August 1, 2011

ACCORDING TO JOHN: My Hero, the Sharpshooter

Digging holes and trenches is fundamental to landscape and garden construction. Although it is not the subject of many blogs or books, it is omnipresent in our industry. In many soils it is a hard and difficult task, requiring mechanized equipment such as backhoes, trenchers and augers. Even with mechanization, every single day we have need for manual digging tools like a shovel. For really hard conditions, we have the utmost need for the best manual digging tool in existence, to be used along with a shovel. I reserve that accolade of the best manual digging tool for a perfectly engineered and constructed piece of iron ingenuity called a Sharpshooter (pictured). We use it every day; it’s fantastic for everything involving excavations, prying and leveraging. It is essentially a large pry bar connected to a digging spade. The materials are perfectly selected and utilized to create that perfect tool for maximum efficiency and production. We wear a few out every year.

The amazing thing is most have never heard of this tool and would not be able to find one. As far as I’ve been able to determine, this perfect manual tool is only manufactured in one place and that is at a company in Glendale, Arizona called Metal Concepts. I’ve only been able to buy them at one place and that is Ewing Irrigation with 195 locations throughout the United States. Whether you need to dig occasionally or frequently, grab a powerful Sharpshooter---it is a fantastic tool and an unsung hero for many of us. People look up to world leaders, athletes or show business stars, but my admiration is reserved for the rugged elegance, productivity and dependability of the Sharpshooter.