Fokin Flat Cutter - Tillage without physical effort
A shovel, a rake, a hoe - traditional soil cultivation tools in the country - are slowly becoming a thing of the past. They are being replaced by more advanced tools for working in the garden and vegetable garden. Such, comparatively, a new tool is considered a plane cutter of the engineer-inventor Fokin V.V. It allows you to perform more than 10 types of work on soil cultivation without involving other tools and special loads on the lower back and legs. How to work with a plane cutter, and whether it has flaws, let's try to understand the article.
How did you come up with a plane cutter?
Vladimir Fokin owes his invention ... to a heart attack! After a serious illness that overtook the inventor in 1987, he could not, as before, work in the garden. Too much was the burden for his weakened health. And Fokin came up with a tool with which to process 20 acres of the garden was not difficult even for him.
In 1997, the Fokin plane cutter was patented by the creator, and today this tool is used not only in Russia and the countries of the near abroad, but also in Europe and the USA.
Types of plane cutters
The Fokine cutter is made of high-carbon alloy steel. Outwardly, it looks like a plate bent in a certain way. It is sharpened by 3 cutting edges (two long on the sides and one short on the sharp end of the plane cutter), which during use must be additionally periodically sharpened. The sharper the tool is sharpened, the easier it is for them to work (almost without any effort).
Fokin's universal plane cutter always sold as a set ("Small" and "Big"Plane cutters) packed in a box with a logo in which are:
- two products identical in design, but of different sizes (large and small) and fasteners to them;
- tools and fasteners (4 nuts, 4 bolts and 4 engraving washers) have a corrosion-resistant coating;
- a certificate of product quality from the manufacturer is attached to the kit.
But a typical (universal) set of two tools is sufficient in an ordinary summer cottage, not exceeding 4–8 acres, but what about the adjoining area, which sometimes is up to 20-40, or even more, hundreds?
Currently, several varieties of the Fokine plane cutter are produced. They are more convenient to carry out work on large areas ("The canvas is large", "The small canvas") The working body of tools is longer and narrower than that of ordinary large and small plane cutters.
For hilling of plantings and seedlings of beds of any height, a plane cutter model is offered Mogushnikwhich features a wide blade.
For work on heavy alumina soils and virgin soil it is more convenient to use "Fortress" - another kind of plane cutter. Compared with the usual large plane cutter, the blade of the “Fortress” is shortened without changing the width of the blade.
The basic rules for setting up a custom cutter
To bring the tool to working condition, it is enough to fasten it with fixing bolts to the handle. It is better to use a flat handle, to which it is more convenient to attach a steel tool. Fokin’s plane cutter has a third hole designed to fix the tool on the handle at a certain angle, which turns it into a simulated hoe.
Having collected the plane cutter, do not rush right away to the site. Be sure to adjust it to your height, working arm (right, left). It is convenient to hold the handle when working with two hands located on it after about 10-12 cm.
A Fokin plane-cutter, correctly adjusted for growth, will move parallel to the soil level. In this case, the back will be straight. Only hands work.
Remember! With a plane cutter, the soil is cut, and not cut from above, like a hoe.
If the plane of the blade deviates up or down, the worker is forced to exert more effort to do the work or tilt, this means that you need to change the angle of inclination of the mount. The angle of inclination is changed by moving and securing the blade in another, nearby, hole on the handle.
Most often, negative reviews about the Fokin plane cutter are due to the fact that the gardener simply “incorrectly” fitted him for himself.
Examples of work that can be done with a plane cutter
As already mentioned above, the Fokin plane cutter can perform almost all the work associated with caring for soil and plants. Processing the soil with a plane cutter does not violate the structure of the soil, it retains in the top layer useful microorganisms necessary for processing coarse organic matter into biohumus.
The use of a plane cutter for tillage reduces the time required and requires less effort when performing various tasks. One tool allows you to perform at least 12 jobs at the cottage and the adjoining area.
1. "Digging" the soil in autumn and spring
The "sting" of the Fokin plane cutter is stuck into the ground at a convenient angle over the entire length of the blade before turning (the "heel"). A loosened row is formed with a depth of 10-15 cm. The next run is pulled nearby. This "digging" is several times faster than if you dig with a shovel. It is especially convenient in this way to "dig" narrow beds on which the gardener does not stamp (trampling the soil).
Read more about the design and care of narrow beds in the article "How I made narrow beds and simplified my life."
2. Soil cracking
The blade, as when loosening, is stuck into the soil the entire length and pulled along with it. If necessary, the same strip is passed with a plane cutter twice.
3. Soil leveling and breaking up large clods
To smooth the loosened surface of the site, the Fokin plane cutter is placed on the soil with a flat tip to the right. Forward and backward movements the loosened area is leveled. Large clods are smashed by the heel.
4. Formation of beds
So that when watering the water does not go beyond the boundaries of the garden, its edges are lifted, spreading the soil with a plane cutter, as when working with a hoe. The blade with the long side is placed on the soil parallel to the bed, the stalk should be perpendicular. The blade is slightly deepened into the soil at an angle, and with motions from itself to the bed, they rake and throw soil on it, forming the necessary height.
5. Thinning crops
Dense (thickened) crops of dill, carrots, parsley, celery are usually thinned out with a small Fokin plane cutter, treating plants with a narrow part of the tool across the crop.
6. Weeding aisles with the destruction of weeds
The tool on the ground is placed flat, the blade is turned to the left (at the right-hander). Slightly deepening the long side of the blade (3-5 cm), pull it along. Do not strain your back, raising and lowering, like a normal hoe, while removing weeds. Weeds are best removed young. High sprouted weeds are dug up with the tip of the blade and pulled out of the soil with the Fokin plane cutter or cut with a rounded “heel”.
7. Sowing seeds
Rounded to the desired depth with the edge of a plane cutter, rows of the required depth are cut. They bring in seeds (here you have to bend over) and cover them with movements, as when leveling the soil.
8. Preparation of holes for planting seedlings
With the sharp end of the Fokin plane cutter, they dig holes of the required size, land and spud them in the same movements as in the formation of the beds.
9. Strawberry / Strawberry Mustache Pruning
In narrow aisles, the mustache stops with a sharp end, and in wide aisles, like weeds. Simultaneously with trimming the mustache with a Fokine plane cutter, weeds are also removed. The tool is slightly buried in a wide strip into the soil, placing the heel to the row and pulling along, cutting a thin layer of soil with weeds and a mustache.
10. Spreading mulch, compost, humus
These materials are pulled apart from the heap by a beam-like plane cutter in different directions.
11. Cutting siderates to mulch
Fokin's flat cutter can replace a scythe by cutting off the aerial part of green manure, which can be left in place or used to mulch the area.
12. Destruction of soil crust after irrigation or precipitation
You can work in the garden, garden, berry. Together with the surface loosening of the soil, weeds are also cut. The wide side of the plane cutter blade is placed flat on the soil, slightly deepened and pulled the tool on itself, cutting a thin layer of soil along with weeds.
In addition to the above, Fokin plane cutters can perform other work. The owners (usually women) who are in love with this miracle tool, say - if the farm has a Fokin plane cutter, other tools for tillage can “rest”. Is it really?
Fokine Cutter - Pros and Cons
A flat cutter loosens well (imitating digging without turning a bed) developed soils, better formed in the form of narrow ridges. Drowned soil during autumn cultivation is difficult to process. The depth of cultivation is reduced.
It is very difficult to master the virgin area, overgrown with sod and adult, well-developed weeds, using Fokin plane cutters alone, even of various modifications.
If the site is clogged with rhizome weeds, the Fokin plane cutter, cutting the underground part of plants during deep cultivation, only promotes their reproduction.
It is convenient to use a plane cutter to spread organic fertilizers, and it is impossible to introduce them using a plane cutter into the soil (inside).
When cultivating garden crops with the Fokina cutter, the straight back rests, but the hands perform more movements, raking the ground under the bushes.
If necessary, oblique is still easier and faster to mow siderata.
Fokin's flat cutter was designed specifically to reduce stress on the spine, which is very important for radiculitis and elderly gardeners. By working with a plane cutter, you protect your back and other organs from garden stress during garden work.
True, today, due to the increase in demand for Fokin plane cutters, it is increasingly possible to buy their cheap fakes. Usually fake:
- made of thin substandard metal;
- easily bends with increased bending;
- the tool has no anti-corrosion coating, it is simply painted;
- often sold without packaging;
- mounting holes are not made properly;
- bolts and nuts for fixing the tool on the handle require a lot of effort.
Be careful! Buying a fake, you are likely to be disappointed in the purchase and, accordingly, in the ingenious invention of Fokine.
But there is another condition, without which even a real Fokin plane cutter will not meet the declared capabilities. This tool should be as sharp as possible! If the plane cutter is not sharpened from time to time, then all the work done with it will require physical strength no less than digging the soil with a shovel.