Bob Vila Radio: Shovels

By Roseann Foley Henry | Updated Apr 22, 2013 10:29 AM

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Picking the right shovel for the job saves time—and can save your back as well. Here are a few shovels you’ll want in your gardening lineup.




Listen to BOB VILA ON SHOVELS or read the text below:

The classic round-point shovel has a sharp, slightly curved blade that’s perfect for digging holes and cutting into compacted soil. Square-point shovels, which often have turned-up edges, are best for scooping up loose material like mulch. Garden spades, which have long handles and flat, square-point blades, are tailor-made for edging and breaking up clumps.

Shovels come in a variety of lengths, and some have grips shaped like the letter “t” or “d.” Some people feel that a D-shaped grip gives more control in scooping and tossing, but that’s just a personal preference.

Look for a strong connection between the handle and the blade, and make sure the step of the blade—the top edge where your foot rests—is wide enough for your foot, and turned or rolled for comfort.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on outdoor tools, consider:

How To: Care for Garden Tools
9 Essential Tools for Every Gardener
10 Wheelbarrows to Lighten Your Load