How to choose your shovel type

Choose your shovel type based on your task. Three most commonly used shovels are the pointed spade for digging, the rounded spade for planting and the square tip shovel for transferring loose material.

For digging: The pointed spade

The pointed spade – also known as “digging spade” – is the most recognizable, and most adaptable digging tool. It is the go-to tool for general purpose digging, in compacted and loose soils alike and it will easily break through roots. If you only have one digging tool, the pointed spade is your choice.

Sharp edges dig into tough, rocky soil and cut through roots.

For planting: The rounded spade

The rounded spade – also known as “planting” or “garden spade” – is a great tool for digging planting holes, but it is especially well adapted to maintaining clean bed edges.

Sharpened to dig, plant and edge along borders in grassy topsoil.

For shoveling: The shovel

Square shovel is the perfect, lighter-weight tool for moving a pile of loose material. The square tip allows it to hold significantly more material than the pointed or rounded spade.

Wide scoop efficiently moves dirt, sand, gravel and bulky materials.

Anatomy of a shovel matters too

Every shovel has three parts: a handle, a shaft and a blade or scoop. The design and materials of each part are the difference between being able to dig deeper and transfer faster. Understanding how each part best supports specific tasks helps you choose the right tool for the job.