Broken Shovel Alert!

Dirtmechanic

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Okay so it was cheap. And the handle was not that dense. But oh-boy was it lightweight! And it had a wonderfully sharp tip, unlike methusalah in the shed, which is really a perfect shovel, but literally the tip has worn away until every time I look at it I subconciously start wanting some french fries from the big M.

The broken one was too flexible, not just in the handle, but the metal. I was working harder without leverage, so it all went away.

So for that one special tool we dirt diggers all hate to love, which one would you get - IF you were spending my money?
 

Artichoke Lover

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I don’t have a specific one but if you are looking for something light but strong try a fiberglass handle. Ours have lasted through 7+ years of bad treatment including being left out in the weather constantly. The only time we had one break was when it got ran over by the tractor.
 

digitS'

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@Dirtmechanic , I believe that I still have the shovel that I used in the 1970's to dig the foundation and half basement for the cabin-in-the-woods. I have no idea of the make and haven't used it, except by accident, for probably 20 years. The blade is no longer pointed and, really the handle has always been too short.

@Marie2020 might be referring to my spading fork preference. I may use a shovel to move dirt from paths but I can cultivate ground to 11" with the spading fork. The last one I purchased was a D-handle, which I immediately removed so as to replace it with a long handle. It was just that I was having trouble finding a long handle tool and I had work for it and didn't want to wait to order.

A spading fork would be a very poor choice for moving my rocky soil around. Wet clay would be different and I have very little experience with that type of soil. It is a deep cultivation tool on my soil and I'm not trying to lift it, just do a good job of loosening soil and stirring in a little fertilizer at the same time. The plant roots make use of the ground from there.

Steve
 

Dirtmechanic

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@Dirtmechanic , I believe that I still have the shovel that I used in the 1970's to dig the foundation and half basement for the cabin-in-the-woods. I have no idea of the make and haven't used it, except by accident, for probably 20 years. The blade is no longer pointed and, really the handle has always been too short.

@Marie2020 might be referring to my spading fork preference. I may use a shovel to move dirt from paths but I can cultivate ground to 11" with the spading fork. The last one I purchased was a D-handle, which I immediately removed so as to replace it with a long handle. It was just that I was having trouble finding a long handle tool and I had work for it and didn't want to wait to order.

A spading fork would be a very poor choice for moving my rocky soil around. Wet clay would be different and I have very little experience with that type of soil. It is a deep cultivation tool on my soil and I'm not trying to lift it, just do a good job of loosening soil and stirring in a little fertilizer at the same time. The plant roots make use of the ground from there.

Steve
My major upcoming use will be hillrows. I wish I had a bigger garden to justify a machine, but no, I till it up and shovel out some paths to avoid spring flooding. So the square tip movers just hurt me in the clay, and I like a strong angle on the pointed shovels as a result. Its a balance, the strength for digging vs a material mover. I think it will be a 14 gauge, as the 16 or so I had was too flimsy, but a 12 gauge is probably not going to be on a 5 lb or less shovel. And pretty much no D handles for me. I have a couple of spots in my back that do not like the length, unless I am standing in a ditch. Plus I have a couple of garden spades and the sharp shooter version too, the skinny one with a round nose. And a trencher. I need to have a garage sale.
 
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thistlebloom

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I use a shovel specifically for planting shrubs. It occasionally gets to do something more interesting, but it leads a pretty dull life. No idea what it weighs... it's a shovel, never thought about weighing it, lol.
It's this one from Home Depot. I've used it for around 5 years. I like the extra wide tread, it keeps your foot from fatiguing (is that a word?) and the socket is extra long. I have pried up lots of big rocks out of planting holes with it and haven't broken it yet.

It probably won't give you a craving for a burger and fries though.
 

Dirtmechanic

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I use a shovel specifically for planting shrubs. It occasionally gets to do something more interesting, but it leads a pretty dull life. No idea what it weighs... it's a shovel, never thought about weighing it, lol.
It's this one from Home Depot. I've used it for around 5 years. I like the extra wide tread, it keeps your foot from fatiguing (is that a word?) and the socket is extra long. I have pried up lots of big rocks out of planting holes with it and haven't broken it yet.

It probably won't give you a craving for a burger and fries though.
I Iiterally was just looking at those razorbacks in my HD app. That and the Ames model. Nupla has a fiberglass handle one and the fiskars people have one everybody seems to updoot. I like the leverage on the Razor. I usually sharpen the bottom side but it looks like they sharpened the top? Gonna need a belt sander for that. I cannot just drag it along the driveway to touch it up whilst irritating wife #1. But hey powertools!
 
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Zeedman

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I've had & broken several round-point spades over the years, to the point where won't buy one again. Most don't seem to have very strong handles (although that razorback looks pretty sturdy). I still have two narrow trenching/transplanting spades (which are really strong), a flat shovel for moving dirt/compost/gravel, and a coal shovel for clearing tough snow & ice. For hilling, I use either a grub hoe (my preferred method) or the trenching shovels.

At some point, I plan on getting a hiller/furrower to run behind the tiller.
 

Dirtmechanic

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I've had & broken several round-point spades over the years, to the point where won't buy one again. Most don't seem to have very strong handles (although that razorback looks pretty sturdy). I still have two narrow trenching/transplanting spades (which are really strong), a flat shovel for moving dirt/compost/gravel, and a coal shovel for clearing tough snow & ice. For hilling, I use either a grub hoe (my preferred method) or the trenching shovels.

At some point, I plan on getting a hiller/furrower to run behind the tiller.
I have thought about a front tine tiller for that particular reason. I still need a shovel though as Methusalah belongs to my wife so heaven forbid I should break it pole vaulting or something. The dear girl has a propensity to become sentimentally attached to everything. Don't get me started on the rag collection.
 

R2elk

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This is the last shovel that I bought. I had to order it because the blades on shovels sold in local stores sit at too much of angle in relation to the handle. To put the blade into the ground at 180° requires that the handle be almost at a 30° to the ground.

The shovel I bought is nearly vertical in line between the blade and handle. I got an ash handle but that was 6 years ago. It is now available in ash, fiberglass or composite. I personally don't care for fiberglass since the one that I have is very heavy and is deteriorating over its lifetime which causes fiberglass splinters in the hands if gloves aren't worn.

If I needed a new one, I would like to try out a composite handle.
 
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