Mattock Tool Guide, How to Choose and Use

When it comes to heavy-duty digging tasks, a mattock tool is an excellent choice. The mattock combines the capabilities of an axe and a pick into one versatile instrument. However, finding the right mattock for the job can be challenging, especially if you are not familiar with the various types and uses. In this guide, we will provide a detailed overview of mattock tools, including how to choose, use, clean, and buy one. Whether you are a seasoned landscaper or a DIY enthusiast, this guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to handle any digging task like a pro.

garden mattock
Garden mattock in use

How to Choose a Mattock Tool

Choosing the right mattock tool depends on the task at hand. For general-purpose digging, a standard pick mattock is a good option. If you need to clear tough roots and dense soil, then a garden mattock is the better choice. You should also consider the weight of the mattock when choosing. If you will be using it for prolonged periods or for overhead work, then a lighter model may be more comfortable. Conversely, a heavier mattock is suitable for tasks that require more force, such as breaking up concrete.

What Types of Mattock Tools Exist?

Mattocks typically come in three types: pick mattocks, grubbing mattocks, and cutter mattocks.

Pick mattocks are ideal for general-purpose digging and breaking up hard soil.

Weeding mattocks, also known as grubbing mattocks, come with a wide blade that is suitable for clearing roots and vegetation.

Cutter mattocks have a narrow blade that is perfect for hacking through dense vegetation, as well as digging narrow holes.

Additionally, there are specialty mattocks that serve more specific purposes, such as trenching mattocks for digging narrow trenches.

How to Use a Mattock Tool

Using a mattock tool requires proper technique to ensure optimal results while minimizing the risk of injury. Before using a mattock, ensure you are wearing appropriate safety gear, including gloves, eye protection, and sturdy boots.

Position the mattock so that the blade is angled downward gradually and strike the ground firmly with the pick or blade. Alternate between the pick and blade by swinging the mattock from side to side, creating a horizontal chopping motion. For grubbing and cutting, ensure the blade is striking the ground at an angle to loosen the roots or vegetation.

How to Clean a Mattock Tool

Cleaning a mattock tool is crucial to ensure its longevity and efficiency. After using the mattock, remove any excess dirt, vegetation or debris from the blade using a wire brush. Spray the blade’s surface with a rust protective formula and allow it to dry completely before storing. You should also sharpen the blade using a mill file periodically. Remember to store your mattock in a dry location to avoid rusting.

Should You Buy a Used Mattock tool?

You may be able to find excellent deals on used mattocks, but it is essential to consider the tool’s condition before making a purchase. Look for any visible damage to the blade or handle, as well as any wear or rust. Check for signs of use and abuse. Additionally, ensure the tool has not been recalled or banned due to safety concerns.

What is Mattock Tool Safety?

Mattock safety cannot be overemphasized. Always ensure you adhere to the following safety regulations when using a mattock:

  1. Wear appropriate safety gear
  2. Check the mattock for damage and signs of wear
  3. Do not strike the mattock on hard surfaces, such as rocks or concrete
  4. Do not swing the mattock overhead
  5. Keep the mattock blade sharp to avoid slippage.

Follow Our Tips to Help Choose the Right Mattock

Whether you are a professional landscaper or a DIY enthusiast, a mattock tool is an essential tool for various digging tasks. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can choose the right mattock for your specific needs, use it safely and effectively, maintain it properly, and purchase a used mattock without compromising quality or safety. Remember always to put safety first when using any mattock tool.