A spade is a tool primarily for digging or removing earth and spreading soil. Early spades were made of riven wood. After the art of metalworking was discovered, spades were made with sharper tips of metal. Before the introduction of metal spades manual labor was less efficient at moving earth, with picks being required to break up the soil in addition to a spade for moving the dirt. With a metal tip, a spade can both break and move the earth in most situations, increasing efficiency.

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