Best Garden Shovels: Guide & Top 5 Recommendations

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Ok, it’s fair to say that the shovel is not a very exciting purchase. However, it’s such a brilliant utilitarian workhorse that the Best Garden Shovel belongs in every gardener’s toolbox. Whether you’re looking to turn over your backyard or plant some new plant, the big question you have is what type of shovel do you need.

We have already put a guide together Spade vs. Shovel what the Difference is? To help you choose what you may need and what both different styles offer.

IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR TOP 5 PICKS…

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We have included the top 5 shovels, and if you need a little more information, we have added an extra buying guide to help you see what’s important in a shovel.

1. AMES Aluminum Scoop with Hardwood Handle and D-Grip

AMES 2672100 Aluminum Scoop with Hardwood Handle and D-Grip, 45-Inch
  • Aluminum blade is rust proof
  • Thick aluminum alloy for maximum strength
  • Large poly D-grip for leverage and control
  • Hardwood handle for strength and durability

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The AMES Aluminum Scoop is an interesting and durable tool. Its blade is rustproof with a thick aluminum alloy, providing more strength to it. When it comes to handling, this shovel doesn’t miss a beat, since it has a large poly D-grip for leverage and control, providing stability to anyone that uses it. Its handle is extremely durable and strong thanks to the fact that it’s made of hardwood.

The AMES Aluminum scoop is said to have been designed to transport loose and bulky materials. This shovel is also ideal for removing snow; thus, it’s perfectly useful for all seasons. When it comes to product information, it weighs 3.52 pounds, and its number 12 Aluminum scoop measures 15 x 19 inches, whereas the hardwood handle reaches the 26 inches, which makes it wide enough to work in the garden. Of course, this will depend on the project; it’s going to be used.

2. Bond Manufacturing Mini D-Handle Square Head Shovel

Sale
Bond Manufacturing LH047 Mini D-Handle Square Head Shovel, 1-PACK, Red/Black
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Designed for efficient moving and lifting
  • Strong steel handle with durable heat-treated steel head
  • Comfortable, soft non-slip grip
  • D-handle design provides greater leverage

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Bond Manufacturing LH047 Mini D-Handle Square Head Shovel is a compact and lightweight tool that can be easily moved and lifted. Its strong steel handle with a durable heat-treated steel head makes it the best option for those who want a shovel that would last long. Of course, this is not all that it’s chalked up to be since comfort is one of its priorities as well, without neglecting durability. This is mainly because of its comfortable, soft non-slip grip, as well as the D-handle that adds greater leverage to the mix.

Going back to its durability, it is important to mention that it’s rust-resistant, with a powder coating that increases its lifespan. The Bond Manufacturing LH047 Mini D-Handle tends to live up to 5 years, at least when it comes to the Square Head Model. Another great thing about this product is it’s compact size, making it perfect for travel, camping, off-roading, and small, durable jobs, as well as breaking through tough dirt. This little fellow can be the best match for those who either don’t work on many gardening projects, want to start gardening or perhaps those who both want a portable shovel and have a small backyard and wish to work on it but are worried about how the size of the shovel is going to knock things around.

3. Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-Handle Transplanting Spade

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Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade
  • Ideal for digging small, deep holes, digging up bulbs and other planting needs
  • Welded 14-gauge steel blade and 18-gauge steel shaft provide durability that far outlasts wood-handled tools and won’t flex like fiberglass
  • Extra-large D-handle design offers secure two-handed control when digging, even while wearing gloves
  • Teardrop-shaped shaft profile fits the natural shape and motion of your hand for exceptional comfort and control
  • Lifetime warranty

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-Handle Transplanting Spade is the best tool for digging small, deep holes, as well as bulbs and other gardening projects. This little fellow doesn’t come without resistance since it has a welded 14-gauge steel blade and an 18-gauge steel shaft that outlasts wood-handled tools. Also, it doesn’t flex as its Fiberglass counterparts do. Another great thing about this shovel is how secure and comfortable it is, mainly due to its extra-large D-handle design that provides a two-handed control when digging, regardless of whether the user is wearing gloves or not.

The Fiskars also has a teardrop-shaped shaft profile that naturally adjusts to the shape and motion of the hand, allowing the user to work without breaking a sweat. When it comes to its sharpened blade, this one can cut through dense soil with ease. Another great thing about this product is the fact that the Fiskars has a transplanting spade with all-steel construction, as well as a blade that it’s directly welded onto the shaft to make it more reliable and more durable. This one is perfect for digging planting holes or anything that requires precision.

4. Bond LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel

Bond Manufacturing LH047AM Mini D-Handle Square Head Shovel (12-Pack), Red/Black
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Designed for efficient moving and lifting
  • Strong steel handle with durable heat-treated steel head
  • Comfortable, soft non-slip grip
  • D-handle design provides greater leverage

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Bond LH015 Mini D-Handle Shovel has a round point that makes it suitable for gardening, camping, off-road, and beach use. This is mainly thanks to its design, which allows it to be moved and lifted both efficiently and with ease. Its sharpened edges make them a gardening ally, reducing the effort while breaking through the dirt. The Bond’s head has been treated with heat, adding more durability to the mix.

Another great thing about the Bond LH015 is how resistant it is. It can withstand rust thanks to its powder-coated paint, and it has a warranty of five years. This little fellow provides as much control as the other products being described so far, mainly due to its comfortable soft, non-slip grip with a lightweight that can come in both steel and fiberglass. All of this makes the Bond LH015 Handle Shovel a perfect companion for those who work around the clock or just want something that it’s both easy to move and doesn’t require that much space.

5. AMES Long Handle Round Point Shovel

AMES 2535600 Tempered Steel Digging Shovel with Hardwood Handle, 60-Inch
  • Tempered steel blade for years of service
  • Comfort step for secure foot placement
  • Hardwood handle for strength and durability
  • 10-Inch cushion end grip for comfort and control

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last but not least is the AMES 1554300 Long Handle Round Point Shovel. This interesting fellow has a 9 1/2 inch steel blade that is excellent for digging and gardening in tilled soil. However, one must not get too excited about using it, since it’s only designed for occasional use. The AMES is both small and light, allowing people with small hands to work in their garden with ease.

Another great thing about its design is how ergonomic it is, reducing stress on the back, muscles, and joints. It also comes with a forward turned step for secure foot placement, providing the user with the security they need during gardening projects that involve occasional digging. The AMES Long Handle Round Point Shovel also comes with a hardwood handle for strength and durability, alongside a steel collar at the handle-socket connection, reinforcing the shovel.

When it comes to product specifications, the AMES Long Handle Round Point Shovel measures up to 57 x 8.5 x 5 inches and weighs 3 pounds in total. One thing to notice before walking into the store and asking for that model is the fact that, sadly, the manufacturer has discontinued it. Another thing is how useful it would be for the task, which goes for the other described products as well. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to check the product specifications before buying since it can make the difference between wasted time and excellent results. This might seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to remember it nonetheless.

Best Garden Shovels Buying Guide

A garden shovel has its place in all gardeners toolbox, but choosing the best is not an easy task. We have put together our buying guide to help you see what the important parts of a shovel are and what to look for when you come to buy your shovel.

Not any old shovel will do, yes it may work, but it for sure will hinder how you work. It’s so important when making any purchase to take your time. Think about what you will be using the shovel for and look for the features that will best suit what you need.

How to Choose the Best Garden Shovel

There are several types of shovels to choose from. The round-point digging shovel, the square point transfer shovel, and the garden spade are the most common. Deciding whether to use a D-handle or not can determine the convenience of the tool but more on that later. The most widely used is the long-handled, round point shovel, as well as the most adaptable of its kind. Most of the time, the rounded point is often the first that new gardeners buy, being the preferred type for landscaping work.

On the other hand, square point shovels are the most suitable for moving piles of loose material. This is mainly thanks to its square tip that allows it to hold more material than a round point shovel, without mentioning that the flat tip is perfect for scraping soil spills on paved surfaces. Garden spades are often suited for digging due to its narrow blade, capable of cutting through roots, and it allows the user to work on tight spots.

There are several things to consider while buying a shovel, which will partly depend on what the buyer is looking for. Heavy-gauge tempered metal is said to be strong and durable, whereas synthetic and wood handles have a similar quality, something that should concern anyone who’s considering buying a shovel. Among other things, the key features that new gardeners can’t let slide and those that the most experienced recommend keeping an eye out for go as follows:

Blade Material

The majority of the digging shovels have steel blades with a size range of 8-12 inches in depth and length. Something similar occurs with garden spades. On the other hand, forged blades tend to be present in durable shovels, which means that a heated piece of steel was hammered into place while manufacturing it. The least expensive models tend to have a machine-stamped blade and attachment, making them last less than their forged counterparts. The latter tend to be the most pricy, although this makes up for the durability if they’re given good maintenance. On the other hand, the aluminum blade in gardening scoops makes them lighter but they tend to bend and dent with ease, so the gardener can buy it at their own risk.

Size of Blade

The blade size is another thing to take into consideration, mainly because it needs to suit both the gardener’s body and the task. In the past, round point shovels used to measure up to 4 inches, whereas the smallest ones tend to reach up to 9″ x 12″. Now, the perfect size depends on the gardener, mainly because the size that would be the best fit for smaller bodies with an average strength can’t provide the same results for those who have a sturdier build. For the former, shovels between the 6″ to 8″ inches are recommended.

Blade Shape

Contrary to popular belief, a garden spade and a shovel are distant relatives, mainly because of the shape of its blade. The former is curved with a rounded point and a concave finish that allows it to move soil without an issue. The shape of a good shovel can provide excellent leverage while being easy on the back. This is one of the main factors for buying a garden shovel and it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to choose wisely.

Weight

The majority of long-handled models weight are in the 5-8 range when talking about the weight of the tool. Fiberglass shovels are the lightest of them all, whereas their wood counterpart is the heaviest. The weight range can have an impact on the yard work, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Of course, the ideal weight relies on the gardener’s strength and endurance, although the heavier ones tend to be the most sturdy.

Length of Handle

The handle alone can be on the 44 to 48 inches range for shovels, spades and scoops, being the most comfortable option for both experienced and new landscapers. Their short-handled counterparts reach up to 24 inches, 18 being their smallest exemplar. Most of the time, a long handle provides better leverage, prevent back pain and are versatile for digging task. Of course, this doesn’t mean that their short counterparts don’t have their advantages, being the best option for working where there’s not a lot of space. However, one useful tip is to have both models so the gardener can exchange them, depending on what they’re going to use it for.

What the Handle Is Made From

Fiberglass, steel and wood are the most common materials that can be found in a shovel. Hickory and ash tend to be the most common wood for the former in the manufacturing process. This option is the gardener’s favorite thanks to how it looks and feels, without mentioning that it’s the least expensive when compared to fiberglass. However, they tend to suffer from a splinter and snap more often, without mentioning that it can get damaged with age too. A steel-handled shovel is as pricy as fiberglass, but they’re stronger and heavier.

Grip

It might seem like a no brainer, but the grip is another factor to take into consideration. Most of the time, wood-handled shovels don’t come with a grip, which means that it’s just the gardener’s hand and the handle, something that doesn’t protect them from blisters at all. On top of that, it can be extremely painful, so it’s important to make sure that they include a plastic or rubber foam handled, specifically shaped to provide both security and comfort while performing any sort of digging. It tends to be on the 10-12 inches range and its coverage of the handle is directly proportional to its measurements.

The most popular grip is the D-shaped, allowing the gardener to get ahold of the shovel while using both hands. This ensures that they don’t get strained while performing the task. This type of handle can be present in both long and short-handled tools, garden scoops being their common host. Despite its popularity, the gardener is the one to decide whether it’s the perfect one for them or not. It all will depend on whether they feel that it’s giving them more leverage or not.

Conclusion

That brings us to the end of our Best Garden Shovels guide, and I hope that it has helped you find the best shovel that will help you with the jobs you need to tackle in your yard.

As we have said above, it’s not the most exciting item to buy, but it can be one of the essential tools you can own.

If I had to pick a number one shovel, then I would have to go with the Bond Manufacturing Mini D-Handle Square Head Shovel. This is a real workhorse of a shovel and is going to last years of real toil.

However, there is no real number one, and I recommend you sit down, think about what you are going to need the shovel for, and choose one that has all the features that are best suited to your needs.