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What are the parts of a mattock?

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mattock head and handle, handle, head
There are two parts that comprise a mattock: the head which is the metal part and the handle which can be made of either wood of fibreglass.

Mattock heads

Mattock head parts, eye, adze, Pick/axe The large horizontal blade on the head is called the adze and is used to dig or hoe the earth. The eye of a mattock head is the hole in the centre through which the handle is fitted.

The blade of the adze is slightly curved which gives it the correct angle when striking the earth to penetrate further.

Pick and cutter mattocks, Pick mattock, Cutter mattock The vertical part at the back of the head can be either the pick or the axe depending on the type of mattock.

Picks are used to break up hard earth and rocks. Mattocks with axe cutters are used to chop through roots in the ground.

Mattock handles

There are two types of mattock handle: wooden and fibreglass.

 Advantages

 Disadvantages

Can be sanded and shaped to give a more comfortable grip.

Does not degrade under UV (Ultra Violet) light.

More prone to expansion and contraction due to heat and moisture causing the heat to loosen.

If left damp can rot over time.

More likely to suffer from splints and splinters.

Needs maintaining with linseed oil

 Advantages

 Disadvantages

Less prone to expansion and contradiction due to less heat and moisture, so the head is less likely to work loose.

Often have a rubberised handle for better grip and reducing shock through the handle.

Usually brightly coloured so easier to find when needed.

No maintenance required.

Can be harder to achieve a tight fit on the head if the handle and the head are not a perfect fit, as fibreglass handles cannot be sanded down, so the metal head has to be filed instead.

Can degrade and become brittle under UV (ultraviolet) light if left out in the sun.

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