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WBO Partner Spotlight: The Slammer Tool Company


The mission statement of THE SLAMMER TOOL is: “Efficiency, User Safety, and Quality,” coupled with “Simple made Strong,” which is more or less the corporate motto. Founded by T.J. Irvin, the New Zealand based company is the creation of the tool itself, the brainchild of Irvin.

There is a common belief that bamboo is an invasive, troublesome weed. THE SLAMMER TOOL educates and demonstrates to people and organizations the positive side of bamboo, i.e., how to make it work for you instead of it becoming a problem entity. Education and the proper tools can turn things from the potentially bad outcome(s) to good.

So how did all of this knowledge, which eventually ended up with THE SLAMMER TOOL, get its start?

Irvin, the company’s founder, grew up around bamboo in India and the Philippines. After moving to the United States (US), he got a job to remove bamboo. He was about 15, and the job, in his words, was “bloody hard,” claiming that he “ broke a lot of my Dad’s tools and got in a lot of trouble.”

Irvin eventually settled on a tool called a ‘Jack Pick’ which his grandfather used to remove coal from mines in West Virginia, thereby being able to cut the roots or rhizomes of the bamboo, eventually digging it out. He subsequently lived in Redmond, Washington, eventually getting a job with Bamboo Gardens of Washington propagating, removing, maintaining, installing bamboo for clients.

It was in Washington that he started making Slammer Tools, which were sold at Bamboo Gardens. Due to the fact that they had a tendency to break, Irvin continued to design sturdier ones. Finally, In 1999, he migrated to the South Island of New Zealand and had many different jobs in very rural locations. Out of necessity, he started making the Slammer Tools again due to the great demand, modifying them as needed, and finally, patenting the design.

Irvin himself attends large tool and plant trade shows internationally and he discusses bamboo when he touts the benefits of THE SLAMMER TOOL and other tools the company sells. He makes it a point to express appreciation for those who went before him in pioneering the industry.

Irvin concluded his journey to creating an optimum tool by saying that “I then made manufacturing these tools my main job. I also remove and maintain bamboo to use as a bio-filtration medium for agricultural and industrial waste. So when I am not manufacturing, selling or designing new tools, I am digging bamboo that is growing in an area where people do not want it to grow, and I transplant it to a farm or area where water has been polluted.

“My biggest inspiration has been Nature itself. It gives everything for us to be so, in turn, we must give everything we got, for it to be.

“My advice is be prepared to work twice as hard as all your friends that have jobs for someone else. Like bamboo, strength is in flexibility and connecting with others. Observation and timing can be much more powerful than wanting to control everything. Moderation in everything, including moderation,” he said. “When it all feels like its a bit too much and life gets you down, I go to the bamboo grove, hold on to two culms, shut my eyes and let go!”

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