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A culvert runs in front of my property, diverting runoff into the local creek — maintaining the grass and weeds in there has always been an issue, ’cause the ground is fairly irregular due to erosion and a mower won’t get in there well.  When I jump into the 2′-deep trench with the string trimmer I usually end up wetter than a tadpole in a pond, due to residual moisture. Culvert pipe would work, if I wanted to spend $1,000 for about 150’ of it.  Luckily I found this ditch bank blade.

The Ames Heavy-Duty Ditch Bank Blade allows me to cut with both sides of the blade from the edge of the ditch. The blade end consists of a straight edge with a tip that curves in on one side and curves out on the other side.

The 16″ carbon-steel blade with a 40″ hickory handle has enough mass to cut through most anything that gets in its may, including small saplings and brush up to 1/2″ in diameter. You can keep it sharp with a simple file — it’ll hold a finer edge, but for a tool that’s going to hit rocks and dirt, a file sharpening will serve it well.

This tool has lived by a few other names as well — joe blade, kaiser blade, or sling blade — but the Ames company wanted something more practical, I guess. I found one, on clearance and then half-off due to it being late fall, for under $15. The average price on these is about $50.

Ames [Corporate Site]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


11 Responses to Some Folks Call It A Sling Blade

  1. JP says:

    This is my cottonmouth blade. It’s perfect for chopping slicing, or golfing those perky poisonous Fl snakes out of my lawn.

  2. bob cobb says:

    You guys should go get a job over at bill cox’s outfit

  3. Patrick says:


  4. Gary says:

    When we moved in the hill in our backyard was completely overrun with weeds. This is one of the tools I used to clear it all out. My neighbors saw me out there hacking away like a madman and started calling it the deathstick.

  5. Tetsubo says:

    It would also make a darn handy polearm in a pinch. Seeing as most polearm designs grew out farming implements anyway… Just the thing for when the zombies Rise… 🙂

  6. Bob The Drywall Guy says:

    wow… that thing is good and scary lookin… maybe I’ll pick one up and show the sisters new boyfriend….

  7. Bruce The Farmer says:

    That is a Bush Axe…Not a Sling Blade. You must be from the city…

  8. Mtngrown says:

    What Bruce said. It’s a bush axe. Sling blades are about waist high and fork off at the bottom with a double-edged, serrated blade between the ends of the fork. It’s used in lieu of a weed eater. Many people mistakenly call a scythe a sling blade too, but it’s not…it’s a scythe. And again Bruce is right…either city or suburb. You’re right about one thing though…they’re great tools to have around.

  9. Tony Cook says:

    Down here in Louisiana, we call it a Kaiser Blade.

  10. Ben says:

    Just bought mine a Lowes. It has no sharp edge, you have to beat the weeds etc. to death. Any ideas why it comes dull and best way to sharpen.

    • Kim D Lougheed says:

      The manufacturers and importers must listen to their lawyers so after a severed arm is picked up off the floor, down the yard tools aisle…he says “we don’t get sued”! It’s called CYA.
      Want to know why a consumer grade chipper shredder has a loading chute longer than an average human leg?

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