Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Moving earth can be hard work if you don’t have a good shovel. That’s why in this article we want to teach you everything about this tool.

Working with the soil is usually a very rewarding activity, as it is as human as it is socialising. That is why it is natural that tools like the shovel exist, as they help us in all those tasks that involve moving earth and materials from the ground without the help of machines.

We have given ourselves the task of looking for the most ergonomic and resistant shovels on the market, as we want to bring you this article detailing all the information you need to buy a comfortable and resistant tool.


  • A shovel is a simple tool consisting of a stick or bar, with a wide, flat metal extension at one end and a handle or grip at the other. They are used for digging in the ground or for moving materials such as gravel or sand from one place to another.
  • They are a simple tool whose variation between models is in the flat extension of the shovel, there are models with more defined tips for digging in the ground more easily, straight tips for moving a greater number of materials, and small shovels for gardening work.
  • These tools are readily available, as you can buy them in most gardening, masonry, construction and home improvement shops. As simple products, they are economically priced, which is determined by their quality of construction.

The best Shovel: Our Picks

Buying Guide

As we like to keep our readers informed about the best buying habits, we made this guide to help you buy your racket. You will be able to find out about the different types of rackets, the best working techniques, as well as the best places to buy them and the prices at which you can find them.

A durable and ergonomic shovel will be a reliable tool for many years of service (Photo: Katarzyna Białasiewicz /

What is a shovel?

A shovel is a tool of simple design, consisting of a stick usually made of metal or wood, with a wide, flat metal extension at one end and a handle or grip at the other. It is a versatile and widely used tool due to its ease of use and transport.

Its uses range from digging in different soils, removing roots and grass, transporting materials such as soil, gravel and cement, edging trenches for aesthetic purposes among other manual tasks. All this makes it an indispensable tool for anyone who carries out construction and gardening work in their daily life.

  • They are easy to use and transport
  • They are versatile tools
  • They are economically priced, even among good quality models
  • They can be easily stored on any shelf or garage
  • They have parts that are easy to repair or replace
  • They make certain tasks on construction sites more affordable
  • Their metal parts can rust easily if not properly maintained
  • They can lose strength if not properly repaired
  • On large sites they are not as efficient at moving sand and digging as excavators

Shovels for digging vs Shovels for moving materials What should you pay attention to?

Like all work tools, shovels have variations that make them more specialised for certain tasks, but these variations have similar designs and are easy to overlook, so if a buyer doesn’t pay attention they could end up digging with a shovel designed to move sand, or moving sand with a shovel for digging.

Digging shovel: recognisable by their thinner edges, shallow depth and triangular or round design. They are best for use in the garden as they can remove grass, cut roots and dig holes without much effort. If you are a gardening enthusiast, it would do you a lot of good to have one of these on hand.

Shovel for moving materials: identified because they are more concave, their edge is usually square although some can be round or triangular. They are most efficient for picking up materials from the ground such as sand, gravel or cement powder. If you usually work on construction sites, then a shovel will help you.

If you only need one shovel for use in your yard, you could buy either of these shovels, as both can handle the simplest of tasks. But in case you need a shovel to accomplish specific tasks efficiently, then it is better to pay attention to the type of shovel you are going to buy.

For digging For moving materials
Uses Digging holes and gardening tasks Transporting materials and construction and masonry tasks
Shape Triangular or round Square
Thickness Thin Thick
Shovel depth Lightweight Deep

How much does a shovel cost?

As it is not very difficult to build a shovel they are inexpensive tools to make, which is reflected in their low prices. Their prices usually vary depending on their size, their portability, the quality of their materials and the brand that manufactures them.

Because they are inexpensive, you will not have to spend a lot of money to find a good quality professional shovel. A simple shovel of a good brand will cost you between 3 GBP to 10 GBP, a professional shovel will have prices ranging from 25 GBP to 55 GBP, these have better build quality and are made of more durable materials.

The most expensive shovels are usually folding or disassembled shovels, but not because they have higher prices they are better. Because they have more parts they are more prone to breakage, they are also usually smaller and shorter. A simple folding shovel will cost around 180 GBP to 280 GBP.

A mid-range folding paddle will range in price from GBP 15 to 35, these are stronger than the simple ones. The best quality folding shovels are priced in excess of GBP 70, these are usually sturdy multi-tools capable of doing a wide range of tasks.

Shovels are indispensable for working on the ground (Photo: dolgachov /

Buying criteria: Factors that allow you to compare and rate different types of shovels

Now that you know almost everything there is to know before you go shopping for shovels, we’ll show you a few additional factors that can influence your buying decision, so you can choose tools that are better suited to the tasks you’ll be doing.

Purpose of the shovel

This is the first thing to consider when buying a racket, ask yourself the question “what will I use the racket for?” because the answer to this question will define the type of racket you are going to buy. Remember that there are different types of racquets with different specialisations, so try to think carefully about the tasks you will perform with your racquet.

  • For digging, soil removal and garden soil work: A large, thin-edged, round or triangular-shaped shovel will help you dig holes quickly, as well as remove grass and weeds.
  • Moving materials, removing a lot of soil: A deep, square shovel will allow you to move aggregate and cement powder easily from one place to another with ease, making it very useful for construction work. Shovels with “shoulder pads” on the top edges hold materials better and are called “box shovels”.
  • Snow shoveling: Although it is very unlikely that you will use one of these tools in Mexico, it is good to know about them. They have a large, wide, deep shovel designed to scoop up large amounts of snow, and are made of metal, although there are also models made of plastic, as the weight of the snow can be very heavy
  • Gardening tasks: A small hand shovel is very useful for working soil in small places like pots and pots, as well as in other hard-to-reach places, one of these shovels will allow you to move small amounts of soil to help you spread compost and move small plants.
  • Digging trenches: Specialised trenching shovels are long and narrow, easily recognisable by their elongated appearance, which is used to make long, hard-edged holes, so they are commonly used for pipeline work on roads.
  • Camping and survival: A camping shovel is collapsible or disassembled, usually incorporates extras such as saws on one side of the shovel, extensions to convert them into picks, machetes or axes, among other things. They tend to be very expensive, but are easy to transport in cars and backpacks.

The following image will help you identify all the different types of paddles, so you can easily recognise them when you want to buy one for specific tasks.


Manufacturing materials

Sand and gravel are not very shovel-friendly materials, so it is good to be aware of the material it is made of.

Metal shovels: If you will be working in construction, look for metal shovels. Steel ones are incredibly strong, but if you don’t maintain them they can accumulate rust. Aluminium blades will prevent you from having problems with rust, but they are not as mechanically strong as steel ones.

Plastic shovels: Rarely is a plastic shovel a good choice, as it is a material that becomes weak over time. Perhaps if you are a gardener a small plastic shovel will do, but there is no compelling reason to buy a plastic shovel instead of a metal one.

Handle and shaft: The material of the handle or grip is something that depends on the tastes of the person, the material of the rod as well, although it is good to take this into account as it will influence the weight of the tool, a wooden rod is light, but can break easily, a metal one is strong but can be heavy.

Additional features

Some shovels have serrated sides for cutting wood, different shaped handles that increase their range and the ability to be folded or disassembled. Folding shovels are ideal for off-road car enthusiasts, as they can be used to help the car out of a ditch or snow-filled hole.

Some shovels have folded top edges and because of these are called “trunks”, as this makes them easier to hold materials when moving them from one side to the other.

(Featured image photo: 15299 /