These roots are made for cutting...

Garrett Wade calls this a "Japanese Short-Bladed Root Cutter"; I call it well worth buying! Does a very nice job cutting through 2" Blackberry roots.

OK, it does have one problem. The handle is lousy. Can't hold on to it for beans. Especially if wearing gloves. Too small around, too smooth; nothing to hold onto to prevent it from getting yanked out of your hand. No problem, my next project is a new handle, got a section of branch just the right length and diameter, nice curve to it so it fits well in my hand, nice semi-rough bark, just need to shave down the end to fit the ferrule properly and slice a notch for the tang, should be able to get it done tomorrow.

Already made a sheath for it, the plastic thing it comes with is fine for hanging in a store but wouldn't hold up to everyday use, served as a place to start in making a pattern. Did a proper sheath, including the in-between layer of leather so that the saw blade rests on leather and can't slice any stitches or tangle with nails; thinking I'll use clinch nails to reinforce the sheath, currently it's just held together with Elmer's Glue-All. Sure, I could use my Dremel to drill holes for stitches, but that'd be a pain compared to clinch nails.

Clinch nails, it you are not familiar with them, are ball-headed nails, short like brads, which basically have on side shaved off at an angle. You use them to attach soles to boots, things like that, by hammering them through your leather into an anvil; when they hit the anvil the point curls up along the shaved angle, effectively creating a rivet-like fastener. You can buy them in various lengths depending upon how thick the leather is that you are fastening together. Ideally you will size them such that they curl up inside the leather, not actually projecting out the far side, that way they grip the leather better and don't wear away from walking on concrete or rocks or whatever until the leather is already needing replacing. I've used them a couple of times, and have yet to size them properly; another example of my being fine on theory and a disaster in practice. This boy really needs to cultivate patience, and take the time to buy the proper tools instead of trying to hastily make due when working on something that is meant to last a while.

But like I said, the blade itself is good. Despite the difficulty holding onto the haft, cut through 2" blackberry root in a matter of minutes, with a better handle it would have gone much faster. Also did a good job working Clematis loose from against a concrete wall, slipped around the roots and loosened them up so I could pull the puppy out without breaking anything off.

Whoa. Evening meds just hit, getting woozy and time for bed.

Post this Puppy!


craig said...

I shared your post with some of the staff at GarrettWade. Interesting point about the handle. I hope you don't mind if I share your thoughts with the maker. Maybe we can change the cutter in the future.

You might also find our
Professional Gardener's Digging Tool
helpful for root cutting and planting.

Best Regards
Vice President
GarrettWade Co

kd7mvs said...

Way cool! See today's post for details on the handle I made.

The digging tool looks to be a variant on the Hori-Hori Knife I purchased from Lee Valley earlier this season, except theirs doesn't have the cross piece; I admit, the cross piece would make me more comfortable when leaning into the knife, no possibility of loose grips sliding onto sharp blades. Given my propensity towards slicing myself with gardening tools already documented in my blog... cross pieces are cool.