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Best Shovel For Digging Up Roots – A Thorough Guide

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Working on your garden has never been an easy endeavor, especially when you are using a low-quality shovel. This process can be much more effortless if you can get your hands on the best shovel for digging up roots.

However, it is not an easy feast to fish out the best fit in the huge pool of products on the market. For this reason, we prepared this article with our top 6 picks for you. Check out this Growingherbsforbeginners.com

Best Shovel For Digging Up Roots Buying Guide

Blade

The blade’s sharpness should always be the first thing you look for while shopping for root-digging shovels

Ideally, your shovel’s blade should be able to cut through roots like butter and pierce through compacted soils. That is why the best recommendation for this type of task is to go for pointed blade types.

This design also ensures the best soil penetration. However, just being sharp is never enough. Solidness is also a determining factor behind a blade’s efficiency. Sufficiently solid, sharp blades will never bend, even if they are used on hard surfaces.

The best material for a shovel blade should be either 12- or 14-gauge steel. In the same vein, we believe serrated, inverted V, and round point blades are the best designs for root digging. Nevertheless, each still has some specific differences.

A rounded blade fits rocky soils and other hard surfaces the most. Their single-point design makes it easier to enter the earth. On the other hand, you will need to refrain from extracting too many roots, as it can take a while.

Serrated edges function the same way as knives, specializing in dealing with compact soils. You get a narrow blade.

The last type, inverted-V blades, are usually considered to be the best due to their 2-point tips. These tips allow an easier time penetrating most surfaces while still retaining good cutting prowess.

Shaft

The shaft is another vital feature that you need to pay attention to, especially when your height does not line up with the majority of people. A regular shovel will be very awkward in the hands of a smaller individual. It may even cause back pain if you work too long.

There are three main materials that you will see for shovel shafts: hardwood shafts, steel shafts, and fiberglass shafts. 

The steel shaft is usually the strongest one in the bunch, but they also weigh the most. Inexperienced users will tire out their arms quickly.

Hardwood is both lighter and capable of giving a lot more control to the user, as there is no pulse going back to their hands. Nonetheless, it is very weak at facing weather damages, especially moisture damages.

Fiberglass is a substance synthesized to be lightweight yet still remains a respectable level of solidness. It is the material most seen in modern models. However, a fiberglass shaft does bend if it’s facing lots of pressure. 

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Handle

A good handle means that you won’t feel your show slipping away from your grasp. That is why you should pay special attention to ergonomic, secure, and non-slippery types of handles. The most famous materials for handles are wood, polyethylene, steel, etc.

The best designs for the handle consist of a straight handle, O handle, D handle, and T handle. Of them, D-handles offer the most comfort, as you can use either one or both hands.

T-handles provide the smoothest surfaces imaginably, but having no edge indicates that they can slip easily. They are especially incompatible with heavy-duty shovels.

Grip

You should separate handles and grips from each other. Grips usually have paddings, making it easier for the user to control the shovel. It also means the difference between having a huge blister and having none at all.

These days, there are many options available for shovel grips, from round-shaped to D-shaped. Each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses. You do need to pay attention to the details, making sure that the materials don’t get too slippery.

T-handles offer a smoother support surface, but there is no upper edge. That is why there is a higher risk of slipping. You should not consider these options if your palms sweat a lot.

Weight

Shoveling has never been a quick or easy project. Even if you use the sharpest shovel, you will still need to spend hours to finish. This is not mentioning the fact that shoveling is undeniably heavy-duty. Working long hours with a heavy type of shovel may even lead to damage to your wrist.

That is why you need to be careful with a shovel’s weight. Remember that a lightweight shovel is always better for you than something fancy that you can’t wield for more than 5 minutes.

Price

The last thing that you should keep in mind is price, as it can always make or break a deal. 

You should look for a balance between the quality of the product and its value. We do not recommend paying too much, but the cheapest options are also full of faults.

Best Shovel For Digging Up Roots – Top 6

Here are the best Shovel For Digging Up Roots on the market that have gained trust and love from million users! So what are their pros and cons? Follow us to get the answers!

PICTUREPRODUCT'S NAMEPRICE
Agri-Fab 45-0492 44-InchRadius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel, Red
Agri-Fab 45-0218 26-InchROOT ASSASSIN One Shot Garden Shovel - 60" Straight Handle
Yardwise 23630 Push Lawn SweeperFiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Digging Shovel
Earthwise LSW70021 Push Lawn SweeperTrue Temper 2586100 Round Point Forged Shovel with 27 in.
Earthwise LSW70021 Push Lawn SweeperSpear Head Spade Gardening Shovel with Steel Reinforced Fiberglass Handle
Earthwise LSW70021 Push Lawn SweeperAMES Companies, The 163118800 Thumb D-Handle Round Point Mini Shovel, Green

#1. Radius Garden Root Slayer 22011 Shovel – Best Shovel For Gravel

Specifications:

  • Brand: Radius Garden
  • Handle Material: Resin-Encased Carbon Steel
  • Blade material: Carbon Steel
  • Weight: 5 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 45 x 10.5 x 3.8 inches

There is no denying that when it comes to gravel, nothing can beat the Radius Garden Root Slayer 22011 Shovel. Its unique inverted serrated blade design makes it crash through the gravel easily, as the user can apply more force with the same effort.

Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel, Red
The Radius Garden Root Slayer 22011 Shovel performs the best in gravel beddings.

The tip is further strengthened with a layer of powder coating over carbon steel. This combination ensures that the shovel does not receive damage easily. As a result, you can expect a long service life out of it. This sturdiness also makes it suitable for most tasks in the garden.

People who love to use their feet to aid in the shoveling process will also love this garden shovel. It provides quite a huge space for the user’s foot placement, ensuring that you can sufficiently push it through the soil. Besides, this spot will cling onto your feet to prevent slipping.

The biggest weakness is, of course, its limited shoveling capability due to its unique blade. You should prepare a normal shovel for the usual job.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Unique blade design
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Good at ripping roots
  • Lifetime warranty

Con:

  • Smaller shoveling surface

#2. ROOT ASSASSIN Winged Back Shovel – Best Versatility

Specifications:

  • Brand: ROOT ASSASSIN
  • Handle material: Fiberglass
  • Blade material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 60 x 9.5 x 6 inches

These days, there are a lot of specialized shovels, which can only work in specific situations. Yet, you don’t have this problem if you use the ROOT ASSASSIN Winged Back Shovel. After all, this versatile option can fit most purposes, as long as they have anything to do with digging. 

The secret stems from the alloy steel blade, which is known for its superior tensile strength than stainless steel. This profile combined with the larger footstep space enhance its leverage to delve into any surface, be it sand, coal, mud, or hard soil.

ROOT ASSASSIN Winged Back Shovel – Best Versatility
The ROOT ASSASSIN Winged Back Shovel’s versatility is incredible.

Aside from the versatility, this excellent cutting tool also has an innovative design in its spade. The landscaping wing tech makes it capable of carrying a lot more dirt with each scoop. As a result, your working time will shorten significantly.

Its heavy-duty fiberglass handle is also impressive. After all, this material is famous for its lightweight yet still durable nature. This combination ensures that you can hold and swing the shovel easily, yet it will still retain lots of leverage.

We do want to note that this best shovel to dig up roots does struggle a bit with huge roots. The blade does not have a specialized shape, so it cannot handle the tough roots.

Pros:

  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Taking little effort to cut smaller roots
  • Strong handle leverage
  • Sufficient footstep space

Con:

  • Not good with larger roots

#3. Fiskars D-handle Steel Digging Shovel – Best Material

Specifications:

  • Brand: Fiskars
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 5 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 48 x 10 x 4 inches

The Fiskars D-handle Steel Digging Shovel’s material list is undeniably impressive. Its blade is welded from hardened 14-gauge steel, while the shaft originated from 18-gauge steel. This combo makes it the option with the best material on this list.

Simply put, the 14-gauges steel is thicker than the 18-gauge one to ensure sufficient sturdiness for heavy tasks. It’s known as the most common framing material in the US, capable of most applications. Meanwhile, Fiskars, with users in mind, has employed 18-gauge steel for the shaft, giving a thinner and lighter profile to reduce hand fatigue.

Fiskars D-handle Steel Digging Shovel – Best Material
The Fiskars D-handle Steel Digging Shovel has the best material.

This shovel took care of steel’s biggest weakness as a material through a coat of black powder. With this layer of coating protecting the steel, it can resist all the external damage sources like water, etc., with more efficiency. That is why it can serve you for a considerable duration.

The design of this shovel makes it most suitable for the 2-hand style, but its weight can make the process awkward. That is why Fiskars added in a huge handle with a D-shape design. This garden tool ensures that you can securely control the shovel no matter how intensive the job is.

Despite having such an innovative design, we don’t like this shovel handle due to its plastic material. It lowers the handle’s strength and resistance, making it easier to break.

Pros:

  • Easier to control with huge D-handle
  • All-metal construct
  • Respectably durable

Cons:

  • Weak plastic material for the handle
  • Struggling with specific roots

#4. True Temper 2586100 Forged Round Point Shovel – Best Longevity

Specifications:

  • Brand: True Temper
  • Handle material: Fiberglass
  • Blade material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 4 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.35 x 9 x 42.5 inches

The True Temper 2586100 Forged Round Point Shovel is not the strongest one on this list, but it will last the longest. 

The reason for this statement lies behind its design and material choice. Its round point blade design may struggle a bit with large roots, but it does not break under normal circumstances. In the same vein, the fiberglass handle doesn’t take as much damage from the outside weather.

True Temper 2586100 Forged Round Point Shovel – Best Longevity
The True Temper 2586100 Forged Round Point Shovel can last the longest.

This handle is also specifically designed to be 27-inch thick, which is just enough to fit in your hands while still remaining good structural integrity. You can use it for some heavy lifting without having to worry about fiberglass breaking.

This shovel is also on the lighter side, weighing only 4 pounds. You will be able to work with it for quite a while.

The biggest weakness of this shovel displays in its fire resistance. Due to the fiberglass construction, it’s not as good with fire as metals such as steel.

Pros:

  • Highly resistant to rust
  • Blade rarely gets any deformation
  • Relatively light
  • Surprisingly strong

Cons:

  • Not as good with fire as metals
  • The blade lacks a bit of cutting prowess

#5. Spear Head Spade Reinforced Gardening Shovel – Best For Heavy-Duty Tasks

Specifications:

  • Brand: Spear Head Spade
  • Handle material: Fiberglass
  • Blade material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 3.69 pounds
  • Dimensions: 40 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches

It is hard to argue against the Spear Head Spade Reinforced Gardening Shovel’s claim as the best candidate for heavy-duty tasks. After all, it is the first one to feature a hybrid design between spade and shovel. This excellent root-cutting tool reduces the effort you need to extend while facing tough soil by a significant amount.

Spear Head Spade Reinforced Gardening Shovel
The Spear Head Spade Reinforced Gardening Shovel is the best all-around.

Despite also using fiberglass for the handle, Spear Head Spade used a special variety. Using a pultruding reinforcement process, the shaft becomes stronger by as much as 60%. This strength is enough to rival even all-metal shovels with none of their weaknesses.

The blade is made from a carbon-manganese combination, which is incredibly resistant to both corrosion and impact. For this reason, it can serve you for quite some time.

The unique shape does mean that it does not have a high scooping capability. You should keep this in mind while working on scooping tasks.

Pros:

  • Reducing efforts of digging
  • Unique blade design
  • Special fiberglass for handle
  • Resistant to both impact and corrosion
  • Padded grip for more comfortable handling

Con:

  • Limited scooping capability

#6. AMES 163118800 D-Handle Mini Shovel – Best Compactness

Specifications:

  • Brand: AMES
  • Material: Wood, Plastic
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Dimensions: 26 x 6 x 2.5 inches

Some of us don’t have a big statue, so it’s hard to properly handle shovels bigger in size. If you are on the same boat, the AMES 163118800 D-Handle Mini Shovel is simply a godsend. Measuring 26 x 6 x 2.5 inches, it is the most compact option on this list, hence the name mini.

AMES Companies, The 163118800 Thumb D-Handle Round Point Mini Shovel, Green
The AMES 163118800 D-Handle Mini Shovel has the smallest size.

Don’t underestimate this dwarf’s strength, though. The blade received a heat treatment and powder coating, allowing it to withstand lots of weather damage and impact damage. Even if you happen to hit a large rock, the blade stays the same.

We also love the fact that there is a degree of bending in the scoop. This bend provides good foot protection, as it will lead the blade away from the foot.

Due to its small size, it can take a while to cut off tougher roots completely. You will need to put out some effort.

Pros:

  • Incredibly fitting for small people
  • Capable of withstanding lots of damage
  • Innovative safety feature

Con:

  • Not capable of cutting tough roots completely

FAQs

How Do You Shovel A Root?

You use a specific push and pull motion to weaken the roots before cutting them off completely. If you feel like the roots are too stubborn, place your foot on the blade wing to exert more pressure.

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Can I Replace the Handle of My Shovel if Damaged?

Yes, it is entirely possible to replace a damaged handle. All you need to do is first clamp it into a vice as tight as possible. Then, remove the broken handle’s rivet, which links the head shaft to the handle.

You can use a chisel and pry the shaft up and put a hacksaw blade in the rift to cut.

Should I Wet Soil Before Digging?

Even though the wet soil ignites an urge in our hearts to work it, the best approach is actually to resist this urge. Doing so ensures better health for the whole garden over a longer period of time. The reason for this suggestion comes from the wet soil getting compacted when worked on.

Once the soil compacts fully, the effects will last for many years.

Should I Dig After The Rain?

As we have mentioned, working on wet soil is not a recommendation for gardeners. That is why you should wait for a while after the rain to start working. As rains tend to wet the soil completely, the waiting time should be longer.

How Do I Get Through The Roots When I Dig?

Despite the shovel helping you with removing the roots, you should still employ the help of a landscape bar. Even the serrated shovels struggle with specific types of roots. The landscape bar does not have this issue, and it doesn’t receive any damage.

Conclusion

Most shovels will suffice if removing soil is all you need. However, you need the best shovel for digging up roots if you want to take care of the roots underneath.

From the options that we prepared, we believe that the Spear Head Spade Reinforced Gardening Shovel will perform the best. It has all the features you can ask for in a shovel, from durability and resistance to good performance.

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