- You hire people to do your shoveling
- Dirt = yuck to you
- You are not a huge nerd
I love to dig. I like the way the blade pierces into the soil. I like stomping on the top to drive the blade in. I like how my shoulders feel when they are turning over a furrow. Digging is the best part of gardening to me. I have worn the points off of all of our round point spades at our house. I may actually buy a new shovel this year. Those shovels I use at home are decidedly different from those I use at work.
I dig for a living. That's what I do, literally. My whole summer is hiking and digging holes with my trusty Razorback D-handled Sharpshooter. Packability is incredibly important in a place where the weather is more often than not awful and you have to carry a rifle everywhere you go.
This is sometimes called a Tile Spade or a Drain Spade. The model I prefer has a 16" blade and hardwood handle. I've tried the fiberglass models, but they are heavier than wood and don't really last. Plus, wood gets a nice patina as it ages. It weighs in at about 6 or 7 pounds. The 16" length is a perfect diagnostic length for determining wetland or upland soils. Their main drawback is in sandy, dry soils. Luckily those only exists in Yakutat. For that area I like a good roundpoint, so I generally go with something like this:Something like this lets you dig large, open soil pits. It's also a bit shorter than a tile spade. I don't like it because it takes longer to dig a soil pit than with the tile spade. It will work in a pinch but I wouldn't pick one out from a catalog.
The last shovel in my arsenal is a beast called the Montana Sharpshooter. This thing weighs in at a hefty 12 pounds and is made of solid steel. It's designed for busting through Montana Sod or something.
This shovel is an awful beast of a shovel. I was forced to use one after I broke my lighter (better) wood handled one in Colorado. I had a divot in my shoulder from carrying that dumb thing around. It's also pretty narrow so it takes a long time to poke a satisfactory pit in the ground. I guess it'll put hair on your chest if nothing else.
I, of course, have several smaller shovels at my disposal. I also carry a huge serrated knife for digging. That's a lesson for another day.