CobraHead Mini: Product Review
A nifty weed and cultivating tool that fits in your pocket
Available on Amazon
Our yard has a weed problem. My husband and I live in Oregon, where weeds seem to like the salt air a little too much! In our quest to find a better weeding/cultivating tool, we were fortunate to receive a CobraHead Mini from the CobraHead Company to try out. Wanting to get away from pulling weeds by hand I was excited to put the CobraHead Mini to the test.
At first glance we wondered how a tool that looks like Captain Hook’s hook mounted on a handle would actually perform. I read the instructions completely and watched the CobraHead online videos (just in case I missed something) and then I went to work on our weeds. Keep reading to see how that turned out.
We received a padded envelope with the CobraHead Mini inside. The tool came through without a dent or scratch. There were instructions inside, as well as a hangtag on the handle. A small plastic red sheath for the blade tip was pre-installed.
The CobraHead Mini weighs in at a mere 5 ounces and has a total length of 8.75”. The handle is made from a recycled composite (kind of like a hard plastic) and the blade is made from tempered steel. Overall, I found the tool to be very well built and super strong.
There’s a hole molded into end of the handle that’s great for hanging it on a nail in my gardening shed or attaching a loop of rope so that I can hang it around my wrist. If you don’t want to use the hole in the end of the handle as a hanger, then simply hook the blade over something (like the side of a gardening tool bag or bucket).
At the end of the curved metal shaft is an oval shaped penetrating tip that looks like a steel “fingernail”. It is semi-sharp (not enough to cut you). The shaft and tip are made from tempered steel (very tough stuff and hard to dull).
I found this fingernail design was excellent at breaking up hard soils, digging under rocks, cleaning out weeds between brick and patio pavers, and cultivating (like a mini hand operated cultivator). My first impressions were that the tool is of excellent quality, designed with gardening in mind, and made from tough materials. This is no wannabe tool.
POCKET SIZED AND READY TO GO
Weeding tools come in all shapes and sizes. One of the nice features of the CobraHead Mini is that it’s only 8.75” long and fits right in your hip pocket – ready for any weeding or cultivating job. With only a single curved tine there is virtually no bulk, unlike multiple-tined weeders/cultivators. The latter can be a poking nightmare.
MY INITIAL EXPERIENCE
Prior to the CobraHead Mini, I tried another product that was slightly disappointing as it worked mainly the soil surface. A plethora of these products exist on the market today, but they are typically designed for a single task or for only light cultivating, but nothing like the CobraHead Mini. The Mini’s design not only works on the surface but easily penetrates into the hardest soils, making it a multi-use tool – both a weeder and a cultivator.
Another benefit of the CobraHead Mini’s metal shaft hooked design is that it gathers weeds (inside the hook) as you scrape across the soil. This hook proved beneficial in multiplying the amount of foliage I could extract with just one sweep of the tool. It basically acts like a curved rake. I found this to be a well thought-out feature of the tool.
The curved hook also gives you great leverage. The tap roots on tough weeds don’t stand a chance.
And the ergonomics of a curved blade on a straight handle make it a great mini cultivator. Scratching around in the dirt the CobraHead Mini’s curved hook design proved to be a real asset if I wanted to break up tough soil and turn it into more of a loam. This new soil structure made planting any number of small flowers, seedlings, vegetables or seeds a breeze.
EASE OF USE
The included instructions and online videos make it clear how to use the CobraHead Mini. Even without this information it’s intuitive. The fingernail-like tip at the end of the hook just wants to bury itself into the ground. It took very little pressure to get the tool to uproot and clear weeds. My husband saw how easy it was to use and he took it from me and my job was done! He zipped right along clearing out weeds with deep taproots and vines that covered the ground.
I am physically limited as far as bending and though not recommended, I bend from the waist. The CobraHead Mini handle is just long enough that I can grapple the toughest weeds and still get them out. For those who have trouble kneeling, back problems or reaching areas beyond the practical limits of the CobraHead Mini, there is a long handled version (see our review here). There’s also a full-sized version for larger weeds.
The CobraHead Mini was comfortable in both my and my husband’s hands (which are two different sizes). Unlike wood, the smooth, composite handle is splinter-free. The handle tapers toward the front of the tool making it easy to hold onto with and without gloves. The taper also helps with dexterity and reduces any slippage caused by wet/sweaty hands. The handle is long enough to be held with two hands when the strength of two arms is needed for various tasks.
Both my husband and I found the quality of the CobraHead Mini exceptional. It had a great fit and finish. The molded handle surface was smooth with no injection molded seams. The metal cultivator/weeder head was nicely cast and had no burrs or overly sharp edges. We found it very durable, and a product that we feel would last for many years, if not a lifetime.
The product is made in the USA at the CobraHead facility in Cambridge, Wisconsin.
I usually keep a brush handy to dust off gardening tools after each use so they aren’t put away wet or caked with mud. Since the CobraHead Mini has a steel head, rust is inevitable if the tool is not properly cared for. I suggest brushing any dirt (particularly wet mud) off the tool and thoroughly drying it. For storage, I recommend a light coating of oil, such as WD40®.
TOUGH STEEL BLADE AND SHAFT
The steel “fingernail” tip of the blade has a beveled edge making for a semi-sharp surface. The steel is so tough that it didn’t affect the blade sharpness, even when using it to pry weeds between bricks and under rocks. I feel the blade will hold up for the life of the tool without any maintenance. But if the fingernail tip did need a touch-up, use a straight file and follow the angular contours of the original blade. Just don’t file the fingernail to a sharp knife edge, as the tool was never designed to be overly sharp.
As with any sharp pointed object, caution should always be exercised. The CobraHead Mini is designed to be carried in your hip pocket (handle down). This leaves the cultivating/weeding head exposed. Fortunately, the metal fingernail head is not overly sharp, but it could catch or your forearm or hand so be careful when carrying the tool this way. If I wanted to be doubly sure I wouldn’t catch my forearm or hand on the tip of the CobraHead Mini, I’d place the red plastic cap (provided) over the tip when transporting it in my pocket. But let’s face it, this will become pretty frustrating and impractical every time you put it in your pocket. My suggestion is to wear a long sleeve shirt and a pair of gloves.
On the CobraHead website, their contact information is very clear. You can either contact them via their toll free phone number (866-962-6272) or their website contact form. They can also be reached through their Facebook page .
The CobraHead Mini has a 1 year unconditional warranty. If the tool malfunctions in any way, CobraHead will replace it for free.
I highly recommend adding the sturdy, easy-to-use CobraHead Mini to your garden tool arsenal. It’s truly more than just a weeder – it’s also fantastic at digging trenches for planting or for sowing seeds and raking the soil over the seeds or plants once they have been laid in the trench, breaking up tough soils, cultivating around plantings for more soil aeration, and digging holes for planting small clumps of flowers, vegetables and fruits. It’s also ideal for use in raised beds due to its short handle length, and for working in tight spaces between plants.
I’ve always wanted to find a weeder that would save my hands, attack surface weeds and ground covering vines and yet be strong enough to pull the bad-boys with the mega tap roots. The CobraHead weeder/cultivator just solved my problem.
The only thing that I would improve on would be the color of the handle (I did not subtract points for this). A bright red or orange would be great, particularly when you leave it in a bed of green foliage. Both those colors are easy to spot. The current blue colored composite handle is decent when looking for it in the garden. I just think something brighter would be better.
WHERE TO BUY
The CobraHead Mini is available on their website for $21.95 (free shipping and no tax).
It is also available on Amazon Prime for around $21.95.
CobraHead also offers a long-handled and a regular version, both of which share the same design for the hook, are made from the same materials, and are also excellent weeding tools. Those are available on Amazon as well.CobraHead Original Weeder CobraHead Long Handle Weeder & Cultivator
Now over to you – Have you tried a CobraHead? Let us know your experience in the comments below!
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