The oldest form of hoe has a blade with a slightly tapered collar one "eye" at its top. Traditionally the handle is made from an ash sapling, skinned smooth. The swelling at the base of the sapling is fit snugly into the tapered eye and held there by centrifugal force. Some common names for this tool are "eye hoe", "ox eye hoe", "peasant hoe" and, in the Southern United States, "scovil hoe", (after a long time American Manufacturer of a self sharpening version.) The eye hoe pattern dates back to ancient Rome and before. It is a common tool throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and both South and Central America. It was once common in North America but was largely supplanted by the lighter, smaller American pattern garden hoe. In Europe, eye hoes are available in dozens of patterns and sizes: square, rectangular, v-shaped, rounded, tapered, cupped and pierced. Here, in the USA, only the rectangular blades are generally available.Our collection of eye hoes include a narrow (5 1/3"x6") floral hoe; a wider (6"x8")hoe and a large (7 3/4"x8") one. There are only two choices of handle length for eye hoes: 54" or 60". The handles, which are turned with straight sides, are easily shortened. However, they don't stretch. So, if you need a longer handle it's a custom turning, which get pricey, or a trip to the woods to find an appropriate sapling. Eye hoes, a form of draw hoe, are used for scalping and scraping away or uprooting weeds, and for breaking and moving earth. The latter task is accomplished by swinging the tool downward to bury the blade in the earth. Then, lift the handle and pry loose a clod of dirt. Lift the handle in an arc, swinging and stopping suddenly, pitching the clod away. I have seen pictures of hordes of Chinese laborers excavating canals with only eye hoes.
Note: These hoes are not made by Red Pig GardenTools.