When planning a groundbreaking ceremony there are dozens of options available for designing your shovels. Ceremonial shovels have a variety of spade styles, handle types, colors, finishes, accessories, and of course personalization options. Here we will look at the differences between each so that you can choose shovel options that fit your budget, theme, and goals for your event.


The specialty spade is the centerpiece of the shovel. By flattening the surface of the spade, we are able to present the largest spade engraving area of any of our shovels. This personalization area is ideal for engraving a rendering of your building project (hand traced in-house by our team of graphic designers) or simply incorporating all the business logos of the project’s development partners. This is a luxury ceremonial shovel meant to keep after the event and shouldn’t be used for digging into hard earth. Dirt should be loosened ahead of the event to avoid causing damage to the spade.


This shovel reflects the classic design of the original groundbreaking shovel. The spade has a deeper bowl shape ideal for lifting and throwing dirt. While the engraving area on the spade is not quite as large as its specialty counterpart, if your goal is to set another element as the focus of your shovel (such as engraving on the handle or shaft), this is an elegant and more affordable option for your event.

The traditional spade style is also the best design for digging into hard earth. While we do recommend prepping and loosening the ground ahead of time, especially for the plated shovel options, if you’re looking for shovels that can really dig, this is the best style for the job.


By far our most popular style, the D-Handle shovel features a handle grip that makes lifting dirt and posing for photos comfortable and convenient for your groundbreaking participants. Being shorter than the long handle, these shovels are easy to transport and store. They are also excellent commemorative gifts for your guests to keep after the event as these shovels can be mounted easily to wall plaques or presentation display cases.

We offer a range of D-Handles for every budget. The handles paired with the gold/chrome plated and gold/silver finish shovel spades are made with a high polished lacquered wood that can hold high levels of engraving detail. These are ideal for executives and other VIPs. The stainless steel and painted D-Handle shovels are excellent options for events with smaller budgets and are best personalized with attached gold and silver plates. 


The long handle shovel tends to be the preferred choice for groundbreakings with limited space. The design of this shovel allows for a longer reach, allowing for tighter group photos. The presentation of photos is also shifted in that participants are less likely to be bending over or looking down with their shovel. Groundbreakings with the long handle tend to have stronger executive group photos while the D-Handle tends to produce photos with more action-styled shots.


We're a custom business - if you want to make a custom shovel that will wow your guests, you've come to the right place. We've created custom shovels for stadium and arena groundbreakings featuring hockey sticks and baseball bats for handles. These shovels are memorable and are certain to be a prominent talking point amongst your guests. Custom handles can be paired with any of our gold/chrome plated or gold/silver finish shovel spades.

We also offer the traditional Paddle Handle Shovel that is made with an elegant cherry finish ideal for executive display.

Contact our team of Personalization Experts to discuss any ideas you have for your event.


A gold shovel marks the prestige and importance of a groundbreaking ceremony. Traditionally reserved for VIPs, the gold shovel signifies distinction and serves as the focal point for photos and display.


This is our luxury option for gold shovels and they are sure to impress. They feature a mirror-finish gold plated spade that shines. Made with a polished lacquered wood handle that can be painted to a custom color, this shovel is free of any labels or manufacturer markings. This is the only gold shovel that allows engraving on the spade and is available in both the Specialty and Traditional spade styles. Choose either the D-Handle or Long Handle for your handle type. If you're looking for top line executive shovels for your event, this is the best option available.


Our Gold Finish Shovel features a coated high-gloss painted finish and is made with the same luxury handle as its gold plated counterpart. This is an ideal option for customers looking for a luxury shovel with a lower price point.


The final gold shovel option is our Gold Painted Groundbreaking Shovel. These are durable tempered steel shovels finished with a gold metallic paint. The D-Handle option has a black plastic handle grip and is also available as a long handle. This shovel is best-suited for groundbreakings working within smaller budget constrictions.


Chrome or silver is by far the favorite ceremonial shovel for groundbreaking ceremonies hosted by the construction firm. They are sleek and modern and signify clean professionalism.


This is our luxury option for silver shovels. The finishings are a chrome plated mirror finish that shines beautifully. The handles are made with a polished lacquered wood that can be custom painted to a company brand color or left natural to showcase the rich grain pattern of the wood. These shovels are free of any labels or manufacturer markings and come available in either the Specialty or Traditional Spade styles. Either option can be engraved, and these shovels come paired with your choice of the D-Handle or Long Handle.


Our Silver Finish Shovel uses the same quality handle as the Chrome Plated version but features a high-gloss painted finish for the spade. This is an ideal option for customers looking for a high-quality shovel with a moderate price point.


Participants can confidently use the Stainless Steel Shovel to break ground without concerns for structural integrity. While the plated shovels are a luxury option for ceremonial presentation, they require the soil to be prepped ahead of the event. The stainless steel option is meant for true digging. The act of physically breaking ground can be more impactful and memorable than simply turning over loosened soil and we recommend this shovel to anyone seeking this moment for their event.


The final silver shovel option is our Silver Painted Groundbreaking Shovel. These are durable tempered steel spades finished with a silver metallic paint. The D-Handle has a black plastic handle grip and also comes available as a long handle. This shovel is a great option for groundbreakings seeking to maintain a smaller budget.


Integrating color by painting the handle of the shovel ensures a cohesive visual identity throughout the ceremony. This option is available for the Gold and Chrome Plated Shovels or the Gold and Silver Finish Shovels in both the D-Handles and Long Handles.

With a custom painted handle, the shovel becomes a striking focal point in photographs and videos, creating shareable and impactful visuals that extend the reach of the event's branding.

We offer 23 different stock colors to choose from or we can custom order paint to match your brand's Pantone colors.


These are durable steel shovel spades custom painted to offer versatility in terms of color choice and design possibilities. Choose colors that resonate with the branding strategy of your organization. This is the practical choice for organizations looking to make a visual impact while staying within their budget constraints. The ability to achieve a branded look without the added cost of premium materials can be a significant advantage.

These painted spades can be paired with a wood handle with a black plastic D-handle grip or a wood Long Handle. Choose from 23 stock color options for the spade or contact us to request a custom PMS color specific to your brand.