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Mattock



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Mattock is one of the most popular types of hand tools which is suitable for digging or grubbing. A mattock is easily distinguished by its blade which is set at a right angle to the handle. The head of the mattock with its blade is so designed that it becomes suitable for digging or breaking up hard ground. A mattock can be used both as a hoe and a pick axe because of the peculiar designs of the blade at both sides of the head. The mattock has been in use since a long time and a very important domestic and agricultural tool used for digging and mining. In the past, it was also used an effective weapon for crushing or piercing.

Mattock heads
The weight of mattock heads range from 3 to 7 pounds (1.5 to 3.5 kg). They are normally mounted on a 3 to 4 foot or 90 to 120 cm shaft. The shaft is heavier than the mattock's head, sometimes weighing double the mass and density of a baseball bat.

Mattock heads are available in either an English or a grubbing pattern. The head has one face vertical and the other face at right angles to the shaft.
  • The English head pattern has two chisel ends. This type of mattock is more suitable to work on heavier clay soils.

  • The grubbing head pattern has a broader adze-like horizontal tip and one vertical chisel end.
Both the types of heads are used for grubbing out, removing tree roots and a variety of similar applications.

In popular usage, the mattock heads can be classified as Single-bevel and double-bevel. The single-beveled mattock can be used as a combination tool because it can be used with other digging tools and can perform a variety of functions. The “pick-mattock’, for example is a combination of the single-beveled mattock and pick.

Mattock handles
The handle for Mattock heads is designed in such a way so as to fit both styles. The mattock's head simply slides on or off and is locked by the handle's taper. The handles are similar to pick handles. The length of the handles is usually 16 to 17 inches long and they are easily removable so that transporting and sharpening the heads become easier. The handles are made of hardwood. Nowadays fiberglass replacement handles have also become very popular as they provide more strength and durability over wooden handles. Most of these handles have the waterproof, non-warping and non-corrosive features of fiberglass which ensure their durability.

Types of mattocks
Depending on the design of the head, mattocks can be classified as pick mattock and cutter mattock.


There are two flat blade set at right angles to the handle. One blade is like an adz and can be used as a hoe while the other has a pointed end like a pick axe. Accordingly we can say that there are two kinds of mattocks—pick mattocks and cutter mattocks.

Both the types of mattocks have an adze blade, but the pick mattock has a pick, opposing the adze, whereas the cutter mattock has a cutting blade.

The pick mattock is particularly useful in hard or rocky soil and clay and the pick can easily break up the soil or pry out rocks. The pack mattock is highly useful in trailing. The cutter mattock is considered very useful in deeper, rooty soil where the cutting blade is used to sever roots. Roots are cut with the cutter blade and then pried out with the grubbing end of the cutter mattock.

Uses of mattock
A heavy, strong, and popular too, a mattock is used for the roughest of work. Some of the popular uses of a mattock are as follows:
  • Its basic use is for digging and moving rocks, dirt.
  • It is a grubbing tool.
  • Mattock can cut through roots.
  • It can be used for exposing boulders.
  • A mattock can also be considered a useful tool for building new trail like a sidehill trail.
  • Installing steps and waterbars can also be done with a mattock, and Other heavy work.
The heavy weight of the mattock allows it to move more material with less effort.


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