I recently took on a second allotment and a few new tools were in order, including a dibber. I knew straight away which brand I wanted - the Spear and Jackson Elements traditional dibber. I use this one in the garden I work in so I knew it was capable of standing up to regular use, and comfortable to work with too. I have other hand tools from the range and I am generally very happy with the quality considering their relatively low price. I paid £3.99 for the dibber in a local garden centre. The Elements range is one of Spear and Jacksons basic garden tool ranges, but in my experience the quality is above similar ranges from other companies.The tools are generally traditional in style and the dibber is no exception with a wooden handle and shaft of the T type, and a metal tip. This means it certainly doesn't look cheap and nasty. It also has the practical modern feature if an epoxy resin coating on the metal to prevent rusting and reduce soil adhesion, making it easier to use in the ground.
The dibber feels very solidly put together. The handle is smooth and rounded with no stray wood splinters to worry about. It feels perfectly comfortable to use if you are doing a lot of planting in one go, helped by the fact the handle isn't too small to grip easily. I use this for the same purpose as any other dibber. That is creating even sized planting holes quickly for larger seeds or seedlings. There is no depth guide marked on the tip but you could mark one on yourself. Otherwise I have been using the dibber in the traditional way to really firm in young transplants such as brassicas that like to be put in firm soil. That means after planting you insert the dibber tip at one side of the roots and lever it up.
The wooden handle is coated in clear varnish which I will renew at the end of the year to keep things in good condition, not because the wood needs it. The resin antirust coating has come off the dibber I use for work, in places, after a couple of years use, resulting in a scratched look. This work dibber has of course most likely been used more extensively than one in an average home or allotment would, so I don't think this happens too soon. It's still fine to use, and is not rusting, but it is going to be repainted in the autumn.
I would certainly recommend this at the price. It does the job and is easy to use and well built. The anti rust coating may not be as durable, but it can be renewed, and if cleaned of soil and kept dry, the dibber should stay in good condition regardless.
Garden Hand Tool Category: Digging & Cultivating / 112 (290mm). Mirror polished stainless steel head for rust resistance and minimal soil adhesion. Weatherproofed hardwood handle for greater durabilty. Leather wrist strap.