Shovels & Spades

Shovels are one of the most well-known hand tools due to their versatile simplicity that allows them to be used for a wide variety of applications, from home gardening to specific construction projects. With a triangular or T-shaped grip at the top that fits into the handle or shaft - which is normally made from wood, plastic or metal - and the blade attached to the base of the shaft, the shovel or spade is an easily-recognisable tool. Shovel and spade blades can be made from various materials, such as steel, polypropylene or non-sparking aluminium.

What's the difference between a spade and a shovel?

It's more than just a word choice - spades and shovels are actually different, even if the terms get used interchangeably. Spades generally have shorter, flat blades and are most effective when used for edging gardens, digging trenches or cutting into sod. Shovel blades, on the other hand, are curved more to act like a scoop and are better for digging up, breaking, lifting and moving loose materials like dirt, gravel or sand.

What are spades and shovels used for?

The versatility of these tools is granted by the simplicity of its functions, allowing it to be used for a multitude of reasons in a few simple ways. Shovels are designed to scoop up and move loose materials such as soil, sand, and snow, as well as construction aggregates and even light rubble or debris. Shovels can also be used to dig holes and trenches, with some fitted with purpose-designed blades.

Their most common applications would include gardening, farm work, utility installation, and aggregate transfer.

Types of shovels

There are various types of a shovel, choosing the correct one would depend on the application or environment it is to be used.

Digging - designed for digging holes. They feature a curved scoop with upturned edges. Digging shovels have a curved pointed tip and are ideal for preparing the ground in gardens or allotments ready for planting trees and shrubs.

Scooping - designed to scoop up or move loose materials. They usually feature a wider head with a flat tip and are ideal for shovelling moving gravel and sand on building sites. Snow shovels are another example, used to move snow from paths and driveways in colder climates or winter months.

Trench - these have a longer narrower head with a sharp pointed tip. Trench shovels have steeper upturned sides and are the perfect shape for digging new trenches to lay pipework for utility installation.

Square - have a flatter head with a straight tip. Square-head or square mouth shovels like scooping shovels are used to move loose material, with flatter head on a square shovel also making them ideal for slicing through tough tree or plant roots.


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Description Price Type Food Processing Safe Size Handle Length Handle Material Colour Length Width Blade Material
RS Stock No. 188-8951
Mfr. Part No.56103
BrandVikan
£34.43
Each
Units
Ergonomic shovel Yes 340 x 270 mm 1110mm - Blue 340mm 270mm -
RS Stock No. 188-9748
Mfr. Part No.567399
BrandVikan
£30.52
Each
Units
Hand Shovel Yes 327 x 271 mm 550mm Polypropylene - 327mm 271mm -
RS Stock No. 188-8948
Mfr. Part No.56018
BrandVikan
£38.59
Each
Units
Ergonomic shovel Yes 380 x 340 mm 1310mm - Purple 380mm 340mm -
RS Stock No. 188-9741
Mfr. Part No.562588
BrandVikan
£16.16
Each
Units
Shovel Yes 327 x 271 mm 1040mm Polypropylene Grey 327mm 271mm -
RS Stock No. 188-8942
Mfr. Part No.56012
BrandVikan
£38.59
Each
Units
Ergonomic shovel Yes 380 x 340 mm 1310mm - Green 380mm 340mm -
RS Stock No. 188-8954
Mfr. Part No.56106
BrandVikan
£16.67
Each
Units
Ergonomic shovel Yes 340 x 270 mm 1110mm - Yellow 340mm 270mm -
RS Stock No. 188-8950
Mfr. Part No.56102
BrandVikan
£34.43
Each
Units
Ergonomic shovel Yes 340 x 270 mm 1110mm - Green 340mm 270mm -
RS Stock No. 188-8947
Mfr. Part No.56017
BrandVikan
£38.59
Each
Units
Ergonomic shovel Yes 380 x 340 mm 1310mm - Orange 380mm 340mm -
RS Stock No. 177-4091
Mfr. Part No.56232
BrandVikan
£19.50
Each
Units
Square Shovel Yes 379 x 345 mm 1150mm Polypropylene Green 379mm 345mm Polypropylene