When it comes to rock collecting, the proper tools are essential for gathering the most specimens. Many of the items needed are common household items, but most will require a trip to the local hardware store.
Buy the Proper Rock Collecting Tools
1. Check around your house before doing your shopping. Many of the tools necessary, such as a hammer, can be brought from home.
2. Make a trip to the hardware store. Chances are you may have a couple of hammers around the house, but you will need different sizes as well as a sledge, a crack hammer, a brick layer’s hammer and a chisel.
3. Purchase eye protection. Goggles usually suffice, but be sure they are shatter-resistant. These can also be found at the hardware store.
4. Get a hand lens or magnifier with 10x magnification. Geologists use these too, since they magnify tiny crystals not easily seen by the naked eye.
5. Grab a small pint of brightly colored paint. Seasoned rock collectors paint the handles of their tools, which can otherwise become easily lost in vast forests, fields or riverbeds.
6. Go with the geologists’ picks. They use a 4-pound crack hammer, hoe pick and an 8-pound sledge. Popular brands include Estwing and Craftsman tools.
7. Invest in a good pair of leather or cloth gloves. Blisters and shards of sharp rock can put a nasty damper on your rock-collecting experience.
Maximize the Use of Each Tool
8. Build muscle or bring another set of hands. Many of the tools become quite heavy after repeated use, so bring your rock-collecting buddies along and share the workload!
9. Break the big rocks. Use an 8-pound sledge to cut through massive stone.
10. Make use of your crack hammer. It’s ideal for breaking through medium-sized rock and driving chisels.
11. Imitate the great! Use a geologist’s hammer, which has a pick on one end, to pry rocks apart or out of the ground.
12. Search for fossils using the brick layer’s hammer. This tool has a chisel on one end and can be used to split friable or brittle rock like sandstone, which often contains fossils.
13. Access hard-to-reach spots with long, slender chisels. These tools are ideal for removing rock from the most precarious locations. A variety of lengths and sizes is best.