The Best Shovel Reviews in 2018 – Take Care of Your Yard with Ease

Shovels have been used in gardening since forever and are tools almost as old as time. They were essential gardening tools since time immemorial and are still essential now. They have a variety of uses, from simple digging to lifting and moving different materials, being used as a lever and so on. However, due to some modern developments, they have fallen out of favor with gardeners in recent times. Still, shovels are incredibly useful and are inexpensive – you just need to know how to use them. That’s why we wrote this article, to help you see their benefits and give you tips for picking out the best shovel for your needs. Let’s begin.

Why Buying a Shovel?

While the basic design of a shovel – a handle with a metal blade attached at one end – has remained the same over the years, a lot of has changed in recent times as different manufacturers have attempted to improve upon it. Some might say ‘you can’t improve on perfection, ’ but the different modern designs have certainly made shovels more useful in various situations and far more competitive with other modern products.

The benefits that shovels offer over other products that fulfill similar purposes are simple – they are usually significantly cheaper and far easier to use and maintain. Despite being dirt cheap, they are also rock-solid tools that will last you for a long time and cover a lot of ground.

Still, they might not be able to do everything you need, and they do require exerting yourself to perform the job, so they just might not be for you. You should consider that before buying one.

Man With Shovel

Take Care of Your Yard with the Best Shovel

However, while they are useful, not all shovels are the same. Some might not be very durable at all, or might just be bad at performing their basic functions – it happens when manufacturers try to be too fancy with their shovel designs. Picking the right shovel might be a bit difficult because of that, and we tried to remedy that issue. In this article, we directly compared some of the best shovels on the market and lined out what makes them good and what they’re lacking, while offering you user reviews that do the same. Here’s how the shovels line up against each other:

Meet the Best Shovels

Sale
Fiskars Long Handle Round Point Steel Digging Shovel

The Good: Large and in charge, this shovel is a real heavy-duty beast made to handle any task.

The Bad: It might be too long and too heavy for some people.

The Bottom Line: While not everyone can use it, for the price this shovel is a steal, and it will be great for most people.

Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel – 2017 Green Thumb Award for Most Innovative Garden Tool

The Good: Incredible for taking care of hard and thick roots.

The Bad: Not good for digging and it tends to dull quickly.

The Bottom Line: If you need something for cutting roots, this is your shovel, but anything else might be a stretch.

Sale
Spear Head Spade - Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel with Cushioned D Grip - Award Winning Shovel -  Model SHFD2

The Good: The great blade design makes it versatile and useful for cutting roots and digging.

The Bad: It’s not as durable as claimed, especially the handle.

The Bottom Line: Great for cutting roots and digging, but only for a short while as it is prone to breaking.

While this table might help you in picking the right shovel for you, we recommend you read some of the more detailed info below as well, before making your decision.

All of the Factors Considered

Choosing the right shovel nowadays might a bit more difficult than it seems. Sure, you could just opt for a simple, traditional design that makes you feel safe, but by doing that, you could be missing out on a host of useful features. On the other hand, you might end up with an overdesigned shovel that doesn’t even perform its basic functions to a satisfying degree. That’s why we’ve outlined the most important aspects of the best shovels right here.

Materials

As shovels are heavy duty tools that will suffer a lot of abuse and be put under plenty of pressure almost on a daily basis, they have to be made of sturdy materials. Having a shovel break during the first week of use is not something you want to happen, it can even be a big safety hazard.

However, you also want your shovel to be made of relatively light material – no matter how durable it is, it’s pretty useless if you can barely lift it, let alone use it. Balancing durability with usability is very important.

You should also consider the materials each component is made of – while one type of material might be good for the blade, it could very well be the completely wrong material when it comes to the handle.

When it comes to the blade, steel alloys that are high in carbon and hardened are proffered, while being at least 14-gauge (this refers to the thickness – higher gauge means a thicker blade).

As for the handle, steel, wood or aluminum are usually used, and all have their benefits and downsides – some absorb shock better, some are more durable or lighter and so on.

Blade Shape

Length and width are probably the most important aspects when it comes to the shape of a shovel blade, and the thing that varies the most between different models.  Having a larger blade is beneficial for a lot of reasons. With a wider blade, you can carry a lot more materials at once while a longer blade allows you to dig deeper. However, you need to consider if the blade might be too big for your needs or too heavy for you due to the size.

Of course, the design of the blade itself is also an important aspect to consider. Square shaped blades are usually more suited for carrying stuff or just shoveling things from a flat surface. Pointed blades, on the other hand, are best suited for digging and usually have sharp edges.

Various additions to the blade are also important – for example, some blades might have serrated teeth on the side, intended for digging through hard, rocky terrains.

All of this and more is important to consider when picking the best shovel blade for you.

Comfort

Since you will most likely be using a shovel for extended periods of time, you want it to be comfortable enough to use for hours without making you get blisters or hurting your muscles and joints too much.

The handle length is important for comfort – choose the one that fits your height and arm length, as well as the area you’ll be working on, is paramount. A handle that’s too big or too small will cause you to strain yourself.

Weight is also key, as a shovel that’s too heavy might cause you to get tired way too quickly – but one that’s too light might do that as well since you might need to put more strength into it to dig. The balance of the weight also comes into play – a super-light handle with an incredibly heavy blade is just a bad design that will cause you discomfort.

There are other additional comfort features that might come into play, like foam or rubber grips, different shapes of the handle and so on. It’s important to pick one you’re comfortable with.

Versatility

Modern shovels can come with a host of additional features which make your job easier or offer functions you didn’t even think on. There are those with exchangeable blades, adjustable handles, and so on. You can pick a shovel with nearly any feature you might need these days.

Now that we’ve listed all the important factors to consider when picking a shovel, let’s see how the products we picked rank in those areas.

In-depth Reviews of 3 Shovels

Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel
Summary
This is a heavy-duty shovel made completely out of extremely durable heavy-gauge steel, with a long, wide and sharp blade. The design of the handle and the blade make it very comfortable to use, and it is suited for heavy-duty work. However, that adds a lot of weight to it, more than some can handle.
Materials95
Blade Shape95
Comfort95
Versatility85
What We Like
Long - comfortable handle
Made of durable materials
Wide - comfortable foot pads
What We Don't Like
Heavier than other shovels
The blade tip wears out quickly
93
Great

Key Features

Made of Durable Steel

With a 14-gauge hardened steel blade and an 18-gauge steel shaft, this shovel is guaranteed to last for years and years.

Heavy-duty Blade

A long, wide and sharp blade ensure that this shovel can easily perform even the hardest of tasks.

Comfortable Design

With a long handle you don’t need to bend while digging and the wide blade ensures that there’s enough space for your foot at any time.

Customer Reviews

This is an exceptional shovel. I heard a lot about it being too heavy, but I don’t think it’s heavier than similar shovels I used before. I got it because I had to replace my previous shovel which broke too quickly.

This is a very stout shovel; it doesn’t bend even when I put all of my weight on it while getting the dirt out of a hole, so it doesn’t look like it will break. The pads on it are wide and comfortable – I can jump on them even while wearing rubber boots. The handle length seems just right, and it has a very comfortable shape. The head is also good, has a nice shape and is just large enough. The only drawback that comes to mind is that it was unsharpened when I bought it, but I easily fixed that.

My shovel recently broke while I was digging up a shrub I wanted to relocate – the neck of the shove just snapped in two, even though it was metal. I got to looking for a replacement and came across this incredible tool. I never thought anyone made a heavy-duty shovel like this one. I’m extremely satisfied so far. It works well for cutting roots and digging up heavy soil.

This shovel is entirely made of steel, and the handle is great and comfortable while the wide step platform accommodates your foot nicely. The thick blade is also incredibly good for heavy use. The shovel itself is rather heavy, so it’s not for the elderly or children, but if you can lift it, you’ll get some great use out of it.

Most likely the best shovel I ever had, and I don’t think I’ll ever get a better one. It’s heavy but that’s what makes it so great for heavy duty use, and it worked especially well when I was digging up heavy clay soil that was filled with rocks. You can just go in without worrying about breaking it. It’s also incredibly efficient at cutting through roots, and the wide blade helps with that. For the price, this thing is a bargain.

Who Should Buy This Product

This shovel is suited for almost anybody, with a great design, durable construction, and a very affordable price. It can be used both for heavy-duty work as well as some lighter tasks and is guaranteed to last for a long time.

What to Watch Out For

The only real problem with this shovel is that it is very heavy and long – meaning that shorter and weaker people will have problems using and should look for a different product. However, for everyone else, this is not an issue.

The Conclusion

For the asking price, this is just an amazing product that is extremely durable, suited for pretty much any task you might need a shovel for and has almost no drawbacks. It might not be suited for shorter or weaker people do to its size and weight, but for people who don’t fall into those categories, this will probably be the shovel of choice.

Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel
Summary
With a tough, thick, sharp, serrated blade, this shovel lives up to its name with ease as it can cut almost all roots without you even breaking a sweat. It’s also sure to last you for a long time, and the comfort it provides is great. However, the narrow blade that gives it cutting power also limits its use.
Materials90
Blade Shape90
Comfort85
Versatility90
What We Like
Very thick and sharp blade
Ergonomic design
Made to be durable
What We Don't Like
The narrow blade limits its use
Heavy for its size
Serrated edges wear out fast
89
Great

Key Features

Made from Durable Materials

The Root Slayer is certified to be more than 150% stronger than all comparing tools by Intertek, an independent testing laboratory.

Long, Sawed Blade

A long and sharp blade with serrated edges made for cutting roots in a flash!

Ergonomic Design

The patented O-grip handle made from a non-latex, thermoplastic elastomer over-molded onto polypropylene ensures comfort.

Multi-purpose Design

Think of the Root Slayer as a shovel, root hatchet and root saw, all in one tool!

Customer Reviews

This shovel finally helped me SLAY the nasty, tough weeds growing in my yard that I had trouble with for years. They resisted any weed killer I tried, and I broke multiple tools trying to root them out, to no avail. This shovel finally helped me uproot them and destroy them for good. I just can’t sing the praises of this shovel enough, as I would probably still be trying to get rid of those weeds if it wasn’t for the Slayer.
The neighbor’s bamboo was invading into my yard, and I needed a shovel that was strong, but also flexible enough so it could get into those thigh spaces and dig the nasty things out. It proved to be extremely sturdy and well-made as I dug out roots with it for hours with no problems and could lean on it with no issues. This is now my favorite shovel, and I will use it for anything.
I had enough of shovels with poorly made blades that bent when I just tried to dig out some dense soil and I struggled with digging for almost two seasons. When the blade finally just snapped down the middle I had enough and decided to shell out a bit more cash for something better. Finally, I decided on this shovel, and I can say I’m more than satisfied with it. The blade is just incredible; it’s very sharp and durable, able to deal with almost anything you put it up against. The thick roots I have to cut almost daily stood no chance against. This product has my recommendations.

Who Should Buy This Product

This shovel works great for cutting roots and for people who have problems with that it can be a real lifesaver. It cuts roots rather easily, even very thick and hard ones.

What to Watch Out For

While it is great for cutting roots, it is not great for digging and even when cutting it can dull quickly, especially the saw-like edges. While it is durable, it might not be suited for some real heavy duty use.

The Conclusion

Overall, a pretty great product for the price, a great multi-purpose design that also ensures comfort while being seriously durable. However, while it cuts roots like no one’s business, it is not great for digging, and it might dull quicker than expected. It’s a good product, but not a great one.

Spear Head Spade Gardening Shovel
Summary
The noticeable thing about this shovel is the unique blade design and the way it allows it to be great for both digging and cutting roots at the same time, even though the blade is narrow. The comfortable handle design is also a nice bonus. However, it might not be as durable as the manufacturer claims.
Materials80
Blade Shape90
Comfort85
Versatility95
What We Like
Incredibly sharp
It has multiple uses
Very comfortable to use for extended time periods
What We Don't Like
The handle seems easy to break
The foot space is small
The protective coating on the blade wears off fast
88
Great

Key Features

Made from Durable Materials

The blade is made from high-carbon manganese steel while the handle is constructed from fiberglass, ensuring a durable and light tool.

Patented Blade Design

The unique blade is designed in such a way that it always gets into the softer parts of the ground, gradually easing its way through even the most difficult of conditions.

Comfortable Grip

The light weight cushioned polymeric grip is designed to make it easier and more comfortable for heavy digging.

Hybrid Garden Shovel and Spade

The first of its kind, this shovel is made for digging, cutting roots and functioning as a spade, at the same time.

Customer Reviews

This is a shovel I got to use when going metal detecting. Most shovels with a longer handle, made specifically for this were simply too short for me since I’m a pretty tall person. I can’t bend due to having some back surgery recently, and I need to dig standing up.

So far, this shovel works for me. The size of the head is nearly perfect for digging a plug, while the area for your foot to step on is large, so it’s easy to shove into the ground. It also seems well-made, and I had no problems with anything breaking – but there might still be, I’ll update after a few months of use. But from what I’ve seen by now, it’s a five-star product.

I usually need to dig up soil full of clay, and it annoyingly stuck to most of my shovels, making the job more difficult than it needed to be. This one, however, just makes short work of it and almost nothing sticks to it, which was a real relief. Now I can dig holes for my plants, dig trenches for wire or cut thick roots. Yes, it works for cutting roots since it is sharp – be careful, you might cut yourself, especially when the protective coating starts wearing off. Otherwise, this is just an amazing product.
This shovel is a real quality product, but it is a bit too heavy for an old woman like me to use on a regular basis. When my son used it, he said it was very good, but I can’t rely on him so I might return it, sadly. The reason I got it was because it didn’t have a wood handle – they rot out incredibly fast, so I wanted something more long-lasting. If you are stronger or younger, this might be the shovel for you, even though it doesn’t work for me.

Who Should Buy This Product

This shovel is great for people who need something that will both do a great job of cutting roots and when digging up soil, since this product can do both with no problems.

What to Watch Out For

A few things, but the most important one is that this shovel is not as durable as it seems at first and parts of it might break after some heavy use. The handle seems to be especially at risk and you should be careful not to put your whole body weight on it.

The Conclusion

Overall, this is a pretty decent multi-purpose product that might find a place in many people’s garden arsenal due to its comfortable design and versatility. However, it might not stay there for long as its durability is doubtable. Still, it’s a decent shovel if you need something for both digging and cutting roots.

The Best Pick – Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel

In the veritable seas of shovels available out there, it’s difficult for one product to stand out. Most try to do it with various fancy features and weird designs, but some stand out simply because they are better than the rest. For us, a shovel like that is the Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel and no other. The sturdiness that it offers combined with its ease of use and the ability to be applied to almost any heavy-duty task would make it a bargain even for double the price you can get it at. It’s just a great product, through and through.

Video Review

The Conclusion

Our top pick might be the right shovel for you, but again it might not be. It’s up to you to dig through the amazing amount of shovels on offer and find the best one for you – it might be any of the shovels present here, or another one. It’s up to you to decide – we just hope we were helpful to you and, if that was the case, please share this article around to other people who might find it helpful. Have a good day and good luck digging!

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