9 Jan 2015

Shovels everyone should know

Posted by Leo

Shovels everyone should know

Humans have been digging in the Earth since the dawn of the Neolithic Revolution, some 12,000 years ago.
While the earliest agriculturalists had to make do with shovels crudely fashioned from animal bones, shoulder blades were a popular choice, later material advances (namely stone, wood, and metal) led to the development of modern shovel designs and their specialized heads are purpose-built, like shovels for digging in solid soil and shovels for moving loose material, like pebles.
Today, shovels come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, and functions.
There’s also spades for chopping duties, but I’ll go into that in future issues. Here are a few of the most common types you’ll find at BC Sands and what they’re used for:

Digging Shovels

Digging shovels are designed for doing just that. They feature a slightly curved scoop with upturned edges and either a pointed (center) or flat (left) tip. Pointed tips are generally used for digging and planting in soft, tilled soil while the sharp flat tips of square points are utilized more for heavy-duty hard-packed soils that demand more force to penetrate.

Square point shovels can also perform many of the same functions as garden shovels (right) – lawn edging, transplanting small bushes and trees, cutting turf and small roots, dividing perennials, and trenching. Their handles are available in wood, fibre glass, or metal.

 

Trenching Shovels – Narrow

Narrow Trenching shovels are designed for, you guessed it, digging and clearing narrow trenches. They feature a sharp tip and squared sides to produce clean trench walls and minimise disruption of the surrounding soil. They’re indispensable for laying irrigation pipes, digging a compost trench, and removing deeply-rooted plants.

 

Post Hole Shovels

As the name suggests Post Hole Shovels are ideal for digging post holes.
They range from wide to very narrow with slightly curved sides and a rounded tip.

Post Hole Pinchers

Come for the holes, stay for the workout. Post hole diggers are essentially two shovels connected by a hinge. They’re used to penetrate loose, preferably tilled, soil (after using a pick axe, shovel, or autotiller to break up the surface) and cleanly excavate columns of dirt to create deep narrow holes for the sinking of fence posts, bulbs or patio supports.
Just make sure your back and shoulders are up to the task.

 

Scoop Shovels

Broad and wide-flared with a flat tip, scoop shovels are terrible at digging but fantastic at moving loose materials like blue metal or pebbles (top) or light weight materials like mulches and bark (bottom).

 

All the above shovels are available at the bcsands.com.au website

 


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