Multiple cameras, two pairs of reading glasses, one Munsell soil color book, and a plastic trombone: six anthropologists on the things they carry, in “What’s in Your Bag?” at Anthropology News.
The Sweethome takes reviews seriously, and they lay out their background research, testing methods, and justification for their rankings clearly. Just published is their review of round point shovels by Tim Heffernan.
Definitely read the original article for details, but the clear winner is from Bully Tools, a red-handled shovel with a 14-gauge blade weighing in at a svelte 4 pounds, 6 ounces.
You may have relied on a Razor-Back shovel, but they (model 2593600) get dinged for an unfriendly seam on the socket of the blade. Several other brands are also evaluated, all of them at least a step up (in quality and price) from the least expensive shovels so common in hardware stores and Home Depots.
For special occasions (i.e., rock, slag, tree roots) The Corona AS90300 gets the nod. It’s all-steel construction means it weighs almost twice as much as the Bully and costs three times as much. A more budget-friendly option is the heavy duty Razor-Back 45020, which has a solid steel shank that should be effective at levering your way through rocky soil or chunking out hardpan at one-third the price of the Corona.
Mr. Harrington, soon after his academic work at Ann Arbor and Columbia began to explore the out-of-the-way places of America and has been remarkably successful.