Coneivore, A tool for picking up pinecones
Coneivore, a tool for picking up pinecones
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For the past year I've watched the Coneivore move through development stages, and during that journey I've tested the tool and made suggestions. This handy tool really works as it was designed: it allows the user to pick up pesky pinecones without bending over or raking them into piles. Best of all, it protects fingers from the needle-sharp barbs.
Coneivore's developer is a disabled mother, who took the idea (with permission) from her father-in-law all the way to the finished product. She has done an incredible job in creating this worthwhile garden tool.
The product is very simple, so simple that you might think you could make your own. However, the Coneivore's complex design would be difficult to duplicate using ordinary products.
The developer has carefully tested the just-right nylon used to manufacture the cone caps to ensure it holds up in cold weather and survives the abuse it receives every time the Cone-I-Vore is plunged down over a cone. The six-finger design appears to "eat" the cones. Each time the unit is plunged down over a cone, a cone goes up into the belly of the 3-foot 5-inch diameter .056 thick-wall polypropylene/profax tube.
The Coneivore comes fully assembled and weighs less than 2.5 pounds. The well-designed handles allow a comfortable grip as the unit is thrust down over a cone. When the tube is full, simply remove the top cone cap and dump out the cones.
As with other tools, there are some secrets to using the Coneivore:
If you have cones of a particular species and are not sure which cone cap would work best, refer to the list provided by the developer which matches up cones to the different cone cap sizes.
This garden tool was a back-saver for me and I quickly cleaned up all the pesky pinecones in my yard. Now what if you had to pick up baseballs or tennis balls in an everyday event at practics? Coneivore can double as a gathering device in sporting events.
Updated 03/10/07: The company now markets Coneivore as BallSnatcher to help pick up balls on the field, in batting cages, or on the court or green. Just think, coaches and players, no more bending over to pick up balls. The tube can pick up balls generally 2 to 7 inches in diameter, and it holds approximately 10 to 12 balls. BallSnatcher, or Cone-I-Vore, can collect softballs, baseballs, tennis balls, and golf balls—as well as pinecones.
Important Note 06/19/10: The Coneivore was designed to pick up mature female pinecones (i.e., pinecones that produce seeds). Mature female pinecones feature opened scales, which allows them to drop their seeds. Dry conditions cause female pinecone scales to open.
The Coneivore was not designed to pick up male (i.e., pinecones that produce pollen), green, wet, and/or immature pinecones. Generally speaking, these types of pinecones are smaller. Also, moisture can prevent pinecones from opening.
Depending on their size, these pinecones may be unsuitable for pickup with the Cone-I-Vore. If you are unable to pick up male, green, wet, and/or immature pinecones, there is nothing wrong with the design of your Coneivore. Simply put, it is designed to pick up mature female pinecones with fully opened scales.
If you'd like to save your back by picking up pinecones, baseballs, tennis balls, etc., quickly and easily without bending over, then the Coneivore is the right product for you!
Important Update 11/20/11: Coneivore's developer no longer manufactures the product. Garden Weasel, a division of Faultless Starch/Bon AMI Company, now holds the license and has made some modifications to Coneivore.
In addition to changing the color to red (as you can see here), they have made tweaks to the product that would be hard to see at first glance. The changes I noticed concern the six-finger design of the small cap that picks up the pinecones. Its fingers are now narrower, longer, and sharper. The center hole where the fingers meet is smaller in diameter, and the material used for the small and large caps is not as flexible as the material used in the original caps. Because of these changes, the newly designed fingers on the small cap grab the cone tightly but the smaller center hole doesn't allow the cone to easily pass through the fingers; it takes a little more force on the second cone to push the first cone into the tube. Of course, the effectiveness of the tool also depends on the type, maturity, and size of the cones and if they are green, female, male, and wet or dry.
Professionally speaking, I would prefer a return to the original six-finger design and a more flexible material for the small and large caps.