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Coneivore, A tool for picking up pinecones

Purchase the Cone-I-Vore, pickerup tool for pinecones
Coneivore, a tool for picking up pinecones

Review Summary

Coneivore
401ITB
Pinecone Pickup Tool
Priced at $38.95
Reviewed by Leon Frechette
12/03/05 (First Reviewed)
Updated 03/10/07, 06/19/10, and 11/20/11



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Purchase Cone-I-Vore, a tool for picking up pinecones
Coneivore is a tool for picking up pinecones. If you'd like to save your back by picking up pinecones, baseballs, tennis balls, etc., quickly and easily without bending over, then the Cone-I-Vore could be the right product for you!





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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.

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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:

  1. A tree can drop cones up to 17 different sizes; test the unit first to see which cone cap works with the cones in your area.
  2. To pick up larger diameter cones, use your feet to tip the cone upright (small end up, large base down) before thrusting down on it with the tool.
  3. It is easier to pick up cones when they are not in a pile, so scatter them with your feet.
  4. Other items, such as regular walnuts, apples, and tennis balls, can be picked up with the unit, but test to see which cone cap works best.
  5. Some cones, e.g., fir, must be collected using the small cap and a twisting motion rather than just pushing down on the cone. First place the tool over the cone and twist to the right and then to the left. This motion helps the tool grab soft and unusual-shaped cones.
  6. Most cones can be collected with the small cap but if large cones are collected too often with the small cap, its finger memory will weaken so it becomes difficult to pick up small cones. In general, if the cone has a hard texture and is over 2 inches long, use the large cone cap. If the cone is soft, flat, or small, use of the small cone cap.
  7. Cones 2 to 7 inches in diameter can be collected with the large cone cap, along with apples, tennis balls, etc.
  8. Softer and flatter fir, magnolia, loblolly, shortleaf, etc., cones from 1 to 7 inches long can be collected with the small cone cap.
  9. The tool works best if it is held with one hand on each handle and 2 to 6 inches above the pinecone.
  10. The best technique is to thrust the unit firmly down over the cone.
  11. Repeat the process until you see that the tube is filled.
  12. The number of cones collected in the tube depends on the diameter of the cones. However, the last cone you collect will be held in place with the fingers of the cone cap. Use a gloved hand to push the last cone through the cone cap.
  13. A cone can get stuck in the tube because of its size. Use a 3/4-inch dowel 3.5 feet long to push a stuck cone out of the tube.
Small Cap
Large Cap
The tube holds up to 20 pinecones, depending on their size. It comes with two different-sized cone caps, each uniquely designed to accommodate pinecones of different sizes. The small cone cap has six equal-sized flat "fingers," while the large cone cap has six "fingers" grouped in pairs and angled inward.
Cone-I-Vore small cap
Cone-I-Vore large cap

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.

Coneivore
Small Cone Cap
Large Cone Cap
Cone-I-Vore, a tool for picking up pinecones Apache Pine
Bishop Pine
Douglas Fir
Eastern Hemlock
Jack Pine
Knobcone Pine
Loblolly Pine
Lodgepole Pine
Pinyon Pine
Pitch Pine
Pond Pine
Red Pine
Sand Pine
Scotch Pine
Short-Leaf Pine
Single-Leaf Pinyon Pine
Spruce Pine
Virginia Pine
Western Hemlock
Whitebark Pine
Apache Pine
California Foothill Pine
Gray Pine (also called Bull
   or Digger Pine)
Eastern White Pine
Foxtail Pine
Jeffrey Pine
Knobcone Pine
Limber Pine
Long-Leaf Pine
Ponderosa Pine
Slash Pine
Southwestern White Pine
Sugar Pine (some may be
   too large to pick up)
Western White Pine

 


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.

Cone-I-Vore, A tool for picking up baseballsUpdated 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!

Cone-I-Vore, pinecone pickerup toolImportant 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.




Purchase Cone-I-Vore, a tool for picking up pinecones Coneivore is a tool for picking up pinecones. 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 could be the right product for you!

Customer Feedback

Copyright © 12/03/05, 03/10/07, 06/19/11, & 11/20/11 LAF/C.R.S., Inc.
All rights reserved.



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