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10 Best Shovels for Digging and Gardening

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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.

At a Glance: Our Top 10 Picks for Best Shovels For Digging

Before we get to the reviews, 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.

  1. What will you be using the shovel for and how often will you be using it?
  2. Do you have a set budget in place for the shovel?
  3. How much weight can you handle and what style of shovel are you looking for? For example, there are open-back, closed-back, or forged shovelheads to choose from.
  4. How 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.
  5. Finally, 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.

Blade Shapes

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. 

Shovel Handles

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 shovelhead 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 shovelhead.

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. 

10 Best Shovels for Digging

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.

1. Bully Tools Gauge-Round Point Shovel – Most Functional Shovel

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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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Some found the shovel head to be too heavy
  • Does not have a beveled or sharpened edge

2. Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel – Most Durable Shovel

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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

Pros:

  • Long handle for a more ergonomic design
  • Steel shaft for durability and strength
  • Works on tough soil
  • Affordable option

Cons:

  • Very heavy
  • Blade tip has been known to break easily

3. Ames True Temper Round Point Shovel – Best Shovel for Heavy Duty Tasks

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Shovel Length: 30-inch handle

This round point tempered steel blade packs a lot of power. The handle has a D shaped design that 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. 

Pros:

  • Made from durable and quality steel
  • Good for more heavy-duty tasks
  • Forward turned step allows more secure foot placement

Cons:

  • 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

4. Seymour Round Point, Notched Shovel – Best Shovel for Tough Digging

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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

Pros:

  • Can handle tough digging tasks
  • Unique design
  • Good handle length
  • Very durable and strong

Cons:

  • More expensive than other options
  • May be unsafe when not stored properly
  • Have to clean between the teeth after each use

5. Corona AS90300 Round Point Shovel – Best HighEnd Shovel

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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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Pricier than other top-end options
  • Very heavy
  • The angle of the blade is slightly less than other shovel types

6. Radius Garden 202 PRO Garden Steel Shovel – Best Shovel for Digging on Rock

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Shovel Length: 42 Inches

It doesn’t matter the type of soil you want to dig over. The 202 PRO Shovel from Radius Garden can tackle them all.

Thanks to its stainless-steel construction and its extra-wide blade, anyone can dig with little effort. Add the cupped blade design lets you dig on rocks and clay with little effort.

Despite its strength and heavy-duty design, the shovel is still comfy with an ergonomic handle. And with its light construction, anyone can get the most out of it.

Pros

  • Short length ensures maximum leverage
  • Comfortable and straightforward rounded handle design
  • Heavy-duty steel build for durability
  • Cupped blade works on stony soils
  • Light construction for easy handling

Cons

  • Small design can be uncomfortable for tall people

7. ROOT ASSASSIN OS-002 One-Shot Garden Shovel – Best Shovel for Carrying Material

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Shovel Length: 69.5 inches

Long and sturdy, the OS-002 from Root Assassin will tackle even the trickiest of digging jobs without a problem. It is still a light shovel with a fiberglass handle, making it decently easy to use and comfortable.

Add the steel blade for excellent sturdiness, making landscaping and scooping super-easy on tough soils.

Another considerable advantage you can’t leave behind is the patented wing design. This will help you carry a lot of material on one scoop without spilling any outside.

Pros

  • Only 6 pounds of weight for better handling
  • Wide foot-step design for harmless usage
  • Extra-tough steel blade and fiberglass handle
  • Scoops material quickly and firmly
  • The extended design allows maximum leverage

Cons

  • Narrow spade limits the amount of material you can carry

8. Spear & Jackson 2001AD Steel Round Shovel – Best Round-Blade Shovel

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Shovel Length: 40 inches

Looking for a rounded-spade shovel? The 2001AD from Spear & Jackson is your best bet. At first, you can enjoy the short and comfy handle at only 28 inches long. It allows easy operation while ensuring tons of strength on every digging motion you make.

And with the carbon with manganese steel spade, digging through harsh materials won’t be a problem.

The handle also boasts a streamlined shaft, making it easier to grip. This matches well with the contoured handle design, adding up the extra touch of comfort for easy use.

Pros

  • Extremely resilient carbon & manganese spade build
  • Heat-tempered material lasts a lifetime
  • Boasts epoxy coating for smoothness & rust resistance
  • Small design allows easy storage
  • Feels comfortable and firm when handling

Cons

  • Feels heavy despite its size

9. Coleman Folding Shovel – Most Portable Shovel

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Shovel Length: 23 inches

Whether it is for your garden, as a work tool, or camping, a portable folding shovel like this one from Coleman won’t let you down.

It is super-small at only 23 inches. Yet, it can fold even smaller to 10 inches, so bringing it around and storing it is a no-brainer.

The shovel is still super-sturdy, boasting a forged steel blade. And with a serrated edge, it does not only withstand heavy use but also works as a saw-like tool, making your gardening job even easier.

Pros

  • Folds easily for maximum storage & portability
  • Can be used as a sawing tool
  • Locks sturdily for reliable storing
  • Works on almost any situation
  • Super-sturdy construction lasts a lifetime

Cons

  • Way too small to be comfortable

10. Bond LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel

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Shovel Length: 26.5 inches

Coming back with another small shovel, the LH015 enters as one of the most durable you can find. It comes with a heat-treated steel head, capable of withstanding any application.

This matches well with the sharpened edges, ensuring maximum digging capacity even in the toughest of terrains.

Another benefit comes from the powder-coating layer that prevents rust wear. Alongside the fiberglass handle, you can expect this shovel to work effortlessly for years.

Pros

  • Comes with a comfortable D-handle design
  • Has a comfortable & reliable non-slip grip
  • Super-light construction is a piece of cake to use
  • Doesn’t rust or wear off easily
  • Goes through challenging terrain fast

Cons

  • Short design can limit comfort and ease of use

Bottom Line

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.

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