A Dutch shovel is a manual tool used in gardening. It has a blade at a right angle to the handle so that it can be pushed into the soil easily, and the soil is lifted out without having to lift the shovel vertically, which is more difficult.
The Dutch Army Shovel or V-44 was originally produced for war use based on a Finnish multipurpose shovel’s design and was later manufactured for use in gardening.
The V-44 is part of the collection (and currently on display) at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, which is why it’s often referred to as a “Dutch Army Shovel.”However, this tool also has several other names, including a “dutch hoe,” a “push shovel,” and a “pitchfork.”
Due to its design as a multipurpose tool, it is also often referred to as a multi-tool. A dutch shovel can be used for purposes other than planting flowers, such as digging trenches or removing snow.
A dutch shovel is not the same thing as a scoop. A scoop has a large opening and can move much more material than a dutch shovel, but it cannot be pushed into soil with the sharp tip without breaking the handle. This would also make it less effective for digging trenches or removing snow because of its broad blade, which makes it less sturdy.
A dutch shovel can be used to pitch manure, remove snow, till the soil, dig trenches, weed gardens, plant flowers, break up ground clumps…basically anything but scooping loose materials like sand or gravel. Some people even use it for certain cooking tasks.
Even though a multi-tool is more effective in some tasks, a dutch shovel is more versatile.
The blade is flat and wide, with one sharp edge that can be used for digging into the ground or cutting roots. This makes it much more effective at digging trenches or removing snow than a large scoop. The sharp tip allows you to push the shovel easily into the soil without having to lift it vertically. It is also fairly lightweight, allowing the user to be able to carry it over long distances without excessive effort or strain on the back.
Dutch shovels are common in Europe but are fairly new to North America. Because of this, many people do not know what a dutch shovel actually is despite there being several different names for it.
Dutch shovels are not typically bought in hardware stores or gardening centers, but can often be found at farm supply stores, army surplus stores, hunting/fishing supply stores, and sometimes even military bases. These places usually do not have dutch shovels in stock, though, so they need to be ordered. As a result, they can cost significantly more than the average shovel.
Can you buy a dutch shovel in the USA?
Yes – you can buy one in the USA. How much do dutch shovels cost?
A well-respected brand of dutch shovel doesn’t cost a ton. You need to order them online or at a military/hunting/fishing store, so they will often cost more than the average shovel. A cheaper version made by a different brand costs about $40 USD. These are usually lower quality, though, so I would suggest the one by the more reputable brand. Other dutch shovels can cost anywhere from $20-100+ depending on where you get them and what materials they’re made out of (steel vs. wood).
They are not incredibly common in the USA, but there are still plenty of places you can find one. Check outdoor supply stores next time you go camping/hunting/fishing, check if any army surplus stores near you have them, etc. eBay is another good option that many people use.
Typically, they are made from stamped steel or aluminum but can also be found in titanium. They come in black, green, yellow, camouflage colors – basically any color you can think of. Some have serrated surfaces on one side to help with sawing through tough materials like roots. Others have a spade-shaped head, while others have a curved blade that helps with digging into soil or cutting roots. Some are designed to be dual purpose, allowing them to also work as a shovel. Each design has its pros and cons.
They can often be found for between $15-$30 USD online if you know how to search for them.
Titanium dutch shovels exist but are typically much more expensive because titanium is harder to find and process than steel. Some high-quality examples can cost up to $100 US or more.