Of all my prized possessions, the greatest of them all is my garden. Many people have gardens and there’s nothing unique about that.
However, the experience of growing food from their seedlings, watering them, transplanting them, and taking care of them until they’re ready for market or consumption is purely work of art.
With time I have changed routines and equipment used; I even changed my seedlings vendor once. The only item that has remained constant in all my gardening life is my shovel.
The shovel is an instrumental part of any successful gardening, and picking one out shouldn’t be that hard. However, getting one that matches certain criterion, a shovel that appeals to both you and your garden isn’t that simple.
If you’ve grown attached to a specific brand of a shovel, you know what I’m talking about. But if you would like to do a little more digging (no pun intended) into which shovel works best for you, there’s no need to worry because I have compiled a list of all the qualities of different shovels, their pros, and cons.
At the end of the article, you should be able to make an informed decision as to which shovel matches your preferences.
Below we’ve reviewed the top 10 best shovels for digging on the market in 2017.
Table of Contents
- 10. Ames True Temper Shovel
- 9. Ames TrueTemper 1564400 Shovel
- 8. Seymour Notched Super Shovel
- 7. Ames True Temper Eagle SquarePoint Shovel
- 6. Fiskars Steel Digging Shovel
- 5. Garant Nordic 9-Inch Poly Blade Car Shovel
- 4. Bond LH015 Mini D-Handle Shovel
- 3. Root Assassin Shovel
- 2. Fiskars 9668 Long-Handle Digging Shovel
- 1. AAA 4004 Red Aluminum Utility Shovel
- Which Shovel For Digging Should You Buy?
10. Ames True Temper Shovel
This shovel has a nine and a half inch (with square point) steel blade. It has an easy to grip D-handle that increases the amount of earth you can move at a go. The D-grip is covered to make it easier to grip and use.
The steel blade has forward turned step to secure a firm foot placement, especially if you’re lifting a rigid substance or need some extra force. The shovel also comes with a 30-inch handle (an ideal height), making it easy to use. The handle is made of hardwood for more stability.
- It is thin enough to get into narrowly spaced places
- The blade size is huge enough to move material in a short time
- The blade and handle ratio are well balanced
- The metal collar from the blade to the handle can easily break
- The sharp blade can damage young crops, especially during transplanting
9. Ames TrueTemper 1564400 Shovel
This one packs an eight and a half inch blade that is more sharp and curved especially towards the end. The blade has a forward shifted step for a firm foot placement, especially when trying to penetrate hard ground or trying to dig holes. Though many have described it as a female favorite, anyone can use it and still get the work done.
The shovel also comes with a 30-inch handle that is not only firmly attached to the blade, but also has a D-grip that helps with handling. The grip is glove reinforced to add on comfort when lifting material. The glove is made of wood.
- The shovels design (in both the blade and handle) offer maximum efficiency
- It’s ideal for making holes, especially tree planting sized holes
- Narrow and sleek enough to be mounted on most cars, especially if you’re going camping
- Apply too much pressure on the handle and it might weaken, or even break
- The shovel might not be able to take on heavy work
8. Seymour Notched Super Shovel
This has serrated teeth like cuttings to penetrate through hard packed rocky and tough clay soils and to easily clear any roots and sod off the way. If you’re to use it for gardening, it’s ideal for dry or semi-arid areas.
It has a firm steel ferrule and a square pocket to give it added advantage while working. The handle is cushioned on fiberglass not only to give you comfort while handling it but also for a better grip while working. The cushioned handle also acts a shock absorber.
- Works well with hard types of soil or gravel
- The handle is much longer for a better grip
- It is more durable, especially when compared to other shovels
- In order to effectively cut and clear the sod, you need to sharpen the blade
- Needs extra care when cutting as it can easily and fatally injure you
7. Ames True Temper Eagle SquarePoint Shovel
As the name suggests, this shovel is square in shape. Another key feature is the firm steel blade. It also has a foot placement feature on the top of the shovel blade. The handle has an ergonomic D-grip at the top to increase comfort and control as well as reduce effort used while working.
The handle is also made of hardwood to ensure durability and strength while in use. The long length, thinness, and strength of the handle facilitate a firm grip.
- Ideal for heavy duty use e.g. scraping snow off the way during winter
- You can also use it to scrap of weeds and rocks
- It easily digs holes in areas where the soil is hard
- The grip is not painted and can eventually lead to splinters
- The length of the handle works at a disadvantage for shorter users
6. Fiskars Steel Digging Shovel
This Fiskars shovel has a revolutionary 46-inch blade that really works well while digging. As the name of the shovel suggests, its unique selling point is in digging holes, but due to its unique features, you could also use it for transplanting. The shovel can get deep into the soil ensuring your seedlings aren’t harmed or their delicate roots denatured.
It has a 14 gauge hardened blade that converges towards the tip increasing the force striking the ground. It also has a large D-grip handle which complements either hand. The blade is sharp and can easily penetrate hardened soils and clear dirt clods.
- It has a lifetime warranty that pretty much assures its quality.
- It’s fully made of steel and that makes it more durable and useable on heavy duty projects
- The teardrop shaped blade reduces hand fatigue while working
- Could easily injure you especially if you’re not careful
- In comparison, it’s slightly more expensive than the other shovels
5. Garant Nordic 9-Inch Poly Blade Car Shovel
The shovels come in a variety of blades in various sizes: 13 7/8 inch blade with a D-grip, a 14-inch blade with a poly blade, an 18-inch blade with varying blade types (poly blades, poly blades with D grips, and hardwood handles).
The blades are made from Polyethylene and are ideal for light work around the home. The delicate blade makes the shovel ideal for transplanting and gathering soft dirt and manure.
- Can be used to scrape dirt from the roof without causing damage
- The hardwood handle acts as a shock absorber
- It’s light to store or carry around
- The parts are bought unassembled and makes the assembling a little tedious
- The shovel can be easily damaged, especially when excess force is applied
4. Bond LH015 Mini D-Handle Shovel
This shovel is built to effectively lift and move materials. The head is heat-treated hence increases efficiency and durability. The handle is also very comfortable, and it has a non-slip grip increasing the amount of matter one can lift. The non-slip grip also upsurges the safety level of the shovel while working, as it won’t slip out of your hand.
The shovel is made with strong steel and painted with non-stick and rust resistant paint. Overall, it’s very light but that should not be confused with the amount of work it can do. It’s also cheaper than most of the other shovels.
- Easy to carry around with you
- Light hence doesn’t take toll on you while working
- Cheap while still maintaining efficiency
- The handle is a bit too short to appeal to taller people.
- The D-grip is small and can be cumbersome to work with
3. Root Assassin Shovel
The blade has serrations on both sides, making it function as both a spade and a saw. It’s the ideal multipurpose gardening and household maintenance tool. The shape and make of the blade warrants for the shovel’s use to be stretched, but if you need to cut a tree down, it’s still recommended you use an actual saw.
It is very light as compared to other shovels and the blade comes in either a 32-inch long blade or 48 inches long. It is imperative to buy the original as there are allegations of rip-offs that don’t tend to last that long.
- It comes with a lifetime guarantee
- The serrated blade increases the shovels efficiency
- Being light, it’s easy to carry around and easier on you while using
- The D-grip can come off when pressure is applied
- There is a lot of counterfeit material in the market
2. Fiskars 9668 Long-Handle Digging Shovel
This shovel is sleek and long to give optimum performance. It is ideal for digging through tough soil and terrain. It also has an 18 gauge and a 14 gauge hardened steel shaft that provides resilience, making it lasts longer than most shovels.
The length of the shovel extends to 58 inches and together with the welded steel shaft, it provides more force while striking the ground and does an excellent job in breaking dirt clods in tough terrain area.
- It’s more resilient than most shovel brands
- It has a lifetime warranty
- The long and sleek design enables it to fit in cracks and hardened areas
- The shovel can break under excessive pressure
- It’s heavier and bulky to carry around
1. AAA 4004 Red Aluminum Utility Shovel
Clinching the first position is a shovel I consider as great and versatile. It is light (only weighs 1.3 pounds) and is built with high-quality aluminum that is normally used for constructional purposes.
The aluminum used in the shovels design is not only appealing, it’s also more durable than steel and can comparatively lift more content than steel shovels or shovels made from other materials.
It can adjust from 25 inches to 32 inches depending on the use, making it an adaptable and very handy shovel. It can also be disassembled into three pieces which save on storage space and packing.
- Great both as a car accessory and snow slicing tool
- Versatile, as you can adjust the length depending on use
- It’s collapsible and very light
- It’s efficient since it’s made from construction grade aluminum
- The handle can be a little uncomfortable to use
- Its length means you’ll have to use a little bit more effort
Which Shovel For Digging Should You Buy?
There you go, a list of what I would term as the best shovels in the market. The use might vary from a mundane activity like transplanting your seedlings from the nursery to the garden, to more striking activities like trying to remove snow from your car’s wheels on the rocky terrain.
However, according to my assessment, I would recommend the Root assassin shovel; it offers versatility while maintaining its simple design. You can use it both in the house and around the home for all simple tasks, and if you are met by a hard task, you can also tackle it with this shovel.
Shovels are a fundamental part of our lives and we should all own one. If you would like to change your current shovel or get a new one entirely, it’s quite easy and very inexpensive. You’ll have one shipped direct to your address and you can start gardening or whatever would suit the shovel’s use.