I’ve never liked the standard McLeod tool for trail work. My main complaint has been the 48″ handle. At 6’5″, that’s w ay too short and it caused me to have all kinds of soreness in my lower back. Hell, it pained me to watch average height people use it. The benefits of the McLeod’s head are outstanding. It’s wide enough enough to use the corners as a significant lever when trying to pry rocks out of the ground. The tines work great at sifting the rocks from the dirt, but they can break off if you aren’t careful. For years I’ve used a ZAC Tools McLeod. It came with a fiberglass handle with a wooden insert. It was tough, but way too effing short.
A couple of years ago our club purchased some 60″ fiberglass handled Rogue Hoes. We called them the Sarah Palin tool. The long handle was fantastic, but the head was too small to be effective. Women liked using them because they didn’t hang up in the rocks and roots as easily as the McLeod and the longer handle kept them from having to hunch over like Igor.
I got sick of my short handle, yanked it out, yanked out the 60″ handle on one of the Rogue Hoes, and installed it on my McLeod’s head. Now I have a 62″ long handle on my McLeod head! I epoxied the thing in there since I could only insert it deep enough to get the first bolt through it. The aluminum sleeve on it really stiffens it up so you can yard the crap out of the thing when trying to unpluck stubborn rocks from the trail.
For years I’ve always wanted Rogue to make a longer handled tool with a McLeod like head. I checked their website the other day and low and behold, they are now making a 54″ McLeod like tool. It looked so cool, so I used some club funds to buy 2 with the intention of giving one to trail building guru Robert Newman. He’s kind of picky, and he loved it! I still prefer my custom McLeod, but a few minutes with the new Rogue McLeod, and I’m wishing they made a 60″ version. It’s head is super thick and the blades are sharp. It’s the perfect size.
Here are some pics.