The Ultimate Scraper Blade was introduced to the industry in 2004 by Skirted Blade Systems LLC of Lake Tahoe, NV. It was a hit with all who saw and used it, but like any new tool in this industry, it was slow to gain wide acceptance. Shown and demonstrated at Surfaces, the CFI Convention and other flooring events and seminars, it finally made national distributors late that first year and was available in the UK by November. But it wasn’t until May of 2006 that their latest incarnation of the little blade that could made its debut, the Ultimate Scraper Blade Spud Bar.
As you can see from the picture series above, this is one explosive tool. It blasts through tile and shreds its way through glue-down carpet at an alarming rate. It will even demolish hardwood flooring and ceramic tile. It’s powered by human tenacity and a little bit of sweat. The effort needed though is buffered by the heft of this battering ram. The Ultimate Scraper Blade Spud Bar weighs in at an impressive 25 pounds. It’s pure American Steel with a deep black crinkle finish powder coating.
I won’t pretend that this review is thorough and comprehensive. It’s not. I used the tool on one job: pull up existing VCT on particleboard underlayment. But that job was enough to know this was a tool I wanted in my arsenal of demolition tools. The amount of time I have spent over the years just taking time to change out broken blades or unclog jammed up blade clamps – rather, paying someone else to do it – warrants the expense of this tool. At $80.00, it will pay for itself in time and blade savings in just a few tear-outs.
My old spud bar has had its blade clamp so packed with debris that it actually curved the heavy blade. This can’t happen with the Ultimate Scraper Blade Spud Bar because of its patented Skirted Blade Systems unique design. It will stay flat and maintain its edge longer than anything else on the market. It will still gouge a wood floor, as you can see by the picture above, but not with the frequency or ferocity of an old bent blade.
There is very little I find fault with in this stand-up tool. My biggest complaint has to be its lack of ergonomics. That’s comfort grips to you less than PC types. My old bar has a short shovel type handle at the very end of he bar that aids in driving the bar forward without damaging your palms. Even with the textured finish, the bar does become slippery with extended use when your hands become damp with sweat. Yes, you could use gloves, but many of us installers prefer the hands on, gloveless approach to our work because it gives us the positive and immediate feedback of the slightest imperfection in our floor preparations. I would like to see a better grip system at the end of the bar and something like the foam handlebar padding you see on some bicycles.
As we all know, the spud bar is but one demolition tool we use. More often, we find ourselves grabbing for the small and nimble 4″ scraper or the work horse demo tool, the 8″ telescoping handle scraper. Ultimate Scraper blades has a blade for you. Rather, a blade for both of these scrapers that many times finds daily use the norm. The blades are resharpenable (did I just make that word up?) for longer life and greater savings.
I would like to thank the great folks at Pacific Flooring Supply, in Sparks, NV and Patrick Paggeot of Skirted Blade Sytems for providing this tool for review without reservation. Pacific Flooring Supply has been a regular supplier for me for over 30 years and has offices and warehouses in 7 cities in California as well as their Nevada location. Let me leave you with one final, impressive view of the Ultimate Scraper Blade Spud Bar. It is the first tool I will grab when it’s time to remove tough old flooring fast. With this tool and the blade technology now on my other scrapers, I will be saving time and we all know what they say about time.
This review was originally published on July 29, 2006. If you would like to discuss this review, or any of the other articles you have found here at TheFloorPro.com, please join us in the Articles Discussion Forum. If you are not yet a member of The Floor Pro Community, we invite you to register now, it’s free and gives you the opportunity to enjoy all the features of the site.
Jim McClain grew up in rural Plumas County, CA. After a short, but exciting stint in the US Army, where he dodged work in Germany and incoming rounds in Vietnam, he settled back into country living and took a part-time job as an installer’s helper to work his way through college. He fell in love with the business and turned it into a career. Retiring from sales & installations in 2006, he still carries on his love affair with the industry through the use of a computer, a digital camera and a little space in “teh Ether”.