Broken Shovel Alert!

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Considering the price and the bulk order option it looks like a professional quality shovel. Those are built to take a lot of abuse. I would expect a well cared for one to last a minimum of about 15-20 years for an average gardener. We have 2 that I think have composite handles that came from my uncle who does landscaping. I’ll admit we take very poor care of our gardening tools (I’m getting better about it slowly) and these have lasted at least 7 years and are still in very good condition. A regular wooden handled shovel only lasts us around 2 years in comparison.
I bought a nice Nupla trench Spade a few years back and absolutely love it. It was spendy, considering all those cheaper options, but you get what you pay for.

I do A LOT of digging, so will gladly pay a premium for something that lasts. I have some fiberglass one from Home Depot that is cracked both on the blade and down the handle that I should toss out but it's good in a pinch for a transfer shovel
 

R2elk

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Considering the price and the bulk order option it looks like a professional quality shovel. Those are built to take a lot of abuse. I would expect a well cared for one to last a minimum of about 15-20 years for an average gardener. We have 2 that I think have composite handles that came from my uncle who does landscaping. I’ll admit we take very poor care of our gardening tools (I’m getting better about it slowly) and these have lasted at least 7 years and are still in very good condition. A regular wooden handled shovel only lasts us around 2 years in comparison.
I have one shovel that I use over all the other shovels. The blade is getting worn and I am on at least the 5th handle. It has served me well for around 30 years. If you get a top quality shovel, you won;t be replacing it every few years.
 

flowerbug

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the shovel i use quite a bit here is cracked but it hasn't given out yet. it's a straight bladed short handled shovel. dry heavy clay or banging it too much to knock the clay off when it was sticky is probably why it cracked to begin with. maybe i'll get another 10 years out of it. longer handled shovels we have but i don't normally use those.

what i should have instead are a few good pry bars for when i've wanted to lever something out of the ground or whatever. that's normally when i break a wooden handle.
 

catjac1975

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I almost always have to jump on a shovel to get it into the ground. I don’t weigh enough to drive it into the soil any other way. I might have to look at the one catjac linked. It looks like it might be easier to use for me.
The difference between this and a more rounded shovel is immeasurable. There are cheaper copy cats. I would say spend the money and have it last a lifetime. True to buy from the manufacturer. I think it will be cheaper.
@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 r into the soil. My thighs are way stronger than my back emoved 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
I did not remember the mention of the handle being too short for you. I always liked short handles until I picked up the long one. If some of you recall I am a backyard daylily hybridizer. I fresh dig my daylilies as customers come and select them. I have found that the long handle saves my back. I start the dig, stomp in all the way in, tilt and then use my leg with each stab. My thighs are way stronger than my back. Make my body last through the day.
 

Dirtmechanic

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I bought the razorback. I do not think I will break its 14ga blade or fiberglass handle. Its a bit of a tank weight wise but no worse than others of that design. I like the metal tube insert into the handle and blade. It stiffens thing up. I learned flexibility in human powered tools is also energy lost to power the bending, not to do the work. It was 30 bucks at Tractor Supply.

Screenshot_20210305-171528.png
 
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SprigOfTheLivingDead

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I bought the razorback. I do not think I will break its 14ga blade or fiberglass handle. Its a bit of a tank weight wise but no worse than others of that design. I like the metal tube insert into the handle and blade. It stiffens thing up. I learned flexibility in human powered tools is also energy lost to power the bending, not to do the work. It was 30 bucks at Tractor Supply.

View attachment 39503
I have the transfer shovel model of theirs and love it. It has held up for a few years of regular use
 

ducks4you

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Here is my advice.
!) First, for anything that resists, you really need a lever. We gardeners use our shovels for everything, and substitute a shovel for other tools, just like everybody uses screwdrivers for more than driving in screws, and often ruin the screwdriver in the process.
2) ANYTHING but wooden for me. YES, I have heard the master gardeners go on about wooden is best, but you would have (pun: "Wood Have") broken a wooden handle one sooner than this one.
3) We often/sometimes leave our tools outside. Non wooden spades don't care if it they get wet, or cold, or dew ridden or frosted. Lasts wayyyyyy longer.
Pretty sure mine is fiberglass, but I would (wood) have to look to see. My shovel isn't heavy, but it IS heavy enough to stand up to the average digging that we do in the dirt.
EDIT: I PREFER a short shovel with a handle to one that is longer and handle-less.
I can push with my foot on the top of the spade and use the handle to be more precise.
 
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R2elk

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Non wooden spades don't care if it they get wet, or cold, or dew ridden or frosted. Lasts wayyyyyy longer.
I have proof that fiberglass deteriorates in the sun. It breaks down into tiny fibers that are nearly impossible to get out of your hands.

Wood breaks, yes, it isn't a big job for me to replace a wooden handle.
 
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