One of my main pedological field tools (pedology is the science of dirt), other than my trusty shovel, is the “scraper.”  The search for the perfect scraper is the focus of all my gear-hunting efforts.  The scraper is used when looking at a soil profile to get a clean, flat, clear soil face to look at.  I have tried, or seen tried as scrapers: old army shovels; the head of a Pulaski firefighting tool on a shorter handle, like a hammer handle; garden hoes; garden trowels; masonry trowels; barbeque spatula; and an ice scraper.  I even used a pie knife for a while.  The very best scraper tool I have used, though, and perhaps the most widely used and deeply loved, is a pointed Marshalltown Trowel.