HISCO Shovels and Spades
HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT SHOVEL
FOR EVERY PROJECT
Selecting the wrong tool for the job is the #1 biggest mistake people make when digging. It leads to unnecessary extra effort & back strain.
That’s why we want to make it easy for you to select the right shovel for every project, every time.
3 Types of Shovels and Spades
● Digging -- Penetrate into the soil. Use a Spade or a Digging Shovel with a low or a medium lift angle.
● Scooping -- Scrape + lift loose soil. Use a Scoop or a Digging shovel with a high or a medium lift angle.
● Trenching -- Create + clean out long narrow trenches. Use a SharpShooter or a special trenching shovel.
As you see, there is some crossover with the "Digging Shovel". That is because it is also called a Combination Shovel and it is a blended design halfway between a digging and a scooping tool - it is also the most common shovel. The information on our individual tool pages will help you decide which short or long handled spade/shovel is best for you.
Click here to see our excerpts from the 1961 Popular Mechanics article "The Right Shovel for the Job". It has easy-to-understand details on shovel types, lift angles, handle lengths, and blade designs. (located at bottom of this page)
How to select the right shovel or spade...
The pictures and excerpts below are from a 1961 Popular Mechanics article titled "The Right Shovel for the Job". The same advice that was good then is still good today. Shovels have not changed much, except for the switch to stronger handles. You can see the full article here (scroll the archive down to page 138)
"The long handle is best for stand-up digging or scooping as it saves you from stooping....The shorter D-handle is better where you need to toss loads with good accuracy....The crosspiece in the D grip gives you something to push against during the start of the throw, and something to haul back against when you 'shoot' the load....A long, straight handle provides you more reach for stand-up shoveling without stooping, and for getting down into pits or trenches....After the hole is deep enough to stand in, switch to the shorter D-handle shovel for good leverage and control."
Round or square point spade?
"A round-pointed shovel pierces the ground more easily, and is best for general digging, especially in rocky or hard soils. A square-edged spade will sever roots that can slip past a round shovel blade, and so is good for transplanting trees. Spade also cuts a square-sided trench, as needed for footings." Note: Scoop shovels all have straight flat edges for scraping up material.
Lift: What it is. Why it matters.
A shovel's lift is the angle that it makes with the blade. The higher the lift, the greater the angle....For digging, you want low lift so you can push the blade straight down into the earth, and still grip the handle comfortably. A high-lift handle would force you to lean way too far forward, throw you off balance, and tire you out faster....For shoveling, such as scooping and spreading soil, sand, or gravel, you want a high-lift handle so you can slide or scrape the blade flat along the ground without stooping over much."
How to determine lift.
"Check for lift by measuring the distance from the tip of a long handle to the floor, with blade held flat against the floor. It should be at least 32 inches for a good high-lift shovel, no more than 22 inches for a low-lift spade." Note: A combination shovel, what we call a Digging Shovel, will be in the middle.
There is a lot more information in the article about digging and scooping, about shovels and physics, and about how to dig smart and safe. Be sure to check it out before you buy a shovel online.
Benefits of Fiberglass Handles...
● They are very difficult to damage.
● Resists impact, and is non-denting.
● Will not absorb moisture or warp.
● Will not conduct electricity.
HISCO tools have fiberglass handles with a legacy of premium performance. All the handles produced by HISCO Tools are made from thousands of continuous strands of fiberglass saturated with resins, and have a smooth polyester veil (coating) on the surface. The veil gives the handle a smooth comfortable finish and keeps the fiberglass from splintering or scratching. The D-Grips used on a short handled shovel are made of one-piece high-density nylon. We all know that there is no such thing as an unbreakable shovel, but these tools are as close as you can get.
The long handled shovel features the 8-inch Tuffoam double-dip grips which have been designed for the toughest industrial applications. The grips have a durable, vinyl inner liner and a comfortable, non-slip foam exterior that provides long life and helps prevent potential harmful hand fatigue.
Why do I need a heavy-duty spade shovel?
It can save you money. It can save you frustration. And it can save you from an injury.
Let's tackle injuries first. When the handle on a cheap shovels snaps, you may fall backwards and wrench your back muscles, or land on something dangerous. Then there is the frustration of having the tool break right when you are in the middle of a job and time is short and the store is miles away. Lastly there is money. If our heavy-duty HISCO shovels cost twice as much, but out last two cheap shovels, then you at least broke even. But if it outlasts three of them, then you are money ahead.