A cant hook is a traditional logging tool consisting of a wooden lever handle with a movable metal hook called a dog at one end, used for handling and turning logs and cants, especially in sawmills. Unlike the similar peavey, the cant hook has a blunt tip, often bearing teeth.
A logging tool description from the Lumberman's Museum at Patten, Maine, reads in part: "A cant dog or cant hook was used for lifting, turning, and prying logs when loading sleds and on the drive. At first, a swivel hook on a pole with nothing to hold it in position was used. This was called a swing dingle." However, the term swing dingle is more often published as being a type of logging sled. These early types are also called a ring dog or ring dog cant hook. In 1858, Joseph Peavey, a blacksmith in Stillwater, Maine, made a rigid clasp to encircle the cant dog handle with the hook on one side. It moved up and down, but not sideways. All loggers have used it ever since."
- Salaman, R. A.. Dictionary of tools used in the woodworking and allied trades, c. 1700-1970. New York: Scribner, 1975. 484.
- Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, p. 6456, defined swing-dingle as follows:
- "In lumbering, a single sled with wood-shod runners and a tongue with lateral play, used in hauling logs down steep slopes on bare ground. Also called loose-tongued sloop."
- Mercer, Henry C.. Ancient carpenters' tools: illustrated and explained, together with the implements of the lumberman, joiner, and cabinet-maker in use in the eighteenth century. Dover ed. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2000. 40.
- Cant Hook or Peavey? — A great article on the history of the cant hook and peavey.
- Logging Lingo — Here's a quick brush-up on the lingo used by loggers, with fair warning that terminology differs from one region to another.