Country Lore: Readers' Favorite Tools

Find the perfect jig saw, a peanut butter mixer and two great rakes.
October/November 2004

I just had to write and tell you about a really great tool — especially for women. About a year ago, I came across a Makita jig saw, Model No. 4323K ($69). As a passionate do-it-yourselfer, I needed a small saw that could easily cut wood for my home projects. It only weighs a few pounds and is small enough for a woman’s hand, easy to control and well balanced.

Bobbe O’Brien
Northampton, Massachusetts

I enjoy natural peanut butter that has no unhealthful hydrogenated oils (trans fats). But it can be a messy job to stir the oil back into the peanut butter. My wife saw an ad and ordered a “peanut butter mixer.” When I looked at the device, a cap with a hole in it and a curved hook, I was not really impressed. But after the first use, I was amazed. The hook did the job after a few easy turns. The simple device is called Grandpa Witmer’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Mixer, and it costs $10. The address is: P-Butter Mixer, P.O. Box 444, Orrville, OH 44667 (

Robert Hartfield
Lansdale, Pennsylvania

We have renamed our “rock rake,” purchased from Lee Valley Tools, the “Sequim Potato Shovel” and consider it an excellent multi-purpose tool. In our area of Sequim, Wash., on the Olympic Peninsula, there are many small rocks shaped like potatoes and known locally as Sequim potatoes. We purchased the rake ($40) to remove these rocks from our new 6,000-square-foot garden, but we have found it is also an excellent weeding tool, getting into tight areas around plants or shrubs, loosening the soil, and dislodging weeds — roots and all.

Greg and Helen Starr
Carlsborg, Washington

In the best tools category, I would like to nominate the steel, adjustable rake. The rake’s width can be quickly adjusted to anywhere between 7 and 25 inches. This is the handiest rake for working around shrubs I’ve ever had, and it does fine on lawns, too. They are a great deal at $7 at Ace Hardware stores.

M.M. Fisher
Salt Lake City, Utah