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11 of the Best Garden Spades

It doesn’t matter if you’re a backyard hobbyist or an experienced landscaper-the right gardening tools make all the difference in whether your garden is a success. Investing in the best garden spade in your price range is a must because this essential tool cuts through soil, digs out planting holes, and helps reshape beds.

Person using a garden spade to dig in soil.

Read on to learn which garden spades we recommend!

Anatomy of a Garden Spade

Choosing the right garden spade starts with understanding the tool and what it’s designed for. Knowing the different parts that make up a garden spade can help guide your purchase and ensure you’re making the right decision for your needs.

Grip

The grip of a garden spade is what most people refer to as the handle. It’s the uppermost part at the top of the shaft. Manufacturers typically design grips using plastic, wood, fiberglass, or metal-and each type of material offers its pros and cons. The best garden spade will have an ergonomic D-shaped handle to provide a better grip.

A woman carrying a long-handed tool wth a D-ring handle.  Handle shape is a feature to consider for a best garden spadel

Shaft

A garden spade’s shaft is the longest part connected to the bottom of the grip. Unlike a standard shovel, a garden spade features a shorter shaft that’s ideal for leveraging one’s weight to dig trenches and cut straight edges into a variety of soils.

The best garden spade will have a strong, durable shaft. Whether you choose one made from metal, fiberglass, or wood depends on personal preference and your needs. Wooden shafts, for example, are ergonomic with a traditional aesthetic. Metal shafts are the strongest option but may feel heavier in the hand. Fiberglass is a nice balance between the two.

Collar

At the bottom of the shaft is the garden spade’s collar. This piece connects the shaft to the blade. The best garden spade will feature a screw or rivet in the collar for added durability.

Blade

The blade portion of a garden spade is the bottommost piece contacting the soil. Most blades are made from aluminum or metal, but you might see some made from plastic or fiberglass. Unlike a shovel, which has a curved, scoop-like blade, a garden spade has a flat blade that’s perfect for edging.

Closeup of the blade of a red garden spade.

Kickplate

At the top of the blade is a portion called the kickplate. This is the edge where your foot rests so you can lean into the spade for added pressure. Not every shovel or spade will have a kickplate, but it’s a nice feature to have.

Tip

The lowest edge of the spade’s blade is the tip. The best garden spade will have a flat tip for moving and scooping soil. Rounded or pointed tips are best for digging and cutting.

Now that you know all about the anatomy of garden spades, let’s get into our top recommendations for 2022.

The Best Garden Spade for Backyard Gardeners


Best Garden Spade Overall

“The King of Spades” from Hoss

Hoss produces some of the best gardening tools on the market, and “The King of Spades” is no exception. With a sharp, heat-treated blade, ergonomic handle, and aircraft-quality tubing construction, this garden spade is both lightweight and durable. The tapered edge even resists nicks and dents under the toughest conditions.

Pros:

  • Tapered cutting edge
  • Comfortable D-shaped grip
  • Five-year handle warranty
  • Interchangeable footpad for dominant foot control

Cons:

  • The price point may be high for hobbyist gardeners

Best Multi-Purpose Garden Spade

Roamwild Multi-Digger Garden Spade

Roamwild Multi-Digger Garden Spade - Reinforced Fibreglass Light Weight Gardening Digging Arrow Head Shovel with Unique Dual Soft AIR Light Grip Technology & Root Saw Stump Cutter.

The best garden spade for tackling a wide variety of backyard projects is Roamwild’s Multi-Digger Garden Spade. With its arrowhead-shaped blade and two sets of grips in the handle design, this spade is great for everything from cutting into roots to heavy shovel work. It even features a lightweight fiberglass construction that’s easy to handle and control.

Pros:

  • Reduces digging efforts by 80%
  • Unique dual soft-grip handle technology
  • Lightweight
  • Covered by the Roamwild Warranty

Cons:

  • The soft-grip handle can be a difficult adjustment for those used to a D-shaped handle

Best Garden Spade on a Budget

Fiskars Steel D-Handle Flat Square Garden Spade

Fiskars Steel D-Handle Flat Square Garden Spade, Gardening Tools for Edging, Digging, Weed Removal, Heavy Duty, 46 Inch, Black/Orange

When you need a classic garden spade designed for heavy-duty edging, weed removal, trench cutting, and digging, look no further than the Fiskars Steel D-Handle Flat Square Garden Spade. This solid garden spade boasts an eighteen-gauge steel shaft, a welded fourteen-gauge hardened steel blade, and an extra-large D-shaped handle. The sharpened blade also makes cutting through tough dirt a breeze.

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Extra-large grip for two-handed control

Cons:

  • The handle may break away from the shaft under extreme conditions

Best Garden Spade for Deep Digging

Fiskars 46-Inch Steel D-Handle Transplanting Spade

Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade

When you need to dig up bulbs, create deep holes, or dig up roots, you can’t beat the 46-Inch Steel D-Handle Transplanting Spade from Fiskars. The garden spade features an extra-large, steel D-handle for maximum grip. Its welded steel construction and teardrop-shaped shaft provide solid durability, control, and comfort.

Pros:

  • Extra-large handle provides two-handed control, even with gloves
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Teardrop-shaped shaft profile fits naturally in hand for exceptional control

Cons:

  • Handle may bend under heavy loads
  • Best for smaller gardening projects

Best Short Handle Garden Spade

Hooyman Short Handle Digging Spade Shovel

Hooyman Spade Shovel with Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Head Construction, Ergonomic No-Slip H-Grip Handles, D Handle, and Oversized Steps for Gardening, Land Management, Yard Work, Farming and Outdoors

With its durable carbon steel construction, no-slip D-shaped grip, and custom blade serration, the Hooyman Short Handle Digging Spade Shovel is a great investment for any backyard gardener. The unique handle boasts a feature that gets tacky when wet, lending it a more secure grip than most spades. It’s the perfect option when you need a heavy-duty, short-handled spade.

Pros:

  • No-slip grip
  • Lightweight
  • Covered by Hooyman’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Cons:

  • Fiberglass handle and handle cap not as durable as steel parts

Best Garden Spade for Seniors

Spear Head Spade Gardening Shovel

Spear Head Spade Gardening Shovel with Steel Reinforced Fiberglass Handle, Cushioned D-Grip and Sharp Hardened Steel Blade, Award Winning Spade, Model SHFD3 Yellow

Designed to reduce digging efforts by up to 80%, Spear Head’s award-winning Spade Gardening Shovel is an easy-to-use tool that doesn’t skimp on features. It offers a distinctive spear head-shaped blade that cuts through dirt and roots with ease. Everyone from landscaping professionals to retirees will benefit from this workhouse of a garden spade.

Pros:

  • Steel-reinforced fiberglass handle is 60% stronger than required manufacturing standards
  • Reduces digging effort by up to 80%
  • Multi-purpose

Cons:

  • Some reviewers have reported broken handles

Best Lightweight Garden Spade

Ashman Spade Shovel

Ashman Spade Shovel (1 Pack) - 41 Inches Long D Handle Grip - The Single Shovel Weighs 2.2 Pounds and has a Durable Handle - Premium Quality Multipurpose Orange Spade Shovel with Strong Build.

The best garden spade simply isn’t functional if it’s too heavy, which is why many gardeners prefer a lightweight construction. Weighing only 2.2 pounds, the Ashman Spade Shovel is the perfect option for those requiring a lighter option. This multipurpose tool boasts a finely sharpened blade, solid D-shaped grip, and durable build that’s the perfect combination of strength and convenience.

Pros:

  • Comfortable two-handed control
  • Sharp, reinforced blade
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Short handle may not work for some users
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty jobs

Best Garden Spade for Root Work

Radius Garden Original Root Slayer

Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel, Red

When you need a garden spade that easily rips up roots and cuts through tough dirt, the Original Root Slayer by Radius Garden is the answer. This carbon steel spade features a serrated, V-shaped blade with a powder-coated tip that slices through all types of terrain. Since it cuts narrow and deep, it’s the best tool for precision work.

Pros:

  • Durable, powder-coated carbon steel tip
  • Suitable for almost any garden task
  • Lifetime manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Not meant for prying
  • Plastic handle lacks reinforcement
  • Heavier than some options

Best Traditional Garden Spade

Berry&Bird Garden Digging Spade

Berry&Bird Garden Digging Spade, Stainless Steel Border Spade, 43 Inch Square Flat Spade Shovel with Ergonomics Long D-Handle, Traditional English Style Shovel for Gardening Digging Planting Farming

If you prefer the more traditional English-style look, you’ll love the Garden Digging Spade by Berry&Bird. Crafted by hand using a tried-and-true manual process, this garden spade features a long ash wood handle and stainless-steel shaft and blade. Its traditional design lends durability and efficiency to any backyard task, all in an earth-friendly, sustainable package.

Pros:

  • Traditional, eco-friendly design
  • Ergonomic D-handle
  • Wide application
  • 30-day free replacement and 10-year warranty

Cons:

  • Limited use
  • Higher price point
  • Heavy

Best Professional-Quality Garden Spade

Radius Garden PRO Ergonomic Stainless Steel Spade

Radius Garden 201 PRO Ergonomic Stainless Steel Spade, Original Green, One Size

According to Organic Gardening Magazine, the best garden spade for professionals is the PRO Ergonomic Stainless Steel Spade from Radius Garden. This quality tool won Editor’s Choice for a reason. It boasts an O-shaped handle to reduce wrist and hand stress, a reinforced carbon steel shaft, and a durable stainless-steel blade for added durability. Its extra-wide forward step also maximizes performance and safety.

Pros:

  • Designed for performance and safety
  • Solid stainless-steel blade
  • Resin-encased steel shaft

Cons:

  • Handle carries most of the weight

Best Garden Spade for Edging

Razor-Back Wood D-Handle Border Spade

BORDER SPADE W/ WOOD HANDLE AND STEEL D-GRIP

Razor-Back tools are renowned for their durability and quality, which makes them go-to options for professional landscapers. The Razor-Back 28-inch Wood D-Handle Border Spade features a classic hardwood handle, a steel D-shaped grip, and an open-back blade reinforced with a riveted socket. It’s an innovative tool for edging beds and maintaining borders.

Pros:

  • Designed with a forward-turned step for more secure foot placement
  • Razor-Back legacy of professional-level durability and quality

Cons:

  • Finish may cause skin irritation with regular use

How to Choose the Best Garden Spade

So how do you choose among the best garden spades to pick the one that meets your needs? Well, there are a few features to consider:

Weight and Size

The best garden spade is one you can easily handle. The heavier the spade, the more quickly you’ll tire out when performing a lengthy task. On the other handle, a lighter spade probably isn’t as durable.

It’s also important to consider shaft length when buying a new spade. Someone who is tall will likely develop back or shoulder pain from using a spade that’s too short.

A woman using a garden spade with a serrated edge.

Material

Review the spade’s construction material when making a purchase. The material may not matter so much if you plan on doing lightweight jobs, but for heavy-duty projects, you’ll need one with more solid construction.

Blade Shape

A garden spade’s blade shape is usually straight and parallel to the ground, but some designs feature blades that are somewhere between a traditional spade and shovel shape. This means that the middle tip of the blade may come to a point between two angled, straight edges.

Other spades may have a shovel-like tip but a narrower blade than a typical shovel. Which blade shape you need depends on the job. For example, a narrow blade is great for digging deep holes while a wider, straight blade edges beds with ease.

Grip Shape

Don’t discount grip shape when purchasing a garden spade. The best garden spade will feature an ergonomic handle for secure control. An extra-large D-shaped handle is a must if you’re planning to wear gardening gloves.

Intended Use

Before buying a new spade, ask yourself how you’ll use it most. Certain spades are designed with specific uses in mind, and these will be noted in the product descriptions.

How to Prevent Back Injuries When Digging

If you’re not careful, gardening can result in physical injury. Using the proper tool is key to preventing muscle strains and other back injuries.

Person using a garden spade to move soil.

Other ways to prevent back injuries include warming up with a brisk walk or stretch before gardening, lifting with your knees, using supportive stools, and taking frequent breaks. You should also consider knee pads and other specialized tools to better support your body.

How to Look After Your Garden Spade

Even the best garden spade won’t last if you neglect it or use it incorrectly. Always clean your garden spade after every use by scrubbing it down with warm water and a bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly and wipe off the excess water before letting it air dry.

If your garden spade has a wood handle, sand it regularly with sandpaper.

You may also consider sharpening the blade as needed with a flat file.

Choosing the Best Garden Spade

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the garden spade, its overall construction, and its many uses, you can make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing your own. With options ranging from the top-of-the-line King of Spades to handcrafted traditional designs, the right garden spade boils down to your personal preferences and budget.

A garden spade lying on the grass in a yard.

Want to learn more about the various garden tools we recommend for every home landscaper? Read all about cultivators, tillers, hoes, and more at our Garden Digging Tools page.