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If you’re a landscaping professional or a gardening enthusiast, you know the importance of a good garden spade. It can turn long, back-breaking labour into effortless planting, landscaping, and soil prep. But that’s only possible if you choose the right spade for your garden care needs.

Several factors come into play, including the overall performance, versatility, ergonomics, and durability of the spade. Luckily, we’ve done all the work for you and picked the top garden spades in the UK.

Best Garden Spades to Buy

Here are the reviews, technical specifications, pros, and cons of the best spades for UK gardens.

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Kent & Stowe’s spade ensures durability, making it a reliable choice for long-lasting and robust performance in your garden.

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Bulldog’s spade offers easy handling with a comfortable grip, providing efficiency and comfort for your gardening tasks.

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Wilkinson Sword Ultralight combines strength with a lightweight design, ensuring easy maneuverability without sacrificing durability in your garden.

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Spear & Jackson’s Neverbend Stainless spade guarantees long life with its durable stainless steel construction, making it a dependable choice for extended use.

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Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed spade is tailored for tough soils, featuring ergonomic design and durability for efficient digging in challenging gardening conditions.

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Everyday Uses for Garden Spades

A garden spade can be crucial for daily use in a garden. You’ll need one for tasks like:

  • Digging: Of course, spades are mainly designed to dig. They can help you create the perfect planting holes for shrubs, vegetables, or flowers.
  • Weeding: Spades have sharp blades to cut through weed roots, especially thick and deep ones.
  • Transplanting: Spades can help you carefully lift and transplant various vegetables and flowers without damaging their roots.
  • Edging: Spades can cut through turf or soil to create clean and sharp edges for your garden beds.
  • Trenching: Creating shallow trenches for cables, irrigation systems, and decorative borders is easier with the help of a spade.
  • Removing Sod: Spades can help easily remove sod when it's time to expand your garden or create a new one.

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The Best Garden Spades in 2024

Dive into the excellence of the best garden spades in 2024, combining strength and precision for digging and cultivating, elevating your gardening experience to new heights.


Kent & Stowe GardenLife Digging Spade

01

Most Durable Garden Spade

Kent & Stowe GardenLife Digging Spade

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Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent weight distribution
  • Durable stainless steel build
  • Smooth socket
  • Includes sturdy foot treads
  • Comfortable shaft length

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavy while using
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks

When it comes to durability, the Kent & Stowe GardenLife Digging Spade takes the cake. It’s clear that the stainless steel head, ashwood shaft, and robust handle are designed to last. This option is undoubtedly a long-term investment.

Despite being durable enough for heavy-duty tasks, this spade doesn’t weigh you down. At only 2.4 lbs, it’s one of the most lightweight spades on our list. You won’t have to worry about the physical strain often associated with long gardening sessions.

Plus, the compact 91.5 cm build is perfect for comfortable use and easy manoeuvrability. Another thing you can count on is its durability. The spade head is rust-resistant, even in extreme weather conditions.

Since it has a treaded edge, tasks like digging, turning soil, and improving drainage are much easier. Lastly, the D-grip handle makes the spade even more comfortable for extended use.

Why Do We Recommend The Kent & Stowe GardenLife Digging Spade?

The Kent & Stowe GardenLife Digging Spade boasts a lightweight and compact design, helping you get the job done with minimal effort. Most importantly, its stainless steel and ash wood construction is built to last.

Find more information about the product on The Kent & Stowe GardenLife Digging Spade page.

Head Stainless steel
Shaft Ashwood
Handle Ashwood
Height 91.5 cm
Weight 2.4 lbs

The Kent & Stowe Garden Life Digging Spade is suitable for those who need a manageable tool to take the back-breaking effort out of garden work. It’s also a long-term investment since it’s incredibly durable.


Bulldog Digging Spade

02

Best Easy-to-Handle Garden Spade

Bulldog Digging Spade

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Reasons to Buy

  • Great value for money
  • Strong construction
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Super easy to use
  • Impressive performance

Reasons to Avoid

  • Somewhat heavy
  • It can be uncomfortable for short people
  • No treads

Garden tasks should be more therapeutic and less confusing. With the help of the Bulldog Digging Spade, you can count on its ease of use to improve your productivity in the garden. It helps you tackle the most demanding garden care tasks like a breeze.

Built for durability and strength, this spade features a stainless steel head and polyfibre shaft. It also features an ergonomic handle with a D-shaped grip. There will be minimal strain on your hands and wrists during longer gardening sessions.

Admittedly, the spade is a little heavy. While some may view this as a downside, it’s also the main contributor to the tool’s strength and durability. You won’t have to put too much effort into pushing the spade into tough soil.

Why Do We Recommend The Bulldog Digging Spade?

The Bulldog Digging Spade is the perfect example of an all-rounded, durable, and solid gardening tool. Its construction is long-lasting, while the ease of use also impresses.

Looking for more information? Visit The Bulldog Digging Spade page for more.

Head Stainless steel
Shaft Polyfibre
Handle Polyfibre handle
Height 135 cm
Weight 5.3 lbs

The Bulldog Digging Spade is suitable for those who don’t have the strength or expertise to tackle demanding and confusing gardening tasks. It’s super easy to use, making every task a breeze.


Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Spade

03

Best Lightweight Garden Spade

Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Spade

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Reasons to Buy

  • Substantial value for money
  • Super lightweight
  • Great for disabled users
  • Maximises user comfort
  • Cuts through roots and soil easily

Reasons to Avoid

  • Only as strong as its handle rivets
  • Not for heavy-duty tasks

If you have a habit of long gardening sessions, you’re probably familiar with the strain on your hands, back, and wrists. With the Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Spade, you won’t have to worry about any of that. True to its name, it only weighs 2.4 lbs.

Weighing up to 40% less than traditional spades, this option makes gardening more accessible and enjoyable. It’s especially useful for older or younger gardeners or those with mobility issues.

Other than that, its robust stainless steel head is rust-resistant. You can even use it in the rain without worrying about wearing it down. Breaking up soil gets easier with the help of the head’s serrated edge.

The D-grip handle is designed ergonomically to fit in your hand without causing any strain. Since it’s made from polyfibre, there is no risk of rust or wood rot.

Why Do We Recommend The Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Spade?

We recommend the Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Spade for its lightweight and compact build. Even with its 2.4 lbs body, it delivers exceptional performance and durability.

You can find more details about the product on The Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Spade page.

Material Stainless steel
Shaft Unspecified
Handle Polyfibre
Height 100 cm
Weight 2.4 lbs

The Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Spade is suitable for younger gardeners or those with mobility issues. It minimises physical strain during prolonged use and lasts a long time.


Spear & Jackson Neverbend Stainless

04

Best Long-Life Garden Spade

Spear & Jackson Neverbend Stainless Digging Spade

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Reasons to Buy

  • Designed to last
  • Ergonomic poly fibre handle
  • Rust-resistant steelhead
  • Traditional and easy-to-use design
  • Rivets flush on the handle

Reasons to Avoid

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Not for time-consuming tasks

The best quality of any garden tool is definitely its durability. The Spear & Jackson Neverbend Stainless Digging Spade is the epitome of durability and robustness. It withstands the toughest gardening tasks and weather conditions.

At its core, it features one of the hardiest stainless steel heads we’ve seen on garden spades. Its sharpness and strength do most of the work for you, requiring minimal pushing and pulling. Even tough and compacted soils are no match against the Neverbend!

Thanks to the D-grip handle, you can enjoy better control over the spade’s angle. The design is simple and traditional; you won’t spend any time trying to figure it out. The rivets are tightly flush on the handle, leaving no room for breakage or loosening.

At 4.3 lbs, it’s definitely not a lightweight spade. It’s better not to use it for longer garden care tasks.

Why Do We Recommend The Spear & Jackson Neverbend Stainless Digging Spade?

The Spear & Jackson Neverbend Stainless Digging Spade is the epitome of a durable and robust gardening tool. It features a stainless steel construction designed to withstand tough digging tasks and various weather conditions.

Visit The Spear & Jackson Neverbend Stainless Digging Spade page for more information.

Material Stainless steel
Shaft Hardwood
Handle Polyfibre
Height 95 cm
Weight 4.3 lbs

The Spear & Jackson Neverbend Stainless Digging Spade is suitable for experienced gardeners who need a reliable and long-lasting tool to invest in.


Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed

05

Best For Tough Soil Garden Spade

Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed

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Reasons to Buy

  • Easily deals with tough soil
  • Tackles thick roots
  • Durable and robust build
  • Comfortable use for tall people
  • Affordable price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Somewhat heavy
  • Not suitable for short people

Last but not least, the Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed is perfect for gardeners who often get stuck with tough soil. Most spades don’t have heads tough or sharp enough to slice through compacted soil with ease. Luckily, this spade is made from heavy-duty boron steel.

Its performance is unmatched, especially thanks to its ergonomic features. That includes the comfortable D-shaped handle, letting you focus more on the task at hand instead of the usual wrist strain. This is also perfect for professionals who spend long hours in the garden.

You’ll also be impressed by this spade’s versatility. It can help with tasks like aerating, turning soil, stirring, digging, and cutting through roots. It can also deal with tough organic matter like clay, stone, or hard soil.

Besides the boron steel head, the spade also features durable materials in all other aspects. That includes the SoftGrip handle and plastic-coated steel shaft. The plastic coating adds even more to the tool’s longevity.

Overall, the Fiskars Ergonomic Pointed spade is made for professionals seeking durability, comfort, and versatility.

Why Do We Recommend The Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed?

The Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed has an ergonomic design and versatile functionality. We recommend it to anyone who wants an expert tool to help with various gardening tasks like root cutting and soil aeration.

Want to learn more? Visit The Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed page for further details.

Material Boron steel
Shaft Plastic coated steel
Handle SoftGrip™
Height 124 cm
Weight Unspecified

The Fiskars Ergonomic™ Pointed is suitable for anyone dealing with tough soil. It slices through any organic material with ease while prioritising user comfort and ease of use.

Digging Spade vs. Border Spade

As a beginner, it’s easy to assume there’s only one type of spade. The two most common types are digging spades and border spades. But which one does your garden need?

As the name suggests, digging spades help with heavy-duty digging, planting, and soil-turning tasks. Meanwhile, border spades have narrow blades for precision work, like creating sharp borders, edging flower beds, or working in tight corners.

Our Garden Spade Evaluation Process

At British Green Thumb, we’ve developed a thorough testing process for garden spades, ensuring our recommendations are based on practical, real-world use and expert insights. Our approach is designed to help you find the perfect spade for your gardening needs.

Testing Criteria for Garden Spades

Our experts evaluate each garden spade against a set of carefully chosen criteria:

  • Price and Value: We consider the cost of each spade in relation to its features and durability. Our goal is to recommend spades that offer the best value for money.
  • Comfort and Ergonomics: The comfort level during use is crucial. We assess the handle design, weight, and overall balance of each spade to ensure a fatigue-free gardening experience.
  • Blade Quality and Versatility: The shape and material of the blade are key factors. We test the spades in various scenarios, including digging, soil turning, and transplanting, to gauge their effectiveness and versatility in different garden tasks.

Real-World Testing Scenarios

Each spade undergoes rigorous testing in a range of gardening situations:

  • Digging and Ground Preparation: We evaluate how well each spade performs in digging up and preparing soil for planting.
  • Transplanting and Moving Plants: The spades are tested for their efficiency in lifting and relocating perennials and other plants.

Final Assessment and Ratings

  • Durability and Warranty: We assess the build quality and durability of each spade, considering any warranties offered.
  • Overall Rating and Best Buy Selection: After thorough testing, each garden spade is rated out of five. Spades that stand out for their exceptional performance and value are awarded our ‘Best Buy’ status.
  • Pros and Cons Breakdown: Each review includes a concise list of pros and cons, making it easier for you to choose the right garden spade for your specific gardening needs.

Through this testing and evaluation process, British Green Thumb aims to provide you with reliable, expert-backed recommendations for the best garden spades, ensuring you make a well-informed choice for your garden.

Garden Spade Maintenance Tips

Garden spades are designed to last, which is why they’re a long-term investment. Here are a few tips to help you keep your spade in top shape:

  • Wash the spade with a hose after each use to get rid of dirt and debris. Remember to dry to prevent rusting.
  • Sharpen the blade now and then with the help of a sharpening stone.
  • Prevent rust and corrosion by coating the blade in a thin layer of oil.
  • Store your garden spade in a cool and dry place to prevent rusting and damage.

FAQs

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about garden spades.

How long your garden spade lasts depends on its quality, use, and maintenance. With the right care, they can last up to 20 years or more.

Garden spades are incredible at edging flower beds for a near finish. We recommend using a border spade to help you achieve better precision.

The main difference between a garden spade and a shovel is the blade shape and intended use. Spades have flat or pointed blades, while shovel blades are curved. Plus, spades dig and prep soil while shovels lift and move soil, snow, or gravel.