I am often asked for my feedback and recommendations for garden tools. Lately I have received many questions from readers who are looking to purchase tools that will help to make weeding easier. Many gardeners have told me that they’re looking to remove tough weeds in gravel driveways, on steep, sloping ground, or weeds growing in difficult, hard to reach areas. Having researched the award winning Burgon & Ball Weed Slice and the Burgon & Ball Short Handled Weed Slice online, I decided to put these new tools from Burgon & Ball through their paces!
One very lovely thing that I wanted to tell you about straight away, is that the Burgon & Ball Weed Slice and the Burgon & Ball Short Handled Weed Slice are both made in Sheffield, in Great Britain. Both the Burgon & Ball Weed Slices have handles made of Ash, which has been harvested from 100% FSC certified forests.
The Burgon & Ball Weed Slice has an arrow shaped blade, and as you can see in my photographs, the blade for the Short Handled Weed Slice is exactly the same size as the blade for the full size Weed Slice. The Burgon & Ball Short Handled Weed Slice is exactly that, a Weed Slice with a smaller handle, the blade itself is the same. The full size Burgon & Ball Weed Slice measures approximately 146cm (about 4ft 9 inches) from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle, and the Short Handled Weed Slice measures approximately 49cm (about 19 inches) from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle.
When I first picked up the Burgon & Ball Weed Slice (the larger of the two tools pictured above) I was immediately struck by how light this tool was. I was pleased at how easy the Weed Slice was to hold and lift, but I must admit that I was concerned that this tool might be too flimsy when it’s in use – just because it’s so light. I weighed both the tools on my scales at home, the Burgon & Ball Short Handled Weed Slice weighs 210g (about 7.5 oz) and the full size Weed Slice weighs in at about 500g (about 1lb 2oz).
I was keen to thoroughly test both the tools, starting first with the full size Burgon & Ball Weed Slice. As well as testing these tools myself, I recruited friends of differing heights and strengths to try out the Weed Slice, while I accompanied them through clearing a variety of different weedy gardens, allotments, paths, slopes, and driveways. The tallest of my testers was just over 6ft in height, and my smallest tester was 5ft 2 inches tall. All of my testers found the height of the Weed Slice to be perfect for them, no one wished for it to be any smaller, or any taller. I think the lightness of the tool would have contributed to this result, as it’s so lightweight, the Weed Slice is just so much easier to use. If the same sized tool had been heavier, it’s possible that we might have had a different result for the smallest of my testers.
We tested the Burgon & Ball Weed Slice on many different areas of ground. Firstly on areas of compacted gravel, which was peppered with brambles, a number of pernicious grasses, including couch grass (Elymus repens), Carex pendula, dock leaves, and other difficult to remove weeds, here the arrow shaped head of the Weed Slice was easily able to manoeuvre into and around the gravel, making short work of all of these weeds, even the tough brambles, with their thickened stems. Thanks to the lightness of the tool and the pointed, arrow shape of the head of the Weed Slice, a 2m squared area of very weedy, compacted gravel was cleared in just a couple of minutes! I can tell you that this was a great and happy relief for my tester!
The heads of the Burgon & Ball Weed Slice and the Burgon & Ball Short Handled Weed Slice have been heat treated with high-carbon steel to give a maximum edge retention and prevent the blade going blunt. I haven’t been testing these two tools for long enough to thoroughly test the longevity of these Weed Slices – these are new tools, not ones I have had for years. However, I did encourage my testers to really push hard into the gravel with the Weed Slice and after considerable use (everyone used the same tool) there are no chips or signs of blunting on either Weed Slice.
The Burgon & Ball Weed Slice was tested on a wide range of different areas: on areas of gravel, in borders, in raised beds, on level ground, as well as on steep and sloping ground, etc. Good results were achieved using the Weed Slice in every area of ground. Each of my testers reported that they found the Weed Slice easy to use; they all agreed that they found the Weed Slice was quicker and easier to use than a traditional garden hoe.
I had wondered whether any of my testers would miss the non-slip rubber grip handles that feature on many of the modern garden hoes that are available today. Surprisingly no one did miss these non-slip rubber handles, even those gardening in rain and drizzle, everyone enjoyed the fact that the handle was wooden and made from Ash. Most testers wore gloves, some of which were rubber coated, so it’s possible that the gloves aided their grip of the Weed Slice, but it’s not something I received any negative feedback about.
When put under pressure for any negative comments or feedback, one tester did admit that they felt that the Weed Slice handle flexed a few times while they were clearing weeds on heavy gravel. The same tester commented that they felt this slight flexing was caused by the lightweight nature of the tool, which as they benefitted from in terms of ease of use, they wouldn’t wish to change.
The Burgon & Ball Weed Slice was just as effective when tested in garden borders, easily cutting through weeds growing in the soil. Again the lightweight nature of the Weed Slice gave a real advantage for my gardeners, allowing them to reach steep or sloped areas of ground, raised areas of garden, and other awkward areas without straining. The Weed Slice is so much easier to use than a regular garden hoe on steep ground. Here, the slender, light, and easy to lift nature of the Weed Slice is a great advantage for the gardener, making upward or downward movements much less of a challenge. Bugon & Ball’s Weed Slice allows the gardener much greater direction and accuracy with each movement, with the added advantage of causing less strain on the gardener’s back and neck, as well as their shoulders, arms, and hands.
All of my testers were surprised at how easy the Weed Slice was to use and to direct, both when used in gravel and in the soil. The Weed Slice is very easy to control, it works well for keeping on top of weeds growing around rows of vegetables, or in other areas where any prized plants are growing.
If you wanted more control over your tool, or if you are looking to clear weeds in a more confined area such as a raised bed or even a large container, or a bed inside a glasshouse, you might prefer to opt for the Burgon & Ball Short Handled Weed Slice. As I mentioned earlier, this smaller tool features the same sized blade and head as the full size Weed Slice, only the length of the handle is different. The shorter handle of this tool allows the user more control.
My testers found the Short Handled Weed Slice very effective at clearing raised beds, especially raised beds in a confined area, surrounded by physical boundaries like walls, fences, or glass. This shorter tool would be very beneficial for disabled gardeners or anyone wishing to garden while sitting down. This smaller Weed Slice is less than half the weight of the full sized tool, making it even easier to use. The lightness of this tool gives a real advantage for the disabled gardener or someone with less strength in their arms or hands.
I’ve been impressed with both the Burgon & Ball Weed Slice and the Burgon & Ball Short Handled Weed Slice, both of these tools are easy to use and control; they are lightweight and effective. I hope that Burgon & Ball’s Weed Slices can help you to clear any weedy areas in your garden, driveway, and paths, or at your allotment. I am sure that these tools will save you time and energy, they have certainly helped me!
Other links and articles that may interest you……………………….
To visit the Burgon & Ball’s website and find out more about the full size Burgon & Ball Weed Slice, please click here.
To read my review of the Burgon & Ball Container Root & Transplanting Knife, please click here.
To see my recommended, trialled, tested, and reviewed list of gift ideas for gardeners for 2018, please click here.
To see my recommended, trialled, tested, and reviewed list of gifts for gardeners for 2017, please click here.
To visit Burgon & Ball’s website and find out more about the Short Handled Weed Slice, please click here.
To find out more about Dalefoot Composts peat-free compost and container gardening, please click here.
To read my 2016 recommended, trialled and tested gifts for gardeners, please click here.
To read my review of Katie Scott and Kathy Willis’ book Botanicum, please click here.
To read my review of Felco No.12 Compact Deluxe Secateurs, please click here.
To read my review of Richard Mabey’s latest book, ‘The Cabaret of Plants Botany and The Imagination’, please click here.
To read my review of Velcro One-Wrap Plant Ties, please click here.
To read my review of the EarthBox, a specially developed container growing system, please click here.
To find out about Wheeler Street Nurseries’s live, growing, potted Christmas Trees, please click here.
To read my review of the Trug Makers No.7 trug, a hand-crafted trug made using traditional methods, please click here.
To read my review of Kathryn Aalto’s new book ‘The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood, please click here.
To read my review of the Espresso Mushroom Company’s Pearl Oyster Mushroom and Hot Pink Mushroom growing kits, (yes, you really can grow your own delicious, pink mushrooms indoors!) please click here.
To read my review of Louise Curley’s latest book, ‘The Crafted Garden’, ideal if you’re looking for some simple, yet effective crafting ideas , please click here.
To read my review of the My Kitchen Food Dehydrator from Lakeland, please click here.
To read my review of the BiOrbAir, a specialised, automated terrarium from Reef One that features an ultra sonic misting unit and automatic watering system, please click here.
To read my review of Lakeland’s Apple Master, an amazing device that peels, cores and slices apples in super quick time, please click here.
To read my review of Stephen Woodham’s latest book, ‘Garden Design Solutions: Ideas for Outdoor Spaces’, please click here.
To read my review of the Garden Girl Rain Poncho, an adjustable, waterproof poncho with a pretty, floral design, please click here.
To read my review of the Espresso Mushroom Company’s Wild Flower Tea Seedbombs, please click here.
To read my interview with David Neale, an award winning Garden Designer based in Guildford in Surrey, please click here.
To read the results of my Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.