit of invading just about everything. It even breaks up our driveway (but that’s another story!). My raised garden beds that contain my prized tomatoes and peppers are constantly invaded along the edges. Without total vigilance the veggies would be strangled by the wire-like horizontal stolons.
My former method was a very labor-intensive and back-straining method of digging out the edges of the beds with a flat shovel and pulling out the long strands of grass. Being able to do this in a standing position could be a huge relief to my back and knees.
The big question was whether I would get the same force needed to extract the roots when weeding in a standing position.
How the CobraHead Works
After using the CobraHead Long Handle Weeder on several different weed-infested garden beds, I can say that it works as advertised.
The main physical effort is exerted in a standing position protecting knees and backs. The curved, pointed blade is the key. It allows me to get into tight corners and in between closely
spaced plants without damaging them. The pointed head digs into the soil effortlessly and the curve goes right under the mass of roots that hug the weeds in place and loosens them for easy lifting.
Cleared of weeds and edged. Ready to mulch and neaten the border.This tool can also be used to easily create neat little furrows to plant rows of new seed. And you can scrape or scalp out little weeds between tightly planted rows where a wider hoe might knick the little seedlings (scalping simply means scraping weeds off at soil level, therefore not cutting into your seedling’s roots).
It is also particularly useful as a cultivating tool. After removing the weeds, you can see in the photo that I cultivated the soil to smooth it out. I found it very useful to edge along my paver borders, as well as the raised bed edges. I just ran the blade along the hard edge and it cleaned out any remaining weeds and roots. Not shown is how I finished up the bed by sweeping the soil off the pavers back into the bed and mulching it with some wood chips to help slow down those pesky weeds.
Easy to Use With Less Effort
Any way you use it, the curved blade on the CobraHead effortlessly digs into the soil. The basic motion is the same as you would use with a rake or a garden hoe, but the curved and weighted blade makes it less strenuous. The weighted collar that holds the blade helps the blade sink into the soil quite naturally, whether you are gouging roots of weeds or just loosening the soil.
For really tough weed infestations, I find that the labor-intensive method of digging and bending and pulling is still needed. But using the CobraHead tool for regular maintenance cleanup throughout the season is very desirable. This tool may not be my only weed defense since each weed is different. Some weeds have shallow root systems and are quickly scraped out with a flat hoe in broader areas (such as oxalis). Nutsedge is particularly difficult to eradicate and I wouldn’t recommend using the CobraHead, or any weed cultivator on it. It will leave behind little nutlets and produce more weeds for every one you pull. (It’s best just cut off at the soil level to deplete the roots source of nutrition). But for any weed with a deep or tough root system, this weeder really sings. Dandelions, Chickweed, Dead Nettle, Ground Ivy, Bermuda grass, or Wiregrass (similar to Zoysia) are all quite efficiently pulled out with the CobraHead. The instructions also recommend that for major weeding projects you combine their original short-handled CobraHead, which I have used for many years, along with the long-handled tool and a good garden fork.
Made in the U.S.A.
CobraHead LLC was launched in 2002 to market Noel Valdes’s creation of the original handheld CobraHead. He developed the long handle version in response to customer requests. The website claims: “CobraHead LLC is a Family Business that produces and sells “The Best Tools In Earth®”
Where to Buy
This product is available from www.cobrahead.com for $59.95. The price includes shipping anywhere in the United States and Puerto Rico. (Orders to Canada pay a $15 fee for shipping.) The set of both the long handle as well as the original hand held CobraHead is $79.95.
The tool is available from many retail garden centers and hardware stores throughout the U.S. It also ships from Amazon for $54.95 plus $6.49 shipping (for example, see the CobraHead Long Handle (54″)) . Other online sources often charge $59.95 plus shipping. So, it pays to check around before ordering. There are retail stores in Australia and coming soon to England.
I give this tool a 5-shovel rating. It is an innovative tool that is made with high quality materials and has more than one use. It stores easily, and though it’s not inexpensive, it has a replaceable blade available for $24.50 (includes shipping) which extends its lifespan indefinitely.
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