Is a Shovel a Second-Class Lever?

Kelly Sikkema/CC-BY-2.0

No, the shovel is a third-class lever. In such systems, the effort is positioned between the fulcrum and the load. Mechanics of using a shovel involve holding one end steady with a hand, making the fulcrum, while the other hand applies force, or effort, to pull up the load.

In second-class lever systems, the load is positioned between the fulcrum and the effort. A wheelbarrow is a second-class lever: the wheel acts as a fulcrum, the load is placed inside the cart and effort is applied on the handles. A nutcracker is another example of a second-class lever. The human forearm is an example of a third-class lever.