Call a spade a spade. Not a shovel. The word "spade" comes from the Latin word "spada" meaning "blade". The spade is the ultimate hand digging tool. Although the shovel can dig, its forte is to lift and throw. The main differences between a spade and a shovel are:
The best spades have a blade forged from a single piece of high carbon steel. Fiberglass and metal shafts are stronger than even a high quality ash shaft but do not absorb shock so well. Stainless steel spades are also available but tend to bend if they are not of the best quality. They are less easy to sharpen than carbon steel blades.
Spades come in two sizes:
Bulldog Evergreen Digging Spade - solid forged from a single piece of steel