Corona WeedSLAYER: Product Review
Sturdy but too big and heavy for more petite gardeners who will probably prefer a lighter version of this tool without the large toe plate.
Sadly, I have a lot of experience with weeds and have used many weed removal tools in the past in a futile attempt to conquer them. The Corona WeedSLAYERTM says that it is intended to “Remove tough weeds”. Let’s see if it lives up to this claim.
The WeedSLAYERTM arrived by mail in a rather large cardboard box. The tool was wedged into the bottom of the box with cardboard and was topped with a sheet of plastic bubble wrap. Although the cutting blades were covered, one of the blades pierced the box; thankfully, the blade was undamaged.
Getting It Ready For Use
The WeedSLAYERTM comes fully assembled but requires a little work to make it garden-ready. First, there is a large flat cardboard information sheet attached to the shaft. It is attached with zip-ties so scissors are required to remove the tight plastic bands.
Second, there are thick plastic caps over the two cutting blades at the bottom of the tool. I wasn’t able to remove these by hand since the caps caught on the ridged blades so I needed to again use my scissors. As careful as I was, the scissors left some marks on the blade which soon blended in after some use.
About the WeedSLAYERTM
The WeedSLAYERTM is constructed and used in the same manner as many other similar devices, but what sets the WeedSLAYERTM apart is its claim of removing tough weeds. To do that, it’s larger and heavier than most stand-up weeders.
At 4.17 pounds, the WeedSLAYERTM is appreciably heavier than other similar tools – in fact, it’s more than twice as heavy as many of its competitors. The shaft is thicker and heavier than others, and at 40 inches from handle to blade tip, it’s 4 inches longer than many similar types of tools.
The WeedSLAYERTM has two thick blades at the bottom, each with a jagged edge. The blades are made of high carbon steel and are set 1 ½ inches apart.
The handles at the top are each over 5 inches long and have a Corona patented ComfortGel® grip. This grip is very spongy and very comfortable to hold onto. It is also slip resistant when used with sweaty or wet palms.
However, while the WeedSLAYERTM handle has a nice large diameter, it’s not ergonomically designed as some other stand-up weeders and so becomes tiring to hold after extended use.
There is a weed release plunger on top of the handle. Simply depress the plunger to eject the weed from the cutting blades. The spring for the plunger is encased in the shaft, which should prevent the spring from getting fouled with dirt or rusting. This should lead to a longer spring life.
The WeedSLAYERTM has a three-inch toe plate to help push the blades into the soil. This is a nice addition when the soil is so compacted that you need to use it, and is large enough to step down on even when wearing thick-soled shoes or boots.
To use the WeedSLAYERTM, center the blades around the base of the weed. Push the blades down as deep as possible into the soil while keeping the shaft vertical (if you tilt it too much it’ll be difficult to fully grab the weed’s roots). You can apply additional pressure with your foot on the toe plate if necessary (I generally didn’t find it necessary to use the toe plate).
Once the blades are firmly seated in the soil, rotate the handle in a clockwise direction at least 180 degrees. I found it worked best when rotated more than 180 degrees, as well as rotating the handle in both directions. The package directions say to “twist the handle toward you,” which is a bit unclear – does that mean turn it to the right, or to the left? Does it even matter? Now pull the tool upward and the weed will pop out of the ground, roots and all.
To eject the weed from the tool simply push down on the plunger on the top of the handle and the weed falls out.
You are left with a 1 ½-inch diameter, 3-inch deep hole in the ground. Corona recommends that you refill the hole with dirt and/or a grass plug as it is a little large to be considered an aeration hole.
In spite of claims that the tool will “remove tough weeds”, I found that many of the larger weeds were not fully removed and taproots were often broken off, leaving a piece to regrow into another weed.
I would have liked deeper blades to remove bigger weeds. To remove a weed you want to get all of the root and the 3 inch blade just isn’t deep enough for large weeds. After using it, I ended up with lots of half-removed weeds and broken roots.
I also found the toe plate annoying to use. Between the positioning of the blades and attachment of the toe plate, it is difficult to see the blades to line them up over the weed. You need to put the shaft at an angle and bend down to see how the blades are aligned with the weeds, which slows down the weeding process.
The Corona WeedSLAYERTM leaves a large hole, which needs to be filled with dirt unless you are working in a planting bed where people don’t walk.
After two months of use, the Corona stand-up weeder is holding up well except for the bolts that attach the toe plate and blades; those bolts are all rusting.
The WeedSLAYERTM has a 10 year limited warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
The Corona WeedSLAYERTM is meant for tough weed removal and is built sturdy for this task. I like that the ejection spring is encased in the shaft, rather than exposed, and the large toe plate allows you to get your full weight behind it when weeding in hard or compacted soil. However, I did not find that it removes larger weeds any better than many of its lighter competitors, and the toe plate is so large that it obscures sightlines when trying to position the weeder. And, as a 5′ 5″ female, the WeedSLAYERTM is too big and heavy for me, although it may work well for a taller, stronger person.
WHERE TO BUY
The WeedSLAYERTM is available online and from Lowes for $24.98. It is also available from Corona directly on their website for $33.10 + $11.30 shipping.
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