I was using a pick ax and a 6 pound regular ax to remove stumps and roots and to level about 600 feet of bulldozer refuse left over from when the developer pushed a road into the acreage. The mounds of dirt were generally piled up on top of the trees that they knocked over. I bought the closed road from the County and started out to clear up the mess. I was browsing through the local supplier store and came across this baby. Does it work! It cuts roots, levers out the old stumps and also levels the ground, just as advertised. I can now think of many other uses such as drainage ditches, road improvements and other things that need to get done. At $26 it is about 15 minutes of bulldozer work, less the set up time, and is on call anytime I need it. It's also cheaper than a gym membership.
Here is what Wikipedia says :" Mattocks are "the most versatile of hand-planting tools". They can be used to chop into the ground with the adze and pull the soil towards the user, opening a slit to plant into. They can also be used to dig holes for planting into, and are particularly useful where there is a thick layer of matted sod. The use of a mattock can be tiring because of the effort needed to drive the blade into the ground, and the amount of bending and stooping involved.
The adze of a mattock is useful for digging or hoeing, especially in hard soil.
As a simple but effective tool, mattocks have a long history. Their shape was already established by the Bronze Age in Asia Minor and Ancient Greece., and mattocks (Greek: μάκελλα) were the most commonly depicted tool in Byzantine manuscripts of Hesiod's Works and Days.
Mattocks made from antlers first appear in the British Isles in the Late Mesolithic. They were probably used chiefly for digging, and may have been related to the rise of agriculture. Mattocks made of whalebonewere used for tasks including flensing – stripping blubber from the carcass of a whale – by the broch people of Scotland and by the Inuit.