A shovel is not to be confused with a spade, both similar but with different uses and features. A shovel features a broad blade with a curved tip at the end of a straight shaft and is best used for digging and moving materials such as dirt, mulch and snow. As they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes they are great for the worksite but equally as helpful in the garden!
There are 6 components to a shovel; The grip, handle (or shaft), collar, kickplate (or step), blade and the tip.
So what is the best type of shovel for your job? Each type of shovel performs at its best if used for the correct task – so here is a guide to the different types of shovels.
Digging Shovels As in the name, digging shovels are designed specifically for digging. Featuring a curved scoop with upturned edges and either a pointed or flat tip. Pointed tips are best for soft soil digging while flat tips are used with heavy duty hard-packed soil or stones that demand more force.
Trenching Shovels Made with a sharp and pointed or flat tip and square sides to produce clean straight walls when digging trenches. Best used when laying irrigation pipes, digging compost trench and removing deeply rooted plants.
Scooping Shovels (Square Mouth) Wide flared with a flat tip, these are terrible for digging but great for scooping loose material like stones, snow or grain.
Mud Muck Releasing Shovel A great tool for digging in product like mud, clay and water-saturated material.