To build for the future, you must first clear away the past.

This phrase is not designed to be a wise philosophical quotation to help you on your personal journey or a mantra by which to live your life, but rather the introduction to a range of Bulldog Tools that are more suited to dismantling, destruction and demoliton rather than restoration and reconstruction.

When clearing and fencing a site or preparing new ground, only the toughest, most robust tools will be up to the task. That is why Bulldog tool heads are forged from a single piece of ampropriety blend of high quality manganese steel which is enriched with other additional elements to create steel of great strength and resilience. Forged tools are much stronger than their welded counterparts where the weld point becomes a weak spot that does not withstand pressure or impact for long. Bulldog’s tools also undergo a unique heat treatment after the forging process which means that they have added strength and flexibility having been first reheated and then plunged into a cold nitrate salt bath which ‘re-tunes’ the structure of the steel. Finally, the tool head is then coated in an epoxy powder paint which protects against the elements and minimises debris and soil adhesion, making the tool more hardwearing and giving it an increased lifespan.

Picks and mattocks have their origins in prehistoric times when deer antlers were taken and utilised as digging tools, while medieval soliders used iron or steel versions as battle axes. In modern times picks and mattocks are commonly used in construction, road and rail works, demolition, landscaping and site clearance. There are three popular types of pickaxe:

  • Chisel and point – With a pointed end for breaking, splitting and chipping rocks and compacted soil and chisel end to pry and split fissures and cracks within the rock
  • Cutting and grubbing mattock – with a curved horizontal adze blade for digging or breaking up soil and levering tree stumps and vertical cutter for chopping tree roots.
  • Pick end mattock – with a pointed end for breaking up hard ground and rocks and a horizontal curved blade for digging and levering larger objects.

Although picks and mattocks are manufactured for hard, repetitive work, they must be fitted with a quality handle to ensure user safety, comfort and consistent performance. Bulldog recommends choosing either a hardwood or hickory timber handle which can be sanded and shaped for comfort and to fit the tool head or a fibreglass version whcih has a rubber grip and will not rot or split in very damp conditions.

Wrecking, digging and other utility bars are some of the earliest types of tools used by humankind. Crowbars are thought to have been named after the resemblance of the ends of the bar to a crow’s beak and bet with iron crowbars in common use from 1400, even getting mentioned in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet! There are a huge range of different bars available, but the main two types are:

  • Wrecking bars – shorter bars, usually measuring 12″ and 36″ with a curved end for levering and straight end for prying, often including a small notch for removing nails.
  • Digging bars – longer, heavier bars with a variety of end designs, used for breaking up compacted ground, rocks and concrete, digging post holes and levering heavy objects.

Bars are normally forged from a single piece of steel for strength and then hardened for durability with leverage determined by the length of the bar, longer bars require less force. Selecting a bar whcih is not too long or too heavy will increase comfort for the user, particularly over prolonged periods of work.

Post hole diggers are used to dig deep, narrow holes, particularly for fencing posts, telegraph poles and sign posts. The ‘clam shell’ design is made up of two identical shovel heads joined by a pivot or bracket, with long wooden, metal or fibreglass handles for added reach and leverage.

Finally, the Newcastle Drainer is worth mentioning as an excellent shovel for digging post holes, drainage ditches and narrow channels for cable and pipe laying, all essential jobs when clearing and securing a new site. The shovel’s head is solid forged, slightly dished and narrow for precise digging while the integral treads allow for ease of use and save on boot wear and tear.

The complete range of Bulldog site clearance, hard landscaping, fencing and demolition tools are now available from Bunzl Greenham service centres and on their website.