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A spade is a tool primarily for digging comprising a blade – typically stunted and less curved than that of a shovel – and a long handle.
Spades also have many designs based on general tasks such as moving dirt or sand. Furthermore, specific tasks such as a trenching shovel used for trenches such as irrigation or electrical lines.
The newest handles are composite handles that combine the best qualities of wood and steel in that they are light. Also, the shape of the handle is important where you have the choice of a “D” handle for getting a better grip. Or, simply a straight handle with a grip at the end which can give you more leverage. Also, the material a handle is made from is important as for example steel handles are practically unbreakable. Wooden handles feel better but is susceptible to weather stress. The newest handles are composite handles that combine the best qualities of wood and steel.
As a flexible rule of thumb, spades are used for digging, and shovels are used for moving materials.