The inside of the blade’s curve is sharp, so that the user can either draw or swing it against the base of the crop, catching the stems in the curve and slicing them at the same time. The material to be cut may be held in a bunch in the other hand (for example when reaping), held in place by a wooden stick, or left free. When held in a bunch, the sickle action is typically towards the user (left to right for a right-handed user), but when used free the sickle is usually swung the opposite way. Other colloquial/regional names for principally the same tool are: grasshook, swap hook, rip-hook, slash-hook, reaping hook, brishing hook or bagging hook.
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