• Manufactured by Bon Tool Co. • 800-444-7060; www.bontool.com • Cost: $29 A standard mortar hoe works fine if you’re mixing mud in a steel mortar box in which the sides are square to the floor. But if you often mix mortar or concrete in a wheelbarrow or in a mortar pan, using a standard hoe can be as maddening as trying to shovel debris off a floor with a spade. Fortunately, Bon Tool’s mortar hoe has rounded corners on all four sides, so it can fit snugly into the corners of wheelbarrows and mortar pans to scrape the surface clean. The short 21-in. handle makes sense, too. Wheelbarrows and mortar-pan stands hold the material 18 in. to 24 in. off the ground. When you’re mixing at these heights, the shorter handle length puts your hands at the right distance from the material without having to “choke up.” The small size of this hoe also means it’s easier to keep close by as you work. The hoe fits under a mortar-pan stand, so it can be kept handy for retempering mortar without posing a tripping hazard. Photo by: Krysta S. Doerfler
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