HISCO Shovels and Spades

Made in the USA for the construction & landscaping industry. These professional-grade tools feature thick 14 gauge steel blades and super strong Fiberglass handles. See handle details.

Easy Shovel and Spade Types

There are three basic types of tasks these tools can be used for. Using the wrong tool for a task is not a good experience. We will describe each task briefly, and tell which one serves that purpose...
● Digging -- Penetrating 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 is best for you.

For more details on shovel types, lift angles, handle lengths, and blade designs, see the excerpts below from a 1961 Popular Mechanics article on choosing "The Right Shovel for the Job" below.

All with the strongest Fiberglass handles...

Heavy duty digging spade

HISCO garden spades with long and short handles

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Short model = $39.95
Long model = $45.95

Use to penetrate down into the soil or sod. The handle's low lift angle lets you put your weight straight down onto the blade for efficient digging, spading, and edging. Blade is 7" wide with thick 14 gauge steel.

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Heavy duty digging shovels

HISCO digging shovels with long and short handles

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Short model = $39.95
Long model = $44.95

Combination design both digs straight down, and then lifts or throws. Handle's medium lift angle reduces bending to scoop, while still being good for digging. Round point penetrates well, and dished blade lifts material.

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Heavy duty scoop shovels

HISCO scoop shovels with long and short handles

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Short model = $39.95
Long model = $44.95

Use to scoop, then lift or throw material. The handle's high lift angle minimizes bending. Straight flat front edge is great for scraping soil, grain or stone from the floor. Upturned edges help it hold more material.

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Sharpshooter shovels

HISCO drain spades with long and short handles

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Short model = $41.95
Long model = $47.95

Use to dig shallow narrow trenches for drainage or utilities. Narrow round-pointed blade and handle's low lift angle create easy soil penetration. Popular with plumbers and landscapers. Long 6" wide heavy-duty blade.

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Trench digging shovel blade or head

HISCO trench digging shovel with long handle

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46.95

This special 3-3/4" wide shovel is made for digging narrow trenches. Features a high lift handle to reduce bending to lift soil up and out of the trench. Heavy-duty pointed and dished blade for easier digging action.

This special 3-3/4" wide shovel is made for digging narrow trenches. Features a high lift handle to reduce bending to lift soil up and out of the trench. Heavy-duty pointed and dished blade for easier digging action.

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Trench clean-out shovel blade or head

HISCO trench clean-out shovel with long handle

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50.95

This special 3-3/4" wide high sided shovel is made only for scooping the loose soil out of the bottom of narrow trenches. Features a high lift handle to reduce bending while lifting soil up and out of the trench.

This special 3-3/4" wide high sided shovel is made only for scooping the loose soil out of the bottom of narrow trenches. Features a high lift handle to reduce bending while lifting soil up and out of the trench.

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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)

How to choose between long and short handled shovel How to choose between round or square point shovel

How long should the handle be?
"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.

Advantage of a low lift shovel for digging and spading Advantage of a high lift shovel for scooping and shoveling How to measure a shovel's lift height

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...

skidsteer loader supported by two shovels HISCO fiberglass handle construction diagram

● Greater strength pound for pound than steel.
● 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 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.

 

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