Gardening experts and novices alike know that to take care of plants, you need to do a lot of soil work. Whether it's tilling the ground to make it loose enough to plant in or digging a hole to transplant a new shrub, you need a garden tool that will allow you to really work the ground. A garden spade, which is primarily used for digging and cutting through the soil, will help you do just that. It's an essential gardening tool every plant lover should have.
That's why we did some research and came up with a top 10 list of the best garden spades out there. Topping it is Oakthrift's multi-digger garden spade, a hybrid gardening tool that can be used to dig, cut, and scoop. Check out the rest of our top picks, and make sure you give our buyer's guide a read while you're at it - it has key information that will help you find the best spade for your garden.
Whether you're looking for a simple garden spade or one that's more versatile, this list is bound to contain the perfect match for your garden. All of our products were selected based on careful research and customer reviews.
|Blade material||Not specified|
|Handle type||Dual grip|
|Dimensions||40 x 6.25 in.|
|Dimensions||46 in. long|
|Dimensions||46 in. long|
|Blade material||Stainless steel|
|Handle type||Reverse teardrop|
|Dimensions||28 in. handle|
|Blade material||Mid-carbon steel|
|Dimensions||29 x 7.75 in.|
|Dimensions||46 in. long|
|Blade material||Stainless steel|
|Shaft material||Carbon steel|
|Dimensions||41.5 x 7.75 in.|
|Blade material||Carbon steel|
|Dimensions||15 in. blade|
|Blade material||Carbon manganese steel|
|Shaft material||Steel-reinforced fiberglass|
|Dimensions||40 x 9 in.|
Spear & Jackson
Spear & Jackson
Spear Head Spade
Multi-Digger Garden Spade
Steel D-Handle Transplanting Spade
Stainless Border Spade
Root Slayer Drain Spade
46-Inch Steel D-Handle Square Garden Spade
Stainless Steel Transplanter
Carbon Steel Digging Spade
True Temper Razorback Industrial All-Steel Spade
Hybrid Shovel Spade
Never Mind Rocks and Roots With This Hybrid Spade
Get a Good Grip With This T-Handle Spade
A Heavy-Duty Steel Spade With an Extra-Large Handle
A Border Spade That's Easy to Work With
A Small Spade That Attacks Roots
A Square Garden Spade Perfect for Digging and Edging
A Sharp and Durable Transplant Spade
Dig Through Heavy Soil With This Weather-Proof Spade
A Steel Spade With Multiple Gardening Functions
A Weather-Resistant Hybrid Gardening Tool
|Blade material||Not specified||Steel||Steel||Stainless steel||Mid-carbon steel||Steel||Stainless steel||Carbon steel||Steel||Carbon manganese steel|
|Shaft material||Fiberglass||Plastic||Steel||Polypropylene||Fiberglass||Steel||Carbon steel||Hardwood||Steel||Steel-reinforced fiberglass|
|Handle type||Dual grip||T-Handle||D-handle||Reverse teardrop||Round||D-Handle||Round||D-Handle||D-Handle||D-Handle|
|Dimensions||40 x 6.25 in.||46 in. long||46 in. long||28 in. handle||29 x 7.75 in.||46 in. long||41.5 x 7.75 in.||Not specified||15 in. blade||40 x 9 in.|
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect garden spade.
There are so many different garden tools, and a few of them look similar! Three that are often mixed up are spades, shovels, and garden trowels.
Though many people think that "shovel" is basically a synonym for "spade," these two gardening tools are actually quite distinct.
A shovel blade has a gradual bowl-like curve with a round or pointy tip. It’s used primarily for scooping material that’s already loose. Its shaft is longer than a spade since deep scooping requires more leverage, and it's often straight to allow you to grip it easily.
The blade of a spade, on the other hand, is much flatter with a straight edge. Unlike a shovel, which is designed primarily for scooping, a spade’s uses are a bit more specialized depending on the type you get. In general, however, spades are used for cutting and sometimes digging.
Its shaft is shorter than a shovel’s, and its handle usually comes in a D or a T shape. These particular features allow you to use a spade more easily in a range of differently-sized spaces and positions.
Another item that some people confuse with a spade is a garden trowel. However, you can easily tell them apart by their size.
Though a garden trowel might look similar to a spade, it’s much smaller and has a width that usually measures from one to five inches across. It’s a hand tool used for small areas and delicate tasks, like planting bulbs or working with bonsai.
Spades are classified according to their specific uses, and each one has unique features. A digging spade, also called a garden spade, has a semi-flat blade that's nine to eleven inches in length and six to eight inches in width.
It’s used for moving soil, turning the ground, and slicing through the earth and roots. Its shape makes it an ideal tool for edging lawns and working with weeds.
A border spade has the same shape as a digging spade, but it's slightly smaller and flatter. It's a better fit for working in smaller spaces or on tasks that need more precision like flower beds or planting smaller shrubs.
The blade of a pointed spade looks a bit like a soft arrow; its edges are curved while its tip is pointed. It is used for slicing through soil filled with stones and roots.
A transplanting spade has a long blade with a narrow width that's designed to penetrate deep within the soil around a plant’s roots. It's ideal when you need to uproot a plant from one place and transfer it to another.
Hybrid spades have combined functions. For example, some spades have a pointed edge and saw-like teeth on both sides, allowing you to pierce soil while simultaneously sawing roots apart.
Since a garden spade is used for a lot of heavy digging, cutting, and piercing, you need one that’s long-lasting and durable.
Many blades are made of either steel or aluminum. Aluminum blades are cheaper than steel, lighter, and naturally rust-resistant. However, because aluminum isn’t as strong as steel, it’s more prone to getting bent and dented.
Although steel is heavier than aluminum, it’s much stronger and more durable. However, steel is prone to rust. If you get a spade with a steel blade, make sure it’s painted over or galvanized in order to form a protective barrier. Some spades are coated with a powder finish that defends against rust, too.
Also, make sure that shaft material is strong enough to provide the leverage you need without breaking.
A wooden shaft is lightweight and is easy to repair if the damage to it is minor. However, it isn’t weatherproof and is prone to deteriorating, especially when exposed to water. Wood is also more susceptible to cracking and splitting, which could give you splinters.
Though fiberglass weighs more than wood, it’s way more durable and weather-resistant. Because of this, it doesn’t require maintenance the way wood does. Polypropylene is comfortable and water-resistant but tends to degrade when exposed to UV light. Also, steel shafts are durable but might make your spade feel a bit heavy.
Pick a garden spade with an ergonomic handle that gives you traction. Not only will this allow you to work efficiently, but it will also help prevent blisters and your hands from getting tired or strained. Spades without a handle may come with a grip made of a textured material that’s easier to hold, such as rubber.
Other spades have handles shaped like a T or D. A T-handle allows you to grip it on each side, making it easier to press down on hard soil. It’s versatile as it is compatible with a range of hand sizes, from small to large.
A D-handle allows you to grip the sides or the top. Some are attached to the shaft by either glue, pins, or bolts, but others have a shaft and handle made as one piece. The latter tends to be sturdier as its shaft and handle have no reason to come apart. Other handles are shaped like a Y, teardrop, or even a circle.
Garden spades generally come with shafts that range anywhere between 44 and 48 inches. However, smaller ones can have shafts that measure from 18 to 24 inches.
Consider the dimensions of the space you will be working in as well as how much work you will be doing. Shorter shafts are a good match for small garden spaces but can strain your back. Garden spades with longer shafts, on the other hand, are easier to work with because they give you more leverage.
Since spades come in a range of different sizes, choose one based on how much garden space you have. If you have a large lawn or backyard, a large garden spade will allow you to work more efficiently. You will get more done in a shorter amount of time, thanks to a blade with a wider surface area.
On the other hand, if you don’t have that much gardening space, a spade on the smaller side, such as a border spade, will allow you to work with more precision.
If you're in the mood to spruce up your garden, check out the articles below!
Gardening is a great way to relax and enjoy nature. Whether you're a beginner or an expert at this activity, a spade is an essential gardening tool. However, there are a few things to look for first.
After singling out how you need your spade to function, you want to look for one that's made of durable materials. You also want to keep an eye out for any features that make it user-friendly. Lastly, don't forget to consider the size and dimensions of your garden. Once you've covered these bases, you're all set!
Author: Beatrice Joy
Now that you've got the supplies to prep your garden space, are your seeds ready to plant? If not, try starting them out in this propagator set recommended by home and garden influencer Lindy!
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