Best Shovel For Digging Holes in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

This top 10 best shovel for digging holes article will guide you to buy the best one. So, keep reading for more.

Digging a hole in hard and compacted soil requires a lot of physical strength. If your arms aren’t as strong as before, you’ll certainly have trouble to finish the task. However, some kinds of shovels can give you satisfactory results without requiring too much effort.

Certainly, not all types of shovels are good for digging holes. There are a set of features that make them suitable for this purpose. And that’s precisely what you’ll find in this buying guide. Also, here you’ll find a top 10 list with the best shovels for digging holes that everyone is buying this 2021.

What is Shovel?

A shovel is a simple tool made up of three main parts: the head, the shaft, and the handle. In addition, it’s commonly used for excavating, mixing concrete, and lifting materials.

Shovels used for excavation have sharpened edges and pointy tips to better penetrate the soil. On the other hand, the ones used for mixing concrete or lifting materials have a square head and a flat tip.

How to Digging Holes by Using Shovel?

Digging a hole with a trenching shovel garden tool is certainly one of the easiest things to do. To do it the right way, just follow these steps:

  • First of all, support the tip of the shovelhead on the ground at an angle of 45º approximately.
  • Then, rest one of your feet on the step of the new shovel head and apply downward force. Do this until the head is completely buried in the soil.
  • After that, use the strength of your arms to remove the loosened material. Throw the material to the location that’s most convenient for you.
  • Repeat steps 1-3 until the required volume of material is removed.

So, to buy a digging shovel is not so much easy. But if you have the proper guideline, you can buy the right trench shovel. Must check the trench shovel blade before buy. Because sometimes one blade can break if you use it as metal detecting shovel.

Top 10 Best Shovel For Digging Holes Reviews

Probably, you could find hundreds of different types of shovels in hardware stores. However, many of them are too fragile and break with the first use. If you’re looking for something reliable and durable, consider any option on this top 10 list.

1. Spear Head Spade Gardening Shovel

Digging in hard, compacted soil will no longer be a problem with this incredible Spear Head Spade shovel. Besides, its hybrid garden spade shovel design helps reduce applied stress. Also, its steel-reinforced fiberglass shaft is much stronger and lighter. It only weighs 4 pounds so you don’t end up with tired arms at the end of the day.

The head made of high carbon manganese steel is incredibly resistant to high impacts and abrasion. The metal is 25% harder and 33% thicker in contrast to other shovels on the market.

  • Lightweight
  • Durable and resistant
  • Reduces digging effort
  • Handle is very lightweight

2. Spear Head Spade Reinforced D-Grip Shovel

This shovel has a soft-padded D-handle that fits the shape of your hand. This design also improves grip and prevents high impacts on the palm and fingers. In addition, the spear head has pre-sharpened edges that penetrate better in hard soil.

The fiberglass shaft is non-conductive, preventing electric shocks in case you touch a live wire. The epoxy coating of the head also reduces electric conductivity and makes it rust-resistant. Look forward about drain spade grade shovel.

  • Lightweight
  • Non-conductive shaft
  • Comfortable handle
  • Didn’t get anything

3. Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel

This shovel has serrated borders that make it ideal for cutting roots and penetrating hard soil. The inverted V-shaped tip of the head also helps reduce applied effort. The head, made of carbon steel, is also powder-coated to make it resistant to highly humid environments.

It also has an O-handle that fits different hand sizes. This design also allows you to spread your fingers and get the maximum comfort possible.

  • Cuts roots without effort
  • Easily penetrates hard soil
  • Comfortable handle
  • Nothing

4. Bully Tools 82510 Round Point Shovel

This digging tool shovel has a fiberglass handle reinforced with hardwood, which makes it more resistant, flexible, and lightweight. The head is also made of 14-gauge commercial-grade steel. Therefore, the metal doesn’t bend even in the hardest and most compacted soils.

The D-handle is made of polypropylene copolymer, which makes it incredibly resistant to high impacts and external agents. Best of all, all the elements of the scoop shovel are covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

  • Lightweight
  • Resistant to high impacts and external agents
  • Durable head
  • Not the best handle for sweaty hands

5. Lil ‘Digger Double Serrated Shovel

The Lil ‘Digger shovels cut roots and penetrate hard soil like butter. It’s also incredibly resistant to abrasion and moisture. Also, it has larger steps where you can comfortably support your feet and exert additional pressure.

The head is reinforced in the center, preventing it from bending when applying high pressure. The shovel weighs less than 3 pounds, making it incredibly light and easy to handle.

But if you want you can check clamshell digger too.

  • Durable and resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Reinforced head
  • Fragile handle

6. The Ames Companies, Inc 43106 Round Point Shovel

This shovel has a hardwood shaft, which is flexible but impressively resistant to high impacts. This fact also makes it slightly heavier than shovels with fiberglass shafts. However, that extra weight also helps to penetrate better through the compact soil.

The #2 carbon steel blade is thick and wear-resistant. The D-handle also improves the grip, giving you better control of your tool. Certainly, a recommended choice for those with sweaty hands.

  • Durable and resistant
  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy shaft
  • The shaft may wear in contact with abrasive particles

7. Garden Guru Hand Shovel

This hand shovel is perfect for common gardening tasks like transplanting, mixing soil and fertilizer, or removing weeds. If you’re a fan of metal detection, you can also use it to unearth small treasures. The head has an eye-catching polished finish. It’s also resistant to scratches and humidity.

The plastic handle is thick, with small grooves where your fingers can rest. The handle is also rubber-covered, improving grip and support.

  • Durable and resistant
  • Easy to use
  • Reduces hand stress and fatigue
  • Fragile handle

8. Edward Tools Hand Shovel

This hand garden digging tools shovel has a lifetime warranty, which makes it a great choice to invest your money. The handle is also thick and stiff. The joint point between the head and the handle is reinforced to prevent breakage.

The round edges of the head glide better through compacted soil. In addition, the rubber-coated grip helps reduce stress and high impacts applied to your hand.

  • Prevents hand soreness
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy to use
  • Fragile handle

9. Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel

Certainly, this survival shovel should be a must-have tool in all your outdoor adventures. After being folded, it reduces 2/3 of its total length. It’s also very easy to carry and is small enough to fit any backpack.

Also, it’s completely made of powder-coated carbon steel, resistant to high impacts and abrasion. The teeth on one side of the shovel head are thick and don’t deform easily. If you aren’t happy with the results, you can also get your money back.

  • 100% Money back warranty
  • Rugged constructed
  • It reduces 2/3 of its length
  • The pins may break with high pressure

10. Bully Tools 82545 Round Point Shovel

The head of this shovel doesn’t bend easily because it’s made of 14-gauge commercial-grade steel. In addition, it has a lifetime warranty which is synonymous with a high quality level. The fiberglass shaft has a hardwood core to resist higher stresses without breaking.

The ferrule is welded to the head and reinforced at the union point. So, there’s a lower risk of the head detaching from the shaft.

  • One-piece ferrule
  • Rugged construction
  • Durable and resistant
  • The I-handle tends to slip on sweaty hands

Digging Holes Shovel Buying Guide

As said before, not all shovels are good for digging holes. The shape of the head can tell you that. However, other features can tell you if a certain garden hand shovel performs well on all types of terrain. For example, the shape of the blade, the design of the handle, or the materials.

In this buying guide, you’ll find a list of all the features that make a small garden shovel good for digging holes.


To penetrate compacted soil, the head of the shovel must have a strong and sharp mount & blade. To absorb high impacts and prevent wear and bending, it’s recommended to have a minimum gauge between 12-14.

Depending on the use you’re going to give your shovel, you can choose between these blade types:

  • Round point blades
  • Inverted “V” blades
  • Serrated blades

Round point blades are the best for digging in compacted soils. However, they aren’t the best for cutting roots. So, if there are trees on the site, digging will be a painful task.

Inverted “V” blades are also good for penetrating hard surfaces. These kinds of blades have two point tips, which facilitates penetration. In addition, the inverted “V” shape of the new blade catches and cuts all the roots on its way.

On the other hand, serrated blades are the best for cutting roots. However, they have a smaller surface area and the material tends to escape from the sides of the shovel head. So, digging a hole with one of these might take longer than usual.

Note: don’t forget to buy a blade sharpening tool.


The shaft should be flexible, strong, and lightweight. In addition, it should have an appropriate length according to the height of the user. If the shaft is too long, it will be uncomfortable to use. If it’s too short, you’ll have to bend during work.

Most shovel shafts are made of fiberglass, hardwood, or steel. If you’re looking for maximum strength and rigidity, a 16-gauge steel shaft is the best choice for you. However, you’ll also need strong arms to use a steel shaft due to its higher weight.

On the other hand, hardwood shafts are more flexible and help cushion impacts. That way, your arms, and hands won’t suffer much when the shovel head impacts the ground. However, hardwood shafts can weaken with moisture, which is a big con.

Fiberglass shafts are highly resistant and lightweight. Therefore, they’re perfect for older people and users with weak arms. However, they tend to bend too much when high pressure is applied. Therefore, fiberglass shafts reinforced with hardwood or steel are better.


Above all, the handle should be comfortable and ergonomic. The surface of the handle should also be soft-padded and non-slip.

Handles are available in a wide variety of designs, but the most common are:

  • I-handle
  • T-handle
  • D-Handle
  • O-handle

I-handles, also known as straight handles, allows you to apply force with both hands. However, it’s recommended to wear gloves during work because they tend to cause blisters.

T-handles on the other hand allow both hands to be supported on a flat surface. However, your hands tend to slip sideways when they’re sweaty.

D-handles combine a curved surface on the top and a flat surface below. Some users may find them uncomfortable because the hand resting on top suffers too much.

On the other hand, O-handles allow both hands to rest on a curved surface. In this case, both hands suffer the high impacts. However, this design allows you to firmly grab the handle with your fingers.

Note: some people love wooden handle than fiberglass handle. But I think it is depends on you that which one you like to use. Maybe you will prefer fiberglass handle of shovel than wooden or plastic handle.

Or what if you see a wooden basket with handle?

Digging Type

Digging in yard and locates for digging, digging out crabgrass, big excavators digging are not same. Ditch digging equipment is a digging shovel. But it is boring digging when you use a manual digging shovel.

But if you have big garden digging tools like ditch digging machine or digging prevention system (example for Elon Musk digging tunnels), then digging is fun.

But we are not discussing about that type of ditch digging equipment.

It is true, you need a snow shovel to work in snow, not a clay shovel or a simple folding shovel.


Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the most frequent questions about shovels for digging holes on the Internet. Love to know in details about shovels for digging up roots? Just click here for more.

Q1. What kind of shovel is best for digging holes?

Shovels with round point blades are best because of their high penetration and greater surface area.

Q2. Is it necessary to sharpen the blade of a shovel head?

Yes. Keeping the blade sharp will improve the penetration and cutting ability of the shovelhead.

Q3. How to choose the correct shaft size?

The distance between the tip of the head and the end of the shaft should be close to the height between the tip of your feet and the middle point of your chest.

Q4. What is the best gauge for shovel heads?

12-14 Gauge.

Q5. What is the best material for shovel heads?

Commercial grade steel with powder coating for superior rust and wear resistance.

Final Verdict

As you can see, there are so many aspects that you should consider before buying a shovel for digging holes. For example, materials, size, weight, and type of blade. Make sure the steel is thick enough to not bend or wear out so easily.

If you want to get the best results, make sure to follow each of the tips in this guide. And remember that not all shovel types on the market are really good for digging holes.