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Types of Shovels: Comprehensive Guide

While buying tools for your toolkit, garage, or workshop, you can findnow yourself across a wide range of hand tools. As you would expect, these tools are made for all kinds of usage depending on the buyers. Although, a few hand tools are highly universal that can be used for a wide range of applications making them a must-have for any toolkit.

One such hand tool that you will find in almost any garage is a shovel. Whether you are working around your home or at a job site, there are a lot of cases where you might need a shovel. Although, even while buying a shovel, you can find a lot of different types, which can be quite confusing for a lot of buyers. In that case, make sure to check all the different types of shovels stated down below to easily pick the best one for you:

What is a Shovel?

Even though a shovel is one of the most popular hand tools available out there, some of you might be unfamiliar with the same. In that case, it is quite important to know about the basics of a shovel before you go ahead and check its different types available in the market. While not every shovel is the same, you can consider a shovel as a hand tool that offers a broad and wide blade at one end and a handle at the other end.

With this, you can easily move things around, whether it be soil, rocks, snow, coal, or pretty anything else. Not only can you carry a lot of things inside, but you also get great leverage from its handle along with a decently sturdy blade for working on a lot of different things making it highly versatile.

Different Types of Shovels

Now that you know that shovels are highly versatile in general, this means that they get used for a wide range of applications. And while you can use any normal shovel for multiple things, you will not get the best results. Instead, you should go through the following different types of shovels and pick the one made for your specific use case for the best results:

1. Digging Shovel

Whenever you are talking about shovels in general, a digging shovel is most likely what comes to your mind. As per the name, such a shovel is used for digging up soil for gardening and other applications. To offer high functionality, these shovels have a decently sharp blade for easily cutting through soil and other things present in the ground. You will also find a high grip collar handle with most digging shovels for easily moving hardened soil if needed. But even if you are going with a digging shovel, you will the following three types of blade options to choose from:

A) Square Digging Shovel


As per the name, a square digging shovel has a flat and straight blade end which makes it useful for edging and making trenches. You can also use a square digging shovel to move shrubs and bushes if needed. Since the blade is completely straight and rigid, it can be a great option for digging up hardened soil.

B) Pointed Digging Shovel

POINTED DIGGING SHOVELWith a pointed digging shovel, you can work in tight spaces as well as in a part of soil that has a lot of roots and rocks. Because the blade is curved at the front, you can also scoop up loose soil with ease in comparison to a square digging shovel.

C) Round Digging Shovel


A round digging shovel has a completely dome-shaped blade at the end, which is generally used for gardening. If you want to move small plants, shrubs, and flowers, then this can be a great option as the round blade does not cut the roots. Similar to a pointed digging shovel, a round digging shovel is also ideal for loose soil and not hardened soil.

2. Edging Shovel


As per the name, an edging shovel is made for highly specific usage. To be exact, you will have to use an edging shovel when you wish to create edges in the soil. This is generally ideal for gardens where you might want to distribute the solid of your garden into different parts for different plants and flowers. In comparison to most other shovels, an edging shovel has a very unique-looking blade which is similar to a half-moon. Since this type of shovel uses a very thin blade, you can easily use them alongside fences, sidewalks, garden borders, driveways, and other places where you have to create a precise edge.

3. Trench Shovel


You can also go with a trench shovel if you are looking for highly specialized shovels to be used in your garden or backyard. Just per the name, a trench shovel is used for making trenches in any given area. To make sure that your trenches are deep and straight at all times, a trench shovel uses a long and narrow blade. This blade has a sharp pointed end along with a concave design resulting in almost a triangle-shaped blade. The angled design of a trench shovel allows it to quickly move a lot of soil for quickly, making trenches wherever you need.

4. Mini or Handheld Shovel


Even though shovels are highly practical tools for all kinds of applications, many people prefer not to use them just because of their size. This is due to the simple reason that a shovel is simply quite large in size and not the most practical option, especially for portable usage. As a result, you can also find mini and handheld shovel options out there. Just as you would guess by the name, a mini shovel is quite small in size and ideal for single-hand usage. You can consider using these shovels for small and basic gardening projects when you might want to plant a flower in a pot.

5. Post-Hole Shovel


Whether you are installing a new fence or a post for a night light around your garden or backyard, the chances are that you will need to dig a post hole for the same. While you can use a standard digging shovel for the same, that can take quite a long time with poor results. Instead, you can consider going with a post-hole shovel which is specially designed for this job. This type of shovel has two shovel heads onto a single shaft that can enter the ground together. And when you pull these blades together and pull up, the dirt will come out, making a post hole with ease.

6. Scoop or Snow Shovel


Those of you who live in colder areas might have to face a lot of snowfall during winters. And for your safety and daily chores, it is highly important to get rid of the snow from your driveway, sidewalk, backyard, and other places. In that case, you will have to use something like a scoop or snow shovel. A snow shovel is one of the largest shovel types available out there, which consists of a large curved blade. With this, you can easily move a lot of snow at once without spending much time. If you are into gardening, then you will be glad to know that its large curved blade can also be handy for moving a lot of stones, gravel, or soil as well.

7. Tree Planting Shovel


Just as you can tell by the name, a tree planting shovel is made especially for planting trees in a garden or your backyard. Unlike most other shovels, a tree planting shovel has a very long but narrow blade. Because of this, you can dig much deeper than any other shovel type, which is highly important when you are planting trees. Depending on the tree that you wish to plant, you can find tree planting shovels of different depths for digging holes of different sizes.

8. Flat Shovel


Even though square digging shovels and scoop shovels are quite large in size, you might be looking for something else for moving a lot of soil at once. In that case, a flat shovel with its large-sized flat blade can be a great option. You can easily move a lot of loose sand, soil, gravel, stone, and other things at once using a flat shovel. Thanks to their large blades, you can also shallow dig in the ground if needed. Usually, a flat shovel gets used in gardens for moving around things and basic digging needs.

9. Power Shovel


Despite the fact that shovels are considered as hand tools, a few of them might also be powered tools. This primarily includes power shovels that are ideal for heavy-duty usage, where working with a hand shovel might not be the most practical option. Generally, a power shovel is a combination of a snow shovel and a snow blower. Thanks to an inbuilt motor, the spinning blades of a power shovel move away snow with ease. You can also use a few power shovels for digging into dirt if needed. All power shovels are ideal for cases where you might have to deal with either hardened snow or hardened soil, because of which a hand shovel is not practical.

10. Folding Shovel


While we have already mentioned mini and handheld shovels up above, some of you might still be looking for portable shovel types. In that case, you can consider going with a folding shovel. Thanks to their foldable design, they offer much better portability than standard shovels with standard functionality when unfolded. Most folding shovels will either have a bendable shaft or a collapsible one depending on the model you get. As long as you are getting a folding shovel with a steel handle, it will offer pretty much the same rigidity as a standard shovel.


Taking a look at the various shovel types stated above, you should be able to easily pick the desired shovel made for your job requirements and needs. Since we have stated the different types of shovels with all their details, you can easily learn their differences. In fact, we have also explained about shovels in general for all those of you who are new to shovels. If you have gone through all these different types of shovels, make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!

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