Spade vs Shovel – Buying Guide

Spade vs Shovel often confuses the beginners and common people. What are the differences between both? Below we list some key differences. Please read the full story here.

Spade vs. Shovel

What is a Spade? 

A garden spade is a hardware tool for purpose of scooping or slicing soil in gardens, lawns, construction work, and other household needs. It comprises three main parts i.e., A handle, a wooden shaft, and a strong metal blade. The gardening spades come in different shapes and sizes. A garden spade is usually made in a way to dig the soils or other materials, therefore, has a broad and flat-faced blade.

The manufacturing industry has revolutionized the variety in spade and there are some premium, portable, foldable, multipurpose spades as well. 

What is a Shovel?

A shovel is slightly different from a spade as it has a pointed and narrow-faced blade with a lesser tint or angle with its shaft. While the remaining parts like handle materials etc are often the same. A shovel is built to dig or excavate the soil.

Shovels and Spades as Garden Tools

Both garden spade and shovel tools have interchangeable use and often a shovel is used to remove or relocate the material dug with a spade. A spade has a comparatively straight blade than a shovel. Length of both can vary from very handy to bearing a shaft.

spade vs shovel
spade vs shovel

The quality and usability of a gardening tool is the most important thing which a gardener or skilled worker consider while buying it. It is important for all scales of work units. For instance, if you’re a hobby gardener, you need to buy a durable, varstile but lightweight spade or shovel tool or both of them for the beginning. Because you also want to maintain your lawn or garden for the long period. Likewise, a landscape or construction company would also like to buy such heavy0duty spades that can be used for different activities. They would like to increase the productivity of manpower.

Spades and Shovels for Snow Clearance

If you’re a person who lives in snowy areas, you may feel the critical nature of events happening out there in windy, snowy and freezy winters. You have developed some habits since your childhood. In which you enjoy the summers or sun and at the same time you prepare for snow and rains. Gardening is also a year-round hobby in which you have to protect your plants from all weather extremes.

As you protect plants from frost by using plant covers and protective sheaths, similarly you have to manage the snow to protect the living and non-living elements of your garden by using a shovel or spade, or both. You can use different clearing shovels to remove snow and ice layers from leveled surfaces. But, you need to be carefull while clearing snow or digging mud around plants with a spade. That depends upon your skill and attentiveness during winters or fall garden operations. 

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The snow and hailing occur in intervals and you find very limited time in the meanwhile to clear the snow from window pans, hallways, corridors, lawns, patio, and garden. All the cozy elements of your terrace are covered with snow and your rooftop has become a freezing chamber.

You’ve to clear your rooftop from snow in the fall every now and then. In such situations, you’re lucky if you have a firm grip on a strong, ergonomic, durable, and multi-purpose shovel or spade. A garden spade or shovel is like a weapon to fight against many events and activities. 

Buying Guide for Shovels and Spades

It is very important to choose the right product for your different everyday uses. Let’s make the best choice of all the available options in the market for spade on which you can rely for year-round gardening. We’ll discuss the variety of garden shovels along with their pros and cons and in relation to their utility as well.

There are many types of garden spades or shovels that you may find more usable for your particular needs. When buying online from Amazon, Lowes Garden, or any other platform a customer gets confused among all this information and often buys a less productive item than the best one among them all.

But choosing the right one from a rack full of the same equipment becomes quite hard for both the experts as well as beginners. You may get appealed by the sharp and wide blade but forget the handle size of a spade for mud, garbage, and slow clearance.

Likewise, depending upon your garden routine needs, like digging and excavating the soil, you would require some long blade to get better output.

Therefore, we have researched the spade industry and designed a guide for you to know the best features of a gardening spade to help you make the best decision about your purchase. There are many other features and details that a person should consider while buying a spade or any garden tool. Because the older a tool is in your toolbox, the more it is productive for you. You get more familiar, creative, and confident about its use. 

A spade and a shovel are both made up of three main parts which include a blade, a wooden shaft, and a handle grip. But they have their different designs depending upon their use. Let’s discuss what material to look for in all these three parts and their usability when buying a garden spade or showel. 

Material, weight and cost

The shovel has a shorter length than the spade (center). There is little difference between shovels versus spades with regard to their materials. Both are available with wood and fiberglass handles and in carbon and stainless-steel blades.Purple and Orange Colorful Blocks Education Non Profit Website 5

Weight mainly depends on the material used. Weight and costs vary according to the intended use and the special purpose will generally cost higher. Most of the differences between shovel and spade are seen on the handle material.

Handle Material

The material on the spade or shovel handle can also be different or same. But, when the handles snap together the water should run out of your hand. No hose or gap should be required.

Natural-looking wooden handles are popular in gardening but wood is not as robust as fiberglass or steel handles. The handle of wood may be vulnerable to mildew amidst improper care while ironing to corrosion and rusting. The most beautiful hardwood handles are made eup of hickory and ash wood. Make sure to purchase a garden spade or shovel with a handgrip of known and durable wood as some woods are not very durable and may break quickly.

Plastic handles can be a better replacement for wood, but the handles will not last for a longer time than steel or fiberglass handles can.

Handle Shape

Most spades are designed with either T- or D handles to provide enhanced control and safety. D-handles tend to be easier and more comfortable to handle than t handles, although when testing your spade personally you might think so yourself. Spades and shovels without ergonomic handles are likely to create hand fatigue.

Shaft length

During your selection of gardening spades or shovels, your weight will play a key factor. Tall gardeners may prefer spades and dovels with long handles with minimal bending. The back inury is likely to happen when bend or twist your back.

Test different spades individually for length and comfort. Maybe your taste is in some ways different from others. There is a various modern option available for adjustable shaft length. If your other family members also love to work out in garden or snows, you should choose a garden shovel with adjustable length option availability.

Shaft Material

The traditional shovels and spades were more focused on strong woods but now there are numerous other options like steenless sleet and other light-weight metals as well.

About the Blade

The square spade blade is best suited to encroach gardening beds, where the blade or scoop cuts through the bare ground and moves soils. The bigger it becomes, the bigger your surface. But take care not to get too big unless you have difficulty carrying heavy loads or get tired.

Sharp pointed blades work well in cutting through tough soil, and flat blades work best for edging and lifting loose materials from the surface.

Blade Material

All gardeners need a sander which can be easily inserted in difficult soil. How are two types of blades different in terms of quality?

Carbon steel vs. stainless steel blade

The carbon has corrosion resistance. The blades will not be reddish-brown from corrosion. However, stainless steels are heavier and more durable than carbon steel. Carbon steel is stronger, lighter, and stronger. However, unlike steel, carbon steel cannot withstand rust.

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Narrow vs. Flat blade

The shovel has narrow and pointed blades to ensure easy penetration into the hard materials. While spades have flat blade faces to easily collect the loose material.

As we have now discussed different aspects of manufacturing, uses and variety in material for both shovels and spades. let’s move further to the reviews of top-rated and user-trusted spades and shovels available in the market.

Best Garden Spade Tools For Home Garden

We have already compiled a list of best garden spades and reviewed them for you to buy the best garden spade and if you’re looking to buy a spade specifically for your garden needs you can have a look at the following article.

9 Best Garden Spade Tools For Home Garden

But if you are looking to buy a spade or shovel for your year-round gardening and snow clearance purpose, please continue reading below.

Best Shovels for Snow Clearance

When it comes to snow clearance from your garden, lawn, patio, or other favorite places, you need to choose a tool that you can rely on for a long time. You should be able to easily operate during the snow clearance as well as garden cleaning.

We have brought the best garden spades and shovels which you can use in winters and summers with all-in-one functionality. Usually, you’d like to prefer a tool with a broad face and more holding capacity on a blade platform. The four best spade shovels for clearing snow and other purposes are listed below. The snow clearing shovels also come in double-handled shapes to provide dual usability. One is to push the blade under snow and the other to pull it upward and relocate the material.

1. Snow Joe SHOVELUTION 18-in SJ-SHLV01-RED Snow Shovel, Red

If you’re eagerly looking out in the market for a durable and sturdy snow-removing showel with a dual handle, then Snow Joe SHOVELUTION is the best option for you. It has a second handle built in a strong quality socket to provide you easy uplifting of snow and other materials. You’ll get the best experience 18 or 20 inches long shovel with crystal cutting latest technology. The shaft comes in an adjustable design so that you can adjust the shaft length as per your height. This will definitely help you in avoiding tiredness, and backache. SHOVELUTION model is the best price solution for your winter gardening and snow removal needs.

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2. Trazon Snow Shovel

You may find the single-handled shovel more comfortable for yourself. If you’re the one who is looking for a single-handled shovel with a scoopy and large capacity blade Trazon Snow showel should be your best choice. They also offer a sturdy shaft with an adjustable option for its length. Its blade features an additional aluminum edge layer for more strength and durability under wet conditions. The Trazon Snow shovel has a comfortable grip handle with durable material.

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3. ErgieShovel ERG-SNSH18

This is another variation with a lot more comfort and ergonomic nature in double-handled shovels for snow clearance. This shovel has got a moveable additional handle for managing the height or level to apply force for up-pulling the snow or other material in a scoop of its wide spacy blade. The best thing about ErgieShovel is that it maintained its unique design along with increasing productivity as compared to traditional designs. This provides good leverage against heavyweight by applying very little force. This tool may also be used for year-round lawn and garden clearing requirements.

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4. BIRDROCK HOME Store Folding emergency Snow Shovel

It is the best and must-have tool for travel lovers who would like to explore mountains and glaciers on their off-road vehicles. It is very unique in design and can be used as shovel as well as spade. You can fold the BIRDROCK HOME Store shovel into the minimal size and place it in your car trunk. These emergency tools may prove a hundred benefits under snowy and off0road conditions. This weapon should always be present in your vehicle.

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Add-ons for Your Garden Spade or Shovel

If you are worried about fixing your previously purchased garden spade handle or shaft. Or if you have purchased the wrong tool and left it for longer without using it. Suppose the handle in your spade is broken or uncomfortable and you want to replace it with another one. You can easily find spade handles and shafts of different materials and sizes. You may find the following products usable for you.


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