Best Garden Shovel - 2020 Reviews
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The Best Garden Shovel for Your Gardening Needs

When you try to conjure the image of the best garden shovel, it may have a round or pointed tip, it could have a long handle or a short one, or it could be curved slightly on the edges, or it might be straight up and down with a sharp nose. The point is that there are so many different types of shovels out there and what may be perfect to you is inadequate to another gardener.

Is there such a thing as the best shovel for gardening? Is there one out there that can do all the things? Maybe, maybe not. It’s worth exploring. So, let’s go over the various shovels, look at the details of the best ones, and then see which one is going to be the best for you and your garden.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Best Garden Shovels for 2021

PRODUCT FEATURES
Fiskars Ergo D-handle Steel Transfer Shovel - The Best Garden Shovel for Your Gardening NeedsFiskars Ergo D-handle Steel Transfer Shovel
  • Materials: Welded Boron Steel
  • Blade Type: Square
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel - The Best Garden Shovel for Your Gardening NeedsRadius Garden Root Slayer Shovel
  • Materials: Steel, Elastomer, Polypropylene
  • Blade Type: Pointed, Serrated Edges
  • Warranty: Lifetime
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Bond Mini D Handle Shovel - The Best Garden Shovel for Your Gardening NeedsBond Mini D Handle Shovel
  • Materials: Steel, Plastic
  • Blade Type: Pointed
  • Warranty: 5 Years
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Nupla Ergo-Power Round Point Shovel - The Best Garden Shovel for Your Gardening NeedsNupla Ergo-Power Round Point Shovel
  • Materials: Fiberglass, Polypropylene, Alloy Steel
  • Blade Type: Round Point
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
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Spear Head Mini D-Handle Spade - The Best Garden Shovel for Your Gardening NeedsSpear Head Mini D-Handle Spade
  • Materials: Fiberglass, Carbon Steel
  • Blade Type: Pointed
  • Warranty: Undisclosed
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Why You Can Trust Us

Gardening shovels make a huge impact on the overall gardening experience, can help speed up your yard work and ease up on potential body aches. The best shovels make all the digging, scooping, and cutting feel as if you’re barely doing any manual labor. Garden shovels come in many shapes and sizes, with different designs, materials, and blades helping to make the yard work easier, regardless of body type.

Knowing the huge difference that an amazing shovel has on gardening, we took it upon ourselves to use our years of gardening knowledge and shovel experiences to help you find the one you need. In our search, we also took the time to listen to what other consumers had to say about each product mentioned here, as well as considering what experts think of each item, material, and design.

This extensive research and testing process helped us create this unbiased list of the best garden shovels for you and makes us confident that each shovel here deserves a place in your yard.

Best Multi-Purpose

Fiskars Ergo D-handle Steel Transfer Shovel
    This bad boy replaces all kinds of gardening tools thanks to its heavy-duty build and ergonomic design, making it a go-to for busy home gardeners.

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Why We Like It: The Fiskars Ergo D-Handle Steel Transfer Shovel is a fantastic multi-use gardening tool that does so much more than you’d expect from its description. It’s made with welded boron steel, helping to ensure its durability under any soil and weather conditions. It’s also designed with an angled D-handle, helping to lessen wrist and back strain as you shovel through your garden.

Additionally, both its handle and shaft are cushioned to help with grip and keep things comfortable. This is insanely useful and, while it’s designed for shoveling and transferring material, its heavy-duty build and ergonomic design also make it great for edging, root cutting, digging, scooping, and even for breaking through icy winter pavements!

Who Should Buy It: Gardeners with big plans, but limited storage space or budgets would love how much this shovel can do in their garden.

Best for Roots

Radius Garden Root Slayer Shovel
    The Radius Garden Root Slayer shovel isn’t your grandma’s shovel. This beast is called “Root Slayer” for good reason.

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Why We Like It: The serrated edges of the narrow blade, along with the wide v-shaped pointed tip are designed to cut through strong roots. The steel is quite strong, so you can put all kinds of pressure down, using the top of the blade to stand on and slice through roots.

The O-shaped ring is designed to help you get the best grip from any angle. The Root Slayer’s ergonomic handle design makes it easy to use. Since it’s a heavier shovel, it’s going to take a little extra effort to use, but it isn’t versatile. It means you should buy this for specific jobs that it can handle.

Who Should Buy It: If you have a garden or yard full of plants or weeds with tough roots that need some slaying, this could be the best garden shovel for your needs.

Best for Tight Spaces

Bond Mini D Handle Shovel
    Sometimes a standard shovel is too big for the job you have at hand, which is where the Bond Mini D Handle Shovel may be helpful.

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Why We Like It: This small shovel is just a little more than 2 feet from handle to tip, so you can’t expect to do any useful digging while standing. However, if you’re in a tight space, or if you’re shorter and standard shovels are too long for you, this could work well for your needs. It could also be a good shovel for children who want to help in the garden.

The D-shaped handle offers an ergonomic fit, and the plastic covering the handle gives you a non-slip grip. The pointed tip and wide blade make this a good shovel for digging or hauling. No matter the job, it seems it would be a versatile tool. You could even pack this in a bag for use on camping trips, or to keep it in your vehicle in case of an accident. It’s made for small to medium jobs. 

Who Should Buy This: If you’re in the market for a miniature version of a standard garden shovel, this one could work for you.

Best for Long Handle

Nupla Ergo-Power Round Point Shovel
    This shovel is perfectly balanced and has an ergonomic design that makes it work great even for smaller frames working on tough ground.

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Why We Like It: The Nupla Ergo-Power Round Point Shovel spans 58 in. long is made of fiberglass, polypropylene, and alloy steel. It’s built for digging through even the toughest soil matter without exerting as much effort as usual. Its 48-inch fiberglass handle is more durable than standard wood handles and has an ergonomic design that provides the right amount of leverage to help push through hard ground.

Even with the heavy-duty fiberglass material, it’s still incredibly light, weighing less than 4 lbs, and great for gardeners whose strength is not very physical. The industrial-grade steel blade is also very sharp, with a rounded point and footrests that help it easily break the ground. It’s also strong enough that any rocks and roots it could hit won’t damage the blade, although a good sharpening would always be appreciated. This can be used for digging, shoveling, root cutting, and other labor-intensive gardening tasks.

Who Should Buy It: This would be great for home gardeners who don’t feel they have enough strength to break through the soil.

Best Small Shovel

Spear Head Mini D-Handle Spade
    Although this lightweight shovel is small, you won’t need to spend extra strength while using this thanks to its comfortable design.

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Why We Like It: The Spear Head Mini D-Handle Spade might only weigh 2 lbs but it can do wonderfully terrible things to your worst garden weeds. This 30-inch shovel is made with fiberglass and carbon-manganese steel, using a unique ergonomic design that’s great for digging into the most difficult and compacted soil. 

It has a comfortable cushioned D-handle and shaft that provide a better grip for manual labor, as well as UV inhibitors to help it last long hours under the hot sun. The patented blade is the true star, not only able to dig through difficult soil conditions, but also able to transplant perennials, cut roots, and dig out stubborn weeds. This is thanks to the sharpened blade edge and resin powder coating, both working to enhance the blade’s strength. It also has wide footrests, allowing for better leverage despite its size.

Who Should Buy It: This is great for anyone on the go who’s often on foot between digging plugs out of the ground.

The Different Types of Garden Shovels

Among other key tools such as gardening gloves, a sun hat, and knee pads, every gardener needs at least one garden shovel in their shed, but you may find it’s helpful to have a couple of different ones. Why would you need different shovels? Well, for different jobs. Here are the basic shovels and what they’re good for.  

Trowels

Fiskars Big Grip TrowelThis one may sound familiar, and you may already have one of these in your backyard. These are smaller than typical garden shovels, and they’re great when you need to uproot a flower or a vegetable in your garden and then transplant it to another spot. They easily fit in your hand, and you can get close to the dirt with them. Typically, trowels have pointed tips to make it easy to cut through hard-packed soil. Some have rounded tips, which help with planting a new garden or the transplanting mentioned earlier. You can find these in metal or plastic, but metal ones are the most common.

Edgers

Fiskars 38.5 Inch Long-handle Steel EdgerYou’ve heard of edging for your lawn, which involves a weed whacker, but this is a manual tool that’s meant to use in your garden. These are usually shaped with a flat blade, which allows you to cut through roots, offshoots, and plants, so you can clear up space for new plants. They’re great for making a straight edge along a row.

Trenchers

Trench ShovelWhat a trench shovel does is in its name. It helps you create trenches. These garden shovels are long-handled and include a thin, narrow blade. This makes it easy for you to cut a trench for irrigation. The tips are typically pointed, which helps you dig down into the ground easily, but the sides of the blade are flat, which helps keep the walls of your trench nice and neat.

Diggers

Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel (9668)A digging shovel is one of the most common, and it’s probably the image that comes to mind when you think of a shovel. Usually, these garden tools have a sharper tip, which aids in the digging part, and the shovel handle is centered. You can find some shovels that have serrated edges on the blade to help even more with cutting through the soil. Obviously, these digging shovels are meant for digging.

Scoopers

Shovel ScooperAnother common garden shovel is the scooping shovel. These are the ones you’d use to pick up large amounts of soil, mulch, or compost and move it to another area. They’re built to be sturdy, and they usually have rounded tips and large, deep blades. A steel shovel is heavier, but you’d want it to move heavier stuff, like gravel.

Drainers

Steel Shovel DrainingA draining shovel is meant to be used to clear out trenches, so you’ll notice that these tools have curved edges on the blades. The point of the design is for you to move whatever is in the trench, but not disturb the walls. These shovels are multipurpose and can be used for transplanting, also. They’re typically long-handled, which means you can get some leverage and dig down deep to get plants up that have long roots.

How to Choose the Best Garden Shovel

Depending on what you plan to do in your garden, you may need more than one shovel. There are some features you want to look out for when choosing the best product for you.

Ergonomic Handle

Ergonomic Shovel HandleDoing back-breaking work like gardening can also do a number on your hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders. If you choose a shovel with an ergonomic handle, you’re more likely to work for a longer period more comfortably, avoiding some of the common aches and pains associated with gardening.

Non-slip Grip

Non- Slip GripIf you recall cheap shovels of your past, you may remember that they were just metal blades with a long wooden pole attached. Use that long enough and you’re likely to find your hands slipping and sliding because of sweat or moisture. Look for a shovel that includes a rubberized cushion grip to make it more comfortable for you and help prevent those slips and slides.

Rust-resistant Paint

Bond LH015 Mini D Handle ShovelSome shovels are made with metals that rust when they get wet. If the garden shovel you like isn’t made of stainless steel or aluminum, you’re going to want to make sure it’s treated with a thick paint that makes it rust-resistant. Even aluminum can corrode, so keep that in mind when picking a shovel.

Durable Materials

Radius Garden Root Slayer ShovelYou wouldn’t use a kids’ plastic shovel made for shoveling sand for sandcastles for serious gardening tasks, right? Use your best judgment on this one, but be sure the shovel you’re buying is made of durable materials that will hold up under the harsh conditions you’re going to put it through. Look for steel, aluminum, and products that have been heat-treated for longer life.

Long Warranty

When you go to your local hardware store for a garden tool, you probably don’t think about the warranty, but it’s a good idea to consider it. You want your garden shovel to last as long as possible, and if something goes wrong, because a seam wasn’t finished properly, or the wrong material was used, a warranty can protect your purchase.

Finding the best garden shovel comes down to how you plan to use it, the materials it’s made of, and how it performs time after time. Read through the following garden shovel reviews to find the one (or two) that’s best for you and your garden.

How We Picked

Our first step in the process was product research. We looked at the ergonomic handle, special blade, high-quality materials, or anything else that could help improve the intense shoveling experience.

Later we checked what experts, enthusiasts, and previous consumers all had to say about each shovel. These were a gold mine of unbiased opinions that helped us weed out the shovels that, sadly, did not live up to the hype.

These steps helped us narrow down our list to a few notable shovels that we were able to try out firsthand. That’s how the top five shovels guide was created, so you can have a better understanding of each one of them.

Our Pick of the Best Garden Shovel in 2021

It’s worth repeating that there are several types of garden shovels out there. You don’t have to settle for the teardrop-shaped blade and long straight handle. You can pick out a trowel, get an edger, or grab a trencher for good measure if you’d like. But if you’re looking for the all-around best garden shovel, you really can’t go wrong with the Fiskars Ergo D-Handle Transfer Shovel

This blade is incredibly strong and heavy-duty, useful for transferring, shoveling, root cutting, and so much more. This shovel is truly built with every gardener in mind. However, it still comes with potential dealbreakers, such as some helpful design improvements that Fiskars could take. That said, we’re still positive that the shovel of your dreams is somewhere here!

Now that you know everything you need to, it’s time for you to choose one and experience the joys of gardening all over again!

*You can read more about Best Folding Shovels here* 

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