10 best spades

10 best garden spades

Looking for a new digging spade? Browse our pick of the very best, from budget to premium models.

We’ve trialled and reviewed hundreds of garden tools to identify the best ones for value, comfort and quality. Browse our list of the 10 best spades – with detailed lists of pros and cons, length of shaft, weight, ease of use and price. All spades listed below received a rating of at least four out of five stars, so you can be sure of good quality and performance.
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Browse our choice of the 10 best digging spades, below.

1

Kent and Stowe Stainless Steel Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

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Kent and Stowe Stainless Steel Digging Spade
Kent and Stowe Stainless Steel Digging Spade

Pros:

  • Balanced weight
  • Good length shaft
  • Smooth socket
  • Feels robust
  • Sturdy foot treads

Cons:

  • Feels heavy in use

This beautiful, handmade spade has a stainless steel blade with an integral FSC ash shaft and Y handle. It has a long, double riveted socket and wide foot treads. Awarded the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy badge, it’s well designed and extremely comfortable to use.

Read the full review: Kent and Stowe Stainless Steel Digging Spade review


2

DeWit Solid Socket Spade

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

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DeWit Solid Socket Spade
DeWit Solid Socket Spade

Pros:

  • Comfortable design
  • Solid forged carbon blade
  • Long socket
  • Feels robust and built to last
  • Sturdy T grip handle

Cons:

  • No treads

This Dutch made, hand crafted spade has a solid forged carbon steel blade and socket, and an oiled hardwood ash handle and shaft. It has a sturdy, T-shaped handle with a long socket, and a solid forged blade. It’s a high quality, great value tool.

Read the full review: DeWit Solid Socket Spade review


3

Wilko Carbon Steel Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Wilko Carbon Steel Digging Spade
Wilko Carbon Steel Digging Spade

Pros:

  • Good balance
  • Comfortable handle
  • Cuts well

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Soil sticks to textured blade

This carbon steel spade has a textured blade with comfortable, flat treads. The shaft and handle are plastic but the YD handle has an ergonomic tilt to help you lean into the spade as you dig. This takes pressure off the back and a soft grip to stop your hands slipping. Another BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy, this spade is very well designed for the price.

Read the full review: Wilko Carbon Steel Digging Spade review


4

Bulldog Treaded Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Bulldog Treaded Digging Spade
Bulldog Treaded Digging Spade

This is a traditionally styled, robust tool built by an English family firm. The solid forged, carbon blade is wide and flat and it has an ash shaft and Y-shaped handle. Wide treads have been welded on to the blade. It’s a well-designed spade with a strong, weighty feel, that’s comfortable to use.

Pros:

  • Robust and built to last
  • Smooth shaft
  • Comfortable handle
  • Wide treads

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Read the full review: Bulldog Treaded Digging Spade review


5

Spear and Jackson Neverbend Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Spear and Jackson Neverbend Digging Spade
Spear and Jackson Neverbend Digging Spade

Pros:

  • Robust and hard working
  • Comfortable handle
  • Good strong feel
  • Wide treads
  • Rivets flush on handle

Cons:

  • Weight divided testers

This tough, hard working spade has a solid forged carbon steel blade and socket, and a wooden shaft. It has wide foot treads on the blade and an angled, plastic D handle. It has well thought out features and is comfortable and long lasting. Only its weighty feel divided testers, who were torn between loving its solid, heavy digging action and finding its weight tiring after a while.

Read the full review: Spear and Jackson Neverbend Digging Spade


6

Sneeboer Digging Spade with Steps

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Sneeboer Digging Spade with Steps
Sneeboer Digging Spade with Steps

Pros:

  • Hand crafted
  • Feels robust and built to last
  • Wide treads
  • Long comfortable shaft

Cons:

  • Short T grip unpopular
  • Expensive

This beautiful, traditional, Dutch made and hand crafted spade is of a high quality. It has a long, smooth ash shaft and T grip handle, along with a hand forged stainless steel blade with wide flat treads. Its lovingly designed and built but comes at a high price.

Read the full review: Sneeboer Digging Spade with Steps review


7

Greenman Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Greenman Digging Spade
Greenman Digging Spade

Pros:

  • Well balanced
  • Comfortable handle
  • Long, strong socket

Cons:

  • Rivets snag hands
  • Treads narrow and ridges quickly clog

This traditional spade has a long socket, shaft and Y-filled handle, and is comfortable to use. It cuts through difficult ground easily. Testers loved the long wooden shaft but the socket rivets snag the hands.

Read the full review: Greenman Digging Spade review


8

Wolf Garten Straight Spade (ASD)

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Wolf Garten Straight Spade (ASD)
Wolf Garten Straight Spade (ASD)

Pros:

  • Balanced weight
  • Robust
  • Non-slip handle and tread

Cons:

  • Not for short users
  • Ergonomics take some getting used to

This is a great, comfortable, hard-working spade. Sturdy treads help make hard digging easier and the handle is spacious and comfortable. The shaft has a simple non-slip sleeve. However, shorter gardeners will struggle with its length and design.

Read the full review: Wolf Garten Straight Spade (ASD) review


9

Wilkinson Sword Carbon Steel Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Wilkinson Sword Carbon Steel Digging Spade
Wilkinson Sword Carbon Steel Digging Spade

Pros:

  • Good workhorse
  • Digs heavy soil well
  • Ridged treads
  • Comfortable handle

Cons:

  • Rivets snag hands
  • Feels weighty in use despite its lightness

This hard-working, traditional spade feels solid and weighty and is able to tackle difficult, heavy soils. The YD handle is comfortable and the ridged treads protect boot soles and stop the foot from slipping. It has well-thought out features but the rivets on its socket snag hands.

Read the full review: Wilkinson Sword Carbon Steel Digging Spade review


10

Burgon and Ball RHS Endorsed Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.3 out of 5

Burgon and Ball RHS Endorsed Digging Spade

Pros:

  • Good leverage
  • Comfortable to use
  • Feels robust

Cons:

  • Socket snags on hands
  • Narrow foot tread

Burgon and Ball RHS Endorsed Digging SpadeThis is a nicely designed spade that feels well balanced, digs sharply and has a comfortable handle and good length shaft. However, the strapped socket and raised rivets on the shaft snag on hands when lifting and turning the earth, and testers felt the treads were too narrow to stop slipping on wet muddy digs.

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Read the full review: Burgon and Ball RHS Endorsed Digging Spade review