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The right shovel for the job

By: Garden Gate staff
There are a lot of different types of shovels out there, but with the right tool, not only will you save your back, you'll work faster and smarter, too!

the right shovel for the job

There are a lot of different types of shovels out there, but with the right tool, not only will you save your back, you’ll work faster and smarter, too!

SQUARE-TIPPED SAND SHOVEL — When you have a lot of soil, compost, sand or fine mulch delivered, a square-tipped sand shovel can move a lot of material quickly, but it’s not too heavy to lift. Upturned edges hold the material, and the flat blade edge makes it easy to scrape the last traces off a sidewalk or out of a truck.

POINTED-TIP SHOVEL — If you’re digging a hole or scooping mulch or compost out of a pile, instead of off a flat surface, you may find the pointed blade of a pointed-tip shovel digs into the pile more easily than a flat blade does. A pointed-tip shovel is great for moving a lot of material quickly, but be careful not to wreck the point of the blade by scraping it along a sidewalk or driveway.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR —?The bigger the “business end” of the tool, the faster you’ll be able to move stuff, as long as you can lift it.

A short D-ring or strap handle helps balance the weight and gives you a place to grip the end of the tool so it doesn’t twist or tip when you’re moving a full load. These handles are short, too, so they’re easy to maneuver in a tight space or if you’re not very tall. When you’re buying a digging tool, pick up several and hold them like you’re going to use them to see what feels best to you.

To make working with any digging tool a breeze, try the ToolStep, at right!

Published: May 24, 2011
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