By Ridge Runner
Kac ( Ken) was asking if anyone on the forum would like to give his new digger the Devil’s Tongue a try . The Devil has you will see comes with a different handle than most diggers you see .
I don’t know how many others said they would give it a try but I had one within a week of my request. It was mine to keep no matter how my review of it went .
I had planned on having my testing complete over a month ago . But due that my wife had too have a complete right shoulder replacement sooner than we plan cause the testing being put on the back burner.
This digger cutting blade is somewhat like others you see but the first thing I like was the teeth were smaller. I know you’re saying so what. I’ve had trouble when the teeth and space between them is bigger. I found that roots will get hung up in the larger ones and then you have trouble freeing it.
On the second picture you will find that the Devil Digger has a handle that you won’t find on others . That’s the one thing that makes this digger unique plus it’s set at a angle. This has to be a first I’ve ever seen.
Looking over the Devil Digger I could see it was well made and you didn’t have to worry about it coming apart on you. I’ve done lots of welding over the years so I know great welding when I see it .
I’ve now been out several times this month putting this digger to the test . The main ground I’ve been detecting in has about the first three inches of black dirt but below that is more like pack gravel.
The two city lots had some carpet grass and that gave the Devil Digger adding testing with its cutting teeth. Being the handle was different I had to have my own one person class on using it .
You can see this on my third picture posted.
I made a point to use only this digger to be fair to it . I found it to do great cutting a plug in the grass covered area and plowing through that hard black dirt . The only trouble I had was when I hit that pack gravel below the dirt . I can’t say that digger was at fault because I have weak wrists. I do think it would help me if the tip was like the other digger on the first picture.
One thing I don’t want to leave off and the Devil Digger is the lightest digger I’ve ever used .
I don’t see where you can go wrong buying the Devil Digger. It’s a lot like a new detector you have to get to know it and you will find it will work for you.
I got this pick from Rob, excellent customer service by the way!!!! Rob was able to send the pick to me in time for me to give it a run before the season ends.
My thoughts on the pick are a little mixed. I would say it is a good buy. There is a few things I would say should be changed or looked at.
First, the blade side has the wrong grind angle, much like an axe vs a pick. This makes the chisel edge too thin and subject to bending marring or even breaking chips off when using it in a desert setting.
Second, the handle has a taper to it. At first, I thought this would be great. As a lot of picks these days have to thick a handle. Done in order to give it more strength; but creates a bulky handle as a result. In that setting, a taper would be nice. The other thing that we run into, is to small a handle next to the head of the pick, resulting in a weak handle that breaks. In the case of the NS22 pick. We have the perfect size handle at the pick head going into the metal sleeve. The taper results in making it to thin in the middle of the handle. Now the handle does return to the normal size at the end of the pick handle. Again, at first this seemed like a great feature; in reality, it makes the part of the handle you would normaly use one handed to thin for a comfortable and solid grip. Therefore creating hand/grip strain. When using it two handed, It makes for an odd feel trying to grasp either end of the handle to get the normal grip during two handed operations. It would be better for the handle to remain the original size all the way down. It is hard to find a pick with just the right size handle. I think this pick has that perfect size with out taper. Just my thoughts.
Third, comes the point of the pick. This pick has a wedge like tip. Some might like this type design. I personally do not, after trying it out with the NS22 pick. What I found was durning one handed operations it would make the pick deflect to one side or the other. Also, it didn't have the same penetration as a spike version would have. I do a lot of detecting in the Rye patch type area. In our dirt, it helps to have the spike to get a good depth per swing. With this wedge design it slows the pick down to fast to get that nice pick depth per swing. I plan to plasma cut my pick to the point style. I tried it in more gravel type dirt to be fair, thinking it might work better in that environment. It did not. Same result.
Fourth, the wedge width is perfect for scrapping the top or clearing out the hole. The wings work great for that little extra piling effect when pulling the dirt from the hole. Except for the grind angle the blade side of this pick is great. I have already had the grind edge deforming. It has a bend from hitting a small gravel patch at Rye patch. The metal thickness is just about right. Changing the grind would be perfect.
Fifth, the overall length of this pick is great, not to long or to short. You can use it one handed or switch to two handed for those bigger Zed holes when needed.
Last, I did notice that my pick had a grind dig on the point side, top. It is a little deep, perhaps a 16th of an inch. This would be a quality control issue not a design issue. The paint comes off from use as expected, in case someone wanted to know about that fact. It does have a proper size pin holding the handle in place. Not one of those small pins you some times see.
Overall, I would say that this pick is worth buying. I was going to special order picks like this from Australia from the original designer. But this pick came up and is close enough to satisfy my needs. Our Australia members will Recognize the overall design. However, for us in the USA this has design has been lacking in our market. The NS22 fills that void. Is it perfect no, is it a good pick probably. I plan to keep using it myself.
Over the last few years the thought rolls around in my head that with all the developments in material sciences, ceramics in particular, why has there not been a ceramic pick developed?
We can make ceramic motors for cars and ceramic knifes that are pretty robust. In science fiction there are references to a mythic material called plas-steel however there really is not much on this in real science~ but its a totally cool idea and heck Star Trek practically gave us the hand held communicator ;)
Any entertaining thoughts on this? Would you buy one? What do you think something like that would be worth?
For me I think it would be a gold mine in itself as all current detectors on the top shelf do react to the amount of metal we carry on our persons. I don't feel things like weight are an issue but dulling down of a detector because I carry my honking big pick is rather annoying. And putting the honker down to detect is a great way to loose it, or have 30 waypoints to no where in my GPS unit... oh did I just stray 2km from where I dropped it..... and looking down I hope that target does not move before I get back to dig it. Where as with the ceramic I'm working a peak level and am Johnny on the spot when that nugget sings.
This is something I feel can be done. And probably fairly cheaply~ so no carping about breaking the bloody thing ;) Thanks. And no I dont recommend something like this for solid rock but that'd be cool to as so many scrapes are full of Iron from chipping of blades and teeth.
For now Don Pedro lake still allows metal detecting with the exception of a few areas that are off limits, as long as we follow the rules. The first rule is to put the area back to normal (fill your holes) when you are done. I filled your hole in the middle of the trail, but if you continue to be inconsiderate (and this really was stupid) we will lose the freedom to hunt there.
By Steve Herschbach
"About 750 days after she first broke down, Bertha, the massive drill long stuck under Seattle’s waterfront, is back to work. Five stories tall and the biggest of her kind, Bertha overheated in December 2013, about a ninth of the way into digging a tunnel for an underground expressway. The contractor on the dig staged a painstaking rescue, and Bertha’s slowly drilling again."
Full story at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/bertha-the-giant-drill-is-ready-to-rumble-in-seattle
Wikipedia page on Bertha boring drill https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertha_(tunnel_boring_machine)