Choosing the Right Garden Shovel: Which Type of Shovel to Use

Types of Shovels to use
Are you ready to learn about the shovel’s secrets? Explore which type of shovel to use

Are you ready to learn about the shovel’s secrets? From its beginnings in the Iron Age to today, the shovel is key for many tasks. These include gardening, landscaping, construction, and snow removal.

But with so many shovels out there, which type of shovel to use becomes tough. We’ll look into the shovel’s history and design. We’ll also show you the must-have shovels for every homeowner.

which shovel to use

History and Evolution of the Shovel

The shovel has a long and interesting history, going back thousands of years. In the Neolithic age, early humans used simple tools that looked like shovels. These were made from the bones of big animals and attached to wooden handles with materials like deer ligaments and leather.

During the Iron Age, from 1200 BC to 600 BC, shovels made a big step forward. The discovery of iron and steel led to the creation of stronger shovels. These replaced earlier tools made of bronze and wood.

Iron shovels came to the Americans with European settlers and were key in building roads, railways, and other big projects during the American Industrial Revolution.

American Industrial Revolution and Specialized Designs

In the 19th century, shovels became even more important as the American Industrial Revolution changed the country. Engineers like Frederick Winslow Taylor worked on making shovels better for different tasks. They created shovels with different sizes and shapes for various jobs.

This time also saw the start of powered steam shovels and modern excavators. These machines changed the excavation industry and helped build big projects like canals, roads, and railways. The story of the shovel’s evolution shows how humans have always been creative and adaptable.

Anatomy of a Shovel

Shovels are key garden tools with several important parts. They work together to make tasks like digging and transferring material easier. Knowing how a shovel is built helps you pick the right one for your needs.

Blade Types and Purposes

The shovel blade, or cutting edge, is the curved scoop that goes into the ground. There are different shapes and sizes for various tasks:

  • Round-point shovels are great for digging, turning mulch, and removing rocks.
  • Square-point shovels are best for moving materials like sand, gravel, and concrete, and for tearing down buildings.
  • Trench shovels have a thin blade for making deep, straight trenches.
  • Tree-planting shovels are made to be able to dig deeper to plant trees of all sizes.

Handle Materials and Grips

The long-handled part from the socket to the handgrip is the shovel handle. It can be made of wood, steel tube, wood-plastic composite, or all-composite. Each material has its own advantages:

  1. Wood handles are traditional and feel good in your hand but might not last as long.
  2. Steel tube handles are strong and last a long time, perfect for hard work.
  3. Composite handles are light, don’t rust, and are good for outdoor use.

The grip is crucial for how comfortable and in control you feel with the shovel. Most shovels have a long handle with a foam grip or a d-grip handle for better arm movement in tight spots.

Essential Shovels for Homeowners

As a homeowner, having the right or different shovel types is key for outdoor tasks. You should think about getting a round-point digging shovel, a square-point transfer shovel, and a versatile garden spade.

Round-Point Digging Shovel

This tool is a must-have. It has a deep, sharp blade and a curved design. This makes it perfect for digging, lifting, and moving hard materials like compacted soil, roots, and clay.

It can easily go through the ground. This makes it great for landscaping, gardening, and other outdoor projects. If you’re planting trees, removing sod, or caring for your flowerbeds, this shovel is a must.

Square-Point Transfer Shovel

which type of shovel to use. square point transfer shovel.

The square point transfer shovel is ideal for moving loose materials. This includes things like stones, sand, coverings, or crushed brick. Its shallow, square blade makes scooping and moving these materials easy.

It is of low weight, so it is not hard to use. The square shape also helps you push the shovel into the material easily. This means you can load and unload efficiently on work sites or in your yard.

Garden Spade

This is great for cutting and removing sod, and for moving plants and bushes. Its flat, square blade cuts through soil cleanly. This lets you make straight edges in your lawn or prepare beds easily.

It’s a must-have for keeping your landscaping looking good or just maintaining your garden.

With these three shovels, you’ll be ready for many outdoor tasks at home. They’re perfect for digging, conveying materials, and gardening. These shovels are designed to make your work easier and more efficient.

Which Type of Shovel to Use

Choosing the right shovel is crucial for lawn and garden projects. It’s important to know the different types of shovels and what they’re used for. This knowledge helps make your work more efficient and effective.

For heavy-duty tasks, you’ll need a shovel with a steel or hard plastic blade. These shovels can handle tough jobs like breaking up hard soil or moving heavy dirt or mulch. On the other hand, snow shovels are made for clearing snow, slush, and ice. They have lightweight plastic blades that are easy to use for a long time.

When looking for the perfect shovel, consider these factors:

  • Blade material: Solid steel or hard plastic for heavy-duty work, lightweight plastic for snow removal.
  • Blade shape: Round-point blades are great for digging, while square-point blades are better at scraping and moving materials.
  • Handle material: Wood, fiberglass, or steel offer different levels of strength and weight.
  • Specialized features: Look for shovels with ergonomic grips, reinforced sockets, or customized angles designed with specific tasks.

Researching and selecting the right shovel for your project makes your work easier and more efficient. Investing in a quality shovel means it will last longer and work better. This can save you money and hassle in the future.

Shovel selection guide

Shovels for Specific Tasks

When you’re working on outdoor projects, the right shovel makes a big difference. You’ll need different shovels for tasks like trenching, drain work, edging, and snow removal. Let’s look at some key shovels for your needs.

Trenching and Drain Shovels

A trenching shovel is great for digging or clearing trenches. Its long, narrow blade cuts through the ground easily and breaks up roots. A drain spade, or tile spade, is also useful for moving plants or removing saplings safely. It has a rounded tip that protects roots.

Edging and Lawn Edgers

Keeping your lawn edges neat is easy with an edging shovel, also known as a lawn edger. This tool has a sharp, wide edge that cuts through the ground. It allows the user to create a clean line between your lawn and flower beds or paths.

Snow Shovels and Pushers

When winter comes, having the right tools for snow removal is crucial. Snow shovels are light and strong, perfect for clearing sidewalks and steps. For bigger areas, like driveways, a snow pusher is better. It lets you clear large areas quickly with one push.

Choosing the right shovel for your tasks makes you work better, less tired, and get better results. Knowing what each shovel offers helps you pick the best tool for your job.

Specialty Shovels

While the classic round-point and square-point shovels are must-haves for many homeowners, there are also specialty shovels for specific tasks. These include post hole diggers, scoop shovels, and one-piece shovels.

Post Hole Diggers: Precise Holes for Fencing and Decks

Post hole diggers are key for making clean, round holes for fence posts, deck supports, and more. They have two curved, steel blades on two long poles. This design lets users cut through soil neatly, making it simple to set posts and fill holes with concrete or gravel.

Scoop and One-Piece Shovels: Efficient Material Handling

Scoop shovels and one-piece shovels are great for moving and scooping materials like gravel, mulch, or snow. Scoop shovels have wide, concave blades perfect for lifting and moving lots of material. One-piece shovels are made from a single piece of plastic. They are durable, lightweight, and a good alternative to metal shovels.

Whether you’re putting up a new fence, keeping your garden tidy, or dealing with winter, these specialty shovels can help. Picking the right tool makes your outdoor projects easier and leads to better results.

Choosing Quality Shovels

Choosing the right tools for gardening and landscaping is crucial. Shovels are key for outdoor tasks. They should be of high quality to make work easier and last longer.

Material Durability and Construction

When picking a shovel, focus on the material and build. A shovel made from heavy-gauge, tempered metal is strong and reliable. The blade’s thickness, or gauge, affects its strength. Aim for a 12-gauge or thicker for lasting long.

The handle material is also vital. Fiberglass or heavy-duty plastic are good choices for their toughness. If you like a wooden handle, check it has growth rings on the sides. This makes it stronger and longer-lasting.

Proper Shovel Care and Maintenance

Take good care of your shovel to make it last. Clean and dry it after each use. Store it in a dry place, away from sunlight and the elements. This prevents rust and protects the handle.

For the best care, sharpen your shovel yearly. Use a file to keep the edge sharp for better digging and cutting. For wooden handles, sand them and apply tung oil to keep the wood in good condition.

Investing in quality shovels and maintaining them right ensures they last long. This makes your outdoor work more efficient and fun.


This guide has given you the knowledge to pick the right shovel for your needs. Whether you’re working on gardening, landscaping, or snow removal, knowing about shovel types will help you choose the best one. It’s all about finding the right tool for the job.

Local hardware stores in the U.S. have many quality shovels to choose from. You can also check out 100% Made in the USA Bully Tools shovels and other landscaping gear on their website. Look for durability, handle comfort, and blade design to find the perfect shovel. This will make your work easier and more fun.

Having the right shovel is key to successful home improvement or landscaping projects. By using the shovel buying guide, choosing the right shovel, and shovel selection tips from this article, you’ll be ready for any task that needs you to use shovel.

You May Also Like