Every green thumb should have at least one spade in their shed to help them maintain their garden's glory. Whether you're just finding your passion for allotment growing or the back of your house could be mistaken for Kew Gardens, this article is here to help you decide between carbon and stainless steel, wooden or plastic handles and other key considerations.
We've ranked the best spades to buy from Amazon, Argos and eBay featuring a supreme selection of border, digging and planting spades from professional brands like Burgon & Ball, Spear & Jackson and Kent and Stowe. With a healthy mix of long-handled spades and shorter shovels, this list gives every home grower something sturdy to hold that's purposed to dig.
Getting your gardening jobs done efficiently and enjoyably can be made that much easier with the right set of tools. To make sure your spade is ready to work with you and not against you, this simple buying guide is here to help you dig up the dirt and get to the bottom of which spades work best.
Finding a spade that'll serve you well comes down to what you're going to use it for. The most common spade type has got to be the digging spade, although there are a couple of other popular types to consider.
Digging and border spades are quite similar in design. The main difference is size, as digging spades have larger blades and longer shafts. This makes them better suited to turning over large patches of dirt. Border spades are more suited to tighter spaces between plants and are often the preferred choice for smaller-framed gardeners.
Planting spades tend to be much shorter than digging and border spades. Their short shafts and small blades are easy to get along with, making them perfect for planting several bulbs in one defined row.
Looking into the materials used in spade construction will go a long way in working out which spade might be right for you. Assessing the blade and shaft/handle separately is essential as these two parts make up the majority of the spade.
A spade's blade needs to be strong and crafted in such a way that it makes light work of your garden's soil. This is why pretty much every spade today features a steel blade. Stainless and powder-coated steels are popular in digging spades as they're more weighty when compared to carbon steel.
This extra weight will guide your spade further through the earth, helping you to turn your garden into the place it was always meant to be. Stainless steel is naturally anti-corrosive while powder-coating protects from rust, making for a tool that will hold up for many years to come.
While many gardeners prefer the weight that stainless and regular steel offers, others enjoy the lighter weight of carbon steel. Despite this, it is also hard-wearing by design and considered to be a durable choice for blades.
Many spades come with a complete shaft and handle that's made from the same material, although this does vary from brand to brand. Spade shafts are primarily made of plastic, fibreglass, wood or metal.
Plastic and fibreglass shafts are lightweight in nature, suiting gardeners who might struggle with fully-fledged metal and wood spades. The only problem with these two materials is they are more susceptible to breakage – especially when put under a lot of stress.
Wood will always be an incredibly popular material for spade shafts as it looks the part while offering shock-absorbing properties – perfect for long bouts with stubborn ground. While strong, metal is much less popular as it can be too hot to handle on scorching summer days and is anything but shock-absorbing.
A pointed blade is a great tool for cutting through grass, stony ground and the inevitable root or two. Find them on spades with long shafts that have a clear intention of doing your toughest work in some of your least desirable ground.
You'll see them featured on small planting spades too. Here, the point is purposed to help with 'quick-succession planting', giving you a more refined hole each and every time. Although they might not be your everyday digging tool, keeping a pointed-blade spade in your shed's artillery is a smart idea by any gardener's standards.
A cutting edge is featured on blades to give the spade a little extra pep to cut through roots, clay and particularly tough soil. Through their serrated, saw-like teeth, cutting edges are the go-to for anyone who is worried about getting through the ground by the big old tree behind the house.
Depending on what you're dealing with, you could also consider spades with not one, but two cutting edges. These are designed solely to be root-cutting weapons. This dedication to cutting does, however, make them less than ideal for transferring soil, as fine soils will slip through the serrated cracks.
With the points of the buying guide considered alongside value for money, this top 10 of the best garden spades found online is here to dig your garden to glory. We've made sure to include a varied selection of spades to suit everyone.
|Total Length||100 cm|
|Total Length||93 cm|
|Shaft/Handle||Metal with grip|
|Total Length||109 cm|
|Total Length||41 cm|
|Shaft/Handle||Steel shaft, plastic handle|
|Total Length||117 cm|
|Total Length||110.5 cm|
|Total Length||91 cm|
|Blade||Tempered stainless steel|
|Total Length||53 cm|
|Total Length||102 cm|
|Total Length||111 cm|
Burgon & Ball
Burgon & Ball
Spear & Jackson
Kent and Stowe
Multi-Digger Garden Spade
Stainless Steel Perennial Spade
Traditional Planting Spade
Stainless Steel Digging Spade
Gardener's Pointed Spade
Garden Spade for Planting
Root Slayer Spade
Carbon Steel Digging Spade
Tough and Robust With a Lifetime Guarantee
About as High-Tech as a Spade Can Get
Premium Tempered Stainless Steel Made in Sheffield
Weatherproof Planting Spade With Pointed Blade
Stylishly Made With Steel and Smooth-Grip Ash
Long Digging Spade With Pointed Blade for Tough Turf
Keep It Controlled With an Extendable Handle
Modern Spade Committed to Cutting Through Roots
Light and Easy to Get Along With Border Spade
The Budget Entry-Level Option
|Blade||Stainless steel||Steel||Tempered stainless steel||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Alloy steel||Steel||Heavy-gauge steel||Steel||Carbon steel|
|Shaft/Handle||Ash wood||Fibreglass||Ash wood||Hardwood||Ash wood||Steel shaft, plastic handle||Plastic||Metal with grip||Plastic||Plastic|
|Total Length||111 cm||102 cm||53 cm||91 cm||110.5 cm||117 cm||41 cm||109 cm||93 cm||100 cm|
All plants are prone to getting a little too big for their beds from time to time. To make sure yours remain healthy and stay looking sharp, we've ranked the 10 best garden shears and hedge trimmers. We've also left the link for the best garden sheds so this ever-growing tool collection of yours has somewhere to go!
Turning your outdoor area into a flourishing environment for bees, bugs and birds to work their magic in is a wonderful feeling indeed. We hope this article has given you a great spade, one that you can look forward to arriving so you can get to work in your garden and see it thrive.
Author: Connor Macanally
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