Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Review of the 7″ Rogue Field Hoe by Prohoe

I don’t use a hoe very much – at least not as much as some people do.  Unlike many people though, I have a deep appreciation for high quality tools and don’t mind paying more for something that, if given reasonable care, my grandchildren will be able to use. The 7″ Rogue Field Hoe by Prohoe is such a tool.

Prohoe Manufacturing is a family owned business in Kansas. The grinding, welding, and sharpening are all done by hand. The steel used in their tools is from recycled agricultural disc blades – and that’s some very tough, high quality steel. They have a heft to them that makes it easier to use than the lightweight, made-in-China hoes that most folks (myself included) own and usually think of as a hoe. I have used mine for several years now, and while my made-in-China hoe has all sorts of small dents and deformations along the edge, my Prohoe is still just as sharp as can be without any significant deformation of the edge. I need to point out that this is very easy soil to hoe and your results may be different, yet the cheap hoe still will not hold an edge where the Prohoe does. As with any tool, cleaning matters. I am almost obsessive about making sure that my garden tools are thoroughly washed before being hung on their rack in the shop.

Prohoe makes a number of different designs, but the one I have is the 70F Field Hoe. I am just as satisfied as can be with my Prohoe field hoe and fully expect my grandchildren to inherit and use this hoe for many years.

Now for the usual disclaimer – I have no financial interest in Prohoe, I received no compensation of any kind for this review, and I paid for my hoe out of my own pocket – every penny of it. I really hate having to write this kind of disclaimer. It wasn’t long ago that men were honorable enough to simply tell the truth without the government having to tell them to do so. The idea of the government telling people to be honest has a delicious bit of irony, doesn’t it?


  1. Monte Poitevint

    Hoss tools offers a somewhat similar hoe, but the head is made, if memory serves me, in S. America. I have the last few years been using an oscillating hoe for weeding. It’s a funny looking thing and I’m not sure what possessed me to purchase it to begin with. But it weeds like nothing I’ve ever used before. I have a Hoss wheelhoe and purchased a 12″ oscillating attachment for it. It works better than the other attachments made for it. I’ve never used a heavy hoe, but based on your assessment, I may in the near future. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Stephen Clay McGehee

    Thanks, Monte. You’ve got my curiosity up and I’ll have to take a look at the oscillating hoe. My guess is that different hoes work best in different types of soil, and to a lesser extent different crops (deep or shallow root systems). Most of my garden is raised bed, and no hoeing is done there. I have been trying to develop some conventional garden area (mainly for sweet potatoes and pineapples), and that requires the use of a hoe for weeding. I use the hoe for very shallow weeding – just skimming under the surface – and the weight of the hoe and the ability to maintain a sharp edge make the job pretty easy.

    Again, thanks for stopping by and writing.

  3. Wyandotte

    I sure could use one of those hoes. Nice to see something American made! It looks like the kind of weeder that would feel right in my hands.

    As for tools in general, I inherited some pretty ancient pitchforks, used by my dad, a pioneer (born in 1907 – he was ancient when I was born but that’s another story). They refuse to wear out.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      Wyandotte, I’m confident that you would enjoy the look and the feel of that hoe. It just feels right. It’s what a hoe is supposed to be – strong, sharp, easy to use, easy to fix (in the incredibly unlikely event that it ever broke), and made in America.

      So often great tools are also old tools. What immediately comes to mind is not garden tools, but cast iron cookware. They will easily last for generations if given decent care. I have a grubbing hoe that has been passed down through the family for who-knows-how-long. I’ve never found a new one like it, but then I don’t need a new one.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Monte Poitevint

    Speaking of old, I have a Black Hawk corn sheller, marked ‘1909’. To think that it is still being used today for what it was intended more than 100 years ago! How many things made today can you envision still being used in an hunderd years. Whatever happened to quality? I now, when I look for tools, go to the second hand shops and flea markets. Good American made tools are only found there any more. New American tools are all out of China or some other Third World country. Most of my farming implements are out of an age when ‘American-made’ meant quality, and these tools are still doing the job just fine.

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      Monte, that bring to mind some other tools and machinery that I have around here. We have several (over a dozen) old sewing machines that range from hand crank to treadle to electric. These are the all-cast iron machines with steel gears, made from the late 1800’s to the early 1950’s. They were meant to last a lifetime, and in fact, last for generations. With reasonable care and a bit of cleaning and lubrication, they run just as well today as the day they were made. What makes it better is that just about any spare part that may be needed is still readily available – even the leather belt for treadle machines. Last week, I cleaned and restored an old manual typewriter that was made in the 1940’s. A new ribbon was ordered, and it does a fine job (although I had forgotten how much more finger effort is required than on a computer keyboard).

      A tool is only obsolete if it will no longer do the job – not when something newer and flashier is available.

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