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Shovel with wide blade - especially appropriate for lifting snow or
A shovel is a tool for lifting and moving loose material such as
coal, gravel, snow,
soil, or sand and is an extremely common tool which is used
extensively in agriculture, construction and gardening. It is usually a hand tool
consisting of a broad blade with edges or sides that is fixed to a
medium-length handle. Shovels are usually made of iron or steel and
are very strong.
Hand shovel blades are typically made of sheet steel, folded at the back to make a
socket for the handle. This fold also commonly provides extra
rigidity to the blade. The handles are usually made of wood,
although steel or even lightweight composite materials may also be
used, and riveted in place. A
T-piece is commonly fitted to the end of the handle to aid grip and
control where the shovel is designed for moving soil and heavy
materials. This design can be easily mass produced.
The term "shovel" is also applied to larger excavating machines,
such as power
shovels, which are designed for the same purpose—lifting and
moving material, see Loader (equipment).
Hand shovels have been adapted for many different tasks and
environments. They can be optimized for a single task or designed
as cross-over or compromise tools to perform multiple tasks, for
- A coal shovel typically has a wide, flat blade
with steeply turned sides, a flat face and a short D-shaped
- A snow shovel often has a very wide sideless
blade that curves upward attached to a long, straight handle. It is
designed as much for pushing the snow as for lifting it. The blade
can be metal or plastic, but the latter has been used to offer a
- A grain shovel (also 'barn shovel') has a wide
aluminium or plastic blade that is attached to a short hardwood
handle with "D" top. This shovel has been designed to offer a
lighter tool that does not damage the grain. Early models were made
- A spoon shovel is a long bar with a small oval
inclined blade at the end, used in excavating deep narrow
- A gardening trowel is a
small single-hand implement for breaking up clumps in soil.
Gardening trowels typically have strong, narrow blades with sharp
- A roofing shovel is a specialized prying tool
which evolved from the use of spading forks and pitchforks to remove old
shingles and underlayment as part of roof repair.
- In the 1800s shovels were called turf cutters and spades. They had cylinder-shaped
wooden handles and metal triangle points at the end to dig with.
Farmers used the shovels for digging up the ground on the farm and
turning ground over to get richer soil. The shovels were handmade
so they were all different sizes.
- Toy shovels are common playthings on
sandy beaches or in sandboxes.
- Garden shovel used a spade like blade to dig into hard
- A scoop is a shovel-like tool, particularly one deep and
curved, used in digging, the act of using such a tool, or a rough
measure of volume equal to the carrying capacity of a scoop.
- The shovel is one of the fire irons used in a fireplace. It is used to tend to the
Workman shoveling (CGI image)