Wilcox 202s All-Pro 14″ Digging Trowel: Product Review
If you’re looking for a unique trowel, virtually unlike any that you’ve ever seen before, then perhaps the Wilcox 202s All-Pro 14” Digging Trowel might just fit your needs.
The trowel arrived loose in a box, but in fine shape (it would be hard to hurt it in shipping). There are no instructions or warnings about using safety equipment (eye protection, etc.).
UNUSUAL BLADE DESIGN
One of the things that sets the Wilcox trowel apart is the unusual shape of the blade; it has a 900 bend lengthwise down the center of the blade, from handle to tip. This gives it extra strength.
The tool itself is 14″ long, including the handle, which is longer than most trowels. The blade measures 9 ½” long and 3″ wide – long and narrow.
I like that the blade is fairly narrow; a narrow blade is much easier to push through soil than a wider one is.
The length of the blade is a little awkward sometimes for my small hands, but it’s not enough to be a problem. Plus, the 14″ digging trowel is available in shorter sizes (9″, 10″, 11″, 12″, and also long handled 18″ and 22″ models). I have repetitive stress damage in my hands, as well as arthritis, and it caused me no pain to use the trowel – it’s a little easier to hang onto than other handle designs.
SHARP STAINLESS STEEL DESIGN
The blade as it comes from the manufacturer is sharp enough that I was able to push it through thick turf – something I’ve rarely managed to do with any hand tool.
The blade is constructed of stainless steel and should be able to be sharpened without creating rust problems, unlike the situation with a blade that is simply chromed over carbon steel. Stainless steel is harder to sharpen than regular steel, but it holds an edge longer – I still have not had to sharpen mine after several months of hard work.
On the inside of the blade is an incised 6″ (15 cm) depth gauge that comes in handy for planting small bulbs.
COMFORTABLE NON-SLIP HANDLE
The 4 ½” long plastic grip is nicely shaped and ridged so it will not slip out of your hand. Plus it’s a bright red color so you won’t lose it in the dirt.
This handle is easy for my damaged hands to hold on to; I have small to medium hands. I think it would work well for larger hands as there is still plenty of handle showing when my hand is wrapped around it.
The grip fits tightly and smoothly around the rolled steel section above the digging blade; I doubt this will ever slip off the metal. A leather strap goes through a hole molded in the top of the grip so you can put it around your wrist for carrying or hang it on a nail for storage. The strap is as long as the plastic handle is, but it does not get in the way. The hole is too small to interfere with use.
AN INCREDIBLY STRONG TROWEL
This is the strongest trowel I’ve ever used, and I’ve bent up a LOT of trowels. The other day I was digging rocks up with it, and even when I was prying up rocks half the size of my head, it did not bend, not even at the tip. I even ended up laying it on another tool and using it as a lever, and it did not bend at all. The 900 bend in the trowel surface gives it a great deal of strength compared to the shallow curve of most trowels.
One piece construction means it won’t break between the blade and the handle – the steel goes all the way up inside the plastic. The part of the handle is not heavy – it’s rolled steel rather than solid.
MADE IN THE USA
Wilcox was founded in 1968 in Iowa, and currently manufactures in Coralville, IA. They have been in business for 50 years; although they have recently been bought, the owner intends to continue running the business as it has always been.
Wilcox makes no recommendations as to safety equipment to use with the trowel. Personally, I wouldn’t do any digging without good gloves.
All Wilcox digging tools have a lifetime guarantee; if the tool breaks at any time during its life, they will replace it. The owner reports that there have been very few that needed replacing!
The Wilcox stainless steel digger was rated the best garden trowel by the New York Times, and I can see why. Nothing I’ve done yet has hurt it in the least, and it doesn’t make my hand cramp to use. As trowels go, it is one of my favorites. I like it so much that I recommend it to anyone.
WHERE TO BUY
The Wilcox 202s All-Pro 14” Digging Trowel can most readily be found online. The best price can usually be found on Amazon Prime for $18.90. It’s also available directly from Wilcox through their website for $16.90 with $3.99 shipping, as well as A.M. Leonard for $19.99 plus $8.99 shipping, and Lehman’s for $17.95 plus $7.99 shipping.
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A unique trowel design that’s tough as nails and excels where other trowels fail
Available on Amazon