Popper Instructions

Be careful when threading it on the pipe nipple. It should easily thread on by hand. Do not cross thread!!

You can use some channel locks, or a pipe wrench to screw it on tight, but if you just screw it on by hand as hard as you can, you should be OK.

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Popper Guidelines


Razor Sharp

The Popper will ONLY work as designed if it is Razor Sharp! This means you need to touch up the edge periodically with a file as you are using it! Be very CAREFUL when filing (i.e. keep your thumb/fingers on TOP of the file), since the edge is SHARP!!!. In the field, we carry a file in our back pockets, and touch up the blade every 5-6 tumbleweeds or so, since the soil is sandy/rocky here. It only takes a few seconds to touch up the blade.

If you try to use it when it's NOT RAZOR SHARP, you're just wasting a LOT of effort. I can't emphasize this enough, since we damned near need to beat our guys over the head to make them keep it sharp at all times!


You should ONLY sharpen the wide outside curved edge (convex side). We use a 12" or 14" (better) mill bastard file and lay the blade across one thigh, just above the knee, while sharpening. The narrow inside curved edge (concave side) is filed FLAT, with the file layed FLAT across the blade (See photo below). Just run the file flat across the inside a little to remove the filing burr. You will see a shiny filing mark along one side of the blade. The file should be FLAT across the blade, touching the filing mark and the blade edge at the same time. After filing the 'flat' side, lightly pass the file over the other side again. Note the existing shape, and keep it that way! If you file a curve on the inside concave side, you will RUIN the blade, and it will take you forever to get it flat again. FILE IT FLAT ON THE INSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. PS. If you look at thousand dollar Japanese Chef's knives, you will notice they are only sharpened on one side........the other side is FLAT.

Renewing the Shape

After many sharpening cycles, you will need to renew the shape with a grinder. A hand grinder with a metal grinding wheel works well here. You will need to restore the gradual slope of the edge. This means taking steel off to about 3/4" to1" back from the edge of the blade. Use water to keep the edge cool, so you don't lose the temper of the steel.

Usage Technique

Use the Popper as if you were throwing a spear into the ground. You can use FULL force when doing this. HOWEVER, you should NEVER PRY with the Popper. It is a cutting tool ONLY! The steel is VERY hard and will retain an edge quite well, BUT as a result of this, it is somewhat brittle, and will break if you pry with it. You can pry LIGHTLY to lift up a tumbleweed for example, but if you put any real force into prying, you will BREAK THE BLADE!! If the blade gets stuck in a root, move the handle from side to side to loosen it, NOT back and forth.

Iron Nipple

The 1" steel pipe nipple provides the weight that makes the Popper easy to use (A longer nipple means more weight. Ours are about 7 feet long. But different people may prefer a shorter size). You sort of just let it do the work, and you really don't have to force it too hard. Btw, it really works like a dream removing linoleum from a concrete floor. You just slide the blade along the concrete and linoleum goes flying......


Like any fine tool, you should oil it lightly, and keep it in a dry place when storing it. The steel is high carbon, and will readily rust in damp conditions.


This shows the file position for filing the front side. It needs to be filed FLAT.

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