Best Weeding Tool: CobraHead Weeders

Best Weeding Tool: CobraHead Weeders

Owning a best weeding tool is an absolute necessity for every gardener or homeowner. Without an effective weed puller, it’s virtually impossible to grow a great garden or a lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood.

Everyone who grows plants in the soil knows that weeds happen. These unwanted plants seem to grow everywhere there is bare or cultivated soil.

“Weeds start to sprout in spring even before vegetable gardens and flower beds are planted,” said Noel Valdes, president of CobraHead, the company that makes CobraHead weeders and cultivators, widely regarded as the best weeding tools. “The simple act of digging in the soil combined with Spring rainfall can give weed seeds a chance to grow. And most plants that we call ‘weeds’ are very aggressive growers.”

An Old Digging Tool is Reborn as a Best Weeding Tool

Valdes knows all about weeds because he has been a dedicated organic gardener his entire life. He was digging in his garden with an old-fashioned five-tined cultivator hoe when he first got the idea for what would become the original Cobra Head Weeder.

Before power tillers were invented, hand tools like the five-tined cultivator hoe were widely used for digging and cultivating garden soil. When one of the steel tines of his cultivator came loose and fell off, he picked up the tine and began digging in the dirt with the single blade.

A classic five-tine cultivator hoe. The shape of these tines was the inspiration for the CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator.

Valdes quickly realized the digging ability of the blade might make it a great hand tool for digging up weeds. The antique design of the blade, which resembled a tractor tine, did a much better job of cutting through the soil than modern weed pullers.

Valdes experimented with different handle designs and ultimately inserted the blade into a wooden hammer handle. He continued to use the tool and make improvements. Ultimately, this led him to create a company and introduce a new weeding tool.

Best Weeding Tool: The CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator

The original CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator was introduced in 2001. It was both old-fashioned and revolutionary. The digging blade was an improved version of a cultivating tine. (Yes, the shape of the blade does resemble a cobra head.) The ergonomic handle was a 21st century creation fashioned from recycled plastic with post-consumer recycled wood fibers to give it extra strength.

a cobrahead weeder and cultivator
The CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator

Gardeners loved the made-in-America CobraHead Weeder for its indestructible digging tine. They also loved the feel of the handle, which was injection-molded around the tempered steel blade so the blade would never come loose.

Gardeners who used the Cobra Head Weeder found it to be an outstanding weed puller. But they also loved it as a digging and planting tool. Soon, the CobraHead Weeder was being endorsed by Master Gardeners, horticulturists and garden writers in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Today, the CobraHead Weeder is still the most popular tool the company sells.

A Long Handle Weeding Tool

Soon after the introduction of the original CobraHead Weeder, the company began developing a long-handled cobra head tool.

“The long handle tool came about after older gardeners who saw our first tool at trade shows told us, ‘That looks great, but I need it on a long handle,’” said Valdes.

the cobrahead long handle weed puller is a best weeding tool
The CobraHead Long Handle Weeder makes it easy to pull weeds while standing up. Photo by Tracy Walsh.

Noel soon realized that simply putting the CobraHead blade on a hoe handle was not going to produce an effective tool. After extensive testing, they decided to position the blade perpendicular to the handle. This resulted in a unique tool that worked for gardeners of all ages. It also provided superior digging power over similar narrow-bladed tools.

A traditional wooden handle was created for the long handle tool. A locking collar connects the blade to the handle, so users can replace the blade should it break. The collar also gives the tool enough heft to make it effective in tough soils. It doesn’t just bounce off hard clay—it cuts into it.

cobrahead long handle weeder
The blade of the CobraHead Long Handle Weeding Tool has the familiar cobra head shape. Photo by Tracy Walsh.

“Older gardeners and those who have trouble getting down on their hands and knees are quite happy with our long handle tool,” said Valdes. “The tool is also popular with small scale farmers and landscapers. And, of course, it’s popular with the gardeners who make up most of our customer base.”

Today, the CobraHead Long Handle Weeder and Cultivator Tool comes in three handle lengths made of American White Ash. This enables gardeners of all heights to select perfect length.

A Mini Weeder for Small Spaces

For digging out weeds in smaller spaces, the company introduced the CobraHead “mini” Weeder and Cultivator. This smaller tool is patterned after the original CobraHead Weeder, but it is just 8.75 inches long and weighs just 5 ounces.

The CobraHead “mini” garden weeder gets in the tightest areas with surprising precision, and it’s perfect for lifting out smaller tap-rooted weeds intact. Its sharp, narrow blade rips up tough soil, and its small size makes it perfect for container gardening and herb growing. This tool even fits in a pocket. So, you can always have the CobraHead “mini” with you whenever you are in the yard or garden.

the original cobrahead weeder and the mini cobra head
The Mini CobraHead Weeder has the same shape as the Original CobraHead–only smaller. Photo by Tracy Walsh.

The “mini” weeder is built to the same toughness specifications as the original CobraHead. It has a tempered steel blade and a nearly unbreakable composite plastic handle that is comfortable in almost any hand (including a child’s). CobraHead tools are built to last and can be counted on for years of service.

A Broadfork Garden Tool

The largest tool in the CobraHead family is the Broadfork Garden Tool. A broadfork is a traditional tool for small-scale farming and gardening. This tool is often used in the “no-till” approach to soil preparation.

The broadfork lifts and aerates the soil without shredding it. (A motorized tiller is notorious for shredding soil, thereby killing worms and beneficial mycorrhizal fungi communities in the soil.)  Broadforks are also excellent for heavy duty weeding, and they can be used to harvest root crops.

noel valdes, founder of CobraHead, with a broadfork garden tool
Noel Valdes, founder of CobraHead, with a Broadfork Garden Tool.

The CobraHead Broadfork is made in Cambridge, Wisconsin. The design of this tool is a joint effort between Noel Valdes of CobraHead and Craig Carpenter of Structures Co. The fork uses a traditional European broadfork design but with a unique tine mounting system. The tines are mounted through the cross bar instead of being welded to the outside of the crossbar.

Although this broadfork looks large, it weighs just 14 pounds. The ash handles are comfortable to use, and the round steel tines do a great job of lifting the soil.

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