Best spade to use for gardening

When i talk about the best spades to use for gardening you must realise there are several types that are considered the best for a task.

An edging spade is great for edging out lawn to soil but there are better when it comes to removing deep rooted weeds or shrubs.

According on the job you require the spade to perform I made a list to help get the spade designed for the job.

The first in question is for the obvious task people assume all spades are for

Digging spade

Yes of course the spade to dig your garden. The most common use of all spades. I have used many spades and the few things I found to be of High importance;

  • The handle needs to be strong
  • Two the blade or spade head is much easier to use when it is sharp.
  • Stainless steel is my choice of metal if you intend keeping it for a duration.

Now there are a lot of digging spades out there, so I have gone through my fair share to find the ones I would use and recommend.

Here is my picks

Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade



  • Very good quality
  • Good item for mid range price
  • Top rated
  • Extremely popular


  • This 3rd generation model not as good as older models

  Best Review From Customers

A really good quality item but for a mid range price. Spear and Jackson are a brand that says quality and I’ve had a number of their items over the years. Quite expensive in comparison to some others but they last far longer so are worth the investment.
However, after my ex managed to snap several of my gardening tools. I’m not sure how, most likely using them for jobs they weren’t designed for. Like, my trowel as a tyre iron or my shovel as a car prop for example. I stopped buying more expensive items as it wasn’t worth the embolism of rage.
However, now he’s the ex and my tools are safe I bought this, not as expensive and doesnt have the wonderful wooden handle but still a great product and far superior to other similar items in the same range

Worst Customer Review

I’ve bought 3 generations of this same spade by spear and Jackson, for use in my business. We dig holes for installing fence posts. The first gen was grey, and perfect, the second generation was red, and fades in colour and is now pink, the 3rd generation is red also, and they have curved the BACK of the spade making is a nightmare to dig anything that’s deeper than the depth of the spade. you cannot dig a neat hole deeper than 10″ anymore. I ordered one which had the photo of the previous generation spade, but they sent me the third gen spade, which was useless. There was no way of contacting the seller to exchange it for the spade in the photo, and customer services sent me through to Spear and Jackson themselves who said i have to take this up with the amazon seller, which i cannot. We have ended up grinding off the stupid bloody fins at the back of the spade and now have a nasty edge to stand on because of the curved metal. Thanks for nothing speak and jackson.

This popular spade has a very strong polypropylene shaft with a lovely comfortable handle with grip pad.

This well-known brand produces good quality tools for gardening and very reasonably priced.

Extremely desirable with over 400 reviews and highly rated. These are my deal closing facts that lure me to the spear and Jackson stainless steel digging spade.

Added bonus is the price that gives it fantastic value for money satisfaction.

Border spade

A border spade is smaller than a conventional spade with a straight blade. This is the tool for cutting out borders along the lawn edge keeping it straight.

Super designer shaped borders can be created easily with the use of an old long length of hose pipe. Staple the hose down using wire hooks to from the required shape. Using your border spade cut away the unwant turf and from a v channel below the turf surface. This prevents the grass from spreading into the planted soil areas.

Well with that said this border spade is perfect:

Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Border Spade



  • Nice Quality
  • Not too heavy
  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Well balanced


  • Design innovation ruins good spade

  Best Review From Customers

At 1.9 kg it weighs nearly half a kilo more than the slightly more expensive version with the wooden shaft (1.5 kg). This adds up over the course of a day. A nice feature is the flange at the top of the blade which prevents it cutting into the sole of your shoe as you dig

Worst Customer Review

This spade has a nice strong handle, which is reassuring, having snapped a good few wood ones in my time, but the blade has a tendency to bend, quite abruptly, which is a little unnerving. Thankfully, it flexes right back into shape but this makes the spade unsuitable for heavier jobs, which is a shame considering how robust the handle seems to be.
It is nice and comfortable to use, even for hours on end.
[update] After a few days of use, the blade suffered a fatigue fracture. This spade is not suitable for anything more demanding than digging up a dandelion.

Yes Spear and Jackson have done it again. Very popular with fantastic ratings from customers that have bought and used this spade.

Another kind of spade

A micro Mound shovel

This very popular small shovel I have found is ideal for mixing soil compounds together in a wheelbarrow. You can see the benefits of the short shaft that make mixing any mounds simple. I used it for mixing my own compost with riddled soil to blend a nutrition mix for different vegetables I was growing.

Roughneck ROU68004 Micro Shovel 


I used this shovel for mixing in a barrow, but it is perfect for many uses. Moving mounds of gravel, sand, soil quickly over an area is we’re this little shovel earns its keep.

Very popular with hundreds of satisfied customers leaving highly rated reviews.

A definite on my shopping list of must have garden tools and it is easy to be lost without one.


  • Perfect for raised beds
  • Good quality
  • Extremely popular
  • Excellent for use in confined space


  • Too short

  Best Review From Customers

Wouldn’t be without one of these now. Got it because of the effort of using a large spade to move compost and topsoil from bulk sacks on the front drive to where it was needed in the back garden. So much easier with the smaller length stock to transfer from bulk sack to smaller bag or wheelbarrow and out of the latter to where it was needed. Subsequently, found it great for digging round roots of trees and bushes where you have little elbow room and in other awkward situations. The round point is pretty good at cutting through turf and roots and this is my go to tool for moving plants as its so light. I also find it more convenient for shifting ballast, sand and cement from sacks into the concrete mixer and threw it into the boot when winter came – just in case. It’s stood up to a lot of hard work. My wife finds it perfect for turning over and composting in the raised beds. I liked it so much I also bought the square ended version which is more efficient for shifting sand and snow.

Worst Customer Review

The description is I feel a little ambiguous , reading it I thought I was ordering a spade that has a 27 inch handle ! Unfortunate this is not the case, turns out the handle is only

Long handled digging shovel

If you have back complaints this shovel is a dream, this is the one in question

Spear & Jackson Irish Round 54-inch Open Socket Shovel


This long handled digging shovel prevents bending over causing your back to ache. Just minimal bending required. The pointed blade cuts into most soils with ease with its long handle leverage to lift large portions of soil and turn it over from a standing position. I fully recommend this shovel for digging purposes around the garden for anyone concerned there back will stop there achievements.

Shaft is made of Ash which is a Harwood and adds to the strong construction of this excellent shovel. The blade head is a powder coat steel to prevent rusting.

Bought in relatively High numbers for a little known about shovels in this modern era.

Good reviews giving High rating to those who bought and tried this shovel main objective saying how simple it is to use and very friendly on there back.

The moderate pricing is also a big factor for buyers.

I would use this shovel on large areas of soil that needed to be turned over.


With digging I mind I have to digress a little and show you a tool I adore. Having an overgrown allotment for a while without this tool I would be lost. Other allotment holders never even possessed one between the which I found shocking.


  • Makes digging simple
  • Good spade for those who get back problems
  • Strong construuction
  • Pointed blade head pierces hard soil quite easily


  • Can not use in restricted spaces
  • Hard to dig close to border fences

  Best Review From Customers

How I have managed without this product is a miracle….having suffered from “gardeners back” for years I am pleased to say the days of crying myself to sleep at night are over.😀
Planted 14 rows of potatoes in a crack!!!!
Amazing product….trust me you will never use a spade again.

Worst Customer Review

you’ve got to be a giant in order to use this spade. The photograph does not reflect the true shape of the spade, it is actually bent. The packaging was appalling, the corner of the spade was sticking out of the box to the point that i had to attache another box in order to return it. Very poor.

Digging Hoe

Harbour Housewares Full Size Azada Digging Hoe with Wooden Handle


This is my favourite and chopped through nettles, bramble, raspberry bushes and comfy with ease. I spent more time moving the felled bramble than chopping it down. It did not stop there; I was able to chop down and uproot most of the problem weeds ridding them forever plus turning the soil. An addictive tool that chops through everything in its way.

For trenches to be dug for planting this is the tool you need. Transforms no grow zones into a productive patch of land in no time, I loved it and still own one. This digging hoe is a must have right from the start 100%.


  • Sharp blade chops into hard bake soil with ease
  • Cuts through roots and lifts unwanted growth
  • strong construction
  • Blade head stays sharpe
  • Digs trenches with ease
  • Chops and lifts through large amounts of Nettles and Bramble without a problem
  • Easy to use, similar to a pick.
  • Holds over 700 reviews with top rating


Needs wedges to fix head to prevent it turning round on the shaft.

  Best Review From Customers

I got one of these hoes, and after few times of normal use the handle broke. I thought it was just bad luck, and bought another one from the same place. When I got it I checked the handle, and didn’t look good (see photo). In less than an hour of use, being very careful to not do much strength, the second handle broke. I see some other users posting images of broken handles, I bet that they’re selling handles with flaws that they can’t sell in stores. I used a similar hoe I have back home for more than 10 years with the original handle, I don’t believe this is a coincidence

Worst Customer Review

I got one of these hoes, and after few times of normal use the handle broke. I thought it was just bad luck, and bought another one from the same place. When I got it I checked the handle, and didn’t look good (see photo). In less than an hour of use, being very careful to not do much strength, the second handle broke. I see some other users posting images of broken handles, I bet that they’re selling handles with flaws that they can’t sell in stores. I used a similar hoe I have back home for more than 10 years with the original handle, I don’t believe this is a coincidence


These are all the spades necessary to cover all your garden needs. I have provided the best available products to do the job with value and performance possible. Some of the digging tools are reviewed through my own experience. 

I nope this article helps you along and provides the information you require.

I would lone to hear from you and any experiences with the tools in question. If so do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

DISCLAiMER is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate Designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,,, )





Related Articles

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 20