How to Buy a Shovel

shovelMany people don’t think about purchasing a shovel for their home until the need arises.  It’s a good idea to include a shovel in your home tool array before you actually need to use it.

There are different types of shovels each designed for a particular task.  If you are only purchasing one shovel for general use one with a round point is probably your best choice.  These shovels have a gently curved front ending with a slight point and slightly rolled edges.  It helps if you can use your foot to push on the shovel.

Some people prefer the square blade shovel for general use.  These work well for lifting piles of material but do not work well for digging holes.  Some people also use these shovels as snow shovels instead of the traditional snow shovel.

Snow shovels have straight edge blades which makes moving the snow easier.  The thicker the snowfalls in your area the more narrow the blade you may want to consider for your snow shovel.

Garden shovels sometimes referred to as spades have a pointed blade to dig more easily in the soil.  A small version of  the shovel known as a trowel has a short handle and narrow blade for digging in the garden.

Although most people no longer have coal to be shoveled the coal shovel is still in use to move heavy items such as river rocks.  Coal shovels have a square blade which is about 15 inches wide and 20 inches long.

These are just a few examples of the types of shovels to be considered.

Shovel blades are usually made of either sheet steel, hard plastic or aluminum.  You want a blade that is thick enough to handle the job and not become damaged if it accidentally hits something.  If the blade is steel it should be of good quality.  Plastic blades have a tendency to chip and break over time.  The blade needs to be attached securely to the shovel’s handle.

Handles for shovels are usually wood or fiberglass or they may be wood reinforced by either steel or fiberglass.  If the shovel handle is made of wood some maintenance is required such as oiling the handle with linseed oil before winter sets in.  The shovel handle should be long enough that you do not have to bend over to use it.  It should also feel comfortable in your hands.  If it is too thick it may give you blisters and if it is too thin it may be hard to hold.

Depending on the type shovel you purchase the prices will vary.  Shovels are available on line and at home stores and hardware stores, etc.