The Grandpa's Weeder has always been an effective weapon against invasive species like thistles, dandelions or crabgrass. Fiskar's took that classic design, incorporated modern materials and produced theUpRoot - the Lee Majors of lawn care implements.
Pluses It's super easy to use: Push it down on top of the offending plant and tilt back on the foot lever. The UpRoot automatically grabs the weed by its roots and pulls it up in one motion. Push the plunger down to dislodge the weed and you're ready to go again. It's much more precise than using a hoe, more effective than hand-pulling (on the weeds and your back) and more ecologically friendly than dousing your yard in Roundup. It's also made from lightweight aluminium.
Minuses It's almost too effective, pulling up not just weeds but solid hunks of underlying strata. So now instead of a lawn full of crabgrass and dandelions, my backyard looks like a miniature artillery range - little craters dot the landscape. Also, don't expect to clear large areas with this quickly. The UpRoot simply wasn't built to do that. It's designed to be a single-shot weed puller, which it does very well, just not very quickly. You have to accurately line everything up properly or you'll be pulling out nothing but leaves and dirt.
$US34 from Fiskars
The UpRoot standing
The UpRoot standing again
The underside of the UpRoot
some badass gripping claws
The UpRoot with the plunger in the Up position
The UpRoot with the plunger in the Down position