Azadas, Mattocks, Long Handled Spades, Long Handled Forks, Cromes, Scythes, Sickles, Slashers

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Azada - What a machine!

Well, it is of course, not a machine, but what a fantastic implement for digging in a no dig garden!
Light, strong, well balanced. You can dig all day.
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Can I first say in the last 43 years I have made it a policy not to to write to "points of view" or the editor of The Times, or anyone else to express an opinion or to give the rest of humanity the benefit of my experience. You just don't do that sort of thing. We English keep our own council, unless someone has had the effrontery to put the tea in the cup before the milk. However I’m breaking the cardinal rule.
After looking suspiciously at the Azada in the corner of the shed for about a month I finally plucked up courage to handle it. I’ve been planning on clearing the ground that our predecessors’ old chicken run stood on. Lots of roots, some bordering on tree stumps; lots of buried chicken wire, and a large enamelled bath that had been sunk into the ground then filled over the years with a concoction of chicken guano and concrete blocks.
I stood. I rolled up my sleeves. I swung. Six swings later I was a convert! I will not describe the technique, but I will say it is by far the most logical way to dig, move earth, cut roots and stumps. The combination of swinging and pulling is totally natural and works with the body and not against it, unlike traditional digging. I genuinely enjoyed myself, got the job done in very quick time, and worked up a tremendous sweat, but without the accompanying aches and pains. Although I normally just chuck the dirty tools back in the shed when I’m finished I actually found myself ceremoniously washing the Azada before putting it away. It has clearly proved its divinity to me. I stand as an awe struck disciple of the mighty Azada. Thank you for showing me the light. Gareth Draper, Kent

Thank you for sending my order. I have done some work with it and wished I had bought one years ago. I have been gardening for 34 years now and never had such a well balanced and easy to use hoe. Many thanks.

I just felt compelled to write and thank you for my Azada. I have a seriously overgrown and rough allotment which has been neglected for a number of years. Until now I couldn't see my way to digging it over using traditional spades and forks. Anyway, I took a chance and bought the heavy medium Azada. What an amazing tool! In 6 hours I dug out and laid a base for a 6 x 8 greenhouse and dug over a 4 x 8 plot. The Azada took the effort out of the job and I can't wait to use it again.
Mr I Phillips, Blackpool

Received and put to serious work on the allotment over the weekend. They all work a treat. Many thanks for the excellent service. I shal certainly recommend you to friends and family.
M Smart

Photo, courtesy of

This is a really interesting site, recounting the conversion of  derelict, bramble-covered scrubland  into an impressive, productive allotment.

Hi Simon,
The Azada arrived on Thursday by courier. As we are relatively remote the delivery time was fine. My wife and I have both been trying out the Azada and we are very pleased with the results. Indeed I would say delighted!
Our story is this: I had previously been looking for a tool that I referred to as a mattock. I was searching for it largely out of curiosity because I had seen it in drawings and paintings by French artists and wanted to give it a try. My wife managed to find a "pick mattock". When it arrived I was rather disappointed and put it to one side for some time before using it. Indeed I had almost forgotten about it. Then, faced one day with clearing some  ground and making no progress, I remembered the pick mattock and tried it. The results were magic!
That experience sent me to the web to learn more about this tool. It was on the web that I first learnt the name Azada and, through your site and others, discovered how many variants of the tool existed. I could not however find a supplier in the west of Ireland or indeed in Ireland. The 4" Lightweight Azada you sent seems to be the ideal follow-up tool after the pick mattock has done the heavy clearing. It's much faster than a spade and produces little fatigue. I get bad back and painful ankle from digging - relating to past injury. Neither of the tools causes me any pain. Indeed, we are making progress on jobs previously avoided. So thank you and thanks also to others who posted information to your site as I found their comments very helpful.
Kevin Fitzpatrick - Galway, Ireland

Hi Simon,
Azada arrived this morning - interesting packaging - very enterprising indeed!! Excellent service and response to my query about delivery dates. Birthday boy will be happy!
Kate S, Leicester

It's a rarity in my experience that gardening tools live up to the billing. These hoes are perfection!!! I have for some time felt I needed one but could not find a UK source. They are way better than I had hoped. Putting in new plants...dead easy and creating a new bed again easy. So very happy with delivery time and very happy with the tools.
Thanks very much.
M Proudlock, Surrey.

Thank you so much for the pointed azada. The quality is as good as my two friends at the allotment and they paid a lot more. It is the right weight for me and the two fellows at the allotment who let me use their ordinary azada love it as well.
For someone with two herniated discs these tools have saved me. I will certainly be a returning customer. Oh, and the delivery time surpassed all expectations.
Pauline Russell, Hounslow

I have a knee problem and in the past have had to ask my husband to do any digging for me and now with the help of your tools I can do it for myself. Mrs Taylor, Bishop's Stortford

Some years ago I had spinal surgery and have still suffered with my back ever since, trying to do any digging in my garden was always painful and ended up with my wife doing the digging. After looking at your website I decided to order one of your Azadas, what a difference it's made!! Apart from the excellent service and fast delivery from yourselves, the speed at which you can clear ground and do digging with it is remarkable and without bending your back as with a shovel. I can now turn over soil much easier than before. The only problem now is that my Wife is that impressed by the Azada that I will probably have to order another one as she keeps pinching mine. On looking at the testimonials there are a lot of satisfied Azada users out there - you have just read about another one!! All the best to you. John Bilbrough, Birmingham

I enclose cheque for another of your marvellous Azadas! I have a very large garden to work and have had quite a lot of back problems with heavy digging and have found the Azada to be much more efficient and infinitely easier on my back. I'm buying a second one as the person who does most of the gardening with me wants to use mine all the time!
Susan Castillo, London.

I received my azada yesterday and took it down to my overgrown allotment. It's been disused for several years, you can imagine how hard it is to dig. I've spent the last month with a spade waiting to get paid so I could try an azada. In the past I've bought tools thinking they'll change my life only to be dissapointed. This is one of the few times the results are even better than I had anticipated! In about an hour I did as much as I've done in the last fortnight with the spade.  Many thanks! C Derksen, Northampton

The frosts arrived last autumn so didn't really have the opportunity to use my new azada then.  However, have used it since spring and find it a great tool ... so much easier on the back than a spade and a great weeder for between the vegetable rows.  Congratulations on a brilliant product. P Whitcombe, Scottish Borders.

The Azada arrived on schedule and has already proved indispensable. I have just cleared half of an allotment of couch grass. Progress with the fork and spade was painfully slow. Many thanks to your company and its prompt efficient service.
Stephen M. Harper, Edinburgh

Thanks for your advice re the right-angled fork.  I'm just under 5 ft tall, and 61, but even I can use it easily.  We've got very stony ground (practically beach) and I've started clearing the couch grass.  I did more clearing in 2 hours than I could have done all day with a standard spade or fork.  I love the way that if you can't move the clod by pulling, you can just push the handle forward till it's upright or tilting away, and the fork comes up at the front loosening the clod so that you can pull it out.  Great! Excellent service.  Good luck for the future. K Barrett, Kent

What an amazing tool 21 rows of potatoes all planted and earthed up in 2 hours.  This is a new allotment plot and the ground was rock hard due to lack of rain and no use for over 3 years so to have had to do this with a conventional spade would have taken most part of a day. Will recommend without hesitation. J. Stent, Kent

The fork arrived today.  I have used an azada, from you, for two seasons often in conjunction with a mantis tiller.  I have found it to be brilliant, quick and less trouble than a spade.  This year after harvesting peas I quickly worked over the ground solely with the azada before planting leeks.  I am hopeful that the right angled fork will be as useful.  I am thinking of digging potatoes with it, but primarily after getteing couch grass and columbine roots out. J Hurdman, Northants

Tool arrived promptly and despite having a dodgey wrist could not resist trying it out on a job I had been putting off for a while, levelling a path on my allotment site.  Despite a lot of junk being buried under the path the combination of the azada and a pick made short work of it and it even seemed to cure my wrist! ;).  Hoeing up my potatoes will be a doddle this year.  Great tool thanks very much.
John M Rooney, Co Durham

I guess there's an easier way - and it will be something with an engine - but just to show what the heavy-duty azada can get through with a little bit of effort.  It even seems to slice through flint with a well-aimed blow.That cabbage patch is begining to take shape - chalk and flint all removed - and all I have to do now is to fill it in again. A remarkable tool that azada, and I'd recommend it to anyone. J Smithard

May I say how pleased I am with my pick azada. I hacked out a mass of white michaelmas daisy roots invading the borders even though the roots where all through the bushes. So easy to use and much better than a spade for the job. Next is the bit with all the brambles. Very pleased and a great find. Thank you.  Clare Sullivan, E Sussex

The tools arrived safely this morning so I took the Azada up the allotment at lunchtime. Of course, I didn’t take my time and I tried to rush, taking huge swings and trying to shift vast amounts of soil in one go, going precisely against your advice. I was sweating buckets and had two blisters on my left hand but when I turned round I had dug a considerable amount of heavily-weeded ground in one hour. The trick is, of course, to take things slowly and carefully but the excitement makes that difficult. I was surprised that I naturally held it with left hand uppermost, as a left-handed batsman would hold a cricket bat. Being right-handed, I had to remember to shift it to the other side but in all honesty it was just as comfortable whichever side I held it. I’ll echo everything else the testimonials say – it’s incredibly efficient  to use and, as a bonus, hooks over the back edge of my wheelbarrow for easy transportation.Thank you very much for providing me with such a wonderful implement. Peter Hicks, Herts

Just to let you know my Azada has arrived safely and has already become my new best friend. I have a piece of land that has not been touched for many a year in the agricultural way but has been used in the past as a bit of a dumping ground as well as by someone who used to sandblast items and left a covering of patchy asphalt and bricks. The Azada has been put through its paces and has worked very well in finding the soil and ripping out the bramble roots. Despite having severe arthritis I can manage this tool easily without any discomfort and find it extremely therapeutic to be able to turn over this hard ground which caused a spade and fork to bend under my husband's gentle touch (once he managed to get through the first inch of ground.) I am certainly recommending this tool to others around me. Thank you for supplying this great tool.
A Hollis, Nottinghamshire

The Azada arrived safe and sound this morning, Saturday, and I am very pleased indeed with it. I appear to have a world population of brambles living in my garden but, with the aid of this tool, not for much longer. Bramble roots are no match for it and what a joy it is to be finally freed from struggling with a traditional spade and fork to do a job the Azada does with so much ease!
Richard F, Wales

When a friend of mine recommended that I try an Azada for digging I was dubious but I'm so glad that I did. I am well over six foot tall and have several bad discs in my back after a rugby accident. Digging with a conventional spade aggravates my back but I find the Azada so much easier to use and this allows me to dig for longer. It is more efficient as well so I get much more done. I am a real convert and tell everyone I can! You were right about the handle as well. A shorter handle makes a good thing even better. Many thanks for an excellent product.
S Webber, Herefordshire

I  have now taken delivery of my Heavy Medium Azada.I would just like to  say how easy it has made the clearing of my newly acquired allotment. I have to be careful of my knees and have found that the Azada almost eliminates any bending unlike tha spade that I started with. It also allows me to progress through an area without needing to stop and take a breather so often. My use of an Azada has also sparked interest from other plot owners around me who have commented on how easy I  make clearing the allotment. The Azada deserves all the credit, I have told them.
Matthew Ewens

Received the azada yesterday and as the postman came up the path he said “this looks like a great piece of kit “ and boy was he right. I went straight down to the allotment and was like a woman possessed. It made mincemeat of couch grass and rough ground much more rewarding than a spade as the results are so fast. Mind you there were remarks from a couple of my allotment neighbours about not upsetting me when I was wielding the azada, healthy respect is good! I found the azada surprisingly easy to use as I purchased the smaller version as recommended on your site. I think the full size type would be, for me, a bit heavy and uncontrollable. I felt completely in control of my size azada and although I am a 55 year old unfit grandma I covered an amazing amount of ground in a short space of time. What a great sense of achievement it gave me and I am sure it will become like a trusted old friend, I already feel quite possessive about it already. Thanks so much.
Pat Hill, Northants

A couple of weeks ago I bought one of your medium / heavy Azadas. It is without doubt the best digging tool I have ever used. Quality is excellent & it is a joy to use. Thank you.
I had never heard of this tool, but a spade was quite honestly, bloody hard work & I knew there must be a better tool. No-one I know has ever heard of an Azada & after coming back to your website several times over a few days I decided to risk buying the Azada. I cannot express how pleased I am with it.
J. Barclay, Doncaster

I recently bought an Azada from you and am writing to let you know how pleased I am that I did so - it made converting rough weed infested ground into a cultivated vegetable plot so easy. I was impressed with how easy it was to remove deep seated roots (dock, nettles and brambles especially). Without the Azada it would have taken me weeks instead of the 2 days that it took.I would recommend the product to anyone who wants to make garden cultivation an easy task not an unpleasant chore. Many thanks for the prompt delivery also.
G Williams, Caernarfon

This is the second Azada that I have ordered from you and it is more valuable to me than my rotovator. I have quite a large allotment and it has been terrific in getting grass and weeds up as well as breaking up a very hard clay surface and readying it for digging and rotavating. If I had to chose between Azada and rotovator I would have to go with the Azada. Thanks for a great product.
Mr N Alexander, Newark

Bought two Azadas last year and have not used a spade since. I would recomend trying a light Azada to anyone with weak wrists like mine.  We have a clay soil and in wet conditions I can not lift the spade and in dry conditions I can not get the spade into the soil. With the Azada I can work the soil in small sections each day and really make an impact on our new allotment.  My other half tried my Azada and we realised that him wielding a full size Azada would be very beneficial to the allotment and his aching back. D Hand, Northants

Azada and Crome both received and put to use immediately. The Azada made short work of creating my potato trenches. I estimated that the the 6 x 5 mt trenches dug took 1/3rd of the time they would have taken me when using a spade! On the really compacted ground I used the Crome to break up the surface then the Azada to make the trench. Fantastic, no idea why I did not buy one before or why everyone does not have one!. J Wood, Surrey

Since having recently acquired a brand new allotment on old pastureland my main concern has been the effect of digging on my back.  Having had problems there in the past I needed a digging tool that would take the back strain out of the activity.  I tried an hour or so of digging with the Azada today and I am pleased to say that I have not experienced any back pain of any sort nor was aware of any back strain either.  The arm and shoulder muscles do the work, and whilst digging is still digging I am glad that I have the Azada to do it with.  Thank you Simon from me and a very big thank you from my back. J Mann, Bury St Edmunds

The Azada arrived as promised yesterday and I was out on my allotment this morning giving it a test run. I have to say that it comes up to my expectations perfectly and I cleared a piece of ground in 40 minutes that it would have taken me hours to clear by digging - and, best of all, no back ache as a result, just a small blister on my left hand  (my fault, I should have worn gloves). My thanks to you for a tool that really lives up to its description. N. Campbell, Stroud

The Azada arrived in good condition and I did watch the video (before I ordered it too). The best advice I think is to let the tool teach your body. It only took me a few minutes working in my newly acquired and totally overgrown allotment to get the 'swing' of it. I can see that between it and the right-angle fork they will be invaluable tools even after the initial clearing is done. I had a go on a previously cleared patch and found the azada very apt for single-digging a new bed. Thanks for great products and service. D Cox, Surbiton.

WOW! What a brillinant tool! I was given this website by another allomenteer and had a test drive of her heavy Azada and was star-struck from then on. I bought one straight away. It slices through the most heavily weeded/thick/tough/anything soil you can imagine. It saves on my back and cuts through a job literally in half the time! If you are a hardened gardener I implore you to buy one of these. It's one of the best investments you will ever make as a gardener! Deborah Dixon, Coventry

Having used my azada for a month or so I have to say it’s the best gardening tool I’ve ever bought. So much so, I plan to order another one for a relative as soon as I’ve sent this. Just in case you wondered why another order has come through. James Morgan, Danbury

The AZADA I ordered recently arrived a few days ago – I bought it as a Christmas present for my nephew who is a gardener by occupation.    The primary reason why I bought this tool from you again is not just because I bought one from you a couple of years ago but because over two years I have used the tool extensively in my quite challenging garden (predominantly situated on a steep slope) and found it to be of superb quality and an excellent tool for terracing, removing tree roots and breaking up hard and compacted earth.  Some of the ground I was breaking up recently was full of stones but despite that the Azada still managed to break through with no ill effect to the blade – testament to quality of the steel used. It is very rare for me to give feedback on products I buy.  However, in this case I believe the Azadas you sell are a quality item, worth every penny and thoroughly deserving of a very strong recommendation!  Martin Moore, Folkestone.

Just a quick note to say brilliant Azada.  After a third hip in same place I had let my strawberry bed get overrun with runners and couch but have just sliced off top layer and am able to draw out young plants and will allow couch roots/soil to dry out and hopefully rake out and burn the offending spaghetti. Sandra Thomas.

The Azada arrived safe and sound, thank you. I will however be ordering another one as my boys were fighting (not literally of course) over who got to use it and who got lumbered with the spade! We  have all had a go and are amazed how much more work can be done in so much less time than it usually takes us.  M Newman, Mexborough



Thank you for the Azada which arrived Friday. Used it to begin clearing a second allotment we've taken on. Our first allotment took us about 60 hours to clear (thorough digging with spade and fork to eliminate couch grass). I reckon this second one, judging by the progress we've made already, woll take twenty hours less work and less bending too. Fantastic tool! We've settled on a technique of starting with the Azada, levering out the large couch clumps and genearally chopping and mashing the ground up and then following on with a fork to sift out the remaining roots. Fast and relatively easy work. Every allotment should have one.
D Newstead, Middlesex

Just to let you know, my 12 year old son has been using this Azada and and it's his favourite tool. We have been using it to clear an overgrown allotment before digging it over. It really does speed up the job! Our allotment neighbours have been asking where we got it from so I'll be passing your info on to them!
M. Sheahan, Eastbourne

Tools received yesterday, thanks. I now have a fair collection of your tools including a Medium Azada, Long Handled Spade and Crome. They are all absolutely brilliant and make the job of keeping the garden and woods in order so much easier!
Mr Bates, Ayr

Received Azada this morning, thank you. I had to try it out on a piece of rough ground covered in ivy, nettles and other dross. It is beautifully balanced and correctly angled. Such a good design (I guess the design has stood the test of time). I am 64 and find it much less hard work than a spade. The tool does most of the work. Now for those brambles!
Mr Alan Clark, Norfolk

The Azada arrived this morning  and I have just used it on the dirt patch that caused me severe back pain earlier in this year.  I think that the Azada is fantastic and I can't understand why they are not more popular. 
S Knight, Doncaster

My wife bought me a Heavy Medium Azada for my birthday. I am over 6ft tall with back problems to match. We are gradually accumulating long handled tools and finding new ways of working etc.
The last veg patch I dug took hours and was finished literally on hands and knees and medication. I turned over a 6 x 6ft veg patch last weekend in less than half an hour - still standing! And, the amount of spoil removed was much less once we got the hang of controlling the depth of the Azada's cut. The Azada is spectacularly efficient at lifting turf without taking all the soil beneath with it. It  also makes a fine "plough" for turning top soil, using leg muscles not back muscles.
Since we got the Azada, it is - as so many have already said - my main gardening tool. In putting up the green-house a few days back we used the Azada to scrape away soil, level the ground and tamp it down. This used to be hard work, bending with a shovel to lift and shift soil to level the ground.
Only when you use an Azada do you realise just how mechanically inefficient a spade is; for a start, you are lifting a heavy weight - that probably doesn't even need to be lifted - on a lever that is working against yourself. At least with an Azada, if you have to lift soil and can't scrape it, you are lifting vertically with no mechanical disadvantage and with legs, not back, doing the lifting. We have been recommending them to all our friends. My only request would be is there a longer handle available, say another 6-8 inches longer, for us tall types? (This is no reflection on the Azada, it's to do with my tall build and lack of flexibility!). Many thanks and keep up the good work.
T Wernham, Suffolk

I felt compelled to write and say "Thank You" for the medium Azada I purchased from you about one month ago. It is the best gardening purchase I have ever made. It's given me the impetus and motivation to continue with my allotment (which I had let get overgrown and had almost given up on). I'm finding it relatively easy to clear even the worst couch grass and other weeds from the clay soil. I must admit after reading the testimonials on your website I thought it sounded too good to be true, but was desperate to clear the mess the allotment was in. It's every bit as good as people say and more! Kind Regards, Stephen Simons, West Sussex

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the Heavy Duty Azada which arrived today. Even the postman asked what it was and what it was for and was most impressed! I have used an Azada in Spain where we lived for a few years and it was invaluable. Our neighbour, with a huge plantation, used one regularly for cultivating his heavy soil and laughed when he saw the spade we had brought from the UK. We borrowed his azada and within 24 hours had bought one at a local supermarket. With the dry heavy soil in Spain the azada was brilliant and we regularly used it to draw out lines of trenches alongside planted vegetables - those trenches were used for irrigating the plants by just filling up with water from a hosepipe every day. Despite the hot climate we had wonderful crops as the roots would seek out the water source alongside in the trench and grow healthily to produce all sorts of vegetables. By using this irrigation method, we produced a pumpkin of 11 Kgs in weight. So thank you, Azada, as the trenches would have been impossible to draw out with a spade or any other gardening tool! I look forward to putting our new azada to good use with new enthusiasm after suffering here with the back-breaking spade. Thank you once again for your excellent service, the quality of the product and the very competitive price. R. Daniel, Suffolk.

I am new to allotment gardening and the prospect of having to dig over a site covered in brambles with compacted soil filled me dread. I found the Azada excellent and so much easier than simply using a spade or fork.  It’s kinder to your back and the motion makes good use of gravity. You can really get under the roots and lift them. Great buy and what’s more everyone else in the community garden wants to use it, so more orders likely to come your way.
Mr B Robinson,  Richmond

Azada came promptly and I must say as an allotment (and gardening) novice, it is a fantastically versatile tool – does a number of jobs efficiently and quickly. Very impressed!  Jon Roberts, N. Yorks

The Heavy Duty Azada I ordered last week arrived this morning, only two days after I received the e-mail telling me it had been despatched! Great service. Spent two hours on my very overgrown and steeply sloping back garden and managed to clear, weed and tilth an area that would have taken me three times as long if I had used a normal fork and spade. Unbelievable tool, so easy to manage and wield, puts virtually no strain on my temperamental back! Back out there tomorrow! Many Thanks
T Rosier, Caversham
Since I posted that earlier comment I have started terracing the garden and the Azada has been fantastic at cutting through the chalk, it struggles a bit with the flints though!! but then again so do I!

All the tools are impressive. The Azada is a formidable tool, first it cleared the 4 foot bramble top growth off 2 allotments in an amazingly short space of time. I have just started to go into the cleared ground removing the roots and once again, a combination of the Azada and the 3-prong fork makes light work of them. I am delighted with the tools and would recommend them to anyone. I have a history of back problems and despite this I have spent several hours a day over the past 10 days or so using the tools without a twinge! Bob Wood.

I have been using the medium azada and hooked fork that I bought from you for a few weeks now.  These are great tools!  Robust, simple and efficient.  Latest job was to dig about 100m of spades'-depth trench to plant a native hedge along a field boundary.  No idea how long it would have taken with a spade ( and no desire to find out).  Done by lunchtime with the azada.
Robert Purves

I received my azada today, and I just wanted to let you know that I was an evangelical convert within 2 minutes of using it. I can barely stop digging! Superb for removing Japanese knotweed and bramble rootballs - such a satisfying tool to use. Thank you for supplying such wonderful tools, apart from anything else, I think you just saved me about thirty years of back pain!
 Jake Whitson, Somerset

The Azada arrived and I have put it to work. As soon as my children were in bed I left my husband babysitting and went to the allotment to try it out. I am not sure I was using it correctly but I managed to clear the last of the weeds before it got too dark to see. I love it!! I would have never managed with my regular tools as the soil was still quite damp. I am new to allotment keeping and was getting disheartened with the ‘weed war’. I used the Azada to sort of ‘slice’ out the annual weeds and dig out the bind weed etc. Michelle Anderson, Huntingdon

I got the chance to try out the Azada today on my new, rather overgrown allotment. I was very impressed by how much more effective it was than a spade - I reckon I cleared an area in about 1/3 of the time it would have taken me without it.  This means I might get it into a reasonable state by the spring for next year's planting. Ian Sommerville, Aberdeen

Many thanks. The tools arrived yesterday. Very good delivery. I set to using them on the allotment straight away. One potato trench dug in 15 minutes using the trenching tool and long handled spade. No more digging on my handa and knees due to my hip problems. A colleague is already trying the tools as well, with a view to buying his own.
N. Pountney, Birmingham

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