For maintaining your garden, lawn, or yard, gardening tools such as a good shovel is a must-have. In case you have done gardening for a long time, then you are already aware of the significance of a shovel.
However, there are lots of people who have no idea what a shovel is and how they can buy the perfect shovel for themselves. That is why we have taken the responsibility of articulating the ideal buyer’s guide, which you can refer to for finding the best shovels which would meet all of your gardening needs and requirements.
In this guide, you will find all the essential information which you would need to pick the perfect product among all the others present in the market. Hence, we are first going to start with the different types of shovels.
Points To Remember Before Buying the Best Shovel
If you have always taken a knack towards gardening, then you cannot do away with a shovel. But before picking a shovel for your garden, you need to gather some knowledge about this device. In this guide, we have described a few important things related to shovels, which you should know if you are planning to buy one.
Types Of Shovel
There are mainly seven different types of shovels. The type of shovel which would work best for you depends on your work purpose and your work type. Let us take a look at the shovels right away.
1. Digging Shovels
They are the most widely used shovel type as they are very convenient to use. These shovels come with upcurved sides for accommodating the material which is dug up. Digging shovels are further divided into three different categories.
- Square Digger
- Pointed Digger
- Round digger
2. Trenching Shovels
This type of shovel has a narrow blade along with sharp curves. These help in cleaning as well as defining trenches effortlessly. They help draw the shallow lines on the garden beds. The disadvantage of using this shovel is that it does not give the user enough room for putting their foot on the shovel’s top while digging the soil.
Hence, the user needs to be physically very strong for using this shovel. They have to use their torso and arms for applying force. Only professionals and landscaping gardeners mainly use this shovel.
3. Drain Spades
This kind of shovel is exceptionally narrow and has a round tip and slight side curves. They are perfect for creating exact and precise spots that you need for adding flowers and other things to the garden beds. In addition to that, these shovels can also be used for transplanting smaller shrubs and clearing existing trenches.
4. Scoop Shovel
They have a flat top with a broad mouth. These shovels are not fit for digging purposes. However, you can use this shovel for carrying the excavated material from place to place. They are available in various blade materials.
They are also heavy, so you need to be physically active in using this. They are best used for heavy-duty tasks, and they also last for an extended period. They are generally made of aluminum.
They are available in various faces. They have a straight edge tip. They are mighty and offers high-end performance. They are great for eliminating weeds. Due to their versatility, they can be used for a variety of gardening tasks. However, they cannot be used for clearing the debris and ice from the roofs or driveways.
They are particular offshoots of shovels. They do not resemble them fully. They are crafted in half Moon shape, which can be used for slicing through the shallow turf. They are used for cleaning driveways, curbs, and borders. Even though they are quite useful, they are not generally used by people.
7. Post Hole Diggers
This type of shovel is a combination of two spades which are connected through a hinge. This feature helps in creating a single-post hole digger that allows for completing digging tasks. They are used mostly for penetrating loose and tilled soil.
These are the seven different categories in which shovels are classified based on their usage. Every shovel serves differently depending on the task they are used for by the user.
Choosing The Correct Shovel
Selecting the best shovel for yourself is not at all an easy task. First, you need to understand what is a shovel and how is it different from a spade.
In simple language, a shovel can be called a gardening tool which is used for moving material from place to place, lifting, or digging. A shovel can be used on different kinds of materials, but for this article, we are focusing on shovels that work with soil and dirt in your garden and your backyard. Whereas, a spade is quite different from a shovel.
A spade has a pointy and sharp edge, which is strictly used for breaking rough materials like concrete. Some people even use a spade for moving materials, but it is not as useful as a shovel.
Whether you are using a spade or a shovel for the first time, you can easily spot the difference between the two by merely glancing at the blade. The blade of the shovel is angled while the edge of the spade is straight and shaper.
Now that you know what the difference between these two twin brothers, let us now strictly stick to shovels for now. Shovels are generally of two types, long handle shovel, and short handle shovel. Do you know which one you require? This question is the fundamental question to ask yourself when you are on a quest to find the best shovel for yourself.
The answer to this question lies within the purposes of purchase. It also depends on the tasks that you are trying to complete with the shovel. Choosing the shovel with the correct length would help you to keep yourself away from any physical injury during the process and even work efficiently. There are a few fundamental differences between these two types of shovels.
A long-handled shovel offers more leverage and more strength during work. However, it is more expensive, and it can easily break during heavy-duty tasks. A short handle shovel is used for limited workspace. It is cheaper and easy to store. However, users might find it challenging to work with this particular product.
In addition to length, there are various other features of a shovel that you should keep in mind when you are trying to buy the best shovel for yourself. So let us take a quick look at these essential features.
1. Handle Design
The shovel comes with the two most common types of handles. The handle types are either “T” or “D” grip. There is no such thing as the ‘best handle design.’ It all depends on how you lift and use your shovel. The way you work will determine the handle design, which would suit you the best.
Some people are more comfortable with the “D” grip while others are comfortable with the “T” grip. The best way to understand which one would work best for you is by trying out an old shovel of your friend or relative.
Furthermore, you should also try to buy a shovel which has a round blade. This design helps the user in finding a place for resting their feet on the product while they are using it for digging purposes.
2. Handle Material
Even the material with which the handle is made up of matters a lot. The handle is the place from where the users hold the shovel. In most cases, the handles are made up of wood since it is commercially very appealing to the users. The wood is also soft to touch. However, shovels that come with wooden handles are more massive.
Fiberglass is another common type of material that is used for making handles. They are not only more durable and stronger than wood, but they are also lighter than wood. However, the only drawback is that shovels made of fiberglass handles are more expensive than shovels made of wooden handles.
The shovel blades are either made up of stamped steel blades or forged blades. When it comes to durability, a shovel with a forged steel blade is undoubtedly going to last for a reasonable period. In case the shovel has been tempered, it would be an added advantage.
However, it would further increase the price of the shovel. You can also buy a shovel made of stainless steel, which is also rust-proof, but it would not be able to perform heavy-duty tasks. Unless you are purchasing the shovel for lightweight work, then it is not advisable to spend extra money on a stainless shovel.
There are various other materials that you can choose for the blade-like aluminum and plastic. The only problem is that the blades made of such material can be only used for lifting light materials such as snow or sand.
4. Overall Size
Shovels are available in a wide size range, starting from extra short handle ones to extra long handles. The perfect size depends on two common aspects. The first aspect is the size of the user. If you are tall and middle-aged and you are somewhat compelling, then you can buy the gigantic shovels with long handles.
They would work best for you. However, if you are old, short, and you do not have much physical strength, then you should buy a shovel which has a short handle. This way, you would be able to find the perfect size for yourself.
The second aspect is determining the size of the shovel, which would work great for you depends on your work purpose. If you have to move lots of material, then you buy a shovel which has a big blade.
We know how to buy the best products can be taxing. From checking and comparing products to continue going through the reviews of the other customers, we know it all. Hence, after much comparison in terms of durability, tenacity, and specializations.
We bring you an accumulation of research that helps you to purchase the shovel that takes care of your requirements. In this part, we will state the features, pros, and cons of each and every product so that we can help you make a better decision.
Top 14 Best Shovels For Digging 2020
1. Sog Folding Shovel Survival Shovel
This survival shovel is one of the best shovels for digging, that comes at a very low price. Being compact and easy to use, it comes with a handy pouch as well. It is made of high carbon steel, ensuring heavy-duty use in austere conditions.
- This product is of 24.5 Oz. The Entrenching Tool is designed to be lightweight, ultra-compact that is better than heavyweight products.
- The product is made of high carbon steel that makes the product durable even when being used in austere conditions.
- The trifold size helps the product to be folded and remains small, which helps in the mobility of the entrenching tool.
- The tool has a sawtooth edge and hoe that can give you better leverage while working with it.
- Though it is lightweight, it can be used to carry out the heavy workload.
- It comes along with a pouch, making it easier for you to carry it anywhere.
- The entrenching tool has an adjustable blade and can be locked at any angle for better security and usage.
- It comes in a trifold design, which is easier to mold and work.
- A bit smaller than your usual trenching tool.
With all the pros weighing cons, it is one of the handiest tools that you can use while gardening. This shovel ranks at the first place in our list of best shovels because of its wide array of features.
2. Root Assassin 32″ Mini Garden Shovel
This Root Assassin takes half the time to get your work done in comparison to other regular tools that you use. Known as the best shovel for digging, landscaping, tree removal, gardening, this tool is your one in all gardening tools.
- This equipment weighs around 2.2 pounds. With the perfect and unique design from the handle to the tip, Root Assassin is the complete package that makes your work easier.
- It comes with a sturdy handle for you to grip it better and reduce the total time that you spend working on it.
- The tool comes with a pointed instrument that helps the consumer to dig better.
- The serrated and double-sided head eases your work while cutting through roots and more robust materials.
- It has a bone structure and a curved tip to make your work seamless.
- The tool is sturdy and hard, making your work easy.
- It comes with the durability of a long time without any wear.
- The handle is sturdy, making your grip stronger on the tool.
- More comfortable to store, you can fit this equipment in your regular garden toolbox
- It takes lesser time to complete your task with its efficiency saving you more time.
- It is larger than your usual gardening tool.
This equipment helps you increase your efficiency and also does not wear out easily. Made for tougher jobs, this product is one of the best shovels for digging.
3. Radius Garden 22411 Root Slayer Mini-Digger
- This product weighs 3 pounds and is rated as one of the best by the customers who have purchased it.
- It is not only used as a shoving tool but also as a metal detector tool.
- A perfect combination of size and sturdiness, it is suitable for traveling as well as using it as a garden essential.
- With a better gripping surface, it helps you to provide more leverage while working with it.
- The tool comes with a V-shaped tip, designed to tear through roots and dirt.
- For the customer’s benefit, it is made in a way to relax your arm, wrist, and hand stress.
- The tool is designed in such a way that it helps to rip through the dirt and roots of your garden.
- It comes with an extra grip padding for a better grip and also reduces stress on your hands, wrists, and arms.
- The tool can provide you with higher leverage.
- Being sturdy and handy, it is your go-to companion for outdoor work.
- The product is a bit smaller than your usual gardening tool.
Compared to other tools, being sturdy and perfect in size, it aids you with your garden. It also takes care of the stress you release while digging by providing you better gripping handle.
4. Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel
- It can be folded from 16.25 inches to 9. 25 inches, being compact in design and nature.
- Being designed ergonomically, it has a fast push slide button.
- Strong in strength, it can be used for a wide range of activities outdoor and indoors.
- Powerful in nature, it is 1.68 pounds in weight.
- It can be stored in a small toolbox or bag due to its compact size and foldable feature.
- The ergonomic design aids in using the tool faster and in a better manner.
- The tool is sturdy and powerful in nature, preferable for a lot of activities.
- It is smaller in size.
The only con of the product is small in nature. Apart from that, it is compact and sturdy for your daily gardening usage.
5. Cold Steel 92SF Special Forces Shovel with Hardwood Handle
- It has a weight of 1.38 pounds. The nature of the equipment is durable and effective for daily use.
- It comes with a hardwood handle, which makes it last longer and using easier. The product has sharp edges that make it easier to rip through the dirt.
- The shovel head and the socket is forged from medium carbon steel.
- Due to its hardwood handle, it is easier to grip and provides leverage while working.
- The sharp edges make it easier for you to shove and dig through the dirt or roots in your garden.
- Shovelhead and the socket are made up of carbon steel that helps you to apply pressure without thinking twice about breaking it.
- The edges of the tool are very sharp, and you may consider using a sheath or tough glove not to cut yourself.
The con here shows how useful the tool is and the other pros vouch for the efficiency of the equipment.
6. Spear Head Spade – Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel
- The spear-shaped blades are made of high carbon manganese steel that is 33% thicker and 25% harder than normal shovels. They are sharpened from tip to tail at a 35-degree angle to give them an effective and durable edge.
- They are powder coated with an epoxy resin for durability and ease of cleaning.
- The shovel has a lightweight cushioned polymeric grip that is designed to make it easier and more comfortable during tough digging.
- The grip also has UV inhibitors that allow it to withstand the harshest outdoor conditions.
- It is an expensive product.
Due to its unreasonably high price, it is advisable to know your actual need before investing a lump sum on just a spade. It is undoubtedly one of a kind in the spade variety.
7. Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade
- There is a serrated edge on half the blade to give you extra digging power, this entrenching tool folds small for easy transport and unfolds to 2 feet for use.
- The virtually indestructible glass-filled nylon handle features an open design, giving you room for a firm grip and increased leverage.
- The anodized 7075 aluminum shaft also gives this entrenching tool strength and durability.
- A locking mechanism will keep the shovel open when in use, keeping you safe and protected when you apply pressure during shoveling.
- The folding parts of the shovel are stiff to open or fold back. Hence it requires a lot of pressure to operate that part.
The shovel’s small size works well in compact spaces where a regular size shovel won’t fit. It is an excellent handy product that can fit easily anywhere for storage. You can also carry it during a camp or while traveling. It can be stored in the back of the car for emergency digging.
8. Military issue Tri-Fold Entrenching Tool (E-Tool)
- It comes with a steel blade and aluminum handle that enhances the strength of the shovel.
- It has a sharpened ax edge, and serrated saw edge for better digging on solid grounds.
- The shovel comes with an ODG vinyl cover for protected storage.
- It has a black powder coat finish for an excellent exterior look and metal protection from the harsh seasons.
- The tri-fold design helps secure storage and carrying with the added lightweight of the shovel.
- There are customer reviews of not receiving the authentic military issue model.
Being a military product and of proper authentication, this product can be a good buy if you are a person favoring travels. You may also keep this product handy at your garage or along with your lawn tools or at the back of your car.
9. The Ames Companies 2916100 AMES LHRP Floral Shovel
- It is made of tempered steel floral blade for digging in tight spaces and any soil condition.
- The power collar adds strength and durability to the long shovel.
- The handle is made up of durable hardwood to make last for a longer time.
- There are cushioned grip at the handle for better control and comfort of the user.
- There is a hole at the end of the handle for hanging the shovel for storage.
- The wood handle stick is a disadvantage against season changes, unlike stainless steel. Wood is bound to wear away with frequent contact of water.
Apart from the whole wooden material, there is not much to worry about this product at a reasonable price. It can be used as a perfect gardening tool in a garden where you have to dig up soft flower beds.
10. Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-Handle Digging Shovel
- The welded 14-gauge hardened steel blade and 18-gauge steel shaft provide durability that far outlasts wood-handled tools and won’t flex like fiberglass.
- The large D-handle design offers two-handed control.
- The sharpened blade cuts into dense soil easily.
- The extra-large foot platform helps maximize force to break up hardened soil.
- It is backed up with a lifetime warranty.
- The entire shovel is powder-coated to prevent rust.
- The teardrop-shaped shaft and oversized d-handle provide ergonomic comfort and control during use.
- There is a problem that is returning the product as it is a 3rd party seller.
- There are complains about the wielding wearing out quickly.
This shovel can be a good buy at a cheaper rate if brought in a single piece. Due to its complete steelworks, it promises for excellent durability.
11. Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel w/Sheath
- The blade is made up of carbon steel which makes it durable and season proof.
- It 2mm shovel head is made up of sharpened edges for better pressure, and digging is tough areas.
- It comes with a cor-ex sheath cover for better-protected storage and portability.
- The lightweight of the shovel allows you to carry it for various purposes like camping etc.
- It is not advisable to use for heavy-duty or large areas of digging.
It is a smart buy if you are willing to go on a long trip or fond of camping very often. Although small in size, this shove is hardy and has a great grip due to its hard handle and the functional fixations with the shovelhead.
12. Tabor Tools Folding Shovel
This super-compact e-tool is suitable for camping, hiking, adventure, garden, and other outdoor activities. It can be used as an extraction shovel for SUV 4X4 off-road vehicles. It weighs 1.63 pounds.
- The military-style entrenching shovel can be used either straight or at a 90° angle. The overall length, when unfolded, is 19,” providing plenty of leverage for tough digging.
- It comes in a convenient carrying pouch with a loop so that the shovel can be attached to a belt or backpack.
- The sharpened edge is for digging, and the serrated saw edge cuts through roots, compost, mud, sand, and snow.
- Its excellent foldable quality is such that, when completely collapsed, this shovel fits into a 6″ by 8″ green carrying bag.
- The customer service is very prompt.
- It is not suitable for very hard soil or extensive work on a whole.
This shovel is handy for carrying and comes handy during emergencies. The folding quality is a plus one for the buy as it is a good way of storage and usage.
13. Lesche Sampson Pro-Series Shovel
- The shovel’s long tapered cutting edges gives long life in hard digging conditions.
- The blades are pre-sharpened for cutting, with dimensions of 7 1/2″ long x 4″ wide.
- It is virtually self-sharpening during use.
- The T-handle gives additional support while detecting hard metal.
- The product is an expensive purchase.
- The T-handle grip is not very comfortable while in use.
This is a lightweight T-handle pro-series long handled digging tool that is perfect for digging the deepest coins & relics.
14. The Ames Companies 2584300 True Temper Digging Shovel
- The round point forged steel blade is durable and shaped for digging.
- There is a featured comfort step for secure footing.
- It has 47 inches long fiberglass handle for durability and hard work.
- It comes with a cushion end grip for comfort and control.
- The fiberglass handle is weather-resistant.
- There are complaints regarding the assembling of the parts of the shovel. It has poor fitting arrangements.
This product is of good value to homeowners with any landscaping and gardening requirements. The assembly part could be sorted out by the seller or the manufacturing guide. If not, then one can easily take the help of a nearby hardware store.
Best Shovel – Your pick?
As we wind-up this shovel review, we would like to say that these tools are beneficial for gardening and to clear snow from the roof and driveway. Depending on your needs, the right tool will clear snow faster, with less strain on your back and arms. Some can feel downright efficient, helping you rip through the light, fluffy stuff nearly as fast as a blower.
From all the top-rated shovels listed above, you can make a selection of the best shovel according to your needs. We have mentioned models that are great with soft soil digging and hard platform usage.
It is all about the mechanical effort for the use of the shovel; hence, there is least of the mechanical parts that could go wrong. Concentrating on the weight and solidity of the material and the type of work you would like to do with your shovel should help you choose the appropriate one from this buyer’s guide.