Best Garden Spade for Your Garden – 2021 Guide

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Best Garden Spade

Regardless of the size of garden that you are working with, chances are you are going to need some type of garden spade! Whether you have acres of lawned garden and bedding areas, or a smaller patio with pots and plants, a spade is going to come in handy! Not only can they be used for digging, working the soil and planting, they can also be used for general tidying and maintenance in your garden, helping when clearing up and moving garden debris to your compost heap or bin! 

There are SO many different types of garden spade that it can be a little overwhelming knowing exactly what it is that you should be looking for. Handle size, shovel size and weight are all additional factors that you need to consider too! So let us help dig you out of this hole with information on some of the best garden spades around! 

Best Pick – Roamwild Multi-Digger Garden Spade

Roamwild Multi-Digger Garden Spade – Reinforced Fibreglass Light Weight Gardening Arrow Head Shovel with Unique Dual Soft AIR Light Grip Technology & Root Saw Stump Cutter.
516 Reviews
Roamwild Multi-Digger Garden Spade – Reinforced Fibreglass Light Weight Gardening Arrow Head Shovel with Unique Dual Soft AIR Light Grip Technology & Root Saw Stump Cutter.
  • [AIR LIGHT POWERFUL NEXT LEVEL HYBRID DIGGING INNOVATION] - Everything you need in one lightweight strong reinforced fiberglass spade shovel design – A digging spade, root cutter and unique ergonomic AIR light handle design. The design allows the user to translate power directly into the ground where it matters, significantly reducing digging efforts. ONLY WEIGHS 2KG - 4.25LBS
  • [DUAL GRIP HANDLE TECHNOLOGY] – Easy Dig / Easy Shovel - Gives ultimate power and control with easy use. Incorporating 2 sets of grips in the handle, the exceptionally innovative AIR light design and lightweight Fiberglass shaft allows for powerful digging and maximum close up cute control. Extra-large grip for easy comfortable use.
  • [UNIQUE ARROW SPADE HEAD DESIGN WITH ROOT CUTTING EDGE] – arrow head shaped head with large surface area foot plates and root cutting edge allows you to dig through sod and roots like they're not there Great for rocky, compacted soils and clay. Excellent for transplanting and dividing highly rooted perennials.
  • [ERGONOMIC LARGE GRIP ARRANGEMENT] - Gives more control and flexibility to different types and styles of digging / shovelling work. Powerful lightweight Fibreglass shaft combined with AIR light ergonomic handle design and durable coated blade offers the ultimate strong but ultra-lightweight comfortable digging experience.
  • [ROAMWILD WARRANTY INCLUDED] - Made from UV stable long lasting materials. Quite simply if you are not 100% satisfied then we will give you your money back in full. Roamwild, a brand you can reply on.

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

We know how invaluable a garden spade is, so if you have found yourself without one then it is no wonder you are in a hurry to get buying! That is why we have filled this part of the article with some of the best on the market at the moment and the key features that you need to consider before you buy! 

Types of Garden Spade

By far the first thing that you need to think about is the type of garden spade that is going to be best for you…because there are many! Here are some of the main ones so that you can make that decision! 

  • Digging spade – A digging spade is going to be one of the most common types of spade that you will find used in a garden. It has a flat blade which not only makes it perfect for digging and moving soil but also it won’t be TOTALLY useless if you are wanting to use it when you are generally tidying up your garden. These spades tend to be slightly bigger which allows you to get more work done quickly however this does make them a little more awkward to use for smaller jobs! 
  • Border spade – This is when the border spade is going to come in handy. Very similar to the digging spade in style and shape but basically a smaller and lighter version. This is why they tend to be used when working in the borders of your garden and bedding areas as you can get into those tighter spots so that the whole area will be neat and used effectively! 
  • Pointed spade – A pointed spade is as the name suggests….this curved blade leads to a more pointed end which makes it much better suited to harder ground when you are struggling to break through to the soil. Much less practical for general garden work due to the shape, but if you know that your soil can be rather stony or solid then a pointed spade is definitely the way to go! 
  • Transplanting spade – Transplanting spades tend to be the “bad boys” of the spade world. With a large blade that has a sharp and jagged edge, these are for those of you that are completing some serious transformation works in your garden and need the tools to help you get the job done! 

Best Garden Spade Size and Weight

Once you have decided on the type of garden spade that is going to be best for you – you need to start thinking about the size and weight that you need. This varies considerably between different spades depending on both the design and the materials that have been used. Normally with tools we say the lighter the better – but this isn’t always the case with garden spades! We found that they usually range from around 700g to around 1800g.

A heavier blade is often going to be better as this puts more weight into actually cutting through the soil so will actually be more effective in helping you to get the job done quickly. However, it is also important to not opt for a spade that is going to be TOO heavy for you. This will make it almost impossible for you to lift and exert the force that you need to get the job done. Not only that but it can lead to back and wrist problems from the strain of lifting. 

When considering the size of the garden spade that you go for, you always need to make sure that the spade is coming to waist height overall. This will help to improve your posture when you are digging, and further reduce the chance of any back pain or fatigue when you are working! Bear in mind that if you are regularly working in smaller areas then you may want to consider a slightly smaller handle that will allow easier access to the areas. The heights that we found tended to range from around 80cm in length up to around 120cm. 

Best Garden Spade Build Materials

Your garden spade is going to be put under a lot of pressure when you are using it. Not only is it going to have to deal with the force of your weight and the harshness of the soil or ground that you are working with, but it also has to deal with the weather and other corrosive elements that it comes up against! This means that the build material you opt for is going to be essential! 

The first part of the garden spade that you need to look at is the blade. These will usually be made from either stainless steel or carbon steel. Both of these materials are going to be durable and strong, plus will be relatively weather resistant so you don’t need to panic too much if you leave them outside by mistake! Stainless steel is going to be better suited for cutting easily through the soil, which means that you can work with harder, more compact types of soil such as clay! We also like that the smooth surface will make them easier to clean! Carbon steel is going to be much lighter so is better suited for anyone that struggles with fatigue or needs a lighter tool. However, they are less durable and more prone to rust over time if not well maintained. 

The handle of your garden spade is where you are going to find much more variety! These will be made from either wood, plastic, metal or fibreglass. 

  • Wood – Wood is going to be strong and help to absorb some of the shock from the shovel hitting the ground. However, it is a very material which won’t suit everyone and you will find that it can splinter and rot if left exposed to the weather. 
  • Plastic – This is by far going to be the cheapest option and one of the lightest too. However, they are not going to be nearly as strong so they are prone to cracking and snapping if put under a lot of pressure.
  • Metal – Metal handles are going to be one of the most durable and long lasting options so if you are wanting good value for money then this is the way to go. However, they aren’t perfect…you will need to accept that they don’t absorb the vibrations from the impact nearly as well as the other materials and they can be uncomfortable to work with in particularly hot or cold conditions! 
  • Fibreglass – Last but not least, you have fibreglass. This is going to be as light as plastic and absorb vibrations like plastic too. But they will be more durable (although also a little more expensive). They are still more prone to breakage than metals though! 

TOP TIP: If you decide to opt for a wooden handle then we would definitely recommend looking out for an FSC wood. Not only does this mean that they will be made from environmentally friendly sourced wood, but they also tend to be stronger due to the amount of time the wood has had to mature! 

Best Budget – Draper Square Mouth Shovel

Sale
Draper 88633 Solid Forged Square Mouth Shovel
837 Reviews
Draper 88633 Solid Forged Square Mouth Shovel
  • Length: 990mm
  • Suitable for trades and the enthusiast
  • Manufactured with quality in mind and comes with Draper guarantee
  • Length: 990mm
  • Suitable for trades and the enthusiast

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Best Garden Spade Features

Now that you know the main features you need to decide on when you are buying, here are some of the features that we found in only the best garden spades! If you are wanting the best value for money and a spade that is going to last then this is what you need to be looking for! 

  • Solid forged – Solid forged garden spades are where the blade and the handle are made out of one solid piece of material. This use of a continuous piece of metal makes it much more unlikely that the spade will snap or break. Whereas if the blade and the handle are made separately and welded together then this will always be the weaker point!
  • Handle design – There are two main designs of handles that you will find – the T shape or the Y/D shape! The T-grip is going to be best suited to people with larger hands as you will be able to adjust your position to suit yourself! We also like the ways that you can exert as much force as you need on the spade. The Y or D shaped handle (depending on the model) is a much more stable grip as your hands won’t be able to slip the same. However they can be difficult for people with larger hands to use! 
  • Comfort grip – The grip on your spade is important as you are going to need enough friction and stability to be able to exert full force on the spade (even if you are working in the rain or have sweaty palms!). However, you don’t want a grip that is going to be uncomfortable as this can cause blisters, calluses and general fatigue when you are working! Look out for silicone, rubber and foam grips that will reduce fatigue and increase grip! 
  • Socket – If you choose to go for a garden spade that is in two parts (the head and the handle) then you definitely need to consider the quality and style of the socket that connects the two. The longer the socket and the more connections the more durable it is obviously going to be! Look out for strong rivets that secure the two parts together but make sure that these are flush against the main handle so that they don’t get in the way! 
  • Foot treads – Sometimes using your arm strength isn’t quite enough to get the blade of the spade into the ground and you need something a little more. Some of the best spades come with food treads that allow you to add extra force to your digging! 

Best of the Rest

JCB - Professional Solid Forged Treaded Carbon Steel Digging Garden Spade - Professional Long Handle Site and Gardening Tools - For Home Improvements, Planting, Fencing, Borders, Metal Detecting
122 Reviews
JCB - Professional Solid Forged Treaded Carbon Steel Digging Garden Spade - Professional Long Handle Site and Gardening Tools - For Home Improvements, Planting, Fencing, Borders, Metal Detecting
  • GARDEN DIGGING SPADE: JCB shovels are forged thicker at the base of the socket allowing greater levering forces. This professional tool has a solid forged steel head, corrosion-resistant powder coat and integrated foot treads to aid grip when applying downward pressure
  • ERGONOMIC SHOVEL: Ergonomically designed with a tubular steel, Ergo YD handle and grip, these long handled garden tools are built to withstand a significant load. A lightweight garden spade, the Solid Forged Treaded Garden Spade is the missing garden shovel from your gardening set
  • GENTS' DIGGING SPADE: The JCB 'Hotstamp to Socket', carbon steel blade with a 100mm lift, has a lightweight blade forged with hardened and tempered carbon steel for durability and longevity. These shovels are durable essentials for your garden tools set
  • VERSATILE BUILDERS SHOVEL: Suitable for home improvement- including mixing, planting, moving soil, sand and cement. These industrial gardening accessories can be used as a snow shovel, alongside other industrial and bricklaying tools when working on site
  • JCB GARDENING RANGE: JCB has designed tools for the experienced Builder, Gardener and Horticulturist. The treaded digging and border spade is accompanied by a quality grubbing mattock, garden fork and fence post auger within the JCB range

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sale
Draper 14305 Carbon Steel Border Spade with Ash Handle
135 Reviews
Draper 14305 Carbon Steel Border Spade with Ash Handle
  • Epoxy coated carbon steel
  • Fully hardened and tempered
  • Ash handle with clear lacquered finish
  • Y-dee handle
  • Epoxy coated carbon steel

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sale
Spear & Jackson Traditional Stainless Steel Border Spade with 712mm Wooden Handle
988 Reviews
Spear & Jackson Traditional Stainless Steel Border Spade with 712mm Wooden Handle
  • Traditional border spade
  • Mirror polished stainless steel head
  • Rust resistant with minimal soil adhesion
  • Weather proofed hardwood shaft for durability
  • One-piece hardwood shaft, split to form a wishbone handle

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do garden spades come with a guarantee?

You will find that most good quality garden spades are going to come with some type of warranty. This is usually going to be between 1 and 5 years depending on the build material and the quality, however we actually found some models that come with a lifetime guarantee! 

How should I maintain my garden spade? 

If you want your garden spade to last then you are going to need to maintain it to avoid rust, wear and damage. The best way to look after your garden spade is to make sure that you clean it after use so that it isn’t left with dirt and debris causing rust between uses! The next thing is to make sure that you don’t leave your garden spade outside to face the elements when you aren’t using it! Finally, prevention is better than cure when it comes to rust and rot so treating your garden spade once a year or so to avoid this is definitely the way to go! 

Can I purchase a new handle for my garden spade? 

This really depends on whether your spade is part of a solid mould or in two parts. Spades that come in two parts and have a socket that join them together will often allow you to purchase a new handle or blade when one or the other becomes worn, which will save you money. However, this does tend to leave a weaker joint which can lead to a spade with a shorter life span!

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