If you are a keen gardener then finding the right garden spade is essential, however, it isn’t always easy finding the right one.
The market for garden spades is pretty vast, not only can you get ones made from different materials but they are available in different sizes too. Ideally, you want one spade that can cater to all of your needs.
To make this process easier for you we have done the work and browsed the market for the best garden spade. Below we have reviewed five of our top picks and included a buyer’s guide too, with all of our top tips for finding the best garden spade.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to continue reading we have chosen our top pick for you below.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
- Ideal for use in between established plants
- Rust resistant and minimal soil adhesion
- Manufactured to exceed BS3388 load tests
Best Garden Spade – Comparison Table
Best Garden Spade – Reviews
Spear and Jackson 1194EL/09 Select Stainless Border Spade
Our first pick comes from the brand Spear and Jackson and it is the Select Stainless Digging Spade. This is ideal for turning over soil and helping with any other digging needs.
The head of this spade has been constructed with mirror polished stainless steel which is rust and corrosion-resistant. It also allows for minimal soil adhesion, a common problem that you may face with some spades that you use in gardening.
If you are likely to be spending a considerable amount of time out in the garden then you are more than likely to be finding yourself with aching arm muscles. This is where the forward tilting integral ergonomic handle makes this tool stand out. Gone are the days where you can feel the aches in your arms and hands for some time after because this spade erases these issues providing your hands with the comfort that they need whilst you dig.
The shaft of this spade has been designed with polypropylene which is great for withstanding any bumps or damage, this is simply a very good quality spade.
At 2.2kg it is also lightweight, so it is easy to hold as you dig but it is also easy to carry around when needed.
- This select range of tools has been designed with years of experience and the latest manufacturing techniques so you are getting good contemporary tools.
- This tool has been manufactured to exceed BS3388 Load Tests.
- It is long-lasting and durable thanks to the rust and corrosion-resistant elements.
- The ergonomic handle makes gardening a lot easier.
- It has been constructed using very good quality materials.
- Despite being labelled as lightweight it is still a little weighty so may be too heavy for some people, particularly if it is required for tougher digging and gardening.
Fiskars Xact Digging Spade Large, Length: 120 cm, Steel blade/fibreglass reinforced plastic handle, Black/Orange, Size: L, 1003683
Next up we have this Fiskars digging spade. The design incorporates a pointed edge which is suitable for digging hard or stony surfaces and for removing grass too. Usefully this spade is available with a round-edged design which is better for working with softer or looser soil.
Also available in two different heights, medium or large, this spade is perfect for serving different purposes and people of different sizes.
The ease cut sharp blade makes digging much easier and there is also a non-skid edging so that the soil doesn’t cling after use.
With a long D shaped ergonomic handle, which is firm, but also provides you with comfort without straining your muscles.
Weighing only 2kg, this ergonomically constructed lightweight spade has been designed with the user in mind to make work much easier, especially useful if you are using this spade for lengthy and tougher jobs.
Made with a steel blade and a fibreglass reinforced handle, this is a good quality, strong item that is going to allow for longevity and several uses before wearing.
- This spade is available in different sizes which is ideal for people of different heights to choose the appropriate one for them.
- The different angle blades are ideal for different purposes so it allows you to choose the best one for your needs.
- The ease cut sharp blade makes digging much easier.
- The ergonomically designed spade and handle make it a lot easier to hold and eases the strain on the muscles.
- As a lightweight spade, it is easy to use and carry around.
- It is a little more expensive than some other garden spades available on the market.
Gardena NatureLine Pointed Spade, Coated Garden Spade for Turning Over and Removing Soil, Safe Foot Rest, FSC-Certified Ashwoo D-Handle (17001-20),black, anthracite, turquoise
Our next pick is the Gardena Natureline Spade. With a sharpened blade, it is ideal for turning over, loosening and removing soil. It is ideal for thickly planted areas, whilst remaining easy on the plant roots.
Constructed out of steel with a high-quality coating to finish, you can be sure that you are investing in a high quality, durable product that is going to last for a considerable amount of time before becoming damaged or rusting.
The D shaped handle is constructed using certified wood from sustainably managed forests, so you know that your purchase is benefiting the environment in some way too. This handle allows for firm grip as it fits into your hand well making digging much easier.
The design of this spade also incorporates a safe footrest so that you can work on the tougher areas whilst using your feet for added support with digging up firmer areas. Also, many spades aren’t designed with this feature, but it makes work a lot more comfortable on your legs and feet.
As it weighs only 2kg it is very lightweight which makes it convenient for working in the garden as you do not feel as though you have a bulky spade which could potentially hold you back, particularly in regards to the tougher jobs.
- It is constructed using certified wood from sustainable forests.
- As it is made with high-quality steel it is good quality and durable too.
- The D shape handle makes it a lot easier to hold.
- The footrest makes it a lot more comfortable to use by giving you a designated space for your foot and causing less potential damage to your shoes.
- The shape of the spade makes digging considerably easier and the sharp edges allow for tougher jobs too.
- The spade face is a little small so it may not be ideal for bigger tasks and areas.
HomeZone Durable Digging Spade with Soft Grip D Handle Garden Digging Tools - Strong Versatile Garden Shovel Heat Treated and Oil Cooled Metal for Dig or Loosen Ground (Carbon Steel Digging Spade)
The HomeZone Carbon steel digging spade is our next pick for you. This spade boasts multiple features which make it another great contender. As well as being heat treated it is also oil-cooled and can be used for digging or loosening ground and breaking up lumps that you may find in the soil too.
The carbon steel makes it much easier to dig into the soil and it is also very durable and strong, so this is a tool that is going to serve you many uses whilst maintaining excellent quality.
The handle of this spade has been constructed with your comfort in mind, designed with a D shape and ergonomic structure, it is not only easy to grip but it provides you with the maximum level of comfort too.
- It retails for a very affordable price.
- It has been constructed with carbon steel which is very strong and durable too.
- It is lightweight which makes it a lot easier and more versatile to use when gardening.
- It is compact so ideal for those who are looking for a smaller spade and this also makes it easy to store too.
- Some people who purchased this product found the blade to be light too blunt for the tougher areas and surfaces.
Silverline GT35 Digging Spade 1100 mm,Black / Wood
For our final pick, we have chosen the Silverline GT35 digging spade. With a pressed stainless steel head and a corrosion-resistant finish, this is certain to be a worthy and durable investment.
It is ideal for use in the garden, digging, breaking up the ground and for any other landscaping jobs too.
The varnished wooden shaft not only makes it look appealing but also ensures that it is going to last a lot longer too as it isn’t going to rust or corrode.
With an ergonomic PYD handle, it is going to be a lot easier to grip and much more comfortable to use too. Both of these features work together to help reduce the strain that you feel upon your hands and wrists after spending a lot of time digging. Instead, it helps to keep your hands in a comfortable position.
Weighing just over 2kg it is lightweight and easy to carry around the garden. Using a heavy spade may prolong the amount of time that it takes you to complete a task in your garden.
This is an all-round strong spade with a treaded head which gives you extra force while you are using it.
- This is a very affordable garden spade.
- It is designed to last using good quality materials.
- The PYD handle makes it a lot more comfortable to hold, particularly if you are using it for a long time whilst you work in your garden.
- It is a good size and as it is lightweight too it is ideal for use by everyone.
- As a hard-wearing tool, it is good quality and sturdy.
- If used on surfaces that are too harsh or solid it can be prone to breaking or getting damaged.
Best Garden Spade – Buyer’s Guide
Before purchasing your garden spade you will want to ensure that the product incorporates several different features so that you are investing in a good quality garden spade, otherwise you are likely to be left with an item that isn’t going to serve you many uses before breaking or getting damaged.
Below we have listed some different things that we would recommend you look out for before investing in your spade.
The construction of your spade is of primary importance. Different brands will manufacture spades constructed of different materials. This may be stainless steel or carbon, not only does this create a great quality product but also one that is durable and long-lasting too.
The handles may also vary with some being made of wood and others being made of steel or plastic too and they can sometimes be designed differently depending on the brand that you buy from. This may be a socket handle or a strapped handle and whilst both are strong, the strapped handle spades are a little stronger.
The surface that you are going to be using this spade for is also very important. You will notice in many of the tool descriptions that they state the recommended surfaces that you should be using this spade for. Failing to adhere to this could cause the spade to become damaged or break a lot sooner than intended too. For the garden, you are likely to be using your spade for shifting soil but for other people, this may also mean loosening tougher surfaces too.
If you are likely to be spending a lot of time in the garden using your spade then comfort is important. Spending a lot of time in the garden using a spade with an uncomfortable handle is going to leave you dealing with aching arms and joints. An ergonomic constructed handle is ideal because it maximises the comfort whilst you dig so you don’t have to feel any discomfort even if you are spending a lot of time holding your spade. Also if your hand is more comfortable too then you are likely to be able to get a firmer grip whilst you are gardening.
Rust and Corrosion Resistant
An ideal spade will be constructed to withstand any sort of rust or corrosion as this is something that is most likely to occur with tools that are used and stored outside. A rust and corrosion-resistant spade are going to maintain its quality and last a lot longer too.
The weight of your spade is paramount because if you are going to be holding it for a while or to tackle tough tasks, ideally you will want a spade that is going to be easy to use and carry around. A lightweight spade is a preferable choice because it will make your job a lot easier.
Different spades will be designed with different sized blade surfaces and the one that you choose will be dependent upon what you intend to use your spade for. If you need to tackle larger jobs and areas of soil then you are likely to find a large surfaced spade more useful, for smaller jobs a more minimal surfaced space may cater to your needs. If you use a spade against the incorrect surface then, of course, this is going to cause unnecessary damage to your gardening tool.
The spade surfaces can differ in shape too. Some will be pointed whilst others may be round. These tend to serve different purposes too in regards to the toughness of the surfaces that they can tackle most effectively. The round surfaced spades are good for smaller and softer areas.
If you intend to use your spade for many tasks you will want to ensure that you select the right spade that is suitable for serving several different purposes in one tool. For example, some spades will be specifically intended for soil and others may be suitable for harsher elements.
Having a preferred budget is beneficial because this enables you to purchase a spade within the price range that you are comfortable with. You can find spades available for variable prices some more expensive than others. The garden spades that we have mentioned above cater to different price ranges so there is bound to be one available to cater to everyone’s budgets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a garden spade best used for?
A basic garden spade can serve many purposes. However, it is commonly referred to as the earthmover of spades. They can help to sod and reshape beds and also dig out deeper planting holes. If there is a particular purpose that you require a garden spade for then you can purchase speciality spades. These serve particular purposes for these certain jobs.
How big should a garden spade be?
Garden spades are available in varying sizes. The head of a garden spade typically tends to be around 6-8″ wide with a length of 9-11″, although some may be a little different to these exact measurements. The actual spade surface itself can vary between brands with some being larger than others.
What is the difference between a border spade and a garden spade?
There aren’t huge differences between border spades and garden spades. When browsing for your garden spade you might often find that border spades come up in the results. The differences are simply that a border spade tends to be smaller built with a shorter handle and smaller spade surface. The spade that you choose may depend upon your preferences whilst gardening.