Why Grub Hoe?

My good friend Denise set up this Blog for me to catalog my stories. She asked what we should name it. I said “Grub Hoe.” She responded “Say What?”

Well I had an Internet adventure finding and buying a ” Grub Hoe” and concluded that no one, I mean no one would ever use that as a moniker.

It all began with my ditch digging project. I borrowed a tool from my cousin which must have originated from my Uncle Al’s Junk Yard or as my Aunt Helen referred to it as “The Certified Recycling Center.” This was an odd shaped garden tool. It had a heavy blade on one side like a hoe but much stronger; sort of like a mattock without the pick on the other end.

I believe it is one of the oldest farming implements in the world. In depictions of ancient Egypt to the background photos on TV newscasts in third world countries the peasant farmers are out there tending their crops using a “Grub Hoe.” I returned the original to my cousin, Jim, and began my quest. Neither of us knew what the tool was called but I started to search the back aisles of every country hardware store, farmer’s supply and antique fair. After a year, I started scanning the Internet. I think I use the Internet a little more each day for work and pleasure but will always consider myself a neophyte. Well I finally discovered that the tool was called a “Grub Hoe”. I have to admit that when I googled “Hoe” I was directed to several porn sites!

In any event now that I had identified the tool my search was on to buy one on the Internet. This was the saga of bronze age tool collides with modern technology. After typing in “Grub Hoe” I got an E-Bay site where some entrepreneur had found eleven grub hoe blades in an abandoned Chicago warehouse. They were only $7 a piece so what the hell, I might as well buy two in case I wear one out, and save on the shipping. These things do not wear out. I now believe that the Egyptians are still using the original grub hoes depicted in drawings found in the valley of the kings and only replace the handles from time to time. It took me more than an hour to complete my first Internet purchase via MasterCard and PayPal.

Now I needed handles. Back to the computer, I found a landscaping supply house that had handles at $20 apiece plus shipping. I ordered two ( of course) and it only took a half hour to finalize the money deal. Am I getting good at this or what ? When the handles arrived several weeks after the grub hoe blades they didn’t quite fit. I went down to the workshop to file, hammer and saw until the handle fit snugly.

But I wasn’t finished. I went back to the Internet to find a longer and better handle. Aha, what I wanted was only $10 and $7 shipping. Now I am on a roll, purchase completed in 15 minutes. Handle arrives but it is designed for a completely different type of grub hoe, yes there is more than one type. Oh shucks, but there is a return policy. Yes, you pay the shipping and a modest restocking charge. With the shipping exceeding the refund, I decide to keep the handle. But what is a handle without a tool except very expensive firewood. Next purchase a compatible grub hoe blade. I am now a Preferred Customer. $30 for the blade plus shipping. Financial side takes only one minute, this place not only has my E-mail but my date of birth.

I am now the proud owner of three complete grub hoes. I believe I lead Bloomfield Township, Oakland County and the State of Michigan in Grub Hoe collections. It would have been national but the guy in Chicago still has 5 to sell. My Internet adventure cost me over a hundred bucks to acquire some of the oldest technology on the face of the earth. And no one will every use” Grub Hoe” as a password. On the other hand I considered naming the Blog “Life is Two Shorts”, but I am sure that domain is already taken, probably a porn site.

The Modge


26 Responses to “Why Grub Hoe?”

  1. Bobby Says:

    As a “pseudo country boy” growing up in a semi rural area outside the Orlando FL area, I became well acquainted with the “Grub Hoe”. My father at a modest 87 years of age has been and continues to be the uncelebrated gardener of the year (in my book anyway). He of course has used every hand tool ever known to man (maybe even pre-Egyptian). Among some of the finest memories of childhood was my aforementioned acquaintance with said tool. Albeit at the time I disliked gardening, and any real manual labor for that matter. It could be that tools have a time and place, but like most things which have in the past been a “must have”, they never really go out of style.

    I have now taken it upon myself to introduce my wife and children to the Grub Hoe. They have begun to delve into the world of gardening and of course have need of certain tools. My Dad has his collection and maybe someday I may inherit it, but in the mean time the search has begun. I have met with some difficulty so far.

    Like any worthy goal, it’s all about the hunt.


  2. Mac Bleakley Says:

    I have an Austrian grub hoe, and I need a handle for it. It has a declining circumferense “eye”, rather big for a garden tool. I live outside of Orlando ,too, and have been unable to find one.

  3. Nate Says:

    Even if you had 15, you would lag way behind my old summer camp that uses them for trailwork. I would guess they have 30 grub hoes. And I am trying to get one myself…

  4. james Parsons Says:

    I found a co. in Indiana that makes Handles for Grub Hoes;
    to buy them you must be a dealer (like a hardware store) and must buy $300 minimum order. My Grub Hoe was made by True Temper Corporation in the Untited States.
    My Hoe is 7″ tall and &” wide and has a round tapered receiver for a handle. it is 1 7/8″ at the bottom end and taperes to 1 9/16″ in a distance of approximately 2″. new for 2008 they have handles 45″ long. They market several hoes: called Grub Hoe, Azada, trenching hoe, Italian Grape Hoe and a pointed hoe. some weigh as much as 5 lbs. Try http://www.easydigging.com. Please give me info on that place where you bought 2 and they still have 5 left. RSVP Jim Parsons

  5. Juliet Says:

    As a teenager, my sister and I raised a one acre garden with the help of a grub hoe. I now live in the city and have a husband and three sons. I often tell them we need a grub hoe to complete this or that task and they looked for one in various garden stores and concluded that no such tool exists – mom doesn’t know what she is talking about. When I use the words “grub hoe” in a sentence they erupt into peals of laughter, certain no such item exists. Well, today I found a 4″ and 6″ grub hoe online and ordered them along with a pointed hoe. They will make lovely gifts at Christmas. And when they open the presents and are given their first yard job it is I who will have the last laugh. I can’t wait!

  6. Reg Says:

    The grub hoe is an amazing all season tool, it has as many uses in the winter as in the summer. Everyone should own one, man and woman alike.

  7. Rochelle Says:

    Found your website while Googling, you guessed it, “grub hoe.” BTW, Waycooltools.com sells a lovely (if slightly pricey) one, with which I’m going to endeavor to attack the site of our future vegetable garden tomorrow. Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed tooling around your blog…no pun intended. (Really, I’m dense enough that the pun didn’t occur to me until after I typed that.)

  8. Don Says:

    Grub hoe is a tool perfect for clearing land, fence rows and cedar seedling from the pasture fields. A lot of people thinks a maddick is a grub hoe but, it’s not. My dad would say you boys go get the grub hoes and get started clearing that honeysuckle out of the fence row and be sure you get those cedar bushes too. yep it a good all around tool .

  9. Pablo Says:

    I searched every hardware and ag supply store could find in my local area. The only guys who even knew what I was talking about were a couple of elderly farmers at an ag supply store.
    Found 2 and bought them both. Final cost with handles $94.91. Ouch.

    • Don Says:

      OUCH! I felt that too. That was your change hitting you in the back as you went out the door and I feel like I just rob the little hardware store where I got mine. hoe and handle $20.22

  10. Vivek Says:

    Ha, If you here my story then you will laugh like hell. I am from INDIA (the real Asian INDIA) and currently living in Michigan. We started a small flower garden in backyard. I know grub hoe from my childhood, i used ot help my Grandfather, he tought me how to use it. Serched for it every where, no luck. One day suddenly i saw this at neighbours place. Asked where he got it? He got it all the way from INDIA. haha. He is bit old man so must have broght it some time back. Now with TSA rules etc. if i carry a GRUB HOE, customs will sure stop me. Still, when i went to INDIA this time. I serched its available every where, but every one warned me not to carry it to AMERICA. Sure i will be stopped. So i gave up and came back and researched more and fianally reached this place. Still need to find a real GRUB HOE in Michigan. If i spend that much money like 90 USD on GRUB HOE. She will sure get angry for that price.

    • Dennis Modzelewski Says:

      I am the author of the story. I also live in Michigan and have found some internet sources for grub hoes plus I have an extra I would sell you. You can reach me at dcm@gaggoslawfirm.com Dennis Modzelewski

  11. Jatin Says:


    Can you give the internet sources where you bought hoe? I am from India too and have known hoe all my life to be such a sturdy and good tool for everyday use in the garden. Unfortunately, cannot find anywhere in the US of A. Came across one of this site where I am planning to order, but if you have other websites, will appreciate to know. Thanks.


  12. Lou Says:

    best grub hoe out there is the number 20 made by Warwood……..awsome; forged steel and the blade is 11 1/4 inches long………cuts through my 2 inch oak roots like butter……….still made in the USA……….no financial interest
    Warwood Tool Company
    164 North 19th Street
    Wheeling, West Virginia 26003-7064
    Toll Free 1-877-687-1410
    Phone: (304) 277 – 1414 Fax: (304) 277 – 1420

  13. Lou Says:

    and Seymour still makes handles………a # 8 Seymour fits nicely..just bought one today; makes the Seymour “Grub Hoe” look like a poorly made child’s toy!……….the Blade is a bit on the heavy side about 4Lbs……BUT prefer a heavy blade to do the work than to have to beat a light one into my clay


  14. Dave S Says:

    Warwood Tool no longer (June 5, 2012) carries the grub hoe.

    • James Says:

      they have the 6 inch and the 4 inch. also they have an 8 inch grape hoe

      • Anonymous Says:

        these compared to the old Warwood 20 are like child’s toys; heck, they bounce off my oak roots; they were made for nicely soft and cultivated european soil, not the hard unbroken red clay we have here in the southeast!; the Warwood 20 11.25 inch blade cuts through them like butter; then I push the handle and and the red clay + root comes up ….yipppiiiiiiiiii; how do I know?, have them both

  15. glenn cole ' Says:

    Whats the web address of the guy That had the grub hoe im looking to buy a cpl.

  16. Jim Says:

    I lived 15 years in rural Calhoun County Wv a very rural farm area . Grub hoes were a popular tool of destruction . I have tried to find grub hoes they can be found but you better have money (Big).

  17. Lou Says:

    since Warwood no longer makes them; had to go to:
    Bob Denman at red pig garden tools made a nice 12 incher 5 lb.grub hoe head for me; love it!; have to ask Bob to make it special order if you want the 12 incher; he will do it just explain your needs!.
    BTW; NO financial interest in red pig; justy a good quality product ask for Bob Denman;

  18. Anonymous Says:

    i have a old grub hoe head and a old pick head if anyone is interested can someone let me know what they are worth ?

  19. Mr_Mike Says:

    For those still interested in the Warwood grub hoe, number 20, this company might have some of the last ones in stock. I just got mine, and paired it with the 40″ Seymour/Link handle. It’s a solid piece of steel, and digs deep into the clay soil. I like the longer handle, and it’s less weight than the mattock I own. The person I exchanged emails with said they bought them last year, to sell to woodland fire fighters, and trail builders.http://www.gshields.com/tools/outdoor-tools/shovels/grub-hoe-warwood-02020/?src=prn#ProductTabs

  20. Mr_Mike Says:

    Here is a site that sells the Warwood Grub hoe for $27.50. They are on clearance. I don’t know if a handle is included, but they picture it with one. https://www.harryepstein.com/index.php/warwood-grubhoe.html

    • Mr_Mike Says:

      They sent me an email that the handle was included, and is 36″ in length. So, for $27.50, you can still purchase a real, American made grub hoe. The website say they have 101 in stock.

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