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Lapwing supplies a wide range of professional quality digging tools for the UK construction industry. The Orbit Taper Mouth Shovel provides excellent value for money, the Carter’s All Steel Range provides a great range of competitively priced spades & shovels, the Carters PolyFibre Duro Range provides exceptional quality at a great cost. Further specialist applications include a Micro Shovel and West Country Shovel. 

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Shovels, Spades and Digging Tools

At Lapwing, we’re committed to offering “trusted brands, trusted products, and trusted service – for every customer, on every job.” Our selection of high-quality shovels and digging tools is curated with this in mind. You can trust us to get you all the high-quality spades, shovels, and other digging tools you need quickly. Whatever your particular need, whether it’s cable-laying, trench-digging, landscaping or any application, we have just the tool for the job. We’re backed by almost three decades of tool supply experience and offer next-day delivery, free shipping on orders over £100 and an incredible selection of tools from leading brands.

Types of Digging Tools Available

  • [Poly Fibre] Insulated tools

    Designed for work near live conductor rails. Manufactured to BS8020:2012, each tool is individually flash tested to 10,000v.
    Insulated shovels feature a highly insulated body to protect the user should they accidentally breach underground electrical cabling.

  • All steel

    Constructed from durable steel components with solid forged blade & socket for ultimate strength and toughness in a range of site applications, all-steel spades and shovels are the pinnacle of hard-wearing equipment.

  • Ash MYD

    With a natural ash hilt and mid-section and an MYD handle, these traditional spades and shovels are a dependable, affordable option and make an ideal garden shovel and site tool alike.

Key Features to Consider in Digging Tools

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.

Insulated No: 2 Taper Mouth SS - Orbit - Insulated Shovels & Tools - Lapwing UK

Digging Tool Handle Construction

As with blades, there are several different materials used for handle construction that lend themselves to specific applications.

Insulated and Poly Fibre handles are chosen to provide protection when working near live electrical cables in case the blade breaches the cable insulation.

All steel spade and shovel handles are usually selected thanks to their outstanding strength and durability and ash MYD handles for their blend of tensile strength and low weight.

The length and shape of your handle matters too, as a long handle shovel can give you more leverage when you need it, and a shorter one can be more compact and easier to operate in smaller spaces. Again, you should consider the likely usage of the digging tool and select a handle material that’s likely to perform the best in that specific application.

Digging Tool Material Quality

You’ve likely heard the old adage ‘buy cheap, buy twice’. This couldn’t be truer than when it comes to spades, shovels, or almost any heavy-use hand tool for that matter.

Because they’re subject to such high levels of wear and tear, it’s crucial that digging tools are made from high-quality materials.

At Lapwing, we carefully select the digging tools that we stock and ensure that the materials are of the highest quality possible, including forged carbon steel blades, durable, lightweight handles designed to avoid breakages in the user’s hand and shock-resistant insulation for protection from electrical hazards.

Digging Tool FAQs

Need to know more about shovels, spades and other digging tools?


What are the key features of a high-quality digging tool?

When selecting your ideal digging tool, you should look out for a few key features –

- Whether the blade is stamped or forged – forged blades made from high-carbon steel will always be stronger, whereas stamped blades will be weaker, although usually cheaper

- Shaft and handle construction – whether the handle is made using sturdy materials, designed to protect the user from fatiguing reverberations, electrical shocks or harm caused by potential handle breakages

- How the blade is attached to the shaft – pay attention to how the blade is attached to the shaft of the spade or shovel, as weak welds and open back mounting can be potential weak points

How to choose the right digging tool for specific tasks?

It’s crucial to select the correct tool for the job. For example, a pointed shovel is likely to be better suited to digging, especially in hard ground, whereas a flat-edged spade will perform better in landscaping tasks such as edging. Some more specialised tools such as drainers or trenching shovels are designed to allow you to easily dig deep, narrow trenches, but won’t allow you to move large amounts of earth at a time.

What maintenance practices enhance the lifespan of digging tools?

Here are a few tips to help extend the lifespan of your digging tools –

- Remove soil – after each use, remove all the mud from your spade or shovel using a hose or potentially a screwdriver, or even a stick or a stone, to deal with caked on mud

- Regularly treat wooden handles – once every few months, or as needed, apply a wood treatment oil such as linseed oil to any wooden handles or shafts to help preserve them

- Never store wet tools – always allow your tools to completely dry before putting them in storage – wet tools will rust or rot, and can potentially even cause other tools to decay around them

- Prevent rust – oiling your shovel blades is a good way to drive out moisture and prevent rust. An easy way to do this consistently is to fill a large bucket with builder’s sand and pour in a good dose of engine oil. The oil and the detergents within it will help keep your spade or shovel blade clean and rust free long-term

- Sharpen the edges of your shovels and spades – keeping the edges of your spades and shovels as sharp as they were when you bought them will help reduce stress on the overall construction, allow you to work more easily and preserve their lifespan