Best Garden Spade – 2024 Buyers Guide

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Best Garden Spade

It doesn’t really matter the size of garden that you have, a garden spade is going to be an essential purchase. The best garden spade is going to be perfect for if you are tidying bedding areas, sweeping up garden debris or even if you are completing a full landscaping job!

The best garden spade is going to be strong enough to allow you to work with a wide range of debris whilst also being light enough to make the work as easy as possible! We have considered these features and many more, when trying to find the best garden spade for you!

Our Pick Best Garden Spade – 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.
  • Roamwild Multi Digger Garden Spade Reinforced Fibreglass Light Weight Gardening Arrow Head Shovel with Unique Dual Soft AIR Light Grip Technology and Root Saw Stump Cutter.
  • Brand : Roamwild
  • Product type: SHOVEL SPADE
  • Multi Digger Spade
  • garden tools tool spade root cutter shovel digging trench sod digger spades shovels weed puller yard hand fiberglass

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

We personally couldn’t live without a garden spade. Whether we are clearing snow in winter, digging out bedding areas in summer or tidying up debris from the garden, the best garden spade is one of the first things that we go for! So, we understand if you are in a hurry to purchase the best garden spade! Keep reading for all the essential information that you could need! 

What Spade Do I Need? 

There are various different types of garden spade which are all best used for different purposes! You need to think about what you are going to be using your garden spade for before you can find which type is going to be best for you! 

  • Digging spade – The most commonly found type of garden spade is a digging spade, these are the ones that you will find everywhere and are the easiest to use. They have a standard, flat blade which means that they can be used for a wide variety of tasks. We also like that they come in a variety of different sizes which means that it will be easy for you to find one that is going to be right for you. 
  • Pointed spade – A pointed spade is different as it has a curved blade which then leads to a point at the bottom. This allows for a smaller point of impact so that you can exert more force onto one specific point which is just what you will need if you are working with harder, more stony ground!
  • Border spade – A border spade is essentially a smaller version of the standard digging spade. Given its name because it can work perfectly in the bordering edges of your garden, this spade is going to be small enough for you to get into those tighter spaces but strong and big enough for you to be able to get the job done! 
  • Transplanting spade – These spades have a large blade which makes it easier to complete the bigger jobs. However, this isn’t the only way in which they are different from standard spades, they also have sharp, jagged points on the end of the blade which makes them much better for cutting into particularly difficult ground effectively! 

What Materials Should It Be Made From?

There are a range of materials that you will have to choose from when looking for the best garden spade, including wood, metals, fibreglass and plastic. We’ve broken this down to make the process a little easier! 

Best Garden Spade Blade

The blade of your garden spade is going to be taking the most of the impact so this is by far the first thing that you need to consider when you are purchasing your garden spade. The good quality models are almost always going to be made out of metal as this material will be strong enough to withstand the pressure of hitting the soil! The two types of metal most commonly used are stainless steel or carbon steel. Although both materials are going to be more than up to the task, there are pros and cons to both!

Carbon steel is going to be your lighter option so for anyone that suffers from back pain or is new to gardening then this may be the option for you! They are going to be slightly less durable, which means that if they aren’t well maintained and cleaned after use then you could find them beginning to rust, but this can be avoided providing they are looked after! If the maintenance is putting you off then you may be better opting for a stainless steel model! Stainless steel is heavier, which will increase fatigue but gives you the benefit of extra impact and force on the ground. We also like that the surface is smoother and less likely to suffer from corrosion! 

Best Garden Spade Handle

The second part of the spade that you need to consider the material of is the handle. Obviously some garden spades will be made from one continuous piece of metal (more on this below), so this won’t cause the same problem! But otherwise, this is something that you will need to think about! 

Plastic and fibreglass are two of your cheaper, lighter options for if you feel that you could struggle to lift and work with the heavier metal options. We also like that they are going to be good at absorbing the vibrations from the impact of hitting the ground, as this reduces fatigue and is really helpful for anyone that struggles with wrist or arm pain! The only real downside is that neither option is going to be particularly strong. Fibreglass will admittedly be stronger and more durable than plastic, but with either option you are going to have to accept that they could crack or snap if put under too much pressure! 

Your next option is wood, which is going to be considerably stronger than plastic and fibreglass and almost impossible to snap! It will still absorb some of the vibrations to make the work easier for you, but is going to make your life harder with the maintenance that it needs if you are wanting to avoid rotting and splintering. You will find that wood is your second heaviest option (which is a great thing if you are wanting to create a lot of force, but not so good if you are wanting an easy tool to move around and work with!). If you do choose a wooden handle then we would definitely recommend making sure that FSC wood has been used. This is going to be more environmentally friendly and also stronger! 

Finally, there is metal…metal handles are by far going to be the most durable of options and require the least maintenance and care to be a long lasting tool! They will be quite heavy (as we mentioned above this could be seen as a good or a bad thing). The only real downside to metal handles is that they aren’t particularly “user friendly” as they won’t absorb any of the vibrations and pressure when digging and holding the handles can be quite uncomfortable in extreme weather conditions!

What Size or Weight of Garden Spade Do I Need?

There are so many garden spades available on the market – which can make it difficult to know which is going to be the best to buy, but it does give you the benefit of having a wide selection of sizes and weights so that you can find the perfect match for you! 

Weights of spades massively depend on the materials that are used and the type of spade that you are opting for, ranging from a tiny 700g up to nearly 2kg! 2kg might not sound like a lot but when you are lifting the spade PLUS soil, or working in particularly hard ground you could find yourself becoming fatigued quickly! On the other hand, you need to remember that a lighter garden spade isn’t always a better garden spade! A garden spade with some weight behind it is going to help add to the impact and force that you put on the ground so that you have less work to put in in the long run!  

The overall size of your spade is important as choosing a spade that is too long (or even worse…too short) is going to cause back pain, fatigue and could cause injury! You want the handle of your spade to be at around waist height as this is the optimum position for you to still get the “umph” that you need into the digging motion. Most diggers range in height from around 85cm to around 120cm. 

Best Budget Garden Spade – Fiskars Garden Spade

Fiskars Garden Spade for Soft, Stone Soils, Round, Length: 117 cm, Steel Blade/Plastic Handle, Black/Orange, Solid, 1003456
  • Round garden spade (total length: 117 cm) for digging in soft, low-stone soils, Also suitable for root and lawn stabbing, Ideal for all body sizes
  • Effortless working thanks to ergonomic shape, Easy digging and piercing into the ground thanks to sharp, Hardened spade blade with tread surface
  • Optimum working height in back-friendly position to relieve the strain on the muscles, Comfortable position of the hands for all hand sizes thanks to practical D-handle
  • High durability thanks to high-quality steel blade and plastic handle, Finnish design
  • Contents: 1x Fiskars solid garden spade, Round, length: 117 cm, Weight: 1.94 kg, Material: high-quality steel/plastic, Colour: Black/Orange, 1003456

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Additional Garden Spade Considerations 

Once you have found the right style and size of spade for you, then you need to know the additional features that are going to impact on how easy it is to use your garden spade and how quickly you are going to get the job done! We have listed some of the things we found in the best garden spades. 

  • Handle Shape – There are two shapes of handle that you will have to choose from, either a T or a YD. The T shape is obviously going to allow more space and freedom for both of your hands (and be better suited for those of you with bigger hands) but it can be difficult to get a solid grip, which is going to be easier with the YD handle. 
  • Grip – It is important to check the grip on your garden spade as this is going to need to be as comfortable as possible to reduce fatigue and calluses when working. Look out for handles that are made from rubber or silicone as these will offer a strong grip without being uncomfortable.
  • Foot grip – If you know that you are going to be completing tougher jobs then look out for models with small foot grips on the top of the blade that you can use to put extra force into the ground! 
  • Single forged or socket – You will find that your garden spade is either single forged or a jointed socket. Single forged garden spades are when the blade and the handle are forged out of one single piece of metal so that you don’t have to worry about the joint weakening and breaking. Your other option is a socket garden spade where the blade and the handle are separate. These are better as it means that you can replace one or the other if you need to. Just make sure that the fastenings are strong as this will be a much weaker point of your spade. 

If you are new to gardening and are wanting to purchase all the essentials then why not check out our best garden forks or garden wheelbarrows?

Best of the Rest

Spear & Jackson 1190EL/09 Select Stainless Digging Spade, Blue
  • Ideal for digging and turning over soil
  • Mirror polished stainless steel head
  • Integral ergonomic forward tilting handle
  • Manufactured to exceed BS3388 load tests
  • Rust resistant and minimal soil adhesion

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Draper 14305 Carbon Steel Border Spade with Ash Handle
  • Ash handle with clear lacquered finish
  • Draper Lifetime Warranty.

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

Will I get a warranty with my garden spade? 

All good quality garden spades are going to come with a warranty and we wouldn’t recommend looking for a model that doesn’t as this suggests build materials that aren’t the same quality. Warranties usually range between around 12 months and 4 years but there are some that come with a lifetime warranty which offers massive peace of mind! 

Can you buy new blades for a garden spade? 

As long as your garden spade isn’t single forged from one piece of metal then you will be able to purchase a new blade if yours becomes scratched, chipped or damaged. It is important to just check whether the blade is going to be compatible with the socket and the fastenings that come with it! 

Will a metal garden spade rust? 

This really depends on the type of material that it is going to be made from. A garden spade that is made from stainless steel will be safe from rust but all garden spades should be long lasting and rust free providing they are maintained and kept inside when they are not being used. The main cause of rust is going to be dirt or dampness that is left on the metal to corrode the surface – so providing you avoid this you should be ok for a long time!

How should you look after a garden spade?

If you are wanting your garden spade to be long lasting then looking after it correctly is essential! It is really important that you remove any garden debris from your spade when you have finished working with it. We would also recommend making sure that your spade is put in a shed or garage when not in use to protect it from unnecessary rain etc.

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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