Hoe or Shovel? Know the Difference!

Save the planet, save the environment, plant more trees are some of the slogans we hear and see all over the place. With the rapidly growing population, trees and plants are getting sliced down to provide accommodation to people. But that is alarmingly damaging the environment creating global warming. Some people contribute to the environment by creating their own personal garden. That much contribution is also valuable to our ecology.
Now, gardening requires special tools, such as spade, shovel, hand trowel, hoe, pruners, rake and many more. Many suffer from understanding the difference between some gardening tools, especially beginners. This article will discuss the difference between shovel and hoe. Both are gardening tools, and people tend to get confused about what is used for what.


A shovel is a hand tool used to move soil, snow or grain from one place to another. It involves minor scale digging, but it’s not a full-fledged digging tool like a spade.
A hoe is an agrarian tool with a long handle and a flat blade crosswise fixed at its end. It is used in digging rows.


Although there are different kinds of gardening hoe, the basic structure of a hoe includes a long handle generally made of wood, it extends away from the user, and the end used for digging or pulling out weeds has a metal blade.

Now, a gardening shovel, its basic structure includes an extended handle with a metal piece at one end. The metal piece side is used for digging. Hence it is pointed at the end to cut through the soil. The remaining portion of the shovel is more comprehensive than allowing it to carry excavated materials.

A shovel can be distinguished in various parts; it includes a grip, handle, collar, and blade. The grip is the portion held by the user, which is attached to the handle. Then comes the handle; it is a barrel-shaped extended piece that has the blade at the end. The area where the blade is securely attached to the bottom of the handle is called the collar. Lastly, the flat portion of the edge near the collar is known as the step.

Types of hoe

Paddle hoe: It is the most basic kind of hoe. It is also known as planter hoe or chopping hoe. It has a rectangular paddle at the end of the handle made of wood. They are most suitable for pulling out weeds.

Stirrup hoe: Named after the stirrup on a saddle as it also looks like that. They are suitable for pulling out tough weeds. These types of hoe are also known as scuffle hoe or loop hoe.

Onion hoe or collinear hoe: Compared to the other kinds of hoes, these have longer and thinner blades. These kinds of hoes are suitable for accessing narrow spaces. If your garden is packed tightly, this is your go-to tool for cleaning weeds.

Warren hoe/Dutch hoe: Triangle or spade-shaped with flatter blades than other hoes; these are also used to remove tough weeds by digging deeper into the soil.

Types of shovels

Round-Point: Precisely-pointed blade helps its user to cut into the soil. If a task requires a lot of digging, this is the best choice.

Square-point: It is suitable for transporting materials from one place to another, like moving rubbles or piles of rocks.

Trenching or irrigation shovel: It is used in digging deep holes without breaking the surrounding soil or hurting plants. Trenching shovels are best used for digging trenches for irrigation in gardens.

Scoop shovel: Like the square point shovel, scoop shovels are also used for moving objects; these shovels have the widest blades.


So, going through the structure and types of shovels and hoes, it can be clearly determined that hoes are mainly used for cleaning weeds from your garden, whereas shovels are used for digging purposes or moving objects from one place to another.
To use a hoe, the gardener or the user has to kneel or sit down on the ground, whereas in the case of shovels, the user has to stand and use them.

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