Spades, not to be confused with shovels and trowels, are garden tools that are usually made with a flat-like end blade. They are best used for cultivating soil as well as making planting holes. If you are new to gardening, you may want to choose the best garden spade that will work for your arrangements.
Not every soil is equal so it is important to look for a garden spade that can be easy to use against tough and brittle soil, especially clay soil. Moreover, user fatigue is also a common enemy so it pays to have an ergonomic tool.
Best Garden Spade Reviews
We chose the following for our picks for the best garden spade:
1. Spear & Jackson Neverbend Professional Heavy Duty Spade
Made with a combination of carbon steel, this implies that the spade is weatherproof so you can use it for heavy-duty purposes, such as for construction and the like. In addition to that, the hardwood shaft is also rain-resistant and can be used for any type of weather, whether it’s snow or the heat.
The blade is even partly polished so that you can precisely shovel anything that you want in your garden or lawn.
This spade was even the winner of the British growing award so it can be a highly-recommended spade if you ask most of your gardener friends. What’s more, we also like the fact that the handle is easy to hold and was finished with a decent coating to keep it weatherproof.
Unlike garden hoe for weeding, you can use this spade for any tough soil, such as clay-based ones, especially if your old and regular spades do not work for it. This can make the spade ideal for those who have a gardening or landscaping business or simply don’t have a good texture for their soil.
- Best for heavy-duty work
- Carbon steel construction
- Easy to handle
- Weatherproof construction
- Durable hardwood shaft
If you want a quality garden spade that is for heavy-duty work, you might like the Spear & Jackson Neverbend Professional Heavy Duty Spade.
2. Spear & Jackson 4454BS English Style Border Spade
If you want to perform edging on your lawn or garden, why not try this one? It is a garden spade that is used for making borders due to the straight design. It has a mirror-polished finish for the stainless steelhead, and that stainless steel material can also make it last for a very long time.
What’s more, the Traditional English style design can be familiar to old folks such as your grandma or grandpa.
It is rust-resistant and has minimal soil adhesion so you can clean it up very easily as compared to other spades out there. Additionally, its double-riveted socket can help you to handle the spade without feeling too fatigued at the end of the day. The shaft is made with hardwood so you’ll find it not too heavy yet durable at the same time.
Hanging the spade when not in use is also simple: just use the split hole formed by the wishbone-designed handle. It is even backed by a 10-year guarantee from the manufacturer – a known traditional English craftsmanship company from Sheffield, England.
- Hardwood shaft
- Stainless steel spade head
- Minimal soil adhesion
- Wishbone-shaped handle
- 10-year guarantee
For an edging spade, you can try the Spear & Jackson 4454BS English Style Border Spade as it looks to be a durable one.
3. Spear & Jackson 2194NS Select Carbon Steel Border Spade
Yet another border or edging spade, this one is made with a carbon steel head so it can be a tough and durable spade to keep in your garden shed. Moreover, its head is epoxy-coated so you will find it easier to keep clean while keeping away rust and scratches. This may work well if your home is in a very humid place.
In addition to that, if you have high alkaline in your soil, it can also resist damage due to the epoxy coating. The heat treating of the carbon steel adds to its overall strength as well.
For people who are having trouble gripping spades and shovels (and similar garden tools), you can feel at ease with the soft grip forward tilt feature.
- Carbon steelhead
- The handle is easy to grip
- Epoxy coating for protection
- Ideal for high alkaline soil
- Can work in humid places
If you prefer something that is made with carbon steel, you can check out the Spear & Jackson 2194NS Select Carbon Steel Border Spade.
4. Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Border Spade
Made with a stainless steel head, this can work well for those who are looking for a rust-resistant spade for their garden or yard work.
It is made with a polypropylene shaft so it won’t be as heavy as hardwood, which can be great for seniors and those who don’t prefer heavy spades. It even has an ergonomic forward tilting action for the handle so you can feel at ease when pushing the spade.
Moreover, we like the fact that its soil adhesion is very minimal, so getting all the dirt out can be a breeze after usage. You can use it for digging post holes and even for heavy clay. It even has a top flange on the blade, which is a preventive measure to keep your shoes intact after and while digging.
- Stainless steelhead
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Ergonomic forward tilting handle
- Minimal soil adhesion
- Has a top flange on the blade
If you want to use a stainless steel garden spade, the Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Border Spade could be for you.
5. Faithfull All Steel Digging Treaded Spade
This spade, being a treaded one, is made with a red finish so it can match most garden or yard motifs, as well as tools. It is made with carbon-manganese steel so it can be used for heavy-duty yard work and gardening. It can be ideal for digging as well as transplanting your seedlings.
Moreover, a YD hilt that is made with metal material is used to fit into the metal shaft for the handle construction.
The dowel on the handle is made with a wooden cross to help make it easier for any gardener or yard worker to dig and use the spade. With a measurement of 11 x 7 inches for the blade, it appears to have a solid construction that fits large yard work. It is even backed by a 5-year guarantee from the manufacturer.
- Treaded spade design
- Wooden cross handle
- Best for transplanting
- Can be used for heavy-duty yard work
- 5-year guarantee
As a treaded garden spade, the Faithfull All Steel Digging Treaded Spade may be useful for those who are looking for such a spade type.
6. Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade
If you want to do some transplanting, you may want to try this one out, since it has a specifically-designed spade head. This kind of head is narrow and best for digging bulbs, deep holes, and the like – great for general planting tasks.
What’s more, the d-handle design is made with enough dexterity so you can use it even when wearing gardening gloves – perfect for not letting soil ruin your nicely-done nails.
In addition to that, the shaft is even made with 18-gauge steel so that it will not easily bend. The blade is made with 14-gauge steel and has been welded in place to keep it safe and secure to the handle. The shaft profile is teardrop-shaped to make it easy for you to dig holes in your garden.
Since it has a large foot platform, breaking down soil can be a breeze. This would be helpful for those with clay soil or similar difficult ones to dig through. It is backed by a lifetime warranty.
- 18-gauge steel handle
- 14-gauge steel blade head
- Can be used even when wearing gloves
- Ideal for transplanting
- Large foot platform for breaking down soil
For transplanting, the Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade looks to be a decent tool for your needs.
7. Roamwild Multi-Digger Garden Spade
With a unique design, this garden spade may look like a shovel but it’s a spade due to the minimal curve. It is a hybrid tool that can be used for digging and it even has jagged edges for other types of garden work. It is only at 4.5 lbs. so it is not that heavy compared to similar tools.
The jagged edge can be used for cutting tough roots and sod so it can be a multi-purpose gardening tool. Since it is made with a fiberglass shaft, it can be gentle and not much of a fatigue-causing spade.
What’s more, it has a dual grip design so you can work on your grip from two different bars depending on where you feel like it. The handle even has a red grip (actually, two of them) so you can dig using the spade with fewer problems.
- Jagged edge design
- Only 4.5 lbs. in weight
- Two grips are available
- Two handlebars
- Fiberglass shaft
If you want something that is made from fiberglass, the Roamwild Multi-Digger Garden Spade can be for your garden and yard needs.
8. Nupla SS14L-E Ergo Power Sharp Shooters Drain Spade
This drain spade has a narrow design so it can be specifically used for planting, transplanting, and digging holes. It has a 14-inch blade and a 48-inch handle so it can have a far reach, especially for tall people. The 16-gauge steel makes it durable while the ergo-grip handle can make it secure when handling.
The polypropylene sleeve backs up the fiberglass and polystyrene handle so that it will be resistant to rain and other types of weather. Besides, it also adds gripping comfort due to the oversized end of the handle – perfect for extended use to prevent user fatigue. It can even be used for small rocks due to its durability.
- 48 inches in length
- Narrow design
- Oversized handle end
- 16-gauge steel
- 14-inch blade
The Nupla SS14L-E Ergo Power Sharp Shooters Drain Spade could be for you if you are looking for a narrow spade to work with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we get down to buying garden spades, you may want to ask a few questions about them, though:
Question: What are the different types of garden spades out there?
Answer: You can choose from a plethora of types of garden spades depending on how you will need it:
- Regular spade. This one is like the shovel since it has a rather long handle for you to dig with while standing. It usually has an edge that is almost flat and less curvy than that of a shovel. Regular spades are best used for digging and other similar yard work that requires handling soil. In most cases, they can also be used for edging a lawn or yard.
- Handheld spade. This compact garden spade can be used by people who maintain small yards or gardens that do not require a big spade. They also take less space when you keep them in your toolbox and you can use them for light digging tasks.
- Narrow spade. The narrow spade is used for very tight spaces as well as for digging holes. You can use them to plant your nursery seedlings or to transplant them. They can also be useful for draining.
- Hybrid spade. The hybrid spade looks a bit similar to the shovel but it is still a spade in a sense since it can be used for digging soil and cultivating. Moreover, it usually has jagged edges to help you in cutting roots so you can transplant anything with ease.
Question: How do I choose the best garden spade?
Answer: The following criteria can help you to choose the ideal garden spade:
- How big is your garden or yard? Small gardens and yards can benefit from small and handheld spades while big ones can be easily maintained with a heavy-duty one with a bigger blade.
- What is your soil type? The soil type can make a difference when you are choosing a garden spade. For instance, soil types that are made with a bit of clay can be tougher to handle with simple spades that aren’t for heavy-duty use.
- Who will use the garden spade? Think about who will use it: is it your grandma and grandpa or only some adults? It should be user-friendly to avoid fatigue, especially if the person is not that strong in pushing a spade.
- Is the garden spade ergonomic? It should be easy to hold and should have non-slip handles and covers to keep you away from accidents.
- Is it durable? Look for carbon steel and stainless steel for durability when choosing a garden spade.
- Does it have a warranty? Most do offer up to 5 years warranty on their garden spade.
Question: Where and when do I use a garden spade?
Answer: Here are the instances where a garden spade can be useful:
- Transplanting seedlings or potted plants
- Digging holes
- Cutting roots
- Cultivating soil
- Reshaping beds
Spades are important gardening tools and that’s why it pays to invest in one that’s durable, can be used for a long time, and is easy to work with. After all, no one likes to work in a garden with a very heavy tool!
By choosing the right garden spade, you are essentially helping yourself to retain more energy to do other tasks aside from digging and transplanting your seedlings and the like.