A round point shovel is a versatile gardening tool. The blade of the shovel is slightly curved for scooping, and the end is round, often curving to a point in the middle. The edges of the blade are beveled to allow the shovel to slice into dirt, and the long handle can be made of wood or fiberglass. Some shovel handles have a D-grip at the top, making them easier to maneuver.
Unlike larger square point shovels which are used for scraping or lifting lighter materials like snow or manure, a round point shovel can be used for digging large holes or scooping heavier material, such as rocks or wet soil. The sharp edges make these shovels useful for cutting into sod or root material, and their bowl-like shape allows them to lift and move plants from the soil. A durable round point shovel can even be used as a hammer or to break apart compacted soil. A small round point shovel, or trowel, is useful for weeding, digging small holes, and transplanting small plants.
It is important to consider the quality when buying a new shovel because poor-quality shovels can bend, break, or cause more strain on the user’s back. The blade of a high-quality round point shovel is forged from a single piece of steel and not made from stamped steel, which can bend. The top of the blade should be flat so it’s more comfortable to step on. The part of the blade that attaches to the handle, called the tang, should be long and firmly bolted to the handle to keep these parts from separating. The handle should be made from ash, hickory, or fiberglass, and the length of the handle should be comfortable for the user’s height and strength.
A well maintained shovel can last for many years. Fiberglass handles are water and weather-resistant, but wood handles need extra care. Sand off any finish applied by the manufacturer, and rub the handle with linseed oil once or twice a year to protect it and keep it from splintering. The blade of a round point shovel should be thoroughly cleaned after each use and left to dry completely before storing in order to prevent rust. Wash off all the dirt with water and chip away any hardened mud. Apply oil to the metal parts of a shovel to prevent rust during winter storage.