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Kodiak Shovels, Scrapers & Spades
Gardeners, construction workers and landscapers are all familiar with one of the most basic earth movers, the shovel. While one of these tools from a company such as Kodiak, AMES and Bond Manufacturing might be the first thing you reach for when digging a hole or working in the garden, they have other uses. Staples carries a variety of digging tools and scrapers that are useful to have in the home.
Shovels or Spades? While shovels and spades have similar purposes -- they're both designed to move earth and other materials -- they have different blade and handle shapes. A shovel has a curved tip with a slight point that makes it easy to dig into hard ground and cut roots. It also has a longer handle and an angled blade, a combination that provides more leverage and digging force. Spades have flat edges and blades that make straight cuts. Use them to edge flower beds or gardens, cut and lift sod or scoop up loose material. Most spades also have a D-shaped handle that provides good control over the blade. Both of these tools come with a variety of blade sizes. While larger blades can lift more material, they're also heavier and may be harder to use in tight spaces.
Specialized Hand Tools Shovels and spades can handle most landscaping and gardening tasks, but some digging projects require unique tools. Trenching or drain spades have long, narrow blades that minimize damage to lawns when digging trenches for underground cables or irrigation systems. Choose a flat-tipped transfer shovel when moving loose materials. The flat front edge easily captures materials such as gravel or sand, and the squared-off blade provides plenty of lifting capacity. You can also use these tools as scrapers to remove ice and snow from your driveway. If you need to move lighter materials such as grain or mulch, consider a scoop shovel. These tools have a straight front edge and a large and deeply curved blade that holds loose material securely.
Durable Tool Materials These hand tools face constant exposure to dirt and moisture, so they feature durable weatherproof materials. Most shovel and spade blades are made from heavy-gauge steel, but some larger scoops have aluminum blades to reduce the tool's overall weight. Hardwood and fiberglass handles offer a comfortable and smooth grip and will provide many seasons of service.
Choose the Right Handle Length Most of these hand tools have either a long, straight handle or shorter handle ending in a D-shape grip. Long-handled tools have an overall length of about 60 inches, while those with short handles are about 45 inches long -- sizes that are comfortable for most people. Long handles provide greater leverage and reach when digging, but D-shape handles offer varied hand positions and better control.
Shovels and spades are practical tools that make it easy to dig in soil or move heavy materials. The many handle and blade styles suit a broad range of tasks, and durable materials ensure the tools withstand challenging conditions. Browse the many digging tools available at Staples and find a spade or shovel that's right for your next gardening or construction project.