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Shovel Test

March 8, 2010

With our heavy use of shovels I decided to put together a little shovel guide/test. Instead of like a bike guide or part test this will be like a shovel test. We got 4 different type of flat shovels plus some wild drainage type shovel I thought to try out. Most shovels are the same but really some last longer then others and some really are easier to shape jumps with. After a month or two of using these shovels Ill come back and review them. The picture below shows each shovel each a different brand, each slightly different in shape and I think they might each use different types of wood.  You have the True Temper, the Ames, the Bronco, and the UnionTools.


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  1. adam permalink

    true temper on the left

  2. jarret kahle permalink

    true temper will proll last the longest , y cant we get shovels with out butt cheeks??..

  3. bronco looks pretty solid too, you guys use carbon handle one’s at all, i’ve had one that’s lasted two full summers… i love that shovel…

  4. Bronco for the win!

  5. Nah dont use carbon or plastic handles anymore, they break to quick now.

  6. My money is on true temper and wood handles.

  7. barry permalink

    the bronco has some sweet curves

  8. Dan Ruhe permalink

    Get rid of the wooden handles and use all steel. Trievel won’t mind.

  9. jag permalink

    I don’t see a fiskars or razorback. The two top flatties!

  10. The Bronco is your best bang for the buck in my opinion…best shovel on a budget AND they have the warranty which we have discovered that as long as its not super old and hagard looking (nothing a hose can’t fix if it is) Home Depot will usually honor it and hook you up with a new one!

  11. bob edson permalink

    True Temper’s not a bad shovel at all, never heard of the Ames, Never been a huge fan of the Bronco, Inherited a pricey Union Tools from a dude who blew his knee out and it was seriously the longest lasting shovel I’ve ever had (by a LOT). I loved that fucker so much I used to re-weld its cracks over and over once it started dying, until it finally became unsalvagable:( (Still rides around in my car trunk out of honor though.) Our trails are called “Union”, so I kinda believe that shovel was sent from the trailgod just for me! Man I miss that shovel! Oh, and the drinage one: dug few sump pump bubler ditches using those, (very skinny, like 18-28″ deep,,,hard clay) and was prying earth up so hard that I could not believe it wouldnt snap in half (although the metal blade would flip itself inside out, telling me to relax and hit the shit with the pickaxe and come back to it.) Cant wait to see the results!!

  12. What about spades, does everyone use flatheads? I can’t get through the soil with a flat.

  13. Where’s the eagle at? I’ll put my money on the Union or Ames but then again our trails are west coast

  14. Ted permalink

    Yeah, you lucky bastids obviously don’t have rocks at you trails. When you are stuck with rocky soil you can only use the flatty for shaping lips and need a stout round head for diggin.

    I like the free shovels that people leave at my house, thanks for the bronco Chris 😉

  15. roxy permalink

    all in for english spades, nice and heavy, short as fuck back breakers. and break piss easy! heck yea!
    that or bukin bronco or the new design called the crazy lenny, only from tesco

  16. we had these steel handle flats that were so awesome they lasted like two sets of trails and died diggin the beury patch years ago. wish we could find those bitches. You gotta go with the Ames for its rich American history!!

  17. I use to use spades at my trails to dig the dirt and flats to shape the lips. Rocky soil sucks.

  18. Panamoka Nic permalink

    Union will last the longest without a doubt. I need to find a dealer because I bent my blade chopping roots at midnight

  19. Hancock permalink

    My money is on the Union! Had my current one last 3+ years so far!!!! She is cracked and the tip is actually worn back, but she still has lots of life left on her. I believe the crack is actually from slapping and packing, not actually shoveling. I’m with Panamoka Nic, I need to find a dealer in the area and stock up.

  20. jag permalink

    Unions are good, but Razorback is there “Contractor’s Grade” lineup. Even stronger! You’ll drop about $25 on a shovel, but it will outlast any! A little on the heavy side, but that’s perfect for slapping and packing. Check any constuction crew or (legit) landscape crew as you’re cruising down the road and you’ll see the shovels with red stripe on handle just above shovelhead. The trademark for all Razorback shovels! They have some noice round-tips with welded closed backs that work nearly as well as flat heads for packing.

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  1. Bronco = pieces of shit. « ShuVL

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