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At Valley Oak Tool Company, we put a lot of thought and testing into our designs, so that our products are rugged and work well in the field. See below for some of our thoughts about our product design.
We welcome customer feedback about what you like, what you'd like to see changed, or new products you'd like to see us carry. Please e-mail us with your thoughts -- just click the link below:

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Handles: In response to customer requests, we have redesigned the handle at the flattened section. We now insert a short section of steel tube into the handle end prior to flattening. It takes 14 tons of force to flatten this double-thick end, but the result is worth it. The flattened portion is now twice as thick, much stiffer and much stronger.

Blades: You can expect the spring steel blade to last for years in most cases. Replacement blades are available if needed. Blade wear is faster in sandy soils. The blades will generally perform well even in gravelly conditions. We often use the wheel hoe to weed gravel driveways or parking areas.
   The blade is beveled to a dull point. Some growers use a file or our Speedy Sharp carbide sharpener to sharpen the blade. This makes cutting easier on large weeds or clumps of grass roots. Many growers never sharpen the blade. It wears to a continued dull point, which is fine for most situations. The blade is tempered spring steel and should retain its shape.
   If you are doing heavy hoeing, you may find it useful to turn the blade assembly around occasionally to balance the stress. However, many farmers never encounter a need for this. When a blade wears out, you can easily install a new blade, which comes with a new set of bolts and nylock nuts. The nuts should be snug but not tightened too hard, as this could strip the threads.

Blade Position: The new quick-change blade assembly locates the blade further back than on earlier models. We find that this makes the tool work even more efficiently.

Blade Widths: The 8" is our standard recommended width. 5" is for close row spacing. For soils in good tilth; blades as wide as 16" work quite well. Most customers who get larger blades choose blade assemblies in the 10" to 14" range. You need to order a whole blade assembly in order to get an additional size, since the blade shank is the same width as the blade.

Steel Wheel vs. Pneumatic Tire: Most customers order the pneumatic tire, because it is lighter and quieter over gravel. When not in use, the tire should be kept out of the sun and rain.
   However, we recommend the steel wheel, as it should last much longer. It does weigh 1/2 a pound more, bringing the total weight of the wheel hoe to about 16 pounds. The steel wheel has a stainless steel bolt for an axle and 2 oil-impregnated bronze bushings for bearings. At the same price, we think the steel wheel is preferable to the rubber tire wheel due to the sturdiness of the design and elimination of repairing punctured tires.

Furrower: The furrower attachment makes a nice small furrow for planting garlic or potatoes, and it works well for creating an irrigation furrow. We have also used the furrower to mix compost and other amendments into the top 6" of soil prior to planting.

3- and 4-Tine Cultivators: The tined cultivators have been redesigned to make the angle of the tine more forward. This facilitates easier pushing when you are breaking open tight soils. There is now a 3-tine model and a 4-tine model. Both models are 8" wide.

Guarantee: All wheel hoes and accessories have a one-year money-back guarantee.