The Ultimate Guide to Shovels

A shovel is an essential tool for any gardener.

Whether you are looking for one that can help you with your yard work, landscaping, soil removal, or gardening, there is a shovel that will suit your needs.

In this guide, we discuss what types of shovels exist and which ones might best fit your purposes.

Types of Shovels

To start off with, let’s run through the most common types of shovels.

Square shovel

This is a general category of shovels that includes common garden and carrying shovels.

Drainage shovels

Drainage shovels are designed for digging ditches and trenches, often by workers in the construction industry.

Mining shovels are a type of drainage shovel that is used to move large volumes of earth or other material with limited effort. These tools have been around since ancient Roman times and were initially designed to dig tunnels under fort

Round point shovel

A rounded blade on a long handle. This type of shovel is more ideal for digging as its round edge can be inserted into the ground with less effort than other types of spades, thereby reducing wear to both the tool and soil surfaces.

Edging Shovel

This shovel is designed for creating a clean definitive edge around lawns or garden borders.

Scoop Shovel

Scoop shovels are used for moving dry material such as sand, snow, gravel or mulch. They are often called ‘shovels of all trades’ because they can be used for a variety of tasks while still being relatively easy to handle.

Gardening trowel

This popular garden tool is used for digging, planting and weeding.

Ditch shovel

The scoop end on a ditch shovel is angled at about 45 degrees, perfect for digging near the edge where it meets the ground.

Garden spade

The point on this tool is often used to cut through roots or other obstacles in the soil, while its wide blade can be used for cutting out sections of sod and digging deep holes when planting trees or shrubs.

Trench Shovel

A trench shovel is used for digging long trenches and ditches. One variety is the Mounted Trenching Shovel, a variation on the regular tool, where it’s mounted onto a tractor or backhoe to dig trenches more quickly and efficiently.

Tree-Planting Shovel

The purpose of this tool is fairly self explanitory: it is used for planting trees. It typically has a pointed blade and an extra wide scoop to help dig out large holes in the ground, making this tool especially ideal for tree farming or landscaping. It’s usually used for planting trees in large groups or rows but also great for landscaping projects that involve moving piles.

Power Shovel

This sounds like a tool that belongs in a construction site, but it’s actually used for slicing through dirt or other materials without applying much pressure. It works like a small bulldozer blade and can be attached to power equipment such as backhoes.

Post Hole Shovel

A favourite of campers, this shovel is ideal for digging holes. They are typically made of wood or metal and have a long handle with a large scoop attached to the end.

Root Shovel

The difference between this and a tree-planting shovel is that the blade is shorter and narrower, so it can be used to dig around deep-rooted plants.

How to Get The Most Out of Your Shovel

Shovels are perfect for gardeners who want to get a lot of work done quickly. But, they can also be used by people working in more delicate terrain that may not otherwise allow digging with other tools such as posts and fences.

When using a shovel blade, it’s important to keep the handle close to your body while you’re moving so that if something does go wrong, there is less chance of injury or damage.

To dig faster and easier with these types of blades, try squatting down instead of kneeling when possible, which will help avoid any back pains associated with being bent for extended periods at an unnatural angle (especially after weeding or planting).

Shovel blades are great for digging in hard ground, so they’re perfect if you need to make a lot of holes or move soil around to create pathways.

When using a shovel blade on softer surfaces like sand and snow, try not to dig too deep because there’s less risk of injury when your foot slips down from the surface below it.

Shovel FAQ

What is the difference between a round-pointed and flat-sided shovel?

Round point shovels have sharper corners that can cut through tougher materials more easily than other types of edge tools such as square points usually would do. Flat edged shovels also work better when working in tough terrain where cutting corners may be difficult.

What type of shovel is best for digging?

The type of shovel you should use will depend on the material that needs to be dug into. Sand, snow and dirt are all easier to dig with a flat-edged shovel whereas rocky terrain might require a pointy edge for getting through tough materials.

What is a transfer shovel for?

A transfer shovel is used to move dirt, gravel and other material from one location to another. Transferring materials can be a difficult task so it’s important that the person using the tool has enough strength for this process.

What is the difference between shovel and spade?

A shovel is a type of spade that has been designed for digging or scooping. A spade, on the other hand, can be used to cut through tough surfaces and materials like roots.

What is a trenching shovel?

A trenching shovel is a type of shovel that is typically used for digging trenches in order to bury utilities such as water, sewer and gas lines.