Help me find the shovel of my dreams
August 15, 2017 11:37 AM   Subscribe

At work we have a small shovel that is perfect for planting perennials. I'd like to get more of the same kind. Close up for measurement of blade. I want something really close to this - a longer blade won't work, a longer handle won't work, a narrow blade also won't work. We call it a "lady shovel" and I've seen similar ones called drain shovels.
posted by sciencegeek to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
D handle post spade?
posted by nickggully at 11:44 AM on August 15, 2017

So, I'm gonna go with about 3' long, blade about 11"x4". If you want a better match, you could give us the actual measurements (rule is wonky in photo).

Another term is "post spade", this one from Home Depot is in the right ballpark, but a little more square ended. Here's a similar one from Lowe's
(On preview: nick beat me to it)
posted by SaltySalticid at 11:51 AM on August 15, 2017

Looks like a drain spade (note the tapering blade) that's had its blade shortened.
posted by bricoleur at 11:54 AM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yup, it's a drain spade.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:09 PM on August 15, 2017

Maybe the Hershovel?
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:11 PM on August 15, 2017

On first glance it looked like a clam shovel to me, just with a shortened handle. Which, looks amazingly like a drain spade.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:42 PM on August 15, 2017

The shovel itself appears to be an old Ames - you can make out the Since 1774 logo at the top of the shank in the first picture. I'm not seeing anything in this 1926 catalog, but the Drednot Drain Spade on p51 is kind of close.

What does it say on the shank? SUPER 12, STEEL ★ LITE?
posted by zamboni at 1:06 PM on August 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Back when I was in the lawn and garden trade, we called them transplanting spades or perennial spades. I've got a couple of minis with 7-inch blades and two-foot handles for digging in tight spots, or for splitting clumps of perennials. I treasure them.

This one's about the size of the one you showed.
English Transplanting Spade With D Grip Handle

Fiskars makes one that's about a foot longer.
Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade
posted by Lunaloon at 2:08 PM on August 15, 2017

A "Lady shovel" was the standard shovel used by wildland firefighters for decades. It had a handle between 38 and 42 inches in length. Your shovel pictured is correctly identified by others here, garden or nursery spading shovel. The lady shovel is a great tool, with a deep pocket it makes an excellent gardening tool. If you have a chance to work with on you may have a difficult time returning to other shovels.
posted by X4ster at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2017

The Midwest Rake Company Short D-handle Round Point Perforated Shovel from Gempler's might be worth looking at. I think you want to include "short" and "D handle" in your searches.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:40 PM on August 15, 2017

Hmmm, Ames offers the D-Grip, Wood Handle 16 IN. Drain Spade.

Maybe you could contact Ames with the details of your current tool, and see what they suggest as the closest match?
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:59 PM on August 15, 2017

The blade is around 11 inches long. Almost all suggestions here show a 16 inch blade. We have a couple of those and they're not ideal.

The AMLeo English transplanting spade is the closest.
posted by sciencegeek at 6:28 PM on August 15, 2017

FWIW that blade definitely looks to have been ground down (by alternating long use and sharpening, I'd wager) so "new" I bet it was a bit longer.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:07 PM on August 15, 2017

Go take a look at Garret Wade's selection of shovels. They have very high-quality tools. The 36" mini shovel on this page might work.
posted by Ostara at 8:39 PM on August 15, 2017

A.M. Leonard offers the full-strap nursery spade, with a D-grip, 13" blade length, 26.5" handle length. Not cheap. But it does have a lifetime warranty.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:53 PM on August 23, 2017

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