Best Garden Spade – We compare 5 spades from top brands to see how they compare
BEST GARDEN FORKS
The main purpose of a garden spade is to dig soil, usually in autumn and winter, although they can be handy during the year for gardening tasks such as shifting soil and perfecting lawn edges. Just like garden forks, spades are a very important tool to maintain your garden. For beginners, finding the perfect spade that fits their needs can be difficult because when choosing and purchasing products today, everyone is faced with a wide range of different models and brand names. Before selecting a product to buy, it is important to consider the spades durability, function, and comfort.
It is also imperative to find a spade that outfits your stature and physique as it will make gardening far more pleasant and easy. Finding a spade that meets these needs will also have you make an investment for life, rather than a poorly made tool which can be heavy and challenging to maneuver. You will always want to buy the best-quality tool that you can afford. For example, stainless steel types are pretty pricey but they are sturdy, where as others are only long lasting if they are properly cleaned after use and stored in a dry, well-ventilated shed.
Our 'Best Pick' is the Faithfull All Steel Digging Treaded Spade because we consider it to be the best spade for most gardeners thanks to its light weight design, forged carbon manganese steel head and strong metal shaft. A spade which is truly made to last.
Garden Spade Buyers Guide
With literally hundreds of different garden spades available to buy, both in garden centres and from online stores such as Amazon.co.uk, the problem is, even cheap spades can look the part with their shiny stainless steel spade ends and beautiful wooden handle's.
So how can you tell if the more expensive garden spade are better and stronger than the cheaper garden spades. Well you'll be surprised to learn that the most expensive garden spades are not necessarily the best garden spades.
There are a few key questions to ask yourself as well as information about what materials the spade was made from, its durability, and comfort. How often will this tool be in use? How long do you need your tool to last? This will help decide how much you are inclined to spend.
Below are some key features to look for when looking for the best garden spade:
- ?Blade Head - For gardening, you want your spade’s head to have a square point because this makes it ideal for cutting, digging, edging, and lifting sod. You will find that the spade with a narrow head is more for drains or trenches. The narrow head and straighter handle allows the user to work in more restricted areas.
- Materials - When searching for the perfect spade for yourself, it is important to seek the lightest product with wide handles because it allows for an easier and more comfortable grip. Checking the materials the tool is made of will ensure that it is right for the project you want to complete. A stainless steel spade, for example, can slide into soil more effortlessly and are easy to clean. The strongest, lightest, and longer lasting of tools is made from solid forged steel. Tools made from plastic, carbon fiber, and aluminum will be the lightest
- Shafts & Handles - Handles are important when deciding on your garden spade. Products with long handles can ultimately make you bend over a lot. If the spade’s length is too long for you to properly keep your back straight, then this sized tool may not be the best choice for you. You need to be able to keep a good posture while gardening or you will unfortunately have to deal with stress and strains.
- Guarantee - Look for a garden spade which comes with a guarantee , a good quality fork should come with a 10 year guarantee. All the models that made it onto our 'top 5' list came with a 10 year guarantee, Usually if the item becomes faulty within the first 30 days you need to return it to the retailer you purchased it from such as Amazon. Once the 30 days has passed you usually need to return it to the manufacture for a replacement.
- Maintenance - It is very important to keep your tools neat and clean after use because this can significantly increase your tools longevity. It is important to remember to wash the wooden and metal parts in clean water and allow it to dry thoroughly. You also will need to wipe bright metal parts with a cloth coated in light oil. With wood or plastic handles, you can simply just wipe them clean.
TOP 5 RECOMMENDED GARDEN SPADES
Best Garden Spades
Faithful All Steel Digging Treaded Spade
**BEST PICK AWARD**
Made From Carbon Manganese Steel
- Forged from carbon manganese steel
- Perfect for For transplanting and site work
- 5 Years fully guaranteed
- Metal shaft with a fitted metal YD hilt
- Flat treads
The All Steel Spade made by Faithful has a 280mm x 180mm blade head as well as a 700mm shaft. This spade is forged from carbon manganese steel to provide extra might. The metal shaft is fixed with a metal YD hilt with a wooden cross rod for more comfort. Flat treads have also been incorporated for comfort, protecting footwear, and avoiding slips.
You will find this spade is robust, but not heavy. You can use it to create drainage channels, preparing trenches for draining pipes, and for making sided holes for fence posts.
Reviews show that this spade is a must have, especially if your garden contains heavy rocks and other really big and heavy material, you will find this tool remarkably helpful.
The only downside to this spade is the price tag. It is the second of the two most expensive models that you will find in our list.
Would we recommend - Our conclusion for the Faithful All Steel spade is that it is well worth the money you invest when purchasing one. We didn’t find any problems with the spade cracking/breaking or rusting which is unusual as most spades have at least a couple of customer complaints online. It is of great size and proportion for any gardener to play in their flower beds and perfect for heavy duty work as well as general gardening use.
During our research all though its not the best selling spade it is one of the best rated garden spades we have reviewed with excellent reviews on Amazon.
Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade Review
**BEST FORK FOR SMALLER GARDENERS**
- Head is made from stainless steel
- Strong Polypropylene Shaft
- Perfectly sized 28” handle
- 10 Year Guarantee for extra peace of mind
- Better soil penetration
- Easy to clean
- Mirror polished stainless steel for rust resistance
- Light weight at only 2.2Kg
The Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade is 97cm tall, 14cm wide, and 7cm in diameter. The length of the blade is 23cm.
You will find this tool provides great features, such as the mirror polished stainless steel head, to which protects the blade from rust and allows the user to clean it more easily. The ergonomic polypropylene shaft includes a non-slip grip with a wide tilting handle to ensure comfortable use.
This spade can actually be a better choice for gardeners searching for a spade that can be effortlessly maneuvered because of its squatter shaft, smaller sized head, and decreased weight.
A beneficial tool for those who struggle with arthritis or have a weak frame.
It features a great and durable design at a very affordable price. However, there have been a few customer complaints with this spade breaking in half after a couple of uses.
Fully weather resistant which means it can be used in all weather conditions.
Would we recommend - Overall, the Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade is a great choice, if you have a smaller budget but are still after quality.
Proper care of the tool will help it last longer. Simply wiping clean the blade with a little oil or WD40 and allowing it to dry after uses will help prevent the tool from rusting.
It is also best to store your tool in a dry environment. If you are suffering from arthritis or have a weak frame, then this tool could be perfect for you.
It would also be a great option for smaller gardeners, some smaller ladies may find this a comfortable garden spade to use as its also light weight as well as being smaller. It does have the added benefit of coming with a very impressive 10 year warranty for extra peace of mind.
Bulldog Evergreen Digging Spade Review
**SOLID FORGED CARBON STEEL**
BEST FOR BOTH PROFESSIONAL & AMATUER GARDENERS
- Solid Forged Carbon steel and epoxy coated head
- Ash shaft
- Long socket provides durability
- Ergonomic forward angled hilt with non-slip comfort grip
- 10 year guarantee against faulty workmanship and materials
The Bulldog Evergreen spade weighs 2.16kg and is constructed from solid forged carbon steel material and contains a long socket for durability. It is also epoxy coated to provide rust resistance and reduced soil adhesion. This spade is also combined with an ash shaft and an ergonomic forward angled hilt that includes non-slip comfort feel grips.
A great quality spade that offers durability and a wide handle for comfort, you also receive a 10 year guarantee for any faulty workmanship and materials. You will also find that this spade is great for heavy digging. Although this is an affordable spade, you may find that you are ultimately paying more than what you really want.
Would we recommend - Overall, this spade is not expensive, but it is not one of the cheapest tools on the market. From reviews, the little extra is well worth it because it allows the gardener to dig heavy clay gardens. This spade allows you to garden with ease. It also comes with a fantastic 10 year warranty.
There is also a matching boarder fork which is also manufactred using sold-forged carbon steel, you can view the fork version here
This garden spade is made from 'Solid Forged' carbon steel, this means it is very strong , in fact its stronger than our 'Best Pick', this means it would be the better option for professionals gardeners and landscapers as it would cope with more intensive use. After our research, we discovered that Bulldog are one of the only manufactures that still manufacture solid-forged garden tools.
Spear & Jackson Traditional Stainless Steel Border Spade
- Traditional border spade
- Mirror polished, stainless steel head
- Weather proofed hardwood shaft
- Rust resistance including minimal soil adhesion
- One-piece hardwood shaft, split to form a wishbone handle
Spear & Jackson’s traditional stainless steel border spade is ideal for digging in confined spaces, borders, or between plants. The handle is constructed from hardwood that is durable. The wood shaft is one piece which is split to form a wishbone handle.
The spade is a great piece overall with a well thought-out design and will complete the work you set out to do. The mirror polished, stainless steel head allows for easy cleaning, rust resistance, and minimal soil adhesion.
However, this spade is the most expensive tool on this list at time of researching, which is a drawback. It also received quite a few negative reviews such as the shaft snapping where it meets the steel upon second use. However it does have a high amount of reviews with the large majority being positive.
Would we recommend - Negative reviews were few and far between and could possibly be considered a manufactured mistake on these two separate occasions.
It is still a considerably good spade to use in your garden, but some design flaws have knocked it down which is why we did not name it our 'Best Pick'.
Spear & Jackson Neverbend Professional Heavy Duty Spade
- Solid forge carbon steel head and socket
- Part polished blade
- Weatherproof hardwood shaft
- MYD handle
The Neverbend Professional Heavy Duty Spade by Spear & Jackson contains an oversized solid forged steel head and socket with a partially polished blade. The weatherproofed hardwood shaft provides better durability and is finished with a MYD handle.
This is a high quality spade made from superior materials. You are also given a guarantee against defects caused through manufacturing, as well as those that are subject to normal wear and tear. This spade is also affordable for any budget. Unfortunately, there have been customer complaints in which handles have snapped.
Would we recommend - Overall, this spade could be well worth your money and is recommended. With only a few complaints stemming from the handle, all-in-all, this spade could be a good buy for your garden is your looking for a model with a slightly larger head.
Finals thoughts and conclusion
The five best garden spades reviewed in this list all have great features and functionality to help anyone keep their garden in the best condition.
Size and length is also a very important aspect to keep in mind when looking at garden spades, to help prevent stress, strains, and pains to your back.
Which one will meet all of your requirements and stay in your budget?, All of these spades were constructed with every gardener in mind and are ideal for amateur gardeners, however professional landscapers and gardeners might want to avoid the cheaper Spear & Jackson Neverbend and Tradition boarder spade.
Our best recommendation for heavy duty work would be either our 'Best Pick' the Faithfull All Steel Spade or the Bulldog Evergreen Digging Spade, both of which are designed to cope with with heavy workloads.
Smaller gardeners and ladies may want to consider the Spear & Jackson Select Spade which is both slightly smaller and lighter than most other spades making it more comfortable and easier to use around the garden.
If your looking for a quality spade for pottering around the garden then you cannot go wrong with the Spear & Jackson Traditional Border Spade.
Looking for the best garden fork?
Read our reviews on the best garden forks to see which we recommend and why.
I hope you found our research and reviews useful, do you have any of these spades and want to share your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.