Top 15 best garden spades for 2021
- By: Ashley Saunders
- July 2020
When it comes to buying one of the best garden spades, the sheer choice available can be confusing. Not to mention the huge variance in price, materials and lifespan!
There’s the traditional fully steel types as well as ones made from a combination of materials. Some have a flat blade, while others have a pressed pan. There’s even some with a rounded tip.
Since most of our best garden spades are general use, they’ll be perfect for digging soil, moving plants and spreading mulch. Others on our list have treaded top, making it easy to dig.
Not sure if you need a spade or shovel? Start with our guide: Shovel vs. Spade: What’s the Difference?
So if you’re looking for the best garden spades, here are 15 you should consider.
Burgon & Ball GTB/SSBRHS RHS Stainless Border Spade
The Burgon & Ball GTB/SSBRHS RHS Stainless Border Spade (£38 at Amazon) is ideal for digging in confined spades thanks to its compact design. As a light-weight tool, it’s perfect for those with back problems or if you prefer working with a shorter tool.
Measuring 98 cm in length and only 1.67 kg, this Burgon & Ball spade is designed for a range of uses. It offers nearly twice the breaking strain of the current British standard, it can withstand a strain of up to 90 kg.
The mirror-polished stainless steel head is rust-resistant. A wide tread at the top of the blade speeds up digging while preventing discomfort. An FSC certified hardwood handle complete the tool and has a comfortable ‘Y’ grip. The blade and handle are double riveted at the base for additional strength.
This stainless steel border spade is endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, and is covered by our lifetime guarantee.
Kent and Stowe VBPHUKA1248 Carbon Steel Digging Spade
Next, in our list of the best garden spades is the Kent and Stowe VBPHUKA1248 Carbon Steel Digging Spade, which costs £22 and measures 111 cm.
This hand-crafted spade offers traditional quality and designs. The range is based on garden tool designs from the 1800s yet uses the latest manufacturing techniques.
Using FSC approved Ash, the handle is easy to grip. A carbon steel blade offers strength and durability. It’s larger tread edge improves digging comfort.
The spade has a larger crank which provides added strength. Overall, it’s evenly weighted, which makes extended use easier.
This Kent and Stowe Digging Spade is ideal for use on large soil areas, for digging, and soil turning as well as improving drainage.
Designed in the UK, the Kent and Stowe VBPHUKA1248 Carbon Steel Digging Spade comes with a 10-year warranty.
Kingfisher CS570 Digging Spade
If you’re looking for a classic digging spade for general garden work, then the Kingfisher CS570 Digging Spade is worth considering. Priced at £15, it’s also affordable.
The 17 cm carbon steel blade is sizeable, allowing the moving of large amounts of soil, mulch and sand. The D shaped soft-grip handle makes for easy movement.
A little heavy at 1.9 kg, the weight, however, is evenly spread across the spade. At 100 cm in length, the Kingfisher CS570 is a mid-sized spade that’s ideal for any garden.
OX OX-T281101 Trade Solid Forged Treaded Digging Spade
If you like bold colours then the OX OX-T281101 Trade Solid Forged Treaded Digging Spade Shovel will appeal to you. As one of our most expensive garden spades, this OX tools spade will set you back £33.
Made from powder-coated steel and measuring 104 cm, it’s well built. The treaded 18 cm solid forged blade makes digging easier as you can assert more force. The D-Grip handle blends wood and steel for improved grip.
If you’re looking for a bold spade that strong and durable, the consider OX OX-T281101 Trade Solid Forged Treaded Digging Spade.
GARDENA ErgoLine Spade
Ideal for turning over and removing soil, the GARDENA ErgoLine Spade (price £40 from Amazon) features an ergonomic D-handle and wide footrest.
At 117 cm and under 2 kg, this spade features a high-quality steel hardened blade, finished in a high-grade coating. An extra-wide foot tread prevents slipping and improves usability. You can dig into the ground with ease and makes light work of loosening and transferring soil.
The extra-wide, ergonomically shaped D-Handle can be gripped with both hands improving safety and usability. While the oval shaft profile offers further support regardless of your standing position. The extended plastic coating makes shifting hand positions unnecessary.
This GARDENA ErgoLine Spade is an especially convenient, efficient tool for turning over, removing, loosening and transferring soil. It comes with a 25-year Gardena warranty.
Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade
Available for £30 from Amazon, the Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade features attractive, contemporary styling.
The 18 cm stainless steel blade has a mirror-polished finish. It’s rust resistance and designed for minimal soil adhesion. The ergonomic forward tilting handle is easy to use and sit atop of a polypropylene shaft. At 102 cm in length, overall it’s a good size.
Manufactured to exceed BS3388 British Standard load tests, this spade will withstand years of use and abuse. It is ideal for digging and turning over soil.
As a winner of the “Grow your own great British growing 2018 award”, you can buy the Spear & Jackson Select Stainless Digging Spade in confidence.
Wilkinson Sword 1111111W Stainless Steel Digging Spade
Wilkinson Sword 1111111W Stainless Steel Digging Spade is a well built and design garden tool, which will set you back £28.
Blending Ash and mirror-polished stainless steel, this spade is comfortable to use. The ergonomic and weatherproofed ash handle is comfortable especially over along period of use.
The mirror-polished stainless steel blade allows you to easily move soil and at 18 cm is fairly large. It’s easy to clean and rust-resistant, ensuring longevity.
As the ideal tool for digging in large unprepared areas, you can use improve drainage. It’s also fantastic for preparing soil for planting shrubs, seeds and vegetables.
Ensuring it’s high-quality design, durability and strength, the Wilkinson Sword 1111111W along with other basic gardening tools in the range comes with a 10-year guarantee.
Fiskars Solid Pointed Spade
If you’re looking for a stylish design, then consider the Fiskars Solid Pointed Spade 131413. It’s chic black and orange styling is unique. That said a little more expensive than other garden spades on our list at £23.
At 117 cm, it’s one of the longest spades we’ll cover. The pointed head is ideal for digging in hard, stony soils. It’s also suitable for rooting and turfing.
Whatever the task, the Fiskars makes it easier thanks to its ergonomic shape. The shaft height allows for a back-friendly working posture, regardless of your height.
The D-shaped handle feels comfortable, no matter your hand sizes. Its design makes holding it feel light, even over extended periods.
The sharp, hardened spade blade has a tread surface, which makes digging and ploughing into the ground far easier.
As a Finnish design, it’s stylish and highly durable thanks to high-quality steel blade and plastic handle.
Silverline GT35 Digging Spade
Costing £12 (from Amazon), the Silverline GT35 Digging Spade is superb value for money. It’s ideal for breaking ground, digging and landscaping work.
Starting with the blade, which is made from heavy-duty steel. It has a tread grip head for greater grip in wet or muddy conditions.
The durable wooden shaft and PYD handle, ensure it’s pleasing to use and makes moving or digging enjoyable. While the steel of the handle, ensure durability and provide a nice contrast.
It weighs a massive 2.2 kg yet feel well balanced. It’s also sizeable at 111 cm in length. Ideal for breaking ground, digging and landscaping work. All Silverline tools come with a 3-year guarantee.
Fiskars Xact Digging Spade
Another superb garden spade from Fiskars. This spade blends steel and fibreglass, along with black and orange styling. It’s available from Amazon for £32.99.
At an impressive 120 cm in length, this pointed-edge spade is ideal for digging in hard, stony soils. It’s also suitable for removing grass and cutting roots.
The long shaft provides superior comfort and reduces the chance of straining of muscles. The D-shaped handle is easy to use with both a single and both hands. It has a comfortable grip and the handle sits at an angle which makes it’s ergonomically pleasing to use.
A EaseCut sharp blade makes digging and penetrating the ground easier and is atop with non-skid edge.
The Finnish design combined with the high-quality steel blade and the fibreglass reinforced plastic handle and shaft means this Fiskars Solid Pointed Spade will provide years of use.
Faithfull All Steel Digging Treaded Spade
Faithfull All Steel Digging Treaded Spade, is a little on the pricey side in comparison to other garden spades on our list. However, let’s see what £28 (buy at Amazon) gets us.
Forged from carbon manganese steel for extra strength, it’s ideal for transplanting and site work. At 100 cm, it’s a good size and it weighs 2.5 kg. So, is fairly heavy.
The metal shaft adds support and is easy to grip. The metal YD hilt handle uses a wooden cross dowel for additional support. It also has flat treads for comfort, protecting footwear and avoiding slippage.
Faithfull Tools are made to trades specifications and the highest standards. This spade comes with a 5-year guarantee.
Pedigree PGDS32 Long Handled Stainless Steel Treaded Digging Spade
Blending steel and wood, the Pedigree PGDS32 Long Handled Stainless Steel Treaded Digging Spade is a professional tool which is available from Amazon for £33.38.
At 112 cm, the Pedigree PGDS32 spade is ideal for the taller gardener or for those who prefer working with longer tools. While you might assume the extra length translates to a heavier spade, it actually only weighs 1.9 kg.
A stainless steel blade ensures longevity and is complete with treads, making digging more comfortable. In real-world testing, this spade surpasses British standard for strength.
A double-riveted strapped socket connects the blade to the FSC certified ash wood shaft. At the end of the shaft, sits a Y shaped handle, which is complete with steel details.
Finally, a coating not only protects the spade but also makes it’s easy to clean.
Spear & Jackson 1180NB Neverbend Carbon Steel Digging Spade
As a winner of Grow your own great British growing 2018 award, the Spear & Jackson 1180NB Neverbend Carbon Steel Digging Spade will set you back £26.88 (from Amazon).
Designed for serious gardeners and allotment owners alike, this Spear and Jackson digging spade is a high-quality tool. It measure 98 cm and weighs slightly over 2 kg.
A solid forged blade is complimented by the extra-long socket and provides strength and durability. The blade’s hammer finish powder coating provides additional protection against rust, humidity, scratches and alkalis found within the soil.
A treaded blade and a forward-tilting handle ensure comfortable use at the ideal digging angle. The hardwood shaft is weatherproof for additional protection and also prolongs the life of the tool.
As you’d expect with Spear & Jackson, it’s designed and manufactured to high standards which are backed by a generous guarantee.
Stanley FATMAX Fiberglass D-Handle Spade
Designed to make even hard jobs easier, Stanley FATMAX Fibreglass D-Handle Spade Garden will set you back £35 from Amazon. It measures 90cm from the footplate to the top of the handle.
This FATMAX spade is designed with a heat-treated steel head to deal with even tough jobs easily. An oversized footstep at the top of the blade is designed to make digging down easier.
The dual brace reinforcement improves use the oversized D-handle making it easier to use. So you don’t take the strain. Its tubed steel shank reinforces the fibreglass handle construction adding strength and durability.
Made to STANLEY exacting standards and comes with a 1-year warranty.
GARDENA NatureLine Spade
Ideal for turning over, removing, loosening, and transferring soil, the GARDENA NatureLine Spade will set you back £30 (Amazon). It comes with a 10-year Gardena warranty and measures 117 cm.
The robust handle is made of high-quality Ashwood from sustainably managed forests. Using a D-shape, the handle ensures that the spade fits your hand well, allowing for an ergonomic working posture.
Made of hardened high-quality steel, the blade has an extra-wide foot tread. This special profile ensures a firm grip when the blade enters the soil and ideal power transmission to the spade.
The GARDENA NatureLine Spade is designed to allow you to complete several key gardening tasks with ease. It’s fantastic for turning over, removing and loosening soil, especially in thickly planted areas.