There are many different kinds of shovels. Below is a list and a short description of each:

  1. Round-Point Shovels: With a blade about 8" wide and 12" deep (also knows as a #2 head) the best shovels have shafts made of straight-grain ash, but fiberglass is also used and is about 30-50% stronger than wood. Designed for digging, lifting and throwing.
  2. Border and Floral Shovels: Usually about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the round-point shovels, this smaller, lightweight shovel is easy to use with one hand when you are kneeling in the flower bed.
  3. Square-Point Shovel: This flat-bottomed, unsharpened shovel is meant really only for moving materials. This is typically used for mixing concrete.
  4. Scoops: This shovel has a much larger head than the standard square-point type. It is made of steel and is HEAVY, although it can be made of plastic or aluminum. There are two patterns of scoop, the Western and the Eastern which have different patterns of ribbing worked into the pan of the tool although it appears to be no difference at all in function. Scoops go in numbers from 8-12 which represents the width of the blade.
  5. Trenching Shovels: These shovels are used for digging drainage trenches and irrigation channels. The heads are twice as long as they are wide and they have square, pointed or rounded edges.
  6. Snow shovels: Flat and wide. Designed to push snow more than lifting and moving it.