“ Brand: B&Q / Type: Shovel - Heavy Duty „
With a newly acquired garden I have been enjoying renovating it and not having had a garden before meant that I needed a few tools and the likes but still, on a budget as I had so many bits and pieces to buy. I wanted a shovel for clearing snow from my paths as I have a tendency to fall over anyway for no apparent reason but also for a bit of light digging and to remove debris. This appealed to me cos it only cost £15.48 and was actually the cheapest shovel in this style to buy at the time I was looking for one. The size of this is 175mm x 1090mm which for me is about half my height which is great. It looks attractive too with its grey and bright yellow handle and apart from the actual shovel part it is plastic coated and rust resistant. The handle part you hold is wide and comfortable though not padded in any way and then you get the actual sturdy enough black shovel part which is integrated into the handle and made from carbon steel and is slightly curved the edges and its quite large. I use mine for all the jobs I wanted it for and store it in the shed when not in use. Now I don't think this is the strongest of item so moving bricks or bashing a large rock with it, I don't think is a very good idea however for lighter jobs like moving snow, picking up leaves and a light bit of digging this has been fine for me however I have since invested in a more robust shovel than this one for my harder tasks. For me this is decent enough quality, lightweight and as I have already pointed out ok for lighter tasks but really I would advise people to pay a little more and get something stronger really if you can afford it. Only available from B & Q stores. This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
I've got a few Shovels in my hut. Surely you only need 1? Well perhaps 2 as I have 1 more so just for Snow, and the other 1 is for anything else - weather it be Soil, Sand or just to shovel up Leaves and that. This is the heavier of the 2 of them, as the other 1 is a thick plastic one. I wouldn't say that a heavier shovel is any better than a plastic one, as when you think about shovelling things up which may be heavy on their own then you don't want any extra weight, but I find that if you dig the heavier thing into Soil or that to scoop it out then I feel you can scoop up more this way. Perhaps it is just me that feels like this. I bought this in B&Q (funny that.) about 18 months ago and I think it cost me around £15. They do still sell these in my branch anyway as I saw them the last time I was in. They look the same as my one, but I can't comment on the price of them now. This is the average lenght for a shovel which is about 1 metre long. The handle is easy enough to hold and quite easy to grip onto as well. The Shovel part is a good size and has a good curve at the sides of it so the Soil or that should stay in the Shovel alright. The Steel is forged Carbon Steel and it's a good enough weight. The wife isn't all too keen on it, as she says it has got a bit weight to it, but she's more used to a plastic Shovel anyway. This seems like it will stand the test of time. I have filled quite a few large tarpaulin bags with Soil scooped with this and although it perhaps doesn't look quite as new as it did it's still in good shape and I shouldn't have to worry about buying a new 1 for a good few years. I would consider this one again.
When the first flurries of snow hit my neck of the woods in late November, I found myself hankering after a lightweight snow shovel. I watched neighbours effortlessly clearing their pavements and carrying grit and salt from the bins located nearby with ease and wanted one too. I checked offline shops for one but unsurprisingly they were out of stock - I mean let's be honest here - if you want to buy a snow shovel high summer is probably the best time to do it - so I ordered one on Amazon and waited for it to arrive. And waited. And waited. In fact I am still waiting, over three weeks since the item was despatched. In the intervening period the snow has got worse. In fact it got so bad that within days of placing the order with Amazon I realised I was going to have to buy something to clear the pavement and have in case my poor car got completely snowed in. I decided to visit B&Q in the hope of picking up a cheap spade, and so I braved the drive there on a particularly icy day. Upon arriving at the store I asked the store greeter if there were any shovels in stock to which he laughed wryly and said unfortunately no. I had been expecting this response if I am honest but I asked about spades and he pointed me in the direction of the gardening department. And it was there, that much to my amazement, I spotted a shovel on sale - the B&Q Heavy Duty Square Mouth Shovel, for £18.98. ~~The Shovel~~ This is a large shovel, measuring 1 metre in length. The square mouth is 25 cm wide. The shovel is made from forged carbon steel but has a wooden handle made from ash. I don't know exactly how much it weighs but it's heavy. In fact if it weren't for the fact I was in desperate need of a shovel I would have ignored this one on the basis of weight alone, but beggars can't be choosers and it was this or a rather cheap and nasty looking spade which didn't look as if it could cope with much in the way of compacted snow. ~~My Experience~~ Unsurprisingly, the biggest problem with this shovel is the weight of it. If you are strong and fit, this won't be much of an issue of course. On the other hand if you are a middle aged couch potato such as myself, you might find it hard going. Having said all that however, I am really glad I bought this shovel. Despite the weight, it is actually very effective at clearing my paths of snow - with the square mouth being the ideal size for moving large amounts of the stuff in one go. It's also good for scraping compacted snow and ice due to the strength of the mouth - I was actually amazed at how good it was for this. It's also proved its worth in helping me dig my car out of a huge pile of snow which surrounded it for almost a week when the snow was at its height. While I am not saying it's easy digging huge amounts of snow out of the way with such a heavy shovel, it did at least do the job. Before I got this shovel I had been clearing the path of (admittedly much lighter) snow using a JML rubber broom and some salt. This isn't the most effective way to do things and certainly the broom was useless for getting the car out. I must stress I probably took longer to clear the snow around my car because I was mindful not to dump the snow on the pavement outside my house, unlike my neighbour who had no such qualms. I was therefore carrying snow further on the shovel to lay it to rest on my front garden so as not to block the pavement, and of course when you are using a heavy shovel, you will feel this in your muscles. I found the B&Q shovel got the path cleared very effectively - although much more work was involved in doing so because of the weight of it. I kept myself going by telling myself it was excellent exercise however. I could clear my pavement and the stairs leading down to it in a reasonable ten minutes, and found that leaving a little salt on the ground afterwards dealt with any compacted ice remaining. ~~Final Thoughts~ For the price I paid, this has probably been worth it - but if I could have got something a little more lightweight, I would have far preferred it. I don't do gardening or DIY so the only real need I have for a shovel is to clear snow in winter, and for someone was wimpish as me, this is really a bit too heavy. The weight is the only real problem if I am honest however. The wide mouth makes this capable of carrying a lot more than a spade and it's also very good at clearing paths. You can use this to easily scrape snow to either side with no fear of damage to the shovel mouth. Cleaning is reasonably easy too, although snow does have a habit of sticking to the shovel. I generally scrape off the excess with my trusty JML broom and leave it to dry on a mat. As I await my plastic snow shovel from Amazon, I have been able to console myself with the fact that I wasn't completely snowed in thanks to my B&Q heavy duty shovel. However this is definitely a shovel for the strong and the muscular - although repeated use has definitely improved my fitness levels - so something I would not recommend if you only need a shovel for snow.