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Is it possible to buy a good shovel?

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  • Is it possible to buy a good shovel?

    Who makes good tools anymore? The blade on my old shovel is loose, and I’m looking for a replacement.

    Shovel handles 60 years ago were slender, straight-grained ash affairs, even on fairly inexpensive models. They felt so “right” that you didn’t notice the shovel, only the work.

    Nowadays the “good,” expensive shovels have handles made either of steel or some heavy hardwood turned so fat they feel like fence posts in your hands. They are clunky. They call attention to themselves. They are tiresome to use.

    I’m guessing that manufacturers get away with this because modern customers don’t know a quality tool when they see it. They haven’t worked with their hands. Have you ever watched how the typical, youthful movie actor wields a hammer or an axe nowadays? They choke the handle like they are bunting a baseball, which they probably haven’t done either.

  • #2
    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-shovel/

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    • #3
      My favorite shovel is a True Temper 00 shovel, I dig for a living wonder where I got my name?? I look for good shovels at auctions and flea markets.
      i don’t know if you can buy a good shovel any more, you could a few years ago but they were about 60 bux. I seen some forged shovels made in India They were crude and very heavy.

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      • #4
        Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly Moxiedad. And often the handles will be covered with a layer of soft rubber, so we don't bruise or, (heaven forbid!), raise a blister on our nice smooth, delicate hands.

        But maybe there's hope. Here's one from Lowes that might work.. It's hard to tell from the picture if it has the normal curve for a proper shovel handle.
        https://www.lowes.com/pd/Truper-48-i...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

        Say... this calls for a trivia question: What's the oldest continuously operating manufacturing company in the U.S?
        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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        • #5
          I lived next door to a guy that dug trees for a living. He brought his tree spade home every night to sharpen it. He got paid by the tree so time is money. I’ve done lots of hand digging and the fiberglass handles just don’t have the right feel.

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          • #6
            King of Spades from WW Mfg.: http://www.wwmfg.com/
            Or look at the selection from A, M, Leonard: https://www.amleo.com/

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            • #7
              I got one of the Razorback # 2593600, bought it from TSC when my old shovel went missing. I've had it two years and so far I haven't been able to break it, which is saying something. It was the only shovel in there with a wood handle and also featured an extra long socket and wide foot pads. I can't stand fiberglass lawn tool handles.
              I just need one more tool,just one!

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              • #8
                My father used to sell spades when he was young, he was a fan of the Spear & Jackson brand which is still around.
                Last edited by ikdor; 05-17-2020, 04:28 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lynnl View Post
                  Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly Moxiedad. And often the handles will be covered with a layer of soft rubber, so we don't bruise or, (heaven forbid!), raise a blister on our nice smooth, delicate hands.

                  But maybe there's hope. Here's one from Lowes that might work.. It's hard to tell from the picture if it has the normal curve for a proper shovel handle.
                  https://www.lowes.com/pd/Truper-48-i...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

                  Say... this calls for a trivia question: What's the oldest continuously operating manufacturing company in the U.S?
                  Could it be AMES? I thought I saw where they supplied shovels etc for the railroad cross country.

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                  • #10
                    I had to look around for awhile until I found a place that would sell me just a wooden handle for my old Truetemper, I think it was from a lumber yard, although I think homey depot carries handles. The same as when I wanted to replace my hammer handle. "why don't you just buy a new hammer" says the clerk.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ron43 View Post
                      Could it be AMES? I thought I saw where they supplied shovels etc for the railroad cross country.
                      We have a winner! Yes, it was Ames. I saw that on some TV program some years back, maybe "How it's Made". There was probably some caveat, but I don't remember what ...nor the year they started.
                      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                      • #12
                        Get them for a dollar at garage sales. They are the ones that are forge steel blades and NOT stamped steel metal. Look for the forge collar. I also have bought new forge steel shovels (with wooden handles) and they start at 75 bucks and are worth every penny! I would NEVER buy a shovel without a wooden handle.
                        P.S. I also will gladly pay 60 bucks for a good thick delron/nylon snow shovel.

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                        • #13
                          I'm getting too old to do much digging, but I do appreciate a good shovel. Been buying mine at garage sales, I want a blade that rings instead of going "thunk", and the socket has been welded. Wood handles only, and I put a heavy coat of linseed oil on every fall. The few that I have seen that were forged always seemed heavier than I liked.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
                            Get them for a dollar at garage sales. They are the ones that are forge steel blades and NOT stamped steel metal. Look for the forge collar. I also have bought new forge steel shovels (with wooden handles) and they start at 75 bucks and are worth every penny! I would NEVER buy a shovel without a wooden handle.
                            P.S. I also will gladly pay 60 bucks for a good thick delron/nylon snow shovel.
                            Yeah, garage sales are your best bet to find good old shovels and garden tools. I hate shovels and rakes and plastic foam padded handles.

                            JL.....

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                            • #15
                              There is no such thing as a good shovel or a bad p.......... .

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