Ames Stand Up Weeder Tongs

Weeding a lawn is one of those dreaded homeowner tasks that should be done regularly but is rarely done well.  A lot of homeowners, myself included, tend to rely on chemicals to indiscriminately do the weeding work for us, saving us time but definitely not money.  It may take me 20 minutes to spread weed killer all over my lawn, but then I have to wait for days or even weeks to see the results.  Conversely, I could spend a few hours manually pulling out the weeds from my yard and see the results of my work almost immediately.

Though manually weeding a lawn is a great way to physically remove the offending weeds, it’s not exactly fun or easy work to crawl around on your hands and knees for hours in the hot sun.  That’s where stand up weeding devices come in.

There are several different brands of stand up weed pullers and most work in a similar manner:  You drive the tool down into the ground around the weed.  The tool grabs or latches onto the weed and its roots, and you then pull or pry the weed and the root from ground.  You then release the root and weed into a bucket and repeat the process.

Ames Stand Up Weeder

There are multiple brands of stand up weed pullers out there and I’ve used a few but I tend to like the Ames Stand Up Weeder a little better than the others.  Most stand up weed pullers use prongs or teeth that close in around the weed and root when you press a lever or pull the weed puller back.  The Weed Zinger, Grampa’s Weed Puller and the Fiskar Stand Up Weeder all work around this principal. 

They work well, though using leverage to remove something has its disadvantages.  The soil needs to be compact enough to allow for proper leverage and you need to have the space to do so.  

The Ames Stand Up Weeder works a little differently.  With it you can step on the weeder to push it  down over the weed and root, but then you twist.  The twist catches up the weeds and root.  A simple pull yanks it out of the ground.  You can push down to get the weed, twist 45 degrees and then pull straight out, no real leverage or leaning needed.

Ames Stand Up Weeder Video Demo

Results

After three hours of using the Ames Stand Up Weed Puller I found that it worked really, really well with a few caveats.

Pros

First, it’s a great tool for taking out individual broad leaf or dandelion-type weeds in your yard.  It’s easy to operate, easy to grab the weeds and relatively easy to pop out the soil plug that it grabs.  The holes that it makes are about an inch or so wide (sometimes wider based on the roots you’re pulling) and a good two to three inches deep. 

Second, it’s lightweight and easy to move and operate.  It’s less than four pounds, has large easy to hold handles and requires almost no bending over whatsoever.  If you’re taller than six feet or so you may find yourself stooping a little bit, but it’s still much, much better than crawling around on the ground on your hands and knees. 

Third, it’s pretty solidly constructed.  The plastic parts are solid and strong, the steel parts are durable and well made.  After several hours of use it still looked practically new.  I also found myself to be weeding much more efficiently than if I were down on my hands and knees.  I was able to fill a five gallon bucket with weed plugs in about a half hour or so.  If I had been doing that by hand it would have easily taken me twice as long just because I’d be moving around the lawn much slower. 

There are a few downsides to the Ames Stand Up Weeder, but they aren’t show stoppers. 

Cons

First, those holes you put in your yard can be somewhat deep and large.  If you have dogs or toddlers running around your lawn I could easily see them tripping or even getting a foot stuck in some of these holes.  Be sure to fill them in or at least rake or step on the holes to fill them in a little bit. This sort of weeding does aerate your lawn to some extent but this is probably the least efficient way in the world to do it.

Second, all these stand up weed pullers work best on individual broadleaf weeds with deep roots.  They don’t work nearly as well on spreading weeds (like chickweed) or in places where you have to be careful about hurting other plants.  I wouldn’t use any sort of stand up weed puller in a vegetable garden or flower bed because there’s just too much of a chance of me grabbing something I didn’t want.  And if you can’t identify the exact center of the weed to put the weed puller onto, you’re just going to be pulling up a chunk of grass instead a weed with roots. 

Third, it’s still work.  I was tired after a few hours.  I probably would have been a lot more tired if I’d been on my hands and knees prying out weeds with a weed fork.

Your soil quality will also affect your success rate with any of these stand up weed pullers.  If you soil is too sandy or rocky they have a chance of getting stuck open or closed due to little stones or simply not working well at all.  I found that in extremely dry sandy soil I had a much more difficult time grabbing weeds.  That’s just the nature of how these work.

Summary

Overall, the Ames Stand Up Weeder is a solid tool built for a specific job.  It’s lightweight, efficient tool that makes pulling weeds relatively fun!  It’s not perfect, but no weed puller is.  I almost can’t wait until dandelion season hits because I kind of want to pop in my earbuds, crank up some tunes, and spend an hour or so ripping weeds out of the ground without breaking a sweat.

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Ames Stand Up Weeder
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