This model has 2blades welded together for more strength, it allows you to pry rocks out of crevices or brake away bed rock. The added length gives you much more power and reach. This tool has quickly become my favorite. I make these out of a super hard 14 gage stainless steel. You can't drill or cut this metal, they have to be cut with a high pressure abrasive water cutter. They are cut with a very sharp tip to get down deep and pry out those small hard packed rocks. The blade is 13" long - over all its 17"The handle is made of the same plastic, 5 gallon buckets are made of. The blade of this tool allows you to get down into the bottom of the crevice where the gold is hidden.