The 8 Best Garden Shovels

The 8 Best Garden Shovels

When it comes to selecting a garden shovel, the apparent simplicity can be deceiving. At first glance, they may all seem indistinguishable. However, my personal experience has taught me the hard way that not all shovels are created equal. I vividly recall the disappointment of bringing home a shovel only to have it shatter within days of use. That’s when I realized the importance of discerning superior shovels from their subpar counterparts. Moreover, the diverse tasks at hand necessitate specific shovel features that warrant consideration before making a purchase. Embark on this enlightening guide as I unravel the crème de la crème of shovels, tailored to every gardening endeavor—from excavating holes to collecting gravel, replanting tender seedlings, and beyond.

The Importance of a Quality Garden Shovel

Garden Shovel

A garden shovel is an indispensable tool for a wide range of gardening tasks. Whether you’re planting, transplanting, or digging, a quality garden shovel can make the job much easier and more enjoyable. In this section, I will explain the role of a garden shovel in gardening tasks and discuss the characteristics that make a garden shovel of high quality. Furthermore, I will highlight the positive impact a high-quality garden shovel can have on your gardening efficiency.

Types of Garden Shovels

An assortment of garden shovels exists to cater to diverse tasks. Allow me to introduce you to the most prevalent varieties of garden shovels available.

Digging Shovels

When the image of a shovel materializes in your mind, it’s likely a digging shovel that takes center stage. With an extended handle and a slightly curved blade culminating in a gentle point, diggers excel at excavating holes and aerating soil.

Digging shovel


Sharing similarities with their digging counterparts, spades boast elongated handles and slightly broader blades. However, spades typically feature rectangular blades with straight lower edges. These versatile tools effortlessly undertake tasks such as edging, root cutting, material gathering, and trench creation.


Scoop Shovels

Scoop shovels also possess extended handles, yet their blades are large, deep, and often equipped with ribbing along the sides. Ideal for gathering sand, gravel, compost, leaves, or even light snow, these shovels come in varieties, some sporting robust metal blades for heavy-duty materials, while others feature plastic blades.


Diminutive in size compared to standard shovels, trowels are designed to be wielded with a single hand. Typically endowed with a compact handle and a subtly concave blade tapering to a pointed tip, trowels excel in intricate tasks that demand precision. From transplanting young plants to potting soil manipulation and extracting weeds from confined spaces, trowels are indispensable.

The 8 Best Garden Shovels

Having familiarized yourself with the various shovel types, you are now equipped to make an enlightened choice that suits your gardening needs. Discover our carefully curated selection of the finest shovels available, ensuring you invest in nothing but the best.

Bully 82515 14-Gauge Round Point Digging Shovel

  • Bully 82515 14-Gauge Round Point Digging ShovelDimensions: 60 x 9.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Crafted from robust and enduring materials, the Bully 82515 Round Point Shovel effortlessly slices through soil, minor roots, and debris. Its ergonomically designed handle shields hands from strain and minimizes fatigue, while the foot plates enable easy application of force. What’s more, this shovel is proudly fashioned with American materials, ensuring every purchase supports local manufacturers and producers.

This reliable digging shovel features a lengthy fiberglass handle with triple wall construction, rendering it impervious to splintering or breakage, even during heavy-duty tasks. The 14-gauge tempered American steel blade is fortified for durability, while the wide foot plates on either side provide enhanced leverage and allow for deeper digging. Moreover, a protective powder coating prevents rust and corrosion.

The Bully 82515 is thoughtfully engineered for comfort. Choose between a straight handle with a rubber grip or a D-shaped handle with a polypropylene grip boasting a slip-resistant texture. The expansive foot plates evenly distribute weight, alleviating pressure on the feet’s arches. Although slightly weightier compared to alternative models, this additional mass translates into heightened torque and power.


  • Strong, durable materials
  • Fiberglass handle won’t splinter or break
  • Choice of straight rubber grip or D-shaped handle
  • Wide foot plates for extra leverage
  • 100% made in the USA


  • Slightly heavy

Fiskars Steel D-Handle Digging Shovel

  • Fiskars Steel D-Handle Digging ShovelDimensions: 47 x 9 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime

The Fiskars Steel D-Handle Digging Shovel is virtually indestructible, thanks to its solid steel construction that welds the shaft and blade seamlessly together. Unlike wood, steel is impervious to splintering or cracking, and it surpasses fiberglass in terms of rigidity. Additionally, the shovel is coated with a rust-resistant powder, ensuring its resilience and longevity even in the face of demanding use.

Equipped with a pointed blade, sharpened edges, and two generously sized foot plates at the top, this digging shovel effortlessly slices through compacted soil. These oversized foot plates serve as stable platforms for standing on the shovel or exerting force, enabling enhanced power when dealing with denser or clumpy soil.

The D-shaped handle is designed with extra width, facilitating comfortable two-handed operation. Crafted from durable plastic capable of withstanding heavy weight and force, the handle ensures a smooth grip. Similarly, the steel shaft offers a comfortable touch. Cleaning is a breeze, requiring only a simple wipe with a damp cloth. Additionally, the water-resistant materials allow for hassle-free hosing without the worry of rust.


  • Strong, durable steel shaft and blade
  • Wide D-shaped handle 
  • Wide foot plates for extra leverage
  • Powder-coated to resist rust


  • Slightly heavy

Fiskars 47-inch Garden Spade Shovel

  • Fiskars 47-inch Garden Spade ShovelDimensions: 47 x 8.5 x 4.75 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime

When a garden tool is required to deliver precise performance alongside deep digging capabilities, a spade emerges as the ideal choice. Offering narrow and accurate functionality, the spade excels in tasks such as trenching, turf cutting, ice chipping, and creating defined edges around plant beds. The Fiskars Garden Spade Shovel is a robust and reliable tool, forged from heavy-duty materials and engineered with design features that ensure strength and durability.

This rugged garden spade boasts an 18-gauge steel shaft and a rectangular blade crafted from 14-gauge steel. Welded together seamlessly, the likelihood of the shaft and blade separating is virtually nonexistent. The sharp and straight-edged blade effortlessly slices through compacted soil, roots, and debris. Textured foot plates are thoughtfully incorporated to prevent foot slippage when applying force to the shovel.

Similar to the Fiskars digging shovel, the spade features a comfortable D-shaped handle that enables versatile gripping positions. Fashioned from smooth plastic, the handle offers a gentle touch, making it easy on the hands, while also allowing for effortless cleaning. The powder-coated shaft and blade can be wiped down or rinsed with water without concerns of rust, further enhancing the spade’s longevity.


  • Strong, durable steel shaft and blade
  • Wide D-shaped handle 
  • Wide foot plates with texturing for stability
  • Sharp, straight edge can cut through hard dirt and roots


  • Handle can jiggle

Spear Head Spade Garden Shovel

  • Spear Head Spade Garden ShovelDimensions: 58 x 9 x 3.5
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Introducing the Spear Head Spade—a remarkable fusion of a digging shovel and a spade. Distinguished by its distinctive blade shape, narrow and beveled at 35-degree angles on the sides, this versatile tool enables you to effortlessly traverse dense soil, maneuver around plant beds, and effortlessly extract shrubs and bushes. Its remarkable soil-holding capacity makes it ideal for shoveling and turning earth. When seeking an all-in-one, adaptable shovel, the Spear Head Spade emerges as an excellent choice.

The blade of the Spear Head Spade is forged from thick carbon manganese steel, fortified by a protective epoxy resin powder coating, guarding against the elements. Over time, the coating on the blade’s edges gradually wears away, unveiling sharper edges with each use—an advantageous feature. The blade also boasts forward-leaning foot plates, enhancing stability during operation.

The elongated shaft provides exceptional leverage for tackling challenging areas, such as compacted clay and spots plagued by rocks and roots. Constructed from reinforced fiberglass, the shaft combines weather-resistant durability with a lighter weight compared to steel alternatives. Crowned with a cushioned grip D-shaped handle, it delivers comfort during prolonged use. Furthermore, the handle is UV resistant, ensuring it remains impervious to fading or cracking even when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods.


  • Unique blade shape functions as a digging shovel and spade
  • Strong, weather-resistant materials
  • Blade self-sharpens over time
  • Cushioned D-shaped handle


  • Pricey

Ames D-Handle Aluminum Scoop Shovel

  • Ames D-Handle Aluminum Scoop ShovelDimensions: 45.5 x 15 x 11.25 inches
  • Weight: 3.52 lbs
  • Warranty: 15 years

Scoop shovels may not excel at hole-digging, but they prove invaluable for transferring compost, fertilizer, soil, and other lightweight materials like wood chips, leaves, and even snow. Additionally, they come in handy for animal waste cleanup. Enter the Ames D-Handle Aluminum Scoop Shovel—a remarkable selection crafted from durable materials engineered for longevity. With its lightweight design, this shovel ensures a gentle touch on the hands.

The shaft, constructed from sturdy hardwood, stands firm against pressure without bending or cracking. Complementing the robust shaft, the blade is forged from aluminum alloy and coated with a rust-resistant powder. Curving up on the sides and back, the blade facilitates swift and efficient gathering of substantial loads of lightweight materials. The grooves on the blade’s bottom enhance traction and prevent jamming.

Atop the shaft, a plastic D-shaped handle awaits, featuring a soft, non-slip grip that offers comfort and enhances control during usage. Weighing a mere 3.5 pounds, this shovel remains effortlessly portable, enabling extended periods of use without succumbing to fatigue. If you seek a lightweight shovel that guarantees durability and longevity, the Ames D-Handle Aluminum Scoop Shovel stands as an exceptional choice.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong durable shaft and blade
  • Wide, curved blade for scooping large loads
  • Ergonomically designed D-shaped handle


  • A bit short for taller people

Razor-Back D-Handle Aluminum Scoop Shovel

  • Razor-Back D-Handle Aluminum Scoop ShovelDimensions: 46 x 15.3 x 4.5
  • Weight: 4.86 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Presenting the Razor-Back D-Handle Aluminum Scoop Shovel—an investment slightly pricier than its Ames counterpart, yet imbued with additional weight for enhanced power during the handling of heavier materials. Distinguished by its armored D-handle, combining wood and steel to minimize the risk of breakage or twisting, this shovel excels in the efficient movement of light to medium-weight substances like sand, compost, or soil.

Crafted for resilience, this durable scoop shovel features a shaft fashioned from varnished North American hardwood, ensuring exceptional strength, a smooth touch, and protection against the elements. The naturally rust-proof aluminum blade eliminates concerns when scooping damp materials. With its wide and deep structure, the blade accommodates substantial loads, while two extended grooves on the bottom prevent slippage.

The Razor-Back D-Handle Aluminum Scoop Shovel boasts a distinctive handle composed of steel-encased wood, delivering unrivaled strength and stability. The top grip, fashioned from smooth wood, offers comfortable handling, while the steel reinforcement on the sides, bolted into the handle’s top and bottom, enhances overall security. Furthermore, the upper side of the handle features a groove where the steel transitions into wood, enabling a comfortable two-handed grip on the shovel. 


  • Sturdy North American hardwood shaft
  • Strong aluminum blade
  • Unique wood and steel handle prevents twisting and breakage
  • Ergonomic groove in handle for gripping with both hands


  • Heavier than some other scoop shovels

Wilcox All Pro 14-inch Stainless Digging Trowel

  • Wilcox All Pro 14-inch Stainless Digging TrowelDimensions: 14 x 3 x 0.2 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Certain tasks in the backyard demand a more nimble tool than a standard-sized shovel. Planting bulbs, weeding flower or vegetable beds, or transferring potted plants require the precision and agility of a garden trowel. Enter the Wilcox All Pro 14-inch Digging Trowel, tailor-made for maneuvering tight spaces and cutting through dense soil with finesse.

This resilient trowel boasts a heavy-duty stainless-steel blade impervious to rust, bending, or breaking, even in densely packed or wet conditions. The beveled edges and sharp point effortlessly slice through tough clay and roots, while the inward-sloping sides create a trough capable of holding a generous amount of material. Furthermore, the blade features depth measurements to facilitate accurate hole creation.

Recognizing the importance of ergonomic handles for hand-held tools, the Wilcox All Pro Digging Trowel delivers in this aspect as well. The vibrant red handle, composed of soft textured plastic, ensures a secure and comfortable grip, accentuated by finger grooves on the back. For added convenience, the handle includes a leather strap, enabling attachment to your belt while working in the garden or for easy storage when not in use.


  • Stainless steel blade won’t bend or rust
  • Depth measurements on the blade for accuracy
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Leather strap for easy storage


  • Dirt can accumulate between the grooves in the handle

Radius Root Slayer Trowel

Radius Root Slayer Trowel

  • Dimensions: 12.75 x 3.5 x 2.25 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime

In search of a compact tool capable of effortlessly tackling stubborn soil and tangled roots? Look no further than the Radius Root Slayer Trowel. This handheld digging implement features a robust blade adorned with ripsaw teeth, enabling swift conquest of obstructions like roots and clay patches. Designed with ergonomics in mind, the handle offers a gentle touch on the hands while providing ample leverage for uprooting plants, removing dirt clods, and displacing rocks.

The carbon steel blade showcases jagged teeth on both sides, with the tip ingeniously crafted into a V-shape, facilitating easy digging and enabling versatile usage positions. Notably, the blade incorporates a special notch at the top, serving dual purposes—cutting twine and even opening beer bottles. For enhanced durability and rust protection, the steel is powder-coated.

Ensuring comfort during extended use, the Radius Root Slayer Trowel boasts a flared handle adorned with a soft, non-slip grip. With a polypropylene core and a non-latex plastic covering, this handle is an ideal choice for individuals with latex allergies. Additionally, Radius offers an optional nylon holster exclusively designed for this trowel. The holster features a convenient pocket to slide the trowel into and a strap for attaching it securely to your belt.


  • Ripsaw teeth make it easy to saw through roots and stubborn soil
  • Durable carbon steel blade
  • Notch in blade doubles as a twine cutter and bottle opener
  • Flared non-latex handle
  • Optional nylon sheath (sold separately)


  • Sharp edges can be dangerous, especially around small children

What to Look for in a Garden Shovel

Enhanced User Experience

Let’s admit it, the act of digging can be quite laborious, which is why it’s essential to ensure that your shovel provides maximum comfort during use. Opt for shovels and spades with wide D-shaped handles, allowing a firm grip with one or both hands placed on top. Non-slip handle grips are a desirable feature, while materials like rubber, plastic, or wood provide a smooth and soft touch. Weight distribution is another critical factor to consider. While a slightly heavier shovel offers better pushing power, it’s important to strike a balance to ensure ease of handling.

Exceptional Durability

The finest garden shovels are crafted from robust and resilient materials that withstand the elements and are built to last. Look for blades made of sturdy steel, fortified with powder coating or naturally rust-resistant aluminum. Additionally, examine shovel shafts made from hardwood, fiberglass, or steel for enhanced durability. Ensure that all components are securely fastened with reliable bolts, screws, or welding, guaranteeing a long-lasting and reliable tool.

Tailored Blade Designs

Shovels are available in various blade shapes and sizes, each designed to cater to specific tasks. For digging holes efficiently, a pointed blade on a digging shovel is ideal. Spades, featuring straight-edged blades, excel at trenching and edging work. If you frequently handle light materials and require significant carrying capacity, scoop shovels with wide and deep blades are perfect. Choosing the appropriate blade shape will optimize your efficiency and effectiveness in different gardening endeavors.

Peace of Mind with Warranty

The majority of shovels on the market come with generous warranties, spanning a lifetime or a decade at the very least. This showcases the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s construction, assuring you that they will replace any manufacturing defects. When considering a shovel, be cautious of those without a warranty. While the absence of a warranty does not necessarily indicate a subpar product, it does mean there is no guarantee of a refund or replacement if you encounter any issues. Prioritizing a warranty ensures peace of mind and protection for your investment.

Final Thoughts

Indulging in a top-tier garden shovel proves to be a wise investment, accelerating your gardening and yard work endeavors while ensuring unrivaled efficiency. Embrace the freedom of uninterrupted gardening seasons, as these remarkable shovels boast enduring longevity. Handpicked for their exceptional track record, the garden shovels featured in this guide have earned the distinction of being best sellers. Renowned for their harmonious blend of comfort, performance, and durability, these models provide outstanding value for your hard-earned money. Say goodbye to the hassle of frequent shovel replacements and embrace the reliability and efficiency that these extraordinary tools offer.

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