Want to get the best out of your garden this summer? Well, it certainly won’t be much fun having a barbecue or sipping wine in a garden full of weeds. To have your garden looking damper, a shovel for digging is a must-have tool to help you get started in your garden adventures; however, not any old shovel will do. As the years have progressed, various types of shovels have entered the market, each having their own different attributes in design and functionality; the length of the shovel, the shape of the blade and the overall design and construction all matters. Whether you are a beginner, or a gardening pro curious about the latest shovel inventions that will make your gardening work easier, this article is the perfect guide for picking out the most functional and best garden shovels out there.
The Best Garden Shovel
The Fiskars 96685935J LNG Hndl Digging Shovel is the ideal tool for digging on soft and tough soil. The sharp bladed shovel ensures an easier and more convenient digging experience. The blade is made with a smooth welded steel construction for extra durability and the conveniently elongated 18 gauge steel shaft is sturdy enough for even the toughest gardening jobs out there; so don’t expect it to bend under pressure.
Measuring 57.7 inches long, the well-built shaft allows users the convenience of digging without straining the back. Digging involves a good measure of hand and foot work to get the job done. The blade also provides enough foot space to powerfully bear it into the ground. A perfectly shaped tear-drop shaft completes the phenomenal design. This enables the shovels sharp and narrowed edge to sink deep into practically any type of soil, while the orange rubber handle provides a good and firm grip that is most definitely comfortable on the palms. Overall, this shovel is great for heavy digging tasks around your garden. This also makes a perfect gift for gardeners in your life.
Strong and sturdy steel construction
Sharpened blade for easy soil penetration
57.7 inches long welded steel handle
- Weight6.5 pounds
The Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel won the DGA 2017 Green Thumb Award for the most Innovative Garden Tool and it is no surprise at all. With the new and inventive utilitarian design, this multi-tasking tool does a lot of hard work. Owning the root slayer shovel is like harnessing the powers of a saw, pry bar and hatchet into one amazing cutting and clearing tool. Get more out of your digging experience with the sharpened and textured `V’ shaped blade. It passes through sod quite easily and rips out stubborn roots you may hit while digging.
Additionally, the well thought out design allows users to place their foot flat on the edge of the shaft and bear down. At first the O-Handle may come off as strange, however, it provides 4 times more gripping surface than a D-handle would. The natural radius offers an ergonomic grip with more control of the tool being very easy on the hands.
`V’ shaped cutting blade
Ergonomic O-Handle grip
DGA 2017 Green Thumb Award
- BrandRadius Garden
- Weight5 pounds
Flat edged shovels are great for scraping, clearing out ice as well as weeding and edging gardens and lawns. The Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-Handle Square Garden Spade is one of such tools. While this shovel is best for the task mentioned above, they will perform flawless digging and cutting tasks. Fiskars is known for making top quality, durable and functional tools to aid with expert and convenient gardening.
The blade is made from 14 gauge tough and sturdy steel construction to ensure it stands strong every time it hits the soil. With a sharpened and flat edge, manual labour has never been made easier! The 18 gauge steel shaft ensures this tool will not bend or break under pressure regardless of the length. The design includes a supersized D-handle for extra leverage and control. It also offers the option of using two hands to enhance control while digging or cutting. Even if you have garden gloves on, the generously opened D-handle will still accommodate both hands.
Great shovel for cutting, digging, edging and slicing tough overgrown grass.
Sharpened blade makes work much easier
Extra-large ergonomic D-handle
- Weight4.35 pounds
Using the Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Digging Shovel is quite an effortless experience. Adorned with an all steel construction to ensure long term durability and strength. This heavy duty shovel definitely gets the job done, with its sharpened steel blade for enhanced digging and cutting. While you may not be able to dig up a tree bark, the sharpened edges will break up any tough stems and weeds found when digging.
There is a prolonged overstep designed to improve control over the blade especially if you are wearing boots. The broadened step allows for better leverage over the blade and foot space to drive the shovel into tougher soil types. The replacement of wood by steel is probably one of the best choices in terms of durability as wooden bodied shovels are more likely to crack in the process of tough digging. The handle is made of plastic; this is obviously easier on the hands than a metal option. The D-handle is large enough to accommodate both hands while digging. Our handy guide to the best lawn edgers features more great products like this.
All steel construction
Welded 14 gauge hardened steel blade and 18 gauge steel shaft.
Oversized step for better leverage and control
- Weight5 pounds
This next shovel surely causes some tension around its peers, with its high quality and functional construction and design. Made in USA with a viable 14 gauge steel, the Bully Tools 82515 14-Gauge Round Point Shovel features a fiberglass handle as opposed to a plastic one. Fiberglass is known to bend sometimes, discouraging some manufacturers from using this material. However, this smart design includes a triple layered construction to increase form and durability. These layers are made of a strong wood core, thick fiberglass and a comprehensive steel ferrule to ensure it does not bend.
The shaft itself measures 57.25 inches in length, ensuring users the convenience of gardening without straining the arms and back. The blade has a closed back design with two supporting ribs; this prevents dirt build up on the blade. There is a one piece ferrule between the handle and the shaft ensuring a strong and viable connection. The shaft will not break free or pull out from the handle during tough gardening and the added I-beam support provides extra durability and a forward step formation to give more control. Love this product? Check out our review of the best electric weed wackers for our top picks.
14 gauge steel blade
Triple layered fiberglass handle
Closed back design with supporting ribs
- BrandBully Tools
- Weight 4.9 pounds
Depending on the type of environment you live in, not just any shovel is up to the task. The Seymour S710 48-Inch Long Fiberglass Handle Notched Super Shovel is perfect for rocky and compact clay soil. It may not break up the rocks, nevertheless, it is able to penetrate gravel and hardened clay soil. The S710 is made to tackle difficult terrains; it is great for new gardens where a lot of work needs to be done. For a heavy duty shovel, it is quite light on the hands, you could dig through both moist and dry soil without your shoulders feeling the burn. Its sharp pointed teeth are able to go through tough roots like a knife on butter. The reinforced yet soft handle is made with fiberglass to ensure no splinters are gotten after digging. A steel ferrule firmly holds the piece together at the handle ensuring it does not pull out from the connection. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best weeding tools.
Cutting teeth to penetrate tough terrains
Ergonomic fiberglass handle
Front turn step
Made in America
- Weight5 pounds
If you have a pet house or a little farm by the garden, this shovel is a must have. This square point shovel comes with little holes that allow users to sift out unwanted clutter from the sand. In the case of pet houses or chicken coops, the sieve lets the sand seep through just leaving the unwanted stuff behind. This definitely saves the stress of bending out your back to reach into their litters. A great plus to this tool is its wide range of functions; it makes for a great cleaning and clearing tool. Without doubt, it can be used for both private and public tasks.
This Toolite 49543#2 Square Point Shovel, 29″ Polymer Handle, Poly D-Grip is also great for grooming a garden and you can keep the precious soil while throwing out the rocks, sticks and other unwanted materials. With a 14 gauge tempered steel head measuring 3/8 inches suitable for digging in mud, clay and gravel, the 29 inch polymer D- handle also offers a firm fiberglass body with a thick polymer coat. The handle is reinforced to ensure comfort, however, the finishing needs to be worked on. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best pruning shears.
Lightweight and ergonomic shovel
D-handles made with fiberglass and polymer coat
Great sifting tool
14 gauge steel head
- Weight4 pounds
This next multi-purpose shovel is great for a wide range of duties in the garden. It is great for moving garden materials from one point to another. It is also very useful when shaping garden beds, levelling areas and scraping surfaces. The Ames Companies, Inc 2586000 True Temper D-Grip Transfer Shovel features a heavy duty gauge steel construction and it was definitely built to last with a 24 inch long handle and a 10 inch wide blade. It probably reminds you of a traditional shovel with its’ wooden handle. However, this modern garden tool has a power blade that packs a punch when breaking through tough soil and even frosted snow.
Apart from digging and levelling, this tool shines more as a transfer shovel as it offers enough blade space to pack a good amount of materials and shovel snow. The ergonomic D-handle provides a good grip and more leverage when scooping and offloading materials. The step is wide and convenient enough for proper and safe footing. Our selection of the best leaf shredders offers more great products like this so check it out.
24 inch hardwood handle
Ergonomic D grip for added leverage
Square point forged steel blade
Convenient step for secure footing
- BrandThe AMES Companies, Inc
- Weight3.72 pounds
The UnionTools Poly D-Grip Round Point Shovel – 43106 is made to last. The carbon steel blade has been designed for extra durability and the capacity to withstand wear and tear. With all the mulch and wet surfaces the shovel comes in contact with it requires a good quality blade, shaft and handle. During rainy periods, no matter how much it rains and pours, this tool will stay in great condition.
The handle is made with hardwood for extra strength and longevity. The D-Grip is coated with polymer to provide a more soft-on-the-hands experience and can generously accommodate a gloved hand. At the top base of the blade, the step is extended forward to provide a more comfortable and secure footing. Supposing you are not trying to get away with murder, this durably built shovel will make a great addition to your gardening shovels. You may also like to check our guide to the best cordless lawn mowers.
Carbon steel blade
Extended step for secure footing
Reinforced poly D-grip
Strong hardwood handle
- BrandThe AMES Companies, Inc
- Weight3.5 pounds
This shovel may not dig deep enough to bury all your secrets, but it sure will dig your garden effortlessly. The TABOR TOOLS J211A Mini Trunk Digging Spade is a great compact gardening tool that is not just utilitarian but is a very attractive tool. The steel blade has been finely tempered with a black rust resistant powder coating. This reinforces its capacity to withstand wear and tear overtime.
The blade also has a forward facing overstep that allows secure and more convenient footing. The handle is made from strong and sturdy fiberglass with a comfortable D-grip that provides a firm hold with its non-slip surface and is large enough to accommodate a gloved hand. The great thing about compact sized shovels is that they can easily be stored. The size allows you to hang, place or lean them suitably in the garage or shed. It also makes for a great road trip companion seeing that it is small and lightweight enough to fit conveniently in a trunk.
Multi-functional compact shovel
Durable fiberglass handle
Powdered coating steel construction
- BrandTABOR TOOLS
- Weight1.7 pounds
Best Garden Shovel Buying Guide And FAQ
Having the appropriate gardening tools at your reach makes gardening work even easier. Gardening will become more of a willful and fun act instead of a forced chore. This guide will help in selecting the most suitable garden shovel for you.
How We Chose Our Selection Of Shovels
They are many shovels readily available in the market, but without question some stand out more than others in terms of durability, functionality and comfort. They were two major deciding factors;
Reviews - The reviews played a major role in determining these top 10 garden shovels. For each individual shovel the reviews were mostly positive and very encouraging. The durability and high performance of all the aforementioned shovels were highly spoken of.
Price - These shovels were fairly priced compared to the value they offered. When a product is built to last, you could happily spend some dollars on it knowing its’ durability and high performance capabilities. The prices are quite affordable and you would definitely find what you can afford among the various product price ranges.
Features To Look For In Shovels
Head Shape - The shape of the blade will determine what the shovel should be used for. It is important to confirm what functions the shovel performs before purchasing it. For example, a rounded blade with a pointed tip is more of an all-round shovel. It is safe to use this if you are new to gardening.
Length - The length of the handle is also very important. The longer the handle, the more leverage you will enjoy while gardening. However, some special tasks require shorter handles, like garden beds and other small and delicate jobs.
Handle - The handle should be made of materials that are soft on the hands to prevent splinters. A good handle should also allow a good level of control and adequate space for your hands even when gloved.
Blade Material - The blade does a lot of tough work with all textures of soil; it has to be made with good and durable quality materials. The make of the blade determines the shovels durability. A good blade should be made of steel or even better titanium.
Blade Size - The size of the blade determines how much it can take or carry per time. The scoop capacity is important especially for a transfer shovel.
Weigh - The weight of shovel decides how easy the task will be. A shovel should be able to suit all individual sizes and capacities. You may want a heavy duty shovel but it should also be considerably lightweight.