Digging Tool Blade Design
Professional quality digging tools are hot forged from a single piece of high quality carbon steel to produce a blade and socket. These ‘solid socket’ blades provide a weld-free joint between the socket and blade.
Lightweight shovels are usually the ‘open socket’ type. These blades are pressed from sheet steel and are designed for shovelling loose material. They are not suitable for digging.]
Different digging tools feature different blades, each suited to a particular use. For example, Spades with a pointed or rounded end allow you to concentrate the digging force on a smaller surface area and cut through harder terrain more easily – some may even feature tread plates on the back of the blade where you can place your foot to leverage even more force.
By contrast, a shovel or spade with a flatter, wider blade is more suited to moving large quantities of soft earth or fine aggregates. More specialised blades such as those found on Newcastle drainer spades are designed specifically to dig deep, narrow trenches and channels. It’s important to consider what you need your shovel or spade to do and select a blade that’s best suited.