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Is the shovel shaft length important?

  Is shovel shaft length important?

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Different sized handles The length of the shaft of a shovel is also is important. There are a variety of shovel lengths, and the one you choose should be determined by your frame and the task you are carrying out.
Wonkee Donkee says 'It cannot be iterated enough - try the shovel for size before you buy.'
A careful balance between the two is needed
If you choose only one shovel, try to find a balance between these two factors.

Shaft length

Usually found on a West Country or Irish shovel The standard length of a shaft is 700mm (28″). Depending on the size of the blade, this is usually suitable for people between 1.6m (5 ft 5) and 1.7m (5 ft 9) tall.For those taller, look for lengths from 800mm (32″).
Overall length of this micro shovel is 685 mm (27 inches) For more petite frames, look for a shaft of 660mm (26″) or less. Some shafts measure as much as 1800mm (72″)!

1. Matching the length of the shaft to your height

When a shovel is placed on its end (on the tip of the blade) the top of the handle grip should reach your lower chest. This will avoid constant stooping when working with the shovel.
Shovels come in various lengths to suit different frames and tasks The standard length of a shovel is usually about 1.2m (48″) overall, although this will vary according to the size and shape of the blade and socket.Those taller than 1.8m (5 ft 10) may find a shovel of 1.4m (4 ft 6) plus in length more suitable…

…whereas a shovel of 760mm (30″) or less would be more convenient for a shorter person below 1.6m (5 ft 5)

Using a longer shaft A longer shaft will allow a tall person to stand up straighter when working, reducing the amount of bending and back strain.
Holding a long shovel A longer shovel also gives a wider reach when grasping the shaft. Likewise, a short person digging with a long shovel may find it harder to apply enough force from the top of the shovel.
WD says "Take a look at our explanation on leverage in the section entitled “What are the different types of handle grip?”
The angle or bend in the shaft of an ergonomically designed shovel A longer shaft will also make lifting the shovel more difficult.  In this respect, look for a shovel with a bent shaft.For more information, please see our section: Ergonomics and choosing the right shovel

2. Matching the length of the shaft to the task

Shovels with long shafts provide more power to dig through harder materials and more leverage to pitch and throw material into a heap.

Longer shafts are best for…

Digging deep holes and trenches, cutting through turf, awkward weeds and dense materials, as well as brisk shovelling

Use a short handled shovel when space is limited Shovels with shorter shafts give you more control for delicate work such as digging in flower beds and confined spaces, like against a wall or in a tight corner.

Shorter shafts are best for…

Working in a small area, such as a greenhouse.

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