Finding the right shovel can ultimately take several hours of searching and research to make sure you are finding one that fits all your needs and checks all the boxes. But we are happy to report that we have done all the hard work for you and have come up with a list of the five best shovels you can get for all your yard and garden needs.
Before we get to the list, let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about shovels and what goes into finding the absolute best for your tasks.
Shovel Blade Shapes
With so many styles and combinations to choose from, it can sometimes seem like an incredibly daunting task to find the right shovel. To make the buying journey easier, you can ask yourself a few questions to help narrow down your choices.
- 1What will you be using the shovel for and how often will you be using it?
- 2Do you have a set budget in place for the shovel?
- 3How much weight can you handle and what style of shovel are you looking for? For example, there are open-back, closed-back, or forged shovel heads to choose from.
- 4How much handle weight do you feel you can handle and what materials would you rather the handle be constructed with? There are composite handles, fiberglass, and wood.
- 5Finally, how long does the shovel need to last? Strength and durability may be deciding factors for you when you want a shovel to last several years or even a lifetime.
Shovels have different blade shapes as well. A square point shovel is good if you are looking to scrape and pick up soil, debris, and gravel from harder surfaces. A round point shovel is good for more generalized digging tasks like you would do as you garden.
Next, you will take a look at the available handles. Traditional handles make the shovel easier to use, and they come with a large diameter base with a strong socket and handle connection to eliminate the risk of any components becoming loose. You will also find that the grain of the wood is lined up vertically in the shovel head which provides the shovel with even more handle strength.
Composite handles, on the other hand, make the handles more weather-resistant and the fiberglass core allows for a strong and riveted connection with the shovel head. You will also find much more strength and durability running throughout the entire length of the handle because of the honeycomb fiberglass tube that often is included inside the composite handles.
Now that you know a bit more about shovels and understand your needs and wants, let’s take a look at five of the best shovels that are currently available.
Bully Tools Gauge-Round Point Shovel – Most Functional Shovel
This shovel has a lot of subtle details that make it both comfortable and functional to use, and its many features set it apart from the competition. Listed as one of Amazon’s Choices when it comes to shovels, it has a full-blade width step and a shock-absorbing wood and fiberglass handle that is resistant to rot.
Shovel Length: 59.25-inches long
- Welded rib and I beam construction for strength and durability
- True 14-gauge steel
- Closed back design eliminated the build-up of debris
- Reinforced fiberglass handle
- Some found the shovel head to be too heavy
- Does not have a beveled or sharpened edge
Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel – Most Durable Shovel
If you are looking for a shovel that is great when it comes to digging in tough soil, then this welded 14-gauge hardened steel blade offers the durability and strength that you need to get the job done right. The blade is sharpened so it can cut through tough soil and it can even break up hardened dirt. Its long handle is perfect for those who suffer from sore knees and backs.
Shovel Length: 57.5-inches long
- Long handle for a more ergonomic design
- Steel shaft for durability and strength
- Works on tough soil
- Affordable option
- Very heavy
- Blade tip has been known to break easily
Ames True Temper Round Point Shovel – Best Shovel for Heavy Duty Tasks
Shovel Length: 30-inch handle
This round point tempered steel blade packs a lot of power. The handle has a D shaped design which can help you with more of your heavy-duty tasks. The blade also strikes a good balance between the sharpened edge and the larger surface area which allows you to hold even more.
- Made from durable and quality steel
- Good for more heavy duty tasks
- Forward turned step allows more secure foot placement
- The handle is short which may make it uncomfortable for taller people
- Some report that it is better suited for lighter tasks and not heavy digging
Seymour Round Point, Notched Shovel – Best Shovel for Tough Digging
If you are looking for a heavier duty shovel that can penetrate packed soil, clay soil, and can even make its way through roots and sod, then this is definitely the shovel to consider. The blade consists of a set of cutting teeth that can get through even the toughest conditions.
Shovel Length: 48-inch handle
- Can handle tough digging tasks
- Unique design
- Good handle length
- Very durable and strong
- More expensive than other options
- May be unsafe when not stored properly
- Have to clean between the teeth after each use
Corona AS90300 Round Point Shovel – Best HighEnd Shovel
Shovel Length: 48-inch handle
When looking for a higher-end digging shovel, you are looking for something that has more of a professional grade quality and something that will last for years. The Corona Round Point Shovel is a bit more costly than some other models, but it is made to last and has some extreme digging and prying power.
- All steel construction for strength and durability
- The handle is made from aerospace grade steel
- The 12-gauge blade is pre-sharpened
- Rubber foot pad helps with fatigue
- Closed back provides more strength
- Pricier than other top-end options
- Very heavy
- The angle of the blade is slightly less than other shovel types
When it comes to choosing the best shovel, it really comes down to what you are going to be using it for. Deciding between sharp and flat blades may be a hard decision, but you should remember that a pointed-tip blade is always going to be better for digging, while a flat tipped blade makes moving soil much easier.
Finally, never underestimate or overestimate the weight of the shovel either. You may be using it for hours on end, so you want to find a shovel that is the right weight to help minimize any muscle strain and fatigue.