The company was founded by Emil Eckardt in 1899 at its present location in Herdecke an der Ruhr as Schaufel- und Spatenfabrik Eckardt Sondermann & Co. GmbH. On April 15, 1899, the cornerstone was laid and on February 10, 1900, production and sales of shovels, spades and plowing grates began with 55 employees.
An important innovation of Idealspaten was the special rolling technique by which the spade blade and the spring into which the spade handle is inserted could be made from one piece of steel for the first time. This made the spades more robust and durable. The conical rolling also results in a thinner blade at the cutting edge and makes the blade self-sharpening. The product first came to market in 1903 under the name "IDEAL-Spaten". As early as 1905, the company exported a third of its production.
After the death of Emil Eckardt in 1928 and the subsequent insolvency in 1929, a group of entrepreneurs led by Dr. Otto Thomashoff took over the company and it was renamed Idealspaten- und Schaufelwalzwerke vorm. Eckardt & Co. GmbH, Herdecke (Ruhr). The main product, the IDEAL-spade conically rolled from one piece, has since been reflected in the company name.
The worldwide increase in demand for construction tools led in the following decades to a very positive development of the company, which lasted until the 1960s - at times, more than 500 people were employed in the plant.
In 1964, Carl-August Thomashoff (son of Otto Thomashoff) joined the company and managed the medium-sized business from 1974. In 1971, the company merged with A. Bredt & Co. KG from Witten and was called "Idealspaten- und Schaufelwalzwerke A. Bredt GmbH & Co. KG" or "Idealspaten-Bredt GmbH & Co. KG". By 1989, the company had produced a total of over 100 million hand tools, of which about 10 million were IDEAL-Spaten.
In 2000, Idealspaten took over Engstfeld GmbH from Kierspe, also a manufacturer of spades and shovels. At the end of the 1990s, the company shares of Otto Thomashoff's three children were transferred to the sole ownership of Carl-August Thomashoff's family. In 1998, Dr. Bodo Reinke, son-in-law of Carl August Thomashoff, joined the fourth generation in the management of the family business. The company Idealspaten is part of a medium-sized group of companies under the umbrella of REITHO Holding GmbH, Herdecke. Eckhard Brosch has been co-managing director since 2007.
In 2012, a newly developed, material- and energy-efficient plant to produce spades for the mid-price segment was put into operation. Many products, such as the IDEAL-Spaten, are still manufactured by hand as they were 100 years ago.
IDEALSPATEN today offers a wide range of garden and construction tools in different quality levels and employs about 70 people. As the only industrial manufacturer of shovels and spades in Germany, the company relies on a mix of manufacture and maximum automation in its production. The current fourth generation of shareholders wishes to maintain this combination, together with the will to stay "Made in Germany" as a medium-sized manufacturer of gardening and construction tools.