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Last updated: February 13, 2021
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Are you dreaming of having a beautiful garden? Did the bushes in your backyard go out of control? A shovel is a necessary tool for various gardening tasks, such as cutting roots and edging. We went on the search for the best garden shovel, and here are the results.
After extensive searching, we’ve come across 45 different products and have agreed that Fiskars LNG Hndl Digging Shovel is the best tool in the category. It is all-steel, and you can count on it to last for a long time. The shovel features excellent leverage for lifting things, and the sharp blade makes it suitable for digging up roots. We also gathered nine other tools to help you find the most fitting one for your garden quickly.
We spent more than 50 hours to become experts on gardening shovels. That includes talking to experienced gardeners, browsing official websites, and reading what users have to say about the products. Our team focused on the crucial features of these products, such as the type and size of the shovelhead. We also considered the handle type for easy maneuvering, as well as weight since it can also affect the ease of use. Finally, we analyzed the length of the shovels since some users might like mini tools, while others prefer large products. We explained all the features in a detailed buying guide. Before you proceed to it, check out our comparison table for a product overview and then take a look at our detailed shovel reviews!
Fiskars wasn’t cheap with this shovel for gardening and only used premium materials. The blade is a 14-gauge, and the shaft features 18-gauge heavy-duty steel. It is durable and built to last, which makes the shovel a long-term investment.
The product has a long handle, which aims to provide necessary leverage when lifting the soil. You can also use it for cutting through roots and digging them up, and it will make even the biggest roots look like a simple job. That is because the blade is extremely sharp.
It weighs six pounds, which doesn’t make it the lightest shovel for gardening out there. Some users might find it heavy to use, especially for a long time. Additionally, it is wise to put gloves on when using the tool. Since the shove is all-steel, it might cause blisters quickly.
If you are looking for an economic and ergonomic garden shovel, this might be the right tool for you. Nupla designed a product with a long handle, which might even be too long for some users. However, if you are looking for that shovel type, you will love using it because it reduces fatigue.
That is also possible because of the ergonomic design of the handle and the shovel’s overall quality. The tool is great if you are frequently around the garden tending to bushes and cleaning roots. The handle is made of fiberglass, and it might feel a bit flimsy. However, it is sturdy enough. The blade is nine inches wide, which should be enough for most activities. The tool is also durable and offers a decent value for the money.
Radius Garden bravely named their tool the Root Slayer. The jury is still out if that is a justified name, especially since the product is not the best choice for extremely hard soils and thick roots. The advantage of this shovel for gardening lies in its reliability.
It is versatile and can cut through small roots and dirt efficiently. The blade has a unique V-shape with sharp sides and teeth on the top. The actual tip of the blade is not sharp, so you might need to reposition yourself for optimal performance. The good news is that the O-shaped handle makes the tool easy to move around. The blade doesn’t have to be large to do the job well. Thanks to the V-shape and O-handle, you can use this shovel in tight spaces. The cleaning and maintenance process is quite simple, and it won’t require a lot of effort.
What we liked:
The handle’s design makes it easy to move around
It is suitable to use in tight spaces
The tool will last for a long time
Cleaning and sharpening the blade is simple
What could be better:
The tip of the blade is not sharp upon delivery
Not the best choice for extremely hard soils and thick roots
It is always nice to see a manufacturer that trusts their tool enough to provide a lifetime warranty. That is the case with Fiskars and their steel garden spades. The handle is D-shaped and extra-large, which secures maximum control. The only thing to consider is wearing gloves because it is sharp, and you might cut yourself.
The blade is sharp, too, which makes it versatile. Whether you want to find your way through a thick turf, or cut a trench, this product will meet the expectations. The only thing to pinpoint is that the blade has a small curve, and it is not completely flat. However, the manufacturer did that for ergonomic reasons.
You can rely on this garden spade shovel to cut through roots. If a bush got out of control and you need to deal with it, this is the tool to do that.
What we liked:
A versatile shovel suitable for many tasks
Strong enough to cut through roots
Extra-large handle secures total control
The manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty
What could be better:
The handle is sharp, and you might cut yourself if not careful
The manufacturer pinpoints that they are the first one to design a multi-patented hybrid garden shovel and spade. The extremely long handle is an important trait of the tool. It can come in handy when you need leverage for big holes.
The overall strength and durability of this spade gardening tool are impressive. It should last for a long time because of the reinforced fiberglass used by the manufacturer. The only downside is that the coating might start chipping after a while.
Although it is long, the shovel is lightweight and simple to use. It is a great choice for topsoil with rocks, as well as clay. The sharper point means you will move less material, which will require coming back a few more times. The product also comes in a short-handle version.
Short-handle tools might not be a smart choice for tall users, but many find them a great choice for gardening. The Root Assassin is one of the best small garden shovels on the market. The handle is 32 inches long, and it features rubber coating for comfort. Thanks to that, you can use the unit for hours without hurting your hands.
The blade is made of structural carbon steel for added durability. The product is resistant to rusting and chipping, and it should last for a long time. Although the tool is durable, avoid using it for lifting big loads or levering.
This ergonomic gardening shovel is a great choice for cutting through roots. Thanks to the unique blade design with the teeth, it will saw the roots when it comes into and comes out of the ground. It doesn’t have a problem with thick roots and weeds, which makes it a convenient and useful tool.
What we liked:
Excellent for cutting through roots
A comfortable handle for long-term use
Resistant to rusting and chipping
Made of carbon steel and is very durable
What could be better:
Not a tool suitable for lifting big loads or levering
The short handle might not be a smart choice for tall users
Bully Tools is a proud American manufacturer, and this mini garden shovel meets the high standards set for their tools. The company used a high-quality polypropylene co-polymer and ensured the handle features a non-slippery design.
The product weighs under three pounds, which is surprisingly light for a small tool. However, it is very sturdy and suitable for demanding tasks. It is a shame that there is no footplate, and you should only think about forcing the blade into the ground with good (and old) shoes.
The blade doesn’t have a big capacity, but it is easy to maneuver. It is made of 14-gauge steel for added durability. The manufacturer trusts their trunk shovel for gardening so much that they offer a limited lifetime warranty. They also pinpoint that they make the entire tool in the United States.
Here is another gardening shovel manufactured by Bully Tools. Unlike the previous version, this one comes with a 59-inch long handle. It provides added leverage and is particularly suitable for tall persons.
The product features a special welded construction to ensure it doesn’t bend along ferrule, which is a common problem with long handles. The manufacturer ensured that the tool is strong and durable. If you expect shovels and garden tools to be sharp, the blade will not impress you. However, you can sharpen it for improved performance.
The tool is stiff and balanced, and it should be reliable when used on rocky soils. The powder coating might start peeling off over time if you deal with hard surfaces frequently. The manufacturer used a combination of red and black to ensure that the shovel looks great, too.
What we liked:
An extremely long handle for added leverage
An attractive design
A balanced and stiff shovel suitable for rocky soils
Special construction to keep it from bending along ferrule
What could be better:
The blade sharpness is not impressive
The powder coating might start peeling off over time
Meet the beast among the best garden shovels features on our list. It is not an exaggeration because the manufacturer did everything to ensure the durability and strength of the tool.
The company used high-quality and thick steel to construct the tool. They treated it with heat and ensured to pre-sharpen the blade. Thanks to that, this shovel for gardening can handle even the toughest surfaces, such as rocky soils and tree branches. You can use the product for both shoveling and prying, which maximizes its versatility.
It comes at a cost because the tool is heavy, and it is difficult to move around. The handle could be more comfortable, but the good news is that you will receive a free footpad. These platforms fit on any side of the blade to minimize shoe damage and fatigue.
What we liked:
Impressive durability and strength
Suitable for rocks, tree branches, and other hard surfaces
Gardens shovels need to have a sharp and strong blade, but it seems that this product only fulfills that partially. The manufacturer used heavy-duty steel to ensure the blade is reliable. It does a great job with lightweight tasks, but it might be prone to breaking on extremely hard surfaces.
The handle is comfortable, and the fiberglass addition ensures there are no splintering issues after using it. The footpad adds to the comfort and helps to finish digging quickly. The handle also has admirable 400-pound power. It is a shame that the tool is only available in one color combination. Not everyone might like the combination of yellow and black, but there is no alternative.
Overall, Truper designed a shovel that offers adequate value for the price. It is suitable for simple gardening tasks, especially since its lightness makes it easy to move around.
What we liked:
Fiberglass handle prevents splintering
Admirable handle strength
It comes with a footpad
The blade is made of heavy-duty steel
What could be better:
The blade is prone to breaking on extremely hard surfaces
Only available in a single color combination
Things to Consider
It is not easy to find your way around the gardening shovel market, especially since there are hundreds of tools available. It always helps to know what you are looking for, and that is what our guide aims to provide. We will start by analyzing the characteristics of these tools and finish by answering the most common questions related to gardening shovels. Once you finish the guide, you will have all the information needed to pick a suitable tool for your requirements!
How to pick the best garden shovel?
A gardening shovel looks like a simple tool, but there are many characteristics that affect its performance. Physical traits like the tool’s weight and blade’s size can influence the comfort of using the shovel. Materials used for the blade and handle are also important. We tried to single out the most important features to help you pick a suitable shovel. Keep reading to find out the characteristics of gardening shovels and get to know these tools better.
Types of shovels
The market offers a wide variety of shovels for gardening. The most common type you will encounter is a round point shovel. The most specific trait about this tool is that it features a strong and durable blade. The tip has a point that enables effortless cutting into the soil. The primary purpose of round point shovels is digging, but they can also perform other activities.
Garden spades have a narrow blade, and it might be suitable for clearing out trenches, or digging holes for shrubs and flowers.
A trenching shovel can be suitable for dealing with plants that have deep roots or digging irrigation trenches. Additionally, you use it for transplants that require narrow holes. When it comes to moving and lifting, a square tip can be a fine choice.
The head of the tool is also called a blade. It is the component that actually does the job required of a gardening shovel. Before we discuss the features of the blade, here is a crucial consideration – it needs to be sharp. The good news is that you can sharpen the blade yourself. However, it is still a nice feeling when you get a sharp tool out of the box.
The blade has different dimensions and shapes. Most manufacturers will pinpoint the width of the blade, as well as its shape. Depending on the product, the blade might be flat, squared, round, or V-shaped, such as in the case of the Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel. A square blade can be suitable for lifting and moving, but the teeth are the crucial part for cutting through roots and hard soil.
The handle is another crucial part of gardening shovels. Some handles are made of steel, and they should be most durable. Many manufacturers use fiberglass handles for added flexibility.
Handles should come with a non-slip grip. That way, you ensure that the tool won’t slip out of your hands while working. The manufacturers achieve this by putting rubber over the handle.
Ultimately, the shape of the handle depends on your preference. As long as the handle and the shovel have an ergonomic design, you should feel comfortable using it.
The overall length of your gardening shovel is important for various reasons. An extremely long handle, such as the one in the Bully Tools 82515 14-Gauge Round Point Shovel, can provide maximum leverage for lifting things. Depending on the needs, a long shovel can be anywhere from 48 to 60 inches long.
A long handle might also be a fine choice if you are a tall person. It is far more convenient than having to bend when working with a short shovel, which can lead to back pain.
Short handles, however, can be a fine choice for persons that are not that tall. The shortest shovel length is around 32 inches. An example of that shovel is the Root Assassin Ra-002 Carbon Steel Shovel.
The weight of the shovel can also affect the convenience of using it. The lightest shovels out there weight around two pounds, while the heaviest go to eight pounds or more. An example is the Corona AS90300 All-Steel Round Point Shovel, which weighs eight pounds.
A heavy shovel gives you more control over the tool and adds to its robustness. Those tools might be more capable of dealing with hard soils. However, they are difficult to maneuver, and if you plan on using them for a long time, a heavy gardening shovel might lead to fatigue and arm strains.
A light shovel can be a suitable choice for people who are looking for an easy-to-use tool with ultimate maneuvering capabilities.
Manufacturers can be generous when it comes to warranties for gardening shovels. If you choose a high-quality tool made of heavy-duty steel, the chances are you might get a lifetime warranty. However, make sure to read all details of the deal. More often than not, these warranties are limited and come at certain conditions.
You don’t want to be unable to use your warranty because you haven’t read the deal carefully.
Another thing to consider is that you stick to reputable manufacturers. Shady companies tend to offer lifetime warranties, but never fulfill their part of the deal. It is why we made sure to select only reliable manufacturers with warranties that you can trust.
What else can be useful
Here is an overview of other additions that could be useful in garden shovels:
A footrest – many shovels, such as Corona AS90300, come with an included footpad. While working with the shovel, you will probably want to use your leg to stick it deeper into the ground. In these situations, a footrest will prevent damage to your shoes.
UV resistance – as the word suggests, this feature ensures that the shovel is resistant to UV rays. That is important if you are working in the sunlight. UV protection will keep the paint and the shovel undamaged from sunrays.
Powder coating – you will find this on steel heads, and its task is to improve the resistance to scratching. Powder coating also improves the appearance of the shovel.
The prices of shovels for gardening vary significantly. Mini garden shovels might be more affordable than large ones, but the crucial consideration is the materials used. While you can get a low-quality gardening shovel for a few dollars, premium tools can cost over $50. In most cases, they will be worth the price and meet your expectations.
For example, the Fiskars LNG Hndl Digging Shovel is an all-steel tool of exceptional quality. Even if it is a bit more expensive than other shovels, the chances are it will last for a lifetime. That makes it a valuable long-term investment. If you don’t have demanding garden tasks to perform, perhaps budget picks like the Nupla RP2L-E Ergo Power Round Point Shovel might suit your needs.
It is crucial to remember your considerations. If you only have a small garden and don’t need to deal with thick roots and hard soils, an affordable shovel can do the trick. But if you want to do complicated gardening tasks, it is recommended to pick a high-quality option.
You can use a shovel for a wide range of gardening tasks. If you need to deal with some roots, you can cut through them with a shovel. You should consider the size and thickness of the roots. Not all shovels can cut through strong roots. Gardening shovels are also suitable for digging through various soils. That includes dirt, topsoil with rocks, etc. The important thing to ensure is that the product can handle the type of soil where you want to dig. Otherwise, you might break the shovel. While we are there, let’s mention that the tools from this list are also suitable for moving bulk materials around.
That largely depends on the shovel you pick and how you use it. Many manufacturers are willing to offer limited or full lifetime warranty. That is because they trust their tools completely. In most cases, these are shovels made from heavy-duty steel and extremely resistant to breaking, scratching, etc. These tools last the longest, and you can use them even for the most complicated gardening tasks. On the other hand, if you pick a low-quality shovel, you can’t expect it to last forever. Misusing the tool can also lead to damages and breakages. That is why you should ensure the shovel is suitable for the task you want to complete.
Storing garden tools properly is important to maximize their lifespan. If your shovel is exposed to sunlight, below-zero temperatures, snow, and other severe weather conditions, those might diminish its longevity. That is why it is critical to store them in a dry area. If you have a storage shed in the yard, it will do. Alternatively, use a mudroom or place the shovel in your garage. The experts advise cleaning the tool before storing it. If you don’t plan on using the shovel for a long time, make sure to clean it thoroughly. Make sure that the blade doesn’t touch the ground to maintain its sharpness. The handle can touch the ground as long as you keep the tool in a dry area.
Our top pick among shovels for gardening is still the Fiskars LNG Hndl Digging Shovel. The product features a long handle for optimal leverage. It is made of heavy-duty steel, which makes it as durable as it can be. You can use the product for everything from cutting through roots to lifting soil.
You can’t go wrong if you choose the Nupla RP2L-E Ergo Power Round Point Shovel, either. The product features a decent value for money and comes with an ergonomic handle. That is important to ensure minimal fatigue when working for a long time.
Finally, you can also choose the Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel. It is a fine choice for removing roots, and the O-shaped handle guarantees optimal maneuverability. It is also the best garden shovel with a V-shaped blade, and you can always count on teeth on the sides to cut through roots.
Ultimately, consider your gardening needs and pick the most suitable tool accordingly!