A shovel is an essential tool used for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials such as sand, gravel, coal, and snow. Different types of shovels are available with different shapes and sizes to meet the purpose they are made for. The various purposes include excavation work, construction work, etc.
Knowing the many sorts of shovels and spades available and when to utilize each one is critical for both beginning and expert gardeners.
The types and names of different shovels and spades might not be clear to everyone. It’s crucial to comprehend their differences to select the best one for you, based on what you want to accomplish with it. The following are some of the most common uses for various sorts of shovels:
WHAT IS A SHOVEL?
Before we get into the many varieties of shovels, it’s worth clarifying what a shovel is. A “shovel” is an implement for lifting or transporting materials by hand held in either a concave or a bowl-shaped part of the tool. The word “shovel” derives from the ancient word “sceoful,” which means “a wooden vessel.” So the modern shovel is not too different from its predecessors.
THE ANATOMY OF A SHOVEL (AND SPADE)
There are different types of shovels depending on their purpose, but they all have the same basic anatomy.
The first thing you need to find out is whether the shovel has a straight or D-shaped handle. The difference between these two types of handles is that the handle fitted with a D-grip tends to be much more comfortable than the one without it. So if you’re going to be using your shovel for long periods, we suggest you go for the D-type.
Handle (or Shaft)
Made from either steel or wood, the handle (or shaft) is used to hold onto and channel all your strength through. Depending on the manufacturer, it can be round, oval-shaped, or octagonal, but its main purpose remains the same – for you to grip it properly and control your swings effectively.
It is crucial to consider the length of the handle. If you’re going to use your shovel for digging, you will need a short-handled one. And if you’re planning on moving heavy stones or soil around, then go for a long-handled one.
The collar is the part that goes around the top of the shaft and attaches to the head. The upper edge of the collar slopes down away from the blade, allowing you to strike it with your foot and drive your shovel blade deep into the ground without hurting yourself on its edge.
This is usually made out of steel, even though some manufacturers now use fiberglass as well. Its purpose is to provide stability between the shaft and blade of the shovel and protection for your hands.
The blade of a shovel is what does the digging. The best way to understand how a blade works is to think about an ax – it has a curved edge that comes out from the top at a 90º angle and then straightens out into its face. This shape allows you to cut through material more quickly since it has a more extensive contact area with the material you’re cutting.
There are different types of blade edges depending on their use – straight, curved, and serrated. A straight-edge shovel is best for digging because it creates a smooth surface after doing so. Curved edges are great for moving loose materials such as sand or dirt around since they
Kickplate (or Step)
This is a thick steel strip found directly above the blade of your shovel. It’s designed to protect you from accidentally injuring yourself as you drive its blade into the earth with your foot.
This is probably the most important of the shovel, as it’s here where all its digging action comes from. The tip can either be squared or rounded, depending on what you need to dig.
TYPES OF SHOVELS
You won’t find a trench shovel listed in most hardware or houseware stores, but they are a household name among construction workers and road diggers. Ideal for digging deeper holes, this sturdy tool has a thick metal blade that can pierce through the material with ease, which is why it’s the preferred choice of folks who need to dig deeper holes for posts and other heavy materials.
A light-duty implement that’s perfect for moving small amounts of soil, mulch, gravel, and stone around your garden. The square point makes it a great tool to use with small materials.
A slightly smaller version of a trench shovel or spade that’s easier to carry around when you don’t need to use it for digging. It’s perfect if you need to move small amounts of soil or sand.
These are designed for severe gardeners who need to dig deep into the ground to remove stones or install a new lawn. They have a straight point which makes them excellent choices for digging.
A flat shovel has a square point like the garden spade, but it’s much thicker and sturdier. Its heavy-duty blade is excellent for moving more significant amounts of soil or sand, while its length means it can reach deeper into the ground without unnecessary force on your part.
These are designed for construction workers and road crews who need to regularly move large amounts of sand, gravel, or stone. Their thick, sturdy blades make them perfect for digging deep holes in hard surfaces such as concrete.
If you require a shovel to dig up flowerbeds or work on a rock garden, a probing shovel is a choice for you. Its sharp, thin blade can get into small spaces and dig deep enough to remove stubborn roots or rocks without a fuss.
Most large-scale construction sites need a bit of everything when it comes to digging equipment. That’s why combination shovels have been designed – they have a flat blade as well as a spade on the same rotating head. This makes them very versatile digging implements that save space and money.
Also known as scoops or round-point shovels, grass shovels are designed to be used with soil types that contain high levels of clay. It’s perfect for scooping up topsoil, sand, or gravel without spattering it all over the place.
If you demand a shovel when camping or hiking, then a camp shovel is just what you need. They are too lightweight to carry around when you don’t need them but sturdy enough to dig deep or help you move material.
A digging shovel is the most versatile of all types of shovels, as it has a spade on one side and a flat blade on the other. They’re designed for heavy-duty use in situations that require extra strength and force. They can be used for digging, moving material, and even opening up trenches.
Ideal if you need to dig shallow holes or move small amounts of soil, sand, or gravel around your garden, spade shovels are the best choice for delicate tasks such as edging flowerbeds and clearing out areas where new seeds are set to be planted. They’re just suitable for use by people of all ages and abilities.
If you need to move materials or create a border along your flowerbeds, an edging shovel is a perfect tool for the job. It has a sharp edge on it so that you can cut through the turf and other types of material with ease.
These are ideal if you need to carve out trenches or holes in hard surfaces such as concrete. They’re perfect for digging deep holes to install posts, poles, and other types of foundation materials. Their thin blades can cut through stone and rock with ease.
Square diggers are designed to create square holes in hard surfaces. They’re perfect for digging post holes or creating the foundations of a new shed, garage, or decking area.
Round diggers have very sharp points so that they can pierce through the turf and other types of loose soil with ease. They work well in small, confined spaces and can fit into narrow trenches. They’re ideal for heavy-duty digging in areas where you need to dig deep holes.
A pointed digger is very similar to a hand digger but stronger. The blades are sharper, and they’re made from durable materials that will last for many years. They can be used to create deep holes or carve into the soil with precision control.
If you need a shovel to do some light weeding or other types of relatively delicate work around your garden, then hand diggers are a perfect choice. They have sharp, narrow blades for deep digging and carving into the soil or other materials.
Created with just one job in mind – weeding big, deep holes in your garden when you need to remove an entire plant from the ground – deep weeders are very strong. Their long, thin blades can cut through roots and other types of rigid ground material.
A scoop shovel is ideal if you need to transport loose materials, sand, or gravel around the site without spilling it everywhere. They have a deep blade with a rounded back that creates an air pocket while you’re moving material, which helps prevent spillages.
If you want to move loose material around your garden or yard, then a scoop shovel is the perfect tool for the job. They’re lightweight and effortless to use, making them great for any DIY project.
Also known as sand scoop shovels, sand shovels are perfect for any project where you need to transport small amounts of sand, soil, gravel, or other types of building material. Though it’s a sand shovel, they can be used for pretty much anything that requires a shovel.
MINI, HANDHELD SHOVELS
Perfect for small projects where you require moving around some soil, sand, or loose material, these mini shovels are ideal. They’re very strong and durable, but they’re also lightweight, so they won’t cause any problems when you need to lift them or transport them around your site.
POST HOLE SHOVEL
If you need to plant posts, poles, or fences in the ground, then a post-hole shovel is just what you need. They have round blades that are designed for digging deep holes in hard surfaces like concrete. However, they can also be used to dig small holes when performing DIY projects around your home.
Perfect for people who like to keep their lawns and gardens looking tidy Lawn edgers are great because they let you create perfectly straight lines and edges. They’re perfect for cutting borders and giving your flowerbeds some definition.
This is the ultimate tool for people who need to dig larger holes deep into the ground. They’re tough and durable, but they only weigh a few kilograms, so they aren’t too hard to lift or move around. Alternatively, you can hire them if you don’t plan on doing many digging projects in the future.
Perfect for edging lawns, flowerbeds, or keeping pathways clean and tidy, garden shovels are a gardener’s best friend.
TREE PLANTING SHOVEL
This is a shovel that has a much longer handle, much like an ax. They are used when you need to plant very tall trees into the ground in one go which requires digging deeper holes with much more robust materials.
There are different kinds of shovels and spades to select from depending on the job in the garden or yard. When choosing a tool, consider how often you’ll use it, what sort of weight it must lift, and whether you need a lightweight instrument that won’t put too much strain on your arms. Don’t forget to keep it sharpened, so you don’t have to push too hard, and take care of it by oiling the metal after use so that rust doesn’t form over time. And once you decide which type is best for you, and then get digging!