I used to have one of those small mattocks and it was very good. I eventually broke it and have used a large flat-head screwdriver ever since. the screwdriver works good in soft and medium soild as far as firmness goes. I tend to really damage alot roots with it in hard soil so I'm going to try and make something better.
try an old army pick if you can find one at the surplus with the flat on oneside and the point on the other . cut off part of the flat to lighten up and put hammer holder on your belt and you are ready to go. mine is my grandads with 1944 date stamped on pick and been sanging since the war with me being 3rd in family to use it
My Dad makes us Ginseng hoes.Similar to a narrow garden hoe or potatoe hoe.He looks for them at flea markets and yard sales.He then puts axe or mattock handles on them.I only lost one root all season.I will try and take a picture and post soon.