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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.
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

Greenman Half Brite Border Spade

Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

Buy the Greenman Half Brite Border Spade on Amazon

Greenman-half-brite-border-spade-review-BBC-Gardeners-World-Magazine
Greenman Half Brite Border Spade review – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Pros:

  • Strong and hard wearing
  • Long socket for strength
  • Comfortable and well balanced

Cons:

  • Rivets catch on hands
  • Small for taller gardens

If you’re looking for a border spade, we judged this our Best Buy. The shaft was long which helped prevent back strain and the long socket felt robust. The lower part of the carbon-steel blade is uncoated so it can be sharpened and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. The only slight draw-back was the rivets, which can catch on your hands while working.

Read the full review: Greenman Half Brite Border Spade


5

Sneeboer Pointed Spade with Steps

Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

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Sneeboer Pointed Spade review Gardeners World Magazine
Sneeboer Pointed Spade review Gardeners World Magazine

Pros:

  • Strong, wide treads
  • Long handle
  • Sharp, sturdy blade
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • T-grip unusual
  • Expensive

Read the full review: Sneeboer Pointed Spade with Steps


6

Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Pointed Digging Spade

Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

Buy the Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Pointed Digging Spade now on Amazon

Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Digging Spade review Gardeners World Magazine
Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Digging Spade review Gardeners World Magazine

Pros:

  • Substantial but light
  • Comfortable to use
  • Good for the less able
  • Cuts through soil and root easily

Cons:

  • Only as strong as the rivets

This spade has a stainless-steel blade with a serrated edge which cuts through the soil easily. It’s a lightweight tool which is easy to use and comes with a 10 year guarantee. The ergonomic shaft has a rubber covering and there’s a grip insert within the D handle. Our testers judged this our best ergonomic spade.

Read the full review: Wilkinson Sword Ultralight Pointed Digging Spade


7

DeWit Shark Tine Spade

Our rating: 4.75 out of 5

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Dewit shark tine spade review Gardeners World Magazine
Dewit shark tine spade review Gardeners World Magazine

Pros:

  • Razor-sharp zigzag blade
  • Hand forged
  • Cuts through soils easily
  • Comfortable to handle
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Bolts catch on hands
  • No treads
  • T-grip unusual

The zigzag blade is hand-forged from carbon-steel and is razor sharp, cutting around plants easily. The sturdy T grip handle has a long socket which feels comfortable and sturdy for long digging jobs. Coming with a lifetime guarantee, it’s good value for the quality and is our Best Buy for transplanting

Read the full review: DeWit Shark Tine Spade


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

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


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