And it has come to being that I have decided to write a node about the merits of the Marshalltown and the WHS 3.5 inch archaeological trowels.
Both have good points and ultimately it's not what you do it's the way that you do it.
Marshalltown is also a fine place near Nervada, Iowa, US having a very grand 'roundhouse high school'- Marshalltown is also the actual place where these useful trowels are made. It is made of one peice flattened metal with a pointed end aswell as a flat blade like furnishing. This trowel is favoured by archaeologists in Canada, the US, aswell as apparently Japan and Korea!
In the US, archaeologists using the Marshalltown trowel tend to sharpen their trowel blade and this helps in excavating heavy silt or clay. The blade is quite thin and can bend quite easily. This means that under the correct circumstances (digging outside 6 days a week 8 hours a day) - it will break. This particular trowel is larger than the WHS trowel being 5 inches and sometimes has a soft red rubber handle which I like using.
The WHS trowel is much shorter (3.5 inches) aswell as being thicker. This particular trowel is made in the famous iron producing city of Sheffield, UK
(a place of beautiful maidens and endless sunshine). It is favoured by archaeologists in the UK. It too is made of iron with a pointed end. I found that the point on the WHS trowel is much sharper than the more rounded end of the Marshalllton trowel. This means that it's possible to get more accuracy in excavating goods with this particular trowel than with the Marshalltown trowel The WHS trowel does not bend and does not have a sharpened bladelet. This means that it is not possiible to cut into sections cleanly aswell as meaning that it takes a little more effort in excavating. The WHS trowel can also get worn down more easily as it is not made of hardened iron and has not been fired and moulded more than once making it more brittle and easily broken. Most of the time it has a wooden handle which is varnished and polished. Overall I would recommend the Marshalltown when doing delicate broad topography work whereas I would use the WHS trowel for finer more detailed excavation such as with skeletons. That is if you don't have a leaf trowel 'to hand'.
Other words which describe the Marshalltown trowel:
elegant, sophisticated, 'worldy'
Other words which describe the WHS trowel:
'Golden WHS', sturdy
Bear in mind that in Scandinavian countries they use a trowel which looks like a omelette flipper.