Best Shovel for Digging Up Roots 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

If you think a shovel is a tool for just digging, you’re wrong. There are several types of shovel, with different sizes and shapes for different purposes. And only very few are excellent for digging up roots.

The most important part in any shovel is the shape of its blade. That will tell you if it’s good for digging up and cutting roots. Once you’re satisfied with the design, it’s time to analyze other features like weight, length, material quality and price.

If you aren’t exactly an expert in shovels, don’t worry. Today you’ll learn how to differentiate a shovel for digging up roots from the rest. You’ll also know the top 10 best models in the market and a practical guide to make the best purchase decision.

Best Shovel for Digging Up Roots 2021

Top 10 Shovel for Digging Up Roots Reviews

Well, you have time to read the full topic to make your decision final. So let’s go and check what is include here.

01. Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel

If you’re looking for the best shovel for gravel, Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel is your best choice. Its design and performance in all types of terrain make it a unique tool.

It glides like butter through the hardest and strongest roots. In contrast to other models with pointed tips, Radius Garden 22011 has an inverted “V” tip. This design allows applying more force over a larger area, increasing the cutting efficiency.

The wide edges of the shovel provide stable support for the foot to apply more force. Its jagged edges make it the best shovel for mulch currently available in the market.

It’s also lighter and smaller than predecessor models.

We Love
  • High performance.
  • Lighter than most models.
  • Durable and resistant.
We Don't Love
  • Uncomfortable handle.
  • Smaller shovel surface.

02. Root Assassin 32-Inch Mini Garden Shovel/Saw

A smaller version of the famous Root Assassin Shovel. Ideal for clean and precise cuts in small areas.

Its pointed tip and serrated borders make the job easier. There’s no root strong enough to resist the power of this compact model. It’s the ideal tool for people with short stature.

With only 2.2 pounds in weight, it’s one of the lightest shovels currently for sale. Made with industrial grade steel to withstand very large efforts without deforming. Its silver powder coating guarantees the best protection against moisture and corrosive agents.

Its D-grip handle with rubber coating gives you greater control during work.

We Love
  • Compact and easy to use.
  • Very light.
  • It requires little effort to cut and dig.
We Don't Love
  • Not very efficient with too robust roots.
  • Too short for some people.

03. Fiskars 46-Inch Steel D-Handle Digging Shovel

Lightweight, durable and extremely resistant. Fiskars 46-Inch Steel D-Handle Digging Shovel can last forever.

Made of different gauge steel for maximum strength and less weight. 16-Gauge steel for the shaft and 14-gaugefor the blade. Covered completely with black powder coating for greater resistance to external agents.

Its large D-handle provides more space for both hands. Its hard pointed blade can penetrate the hardest surface and easily cut the most robust roots.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Better control during work.
  • Very light.
We Don't Love
  • Low resistant plastic handle.
  • Scoop too wide for certain purposes.

04. Ames 2586100 43-InchTrue Temper D-Grip Digging Shovel

Lighter than most models. Ames 2586100 43-InchTrue Temper Shovel is the ultimate solution to tired arms after working.

Most of its shaft is made of fiberglass, making it lighter than other similar models. This feature prevents your arms from getting tired too quickly.

With a round point blade made of steel, it can withstand large efforts without deforming. Ideal for very hard soils and difficult roots. It also has a D-Grip fiberglass handle that gives you more control and allows you to focus all the force on a single point.

It’s useful for heavy work and yard maintenance.

We Love
  • Very light.
  • Blade resistant to deformation.
  • High resistance to rust.
We Don't Love
  • Fiberglass shaft less resistant than steel ones.
  • Not very resistant to fire.

05. Spear Head Spade SHLF2 Long Handle Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel

Designed to obtain the greatest penetration with the least effort. The revolutionary design of its blade is perfect for all types of yard work.

Lightweight and efficient. Spear Head Spade SHLF2 revolutionary blade design allows maximum penetration into hard soils with less effort. Instead of a round scoop, it implements straight cuts on the blade for better performance on hard surfaces.

If you can’t do yard maintenance due to joint pain, this is the perfect tool for you. Its carbon manganese blade resists great impacts and corrosion.

It’s also an excellent cutting tool for very strong and deep roots. Its handle and shaft are made of fiberglass to reduce weight.

We Love
  • Reduces digging efforts by 80%.
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Very light.
We Don't Love
  • Blade design not suitable for certain tasks.
  • Reduced scoop area.

06. Tabor Tools J201A 31-Inch D-Grip Fiberglass Handle Digging Shovel

When the ground isn’t too hard and you need to dig a lot, there’s no better tool. Tabor Tools J201A is the best shovel for digging holes for people with short stature.

The best shovel to dig loose soil. Perfect for all kinds of yard work. If most of the shovels are too long for you, maybe you should try this one.

Heat-treated and powder coated steel scoop for maximum resistance to great stress and corrosion. If a large rock gets in your way, its point blade remains intact.

It also has a D-Grip fiberglass handle for better control and less weight. The bended edges of the scoop provide a better foot support.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Perfect for large excavations.
  • Lightweight and easy to use.
We Don't Love
  • Not suitable for cutting strong roots.
  • Steel blade may bend with great efforts.

07. Martha Stewart MTS-MDS1 27-Inch Mini Round Point Digging Shovel

Cheap, compact and easy to use. Martha Stewart MTS-MDS1 is the perfect digging shovel for small yards and reduced areas.

Men, women and children can handle this magnificent tool very easily. Although its handle and shaft are made of hardwood, Martha Stewart MTS-MDS1 is one of the lightest and most compact models on the market.

If you’re too tall, you may have to kneel to dig or cut the roots. Its heat-treated and powder coated scoop gives greater strength and durability.

In addition, its 8-inch point blade penetrates the hardest and most compact soils without much effort.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Lightweight and easy to use.
  • Adults and children can use it.
We Don't Love
  • Too short for certain people.
  • You need to bend down to use it.

08. Radius Garden 22311 Root Slayer Nomad

An excellent tool to give the first gardening lessons to your little ones. Radius Garden 22311 is ideal for little yards and simple tasks.

Judging by its size, you might think that it isn’t the best shovel for digging in clay, but you’re wrong. The wide digging area of its steel blade can dig big holes in less time. To prevent blisters and shock absorbing its Root Slayer Nomad.

It also has a heat-treated and powder covered blade for maximum strength. It can penetrate hard soils vertically and cut small roots without problems. It’s specially designed for simple tasks. It’s also the best shovel for snow.

We Love
  • Ideal for weed buster.
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Lightweight and compact.
We Don't Love
  • Not suitable for heavy duties.

09. Bully Tools 82510 14-Gauge Round Point Shovel

Proudly made in the USA. Bully Tools 82510 Shovel withstands the greatest efforts and destroys the most problematic roots.

Its 14-Gauge blade can penetrate hard soils and cut sturdy roots as well as top-selling models. If you’re looking for a high quality product, you can take home one of these with complete confidence.

Its fiberglass handle uses hardwood to make it almost indestructible. Ideal for contractors used to heavy duties. Its extended ferrule is stronger than other models, preventing the shaft detaches from the scoop with high impacts.

We Love
  • Very resistant handle.
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Ideal for heavy duties.
We Don't Love

10. Ames 2535800 D-Handle Digging Shovel

With a 15-year manufacturer warranty, Ames 2535800 is a tool that will last forever. Manufactured with the highest quality standards for demanding customers.

Its hardwood shaft provides maximum strength and flexibility. When you dig too hard soils, you won’t feel the direct impact on your hands thanks to the damping effect of the wood. Its D-handle provides greater stability for precise digging.

It also has a tempered steel blade that guarantees years of use without damage. No doubt, you’ll need to apply a lot of force to even bend it. Its high strength and durability make it perfect for cutting the most robust and deep roots.

We Love
  • It cuts very strong roots.
  • Maximum durability and resistance.
  • Lightweight and easy to use.
We Don't Love
  • Shaft less resistant to moisture and fire.
  • Not suited for heavy duties.

Shovel for Digging Up Roots Buying Guide

The larger the root, the more powerful should be the tool to cut and remove. Obviously, the bigger the shovel, it will be heavier and harder to manipulate.

However, some models implement quite light synthetic materials in their design. Weight reduction is essential to avoid excess effort, tired arms and pain.

There are many types of shovel heads, but not all serve for digging up roots. Most are made of steel. But not all sizes are appropriate for certain efforts.

Sometimes you know very well what you need, but you don’t have enough money to pay for it. As you can see, there are many factors that you must take into account before making a decision.

Here’s all you need to know in detail about a shovel to find out if it’s appropriate for digging up roots.


A blade very sharp and tough is all you need for digging up and cutting roots like butter. For easy penetration into the ground, you need a point blade.

Blade steel must be strong enough for high impacts or it will bend or break in contact with very hard surfaces. Steel gauges between 12-14 are the most appropriate. A 16-gauge steel blade isn’t enough for heavy duties.

The most appropriate blade types for this kind of purposes are:

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

Here, now, we will know little bit more about blade types.

Round Point Blades

Round point blades are excellent for penetrating hard surfaces, such as compacted clay or rocky soils. That way you’ll reach the deepest roots easier. However, for cutting tasks they can be a real pain.

All force focuses at a single point, decreasing the contact surface with the root. It will take longer than normal to cut and remove a too sturdy root.

Serrated Blades

Serrated blades work just like a knife. They are useful for penetrating compacted soil and cutting roots.

However, their heads have less surface area, decreasing their ability to remove loose soil in each movement.

Inverted “V” Blades

Inverted “V” blades are the best for cutting and removing larger roots in a short time. So instead of a single point tip, as in the case of round point blades, inverted “V” blades have two. This feature allows better penetration on difficult soils.

However, like the shovels with serrated blades, their heads also have very little surface.

If you want maximum efficiency, it’s convenient to combine the action of these three blade types in the same job.


Before buying a digging shovel on the Internet, you must take into account your height to choose the perfect one for you. So some shafts are too long for short people. As a result, some are too short and force you to bend during work.

If you choose the shaft wrong, you’ll surely have back pain every time you finish working. Today, most shafts are made with these three materials:

  • Steel
  • Hardwood
  • Fiberglass

16-Gauge is the most appropriate for steel shafts. Although it’s the strongest material, it isn’t exactly the lightest. After prolonged use, you’ll begin to feel tiredness in your arms.

Hardwood is lighter than steel and is the best material to dissipate impacts. This way, the vibration doesn’t pass to your hands, giving you better control. However, hardwood tends to weaken with moisture.

If you want your hardwood shovel to last longer, better keep it away from water and fire.

Fiberglass is a very strong and lightweight synthetic material. Today, shafts from most modern models use fiberglass. Although fiberglass shafts are easy to handle, they tend to bend too much with very large efforts.


The handle should be comfortable, ergonomic and non-slip for better control. So you can find them in different materials, such as fiberglass, polyethylene, wood and steel. The most common for digging purposes are:

  • Straight handle
  • O- handle
  • D- handle
  • T- handle

When you need to apply a lot of force, straight handles aren’t the most appropriate. Also, they tend to slip from your hands. If you don’t wear gloves, they’ll surely cause you blisters.

O-handles allow you to hold the shovel with both hands around an arc. For some people it’s comfortable, but for others it isn’t. The hand on the top of the arch tends to suffer too much with high impacts.

D-handles work the same as O-handles, but the support surface is flat. It’s the most comfortable handle type and depending on the width, allows you to apply force with one or both hands.

T-handles offer a flat support surface but have no upper edges to prevent hands from slipping. Not appropriate in case of sweaty hands.

The best handles use soft materials. This allows a better grip, dissipation of efforts and prevents blisters.


Perhaps you might think that the price depends on the material quality. The better the materials, the higher the price. Right? But it doesn’t always happen that way. Most of the time, the high price is a direct consequence of the popularity and brand of the product.

It’s true that well-known brand shovels have better quality. However, there are less known brands that offer products of the highest quality at a lower price.

If you have the money to pay for the best shovel for digging trench, do it with confidence. But if not, it’s convenient to consider cheaper options. Basing your decisions on other users’ opinions is always a good idea.

Before buying a product, consider its pros and cons. Compare the number of good reviews against bad reviews. Make questions if you have doubts and buy the model that best meets your requirements and fits your budget.

Best Brands of Shovels for Digging Up Roots

There are hundreds of brands out there with pretty good models. However, if you’re looking for the best shovel for edging, there are only 3 brands that can meet all your expectations. They are:

  • Radius garden
  • Root assassin
  • Fiskars

Why are they the best? Because they allow converting the largest roots into a million pieces with relative little effort. The shovels they produce are durable, resistant and easy to use.

The quality of its materials is much superior compared to others. Although it’s true that their products aren’t the cheapest, every penny you pay for one of their shovels is worth it.

If you can wait and save a little more money to buy one of these, better do it.

Shovel for Digging Up Roots FAQs

If after reading this article, you still have many questions, maybe these FAQs and their answers can help you clear your mind.

Q-1. Is any shovel good for digging up roots?

No. Each shovel has a different purpose.

Q-2. How to know if a shovel is good for digging up roots?

Make sure it has the following features:

  • Pointed and sharp blade.
  • 12-14 Gauge steel head.
  • Resistant shaft.
  • Comfortable and ergonomic handle.
Q-3. Is 16-Gauge steel good for a shovel head?

No. The thickness isn’t enough to withstand great efforts or to penetrate hard surfaces.

Q-4. Which material is better for the shaft?

Depending on the purpose. If you want to apply more force, choose steel. So if you want more effort dissipation, choose hardwood. If you want less weight, choose fiberglass.

Q-5. How to choose the best size for the shaft?

You must know your height first. The distance between the pointed tip and the top of the shovel should be close to the length between the tip of your feet and the midpoint of your chest.

Q-6. What is the best handle?

It depends on the user’s appreciation. However, the vast majority consider that D-handles with soft covers are the best.

Q-7. Is it convenient to buy the most expensive shovel?

No. The price isn’t synonymous of quality. Be sure to check the product specifications and reviews from other users.

Q-8. What’s the best blade type for cutting a thick root?

Inverted “V” blades are the best for these purposes.

Q-9. Is it necessary to sharpen the shovel’s blade?

Yes. For best performance, you must keep the blade sharp.

Q-10. Are shovel shafts replaceable?

Yes. If the shaft breaks, you can buy a new one at a hardware store.


Most shovels are useful to remove loose soil. However, not all are useful for digging up and cutting roots. Keep that in mind before making a decision. Choosing well the blade type is always the first step in making the best decision.

Then consider material quality, weight and ergonomics. If you carefully follow all advices in this article, you’ll reduce the risk and increase your chances of success.

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