Best Garden Shovel Review in 2019 – Your Top Picks

Introduction

If you take gardening as a serious matter, you definitely understand the need to have a good garden shovel. This tool is used for digging fields or gardens, and are often regarded as the unsung hero in a garden. While it is one of the most important piece of gardening tool, it is also among the most overlooked.

If you have had the experience of using different types of shovels, you also know the huge difference when it comes to performance, durability and comfort. This is where the real challenge comes in. Choosing the best garden shovel that suits your needs and preferences can be daunting because of the hundreds of options currently in the market. If you feel that you also face this problem, no need to worry. You are not alone.

This is the reason why we came up with these reviews and buying guide. Each garden shovel review presents the features, advantages and disadvantages of the top picks that are currently available these days, while the guide highlights some tips on how to select the best one.

Product

Lenght

Type

Rating

Price

13.8 inches

Folding Shovel

57 inches

Round Point Digging Shovel

Bond LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel - Best Budget Shovel

27.6 inches

Mini D Handle Shovel

57.5 inches

Long Handle Digging Shovel

59.2 inches

Round Point Shovel

57.4 inches

Square Point Shovel

Spear Head Spade - Best Garden Spade

41 inches

D Grip Short Handle Shovel

Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel - Best Garden Shovel

45 inches

O-Handle Grip Shovel

Types of Garden Shovels

Choosing the best garden shovel is very important because it will allow you to complete your task more effectively while avoiding injuries. It also ensures better results in the end.

Square point shovel

This type of shovel is highly useful when it comes to moving and lifting materials. Its square point may be used in smoothening soil while performing landscaping projects.

Round point shovel

A round point shovel comes with a strong blade and a point which helps in cutting into the soil and other digging tasks.

Irrigation or trenching shovel

This type of shovel comes with a narrow, square blade which is good for creating a deep hole without unnecessarily disturbing the nearby plants. It may also be used in removing or transplanting individual plants, or digging irrigation trenches.

Scoop shovel

This shovel comes with concave, wide blades and flat tips. It is used for moving and lifting materials.

Trowel

This shovel is small in size, and is designed for use with just one hand. It comes with a pointed tip, making it very useful in transplanting small flowers or seedlings, repotting, as well as other tasks that require precision. For more details about best garden trowels check here

Garden shovel

This is the general tool that is used for all-around tasks. It usually comes with a rounded blade, coupled with a slightly pointed tip, and is ideal for transplanting, digging, lifting, and other types of garden tasks.

Top Brands

There are a number of brands of gardening shovels that are currently available these days. The following are among the top brands out there.

Bond

Bond Manufacturing, otherwise known as Bond, is a company that takes pride with its over 60 years of field experience. The company is listed as among the top manufacturers of garden and lawn equipment. Among the products it produces are garden shovels.

One particular model under this brand is the LH015 Mini D handle shovel. Amazon has listed it as a best seller, which means that a lot of customers patronize it because of its overall quality and performance.

Fiskars

Fiskars is an international name in the field of tool manufacturing. As a company which was established in 1649, there is an assurance to knowledge and quality in producing the highest quality of products.

Among the products that are listed under this brand are gardening and hand shovels. These shovels are reliable and well-designed to meet the unique needs and preferences of actual users.

True Temper

True Temper is another leading manufacturer of lawn and garden tools. The company takes pride with their over 200 years of company history. With this background, you have the assurance that they are capable of creating tools which are designed to last longer, perform better, and offer the best results.

Gardening shovels are among the products that are listed under this brand. There are different models of True Temper hand shovels that you can choose from, with each of them designed to cater to your unique needs.

Reviews of the Best Garden Shovel in 2019

Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel

Gerber Gorge folding shovel

This shovel is foldable, which means that it is generally more portable and convenient to use compared with other models with long handles. Aside from serving as a shovel, it may also serve as a pick. All you need to do is to easily unscrew the nut, pulling the shovel about 90 degrees, locking it up again.

Another interesting feature about this model is that you can easily put this shovel back in a folded position, pulling around the hammer before you lock it in. This makes it ideal for hammering tent pegs and other similar tasks. Since it is small enough, it can easily be placed inside a glove box, or perhaps a door pocket inside your vehicle.

One customer mentioned that this model is neat. However, as a recommendation, the same customer mentioned that this model of shovel could have been designed better. Even though most of the shovel parts are well-built, the bracket which connects the handle going to the blade is really flimsy and thin.

Things We Liked

  • Small enough to carry around
  • Can be used as a pick

Things We Did't Like

  • Handle does not give much grip

Verdict:

Overall, the Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel is well-built, with a design which is obviously well-thought of. It comes with amazing versatility, allowing different types of users to enjoy its features. If you are interested in looking for a tool that is quick and handy, this shovel is worth your consideration.

True Temper Forged Round Point Digging Shovel

True Temper Round point Excavator shovel

This shovel is especially designed for both gardening and digging. It is well-suitable for working on rocky and hard soil because it can deal with heavy duty gardening tasks. As a matter of fact, it can withstand consistent heavy duty task at home. It comes with an 81 ½ inch round point and tempered blade which is made out of steel.

Another feature that make it a standout option is its D-grip handle which accommodates a gloved hand comfortably. It also comes with a forward turned step that makes it even easier to place your foot for more digging pressure. Its 30-inch handle is also constructed out of hardwood, thus making it easier to handle in terms of weight.

One woman customer left a positive feedback after purchasing this shovel. At 56 years old, she finds this shovel easy to use, especially when performing some basic tasks in her garden. She likes it that the shovel cuts nicely, sliding through the dirt easily. Another customer also loved the pointed end of this shovel, making it easier to use when digging.

Things We Liked

  • Constructed using tempered steel ideal for heavy duty tasks
  • D-grip comfortably fits a gloved hand
  • The length of the handle is enough
  • Well suited for rocky and hard soil
  • Durable handle construction

Things We Did't Like

  • Only comes in one color

Verdict:

The manufacturer of this shovel claims that this model is deigned to make your gardening tasks a little easier. It is durable enough to last for a long time, and at the same time dependable when it comes to completing any garden work or general lawn tasks. With its tempered steel blade construction, it is ideal for planting, digging, as well as cutting through sod and roots.

Bond LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel - Best Budget Shovel

Bond Lh015 Shovel

This LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel comes equipped with a full-size steel blade and a round point, ideal for digging or planting post holes. With its powder coated paint, you have the assurance that this tool is rust resistant. As a product under the name Bond, coupled with the features built-in with it, a lot of customers regard this tool as the best short handled shovel.

This model is ideal for light duty tasks, as well as infrequent gardening jobs. Among the features that standout with this model include its lightweight, yet strong steel handle, a comfortable and soft non-slip grip, as well as heat treated heads. It also has plastic grips and a fiberglass arm which can prove to be perfect under any waterproof conditions. The handle itself is long, but is unquestionably more reliable compared to one that is foldable.

This shovel is a best seller in Amazon. Several customers have also left positive reviews about the product. One customer mentioned that even though this may be a small shovel, it is a good ‘go-to’ tool which is handy for different needs. It is very easy to store and use anytime there is a need. Another customer praised its appearance, simple yet stunning.

Things We Liked

  • Easy to store
  • Compact and lightweight in design
  • Comfortable to the hands
  • Fairly durable

Things We Did't Like

  • Relatively expensive compared with other models
  • Handle is too short
  • Not ideal for more challenging tasks

Verdict:

If you are looking for a garden shovel that is convenient and handy enough for different tasks that might come along, this top garden shovel is an ideal option to take into consideration. Its design and lightweight style fits for this purpose. While it may be relatively pricier compared to other models, its durability speaks for its quality.

Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel

Fiskars digging shovel

Fiskars is a company that is known for manufacturing high-quality tools and equipment at a relatively affordable price. This long handle digging shovel is ideal for completing heavy duty tasks. It is also designed to last for a long time. It is specifically built for digging tough soil. Both the handle and the blade of this shovel are welded and constructed using hardened steel.

Since this shovel comes with a long handle, it gives the protection against back injuries on the part of the user. With a weight of 6 pounds, this tool has a solid and sturdy built. This means that if you are digging in an area where the roots are huge, chopping through them becomes easy with the shovel’s sharpened head.

One customer who has purchased this product mentioned that this shovel is just amazing. He said that it is very stiff, which means that there is no risk of it breaking easily. It comes with wide foot pads which are comfortable, while the handles are just enough in terms of shape and girth.

Things We Liked

  • Long, useful handle
  • Steel shaft
  • Durably constructed
  • Ideal for tough soil
  • Affordably pirced

Things We Did't Like

  • Tendency to conduct electricity
  • The blade tip has the tendency to break easily
  • Quite heavy

Verdict:

If you need to work on gardens with tough soil, completing drainage tasks, claying, or other types of complex digging tasks, this long handle digging shovel is worthy of your attention. While it may not completely replace your other shovels or pickaxe, it works as a perfect complement for them, thus making the digging task a whole lot easier. Every penny is worth spending with this shovel.

Bully Tools Round Point Shovel with Fiberglass Long Handle

Bully tools round point shovel

This shovel is constructed using a fiberglass long handle shovel, making it more durable compared to handles that are made of wood. As such, this shovel is designed for heavy duty use. It is also equipped with a sharp blade, which is useful when cutting through substances in the soil. This shovel is also known for its closed back design which eliminates build-up of debris, making it last longer.

Other features of this shovel include an I-beam construction and a welded rib which offers extra support and strength in order to ensure several years of quality service. As a shovel under this brand, it is made of a real 14-gauge steel which is about 30% thicker compared to other competitor models.

This shovel has also received positive attention coming from actual users. One customer mentioned that the use of a fiberglass handle makes this option a standout one compared to traditional shovels made of wood. The steel used in this model is also well thought-out and thick enough to do the job. Another customer loved the fact that it is quite obvious that this shovel is designed with longevity in mind.

Things We Liked

  • Durable and long lasting
  • Long and comfortable shovel handle
  • Ideal for tough and hard soil
  • Fiberglass handle construction

Things We Did't Like

  • The blade may require sharpening
  • On the heavier side
  • Quite pricey compared to others

Verdict:

All in all, this shovel is a good option that is worthy of your consideration. Despite the fact that it is relatively more expensive compared to other models, you have the guarantee that every penny spent with this shovel are all worth it. It is equipped with a sharp blade, with a fiberglass handle which is comfortable to the touch.

True Temper Forged Square Point Shovel - Runner-Up

True Temper Forged Square Point Shovel

While there are several models of shovel under this brand, this specific model is a square point shovel. It comes with a forged steel blade which means that it has been built with durability and performance in mind. Among the features loved about this model is the use of a comfort step which secures foot placement while digging and putting force on the shovel.

It also comes with a 47-inch fiberglass handle, which is more durable compared to other models with wooden handles. To top it off, it even comes equipped with a cushion end grip for maximum control and comfort. The use of a long handle makes this shovel well suited for transferring materials including mulch, dirt, or gravel.

One customer mentioned that this model is a great shovel. Primarily, she said that it is made wonderfully, with amazing construction quality. It is also way better compared to shovels with plastic handles.

Things We Liked

  • Affordably priced
  • Equipped with comfort step
  • Control and comfort with its cushion end grip
  • More durable than wood handle

Things We Did't Like

  • Not a heavy duty, commercial grade shovel

Verdict:

As a heavy duty tool, the True Temper Forged Square Point Shovel is a valuable option for homeowners and gardeners who need to complete landscaping tasks, as well as general gardening requirements. The materials used in the construction of this shovel are incorporated to make it durable and long lasting.

Spear Head Spade - Best Garden Spade

Spear Head Spade shovel

As suggested by its name, this tool is designed as a Spade. However, despite being so, it only resembles a spade partially. Spades, in general, come with a narrow and long scoop, and are usually flat or with a slightly rounded tip. The Spear Head shovel, on the other hand, comes with a sharply rounded tip, an exaggerated shoulder (or foot rest), and a 35-degree outward-curved beveled edges.

The scoop is powder coated using epoxy resin, ensuring its overall durability. On top of precision, this shovel also offers an amazing leverage amount, considering its weight and size. Also, this model is recognized as the first multi-patented model of hybrid spade and garden shovel.

A lot of customers are pretty satisfied with this shovel. One customer liked its design as an oversized garden trowel, as well as the footrests that are valuable in exerting pressure. Another customer also mentioned that this shovel has a small head. As such, it can penetrate the ground easier, though it also removes less at a time. Yet another customer said that at first, he was skeptical about purchasing this shovel, but later on, he was impressed after trying it.

Things We Liked

  • Highly weather resistant
  • Low maintenance shovel
  • Non-conductive
  • Ideal for compacted, rocky soils
  • Blades made of high quality material

Things We Did't Like

  • On the heavier end

Verdict:

This Spear Head Spade is an ideal option if you are searching for an entrenching shovel which can serve you really well, both in the field, and at home. As the first multi-patented hybrid spade and garden shovel, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. With its special selection of materials used for the construction, there is an assurance for quality and durability.

Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel - Best Garden Shovel

Radius Garden Root Shovel

As suggested by the name of this model from Radius Garden, the Root Slayer Shovel is especially designed to target the roots. It can be used in digging through sod and roots using its sharpened and inverted ‘V’ cutting blade tip, as well as its especially designed rip saw teeth for root-cutting. Using this shovel is an alternative option for using hatchets, saws, and pry-bars.

According to the claims of the manufacturer, this shovel is certified to be over 150% stronger compared to other competitor shovels. It also comes with a built-in patented ergonomic design handle called the Natural Radius O-Handle Grip. This feature offers 4 times gripping surface compared to the standard D-handle tools that offers extra leverage while ensuring lesser stress on the wrist and hands.

Because of these features, a lot of customers left positive reviews about this product. One customer even said that this is probably the best shovel he has ever owned. It is amazingly well-designed and much stronger as well. Another customer mentioned that its saw-toothed edges really work well in slaying roots of shrubs, weeds, trees, and others.

Things We Liked

  • Literally a root slayer
  • Comes with a patented ergonomic handle design
  • Heavy duty shovel
  • ​Ideal for both professional and personal use
  • Offers support to reduce stress on wrists and hands

Things We Did't Like

  • Cuts only on the downstroke

Verdict:

Overall, this Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel is a promising option. You can always tell the quality of the product based on the comments and feedbacks of other people. This model received a lot of positive feedback, which speaks greatly about its quality and performance. It is also equipped with features that are unique to this model, making it a standout option against its competitors.

Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Garden Shovel

When it comes to purchasing a gardening shovel, there are certain features that you need to look into in order to select the best option. Here are some of them:

Durability

Most shovels come with blades which are made of forged and stamped steel. Forged steel is proven for its durability. On the other hand, shovels with tempered blades can be considered as a good add-on, though they may come with a more expensive price. Another option is stainless steel because they will not rust. Other materials which may be used in the construction of a shovel include aluminum and plastic.

Handle Design

Among the most common types of handle design are the “T” and “D” grip. There is no way to tell which one is the better option because they cater to different purpose of use. Some users find the “T” grip as ideal while others prefer the “D” grip. In the end, it is just a matter of preference. If you have not yet tried one before, you may want to try both before buying.

Type of Soil Area to Work On

There are different types of soil. When working in harder soil areas, it is often recommended to use a garden shovel that is made of light and composite materials, and come with a stainless steel blade. This will help you have better control with your task.

Maintenance Tips in Using Your Garden Shovel

In order or ensure that your garden shovel performs well when needed, it is very important to make sure that they are maintained properly. Here are some tips on how to do so:

Applying Oil

This is particularly applicable if the shovel you have chosen has a wood handle. A regular application of oil towards the end of the season for gardening makes sure that the wood stays in good condition, especially when it will not be used for quite some time after that.

Double Check the Screws

This task usually happens before the first use on the next gardening season. It is highly recommended to double check on the screws, as this is to make sure that the blade is still connected to the handle firmly.

Everyday Clean Off

If you expect to use your shovel frequently, without having to wait for the next gardening season, daily maintenance is also required in order to ensure longevity of your shovel’s life. Make sure that soil and mud are rinsed off. Wipe your shovel dry using a towel or rag, or simply allow them to dry under the sun while finishing the chores.

FAQ

What is the difference between a shovel and a spade?

Oftentimes, these two garden tool terms are used interchangeably, as they perform similar tasks. There are some differences that are easily noticeable at a glance. For example, a shovel is usually bowl shaped, while a spade is flat.

The blade of a shovel is usually larger compared to that of a spade. Shovels are also ideal for digging, breaking up, as well as turning soil. On the other hand, spades are ideal for slicing through roots and soil, moving soil as well as loose material.

Do shovels with steel handles get hot when exposed under the sun?

Steel naturally heats up when exposed to heat. If you are not comfortable with this possibility, you may want to choose a handle that is made of a different material. Another alternative is wearing gloves to protect your hand from the heat.

Is it important to make sure of the type of shovel before buying?

There are different types of shoves, each with their own purpose of use and design. This is the reason why it is recommended to determine first your purpose of use, as well as the type of soil that you will be working on in order to make the best decision.

Conclusion

Indeed, looking for hand shovels that can fit your needs and working preferences can be somewhat exhausting. There are several features that you need to look into, and you also need to make sure that the features justify the price of the product. With every garden shovel review mentioned above, you now have an idea what kind of gardening shovels you need to choose from.

Overall, however, Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel is our recommended choice for long handle shovels. Aside from the usual digging, and other similarly related tasks, this shovel is also designed to slay the roots of weeds, going right into the roots, thus making sure of a better cultivation and yield. On the other hand, if you need a portable shovel that you can carry around with you for your tasks, the Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel is also a good option to consider. Regardless of your choice, make sure that the shovel you choose does not just meet your needs, but also one that is of high quality.

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