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What Are the Different Shovel Parts?

Snow shovel parts may differ from those of conventional shovels.
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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2014
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From landscaping jobs to gardening to general home improvement projects, shovels are needed in a variety of activities. Shovels come equipped with several different parts. These shovel parts, such as blades and handles, form a single, simple object that makes otherwise grueling tasks easier to accomplish.

Though different types of shovels can vary in their structure, all shovels have two main, basic parts. The blade is one part. This is the part of the shovel that comes into contact with the dirt, cement, or other medium being moved. Usually shovel blades are made from tempered steel. They can also come in plastic, aluminum, and other materials.

Blades are usually forged from flat pieces of metal or other material. They are folded and bent into a curved shape by a machine press. The result is a front facing, solid object with a sunken depression used for scooping and holding material, such as gravel, rock, or soil. Depending on the intended purpose, the blade can be any shape or size, rounded or pointed, and flat or curved at the top.

Some blades are finished with foot rests. A shoveler can put his or her foot on top of these shovel parts in order to push the shovel deeper into the earth or other medium. This allows for a deeper overall dig.

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The handle is the other main part of the shovel. Many different materials can be used to create a shovel handle, though the most common medium is wood, such as ash. Handles are typically bolted to shovel blades. Some shovels are made from a single piece, where the handle and blade are constructed from the same piece of material.

Used for leveraging, the handle makes the process easier on the shoveler. Of all of the shovel parts, the handle is the most likely to break, as it serves as the tool's fulcrum. Replacement handles are available for shovel repair.

Two main types of handles are available. The D-handle, or Y-handle, is forked at the end. This type of handle is usually preferred, as workers find it more comfortable to handle. It is also considered stronger and less likely to break. The other type of handle is known as a T-handle. It forms a straight line for the shoveler to grasp.

Snow shovel parts may differ slightly. Many snow shovels contain additional smaller parts, such as a plate, support member, brace, and hollow cylinder. All of these are added to enable support and movement with the shovel. As most snow shovels are made with plastic or other lighter materials, they can often be bent to accommodate shoveling snow at awkward angles. Individual snow shovel parts are often as expensive as a new shovel.

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