The Switchblade Hoe comes with both stirrup hoe and wire weeder options. Here is...
Stirrup Hoe Assembly and Use
Author: Greg Baka
A stirrup hoe is also called an oscillating hoe, a hula hoe, or a reciprocating hoe. This type of hoe is used on SMALL weeds with a back and forth action similar to scrubbing. It is designed to work (to rip and uproot weeds) ONLY ON THE BACK STROKE (when it is pulled towards the user). On the forward stroke, the blade should just gently skim across the soil surface. *It is NOT used for hacking weeds or chopping into the soil.
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Step 1: Attach a Blade, and adjust the Handle length
Follow these steps: (the best way to adjust the handle length is on a CARPETED FLOOR)
1. Assemble the connector in the position that matches your measured lowest rib height.
2. Attach a blade to the connector using the two supplied pins and clips. First, pin the front hole of the Connector to the lower center hole of the Blade. Second, pin the Connector's rear hole to the Blade's rear slot. (see bottom of this page)
3. Release the handle's clamp, slide the handle closed, then extend it back out about 12 inches.
4. Rest the clean blade on the carpet with the bottom of the blade flat, like the upper picture to the right. Position your rear hand at the top of your hip bone, and stand upright with good posture.
5. Try pushing the blade about 8 inches forward. If it catches in the carpet, make the handle a couple inches longer. *If making this adjustment OUTDOORS in the garden, replace "catches in the carpet" with "digs down into the soil".
6. Repeat #5 until the handle is long enough to allow the blade to just skim across the carpet surface (or soil surface) on the forward stroke. Once you have found a length that works well for you, use a permanent marker or Sharpie to mark that position on the silver inner handle tube.
Step 2: Use the Stirrup Hoe in the garden
The stirrup is for use on bare garden soil with small weeds. Use the 5 inch wide Blade between the garden rows, and the smaller 3 inch Blade for the tight spaces between your crop plants. *They are NOT used on sod or large weeds.
You will walk forward down the garden row as you weed. Start with the hoe blade flat on the ground, and using your arms slide it about 6 inches forward. Then pull it back the same distance while adding a little downward pressure to churn through the soil and kill the weeds. With the blade resting on the ground, step forward and repeat the "slide it forward" and "pull backwards to weed" operation. Your rear hand will provide most of the forward/backward motion, while your front hand steers the blade and adds and releases the down pressure.
IF THE BLADE DOES NOT SKIM OVER THE SURFACE ON THE FORWARD STROKE, THEN HOEING WILL BE INEFFICIENT AND TIRING. Make it easy on yourself by adjusting the handle to the proper length.
Assembling the BLADES to the Connector:
The blade fits INTO the space in the middle of the Connector. Each blade has three holes, but only two are used for attaching it into the Connector. Think of the three holes as a face with eyes and a nose. (See the drawing below for Assembly Steps)
How to use the Pins and Clips
How the Connector is assembled sets the angle of the Handle to fit either a short, average, or tall person.
The LONG pin attaches the Connector to the Handle. The two SHORT pins fasten the blade or wire to the Connector. The chain prevents loss of the clips. See the drawing below for the correct assembly of the pin and clip.
The Switchblade Hoe also includes Wire Weeder heads.
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