The 5 Best Drain Spades

Drain Spade

Drain spades are incredibly narrow shovels that feature gently curved sides with a rounded tip. They are ideal for precise gardening work like gently adding flowers to an established flower bed, clearing out trenches and performing small shrub transplants.

These shovels are great for working in really tight and confined spaces. Unlike trenching shovels, there is a a turned-step that enables you to plant your foot on it to dig into the dirt.

Let's take a look at five of the best drain spades on the market today and see how they compare.

Drain spade comparison table

Top 5 Drain Spades

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The D- handle, 14 gauge- blade, Fiskar transplanting spade is a conveniently designed option that comes with an ergonomic shaft design giving best comfort and control. Its users find the D handle easy to control, while they also note that it is too heavy to use at a stretch. The shaft and blade are made of durable steel, which lasts longer than either fiberglass or wood models. The transplanting spade from Fiskar is a good option if you are in search of a sturdy spade for transplanting.

Pros

  • Extra wide plate for foot stomping present on the top part of the blade helps to exert the right amount of force
  • Plastic handle is attached solidly to the shovel and is comfortable to handle
  • Sharp blade cuts through small sized roots easily

Cons

  • Heavy to use so you get tired easily
  • Cannot be used in rocky or hard soil
  • Blade and handle alignment is not proper, so is difficult to use

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This 16 gauge, Hollow back bladed Sharp Shooters Nupla drain spade is a smartly designed option that has a narrow blade with rounded tip for precision digging.  Its users love that it is easy to grip and control, but also note that the blade still flexes on use in spite of being made from steel. The blade has a hollowed back and contains a step with forward turn for safe foot placement. This Power Shooters Ergo drain spade from Nupla is an option to consider if you are looking for a long handled and 4-3/4″ by 14″narrow spade.

Pros

  • The long handle and steel blade makes the spade hold well on prolonged use
  • The length is appropriate for tall individuals who have to bend down while using other models
  • Ideal for sprinkler repair or gardening chores

Cons

  • The handle flexes noticeably even if it is made of steel
  • Some users find the length is difficult to leverage

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

This commercial grade, 12 gauge ash handle drain spade from Bully tools is a great option that provides better stability and wood coverage with its extended ferrule with flange. Its users love the sturdy and closed back spade design, but also note that the edge is too blunt for proper digging. The 100 percent made in America tool has a drain spade of 5.24 inches by 14 inches for efficient use. This 72530 Bully Tool drain spade is an efficient choice if you are looking for a sturdily built long handled drain spade.

Pros

  • Made of top quality metal
  • The long handle makes it easy to apply pressure on the shovel blade

Cons

  • Blunt edged blade is difficult to use in any type of soil
  • A few users suggest that the blade needs to be sharpened using side grinder to make it tapered and fully functional

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The poly D-grip, 30 inch True American drain spade from Ames is a sturdily built option that is made of 30 inch sustainability verified North American ash handle. Its users find the 5-1/2-inch by 14-inch sized blade appropriate for narrow trench digging and cleaning out existing ditches, but also note that the handle made of plastic makes it a flimsy tool. The 1564700 True American drain spade provides safe foot placement with its step turned in forward direction. This North American ash drain spade is a good choice if you are looking for a poly D grip Ames drain spade that is effective in transplanting and digging narrow ditches.

Pros

  • Sturdily built shovel helps in cutting medium sized roots with very minimal effort
  • Is very effective for digging holes of smaller size like those used for planting bulbs
  • Blade cuts sod and shrub roots easily

Cons

  • The step on edge is a bit narrow
  • Plastic handle is a big disappointment as a few users find that it cracked easily
  • Blade starts to bend when more pressure is applied

Effectiveness

Price

Ease of Use

The 28-inch, D-handle Truper drain spade is a quality option that gives good flexibility and resistance ensuring better use of the spade. Its users find the cushion grip of 9 inches boosting control and reducing fatigue, but also note that the blade is unable to withstand rough use. The D shaped waxed hardwood handle spade comes with a rolled in step for better foot placement. The Tru Built PEP-PE Truper 31178 drain spade is a good option to consider if you are looking for a cheap and reasonably effective 28 inch drain spade for use occasionally.

Pros

  • Plastic handle is heavy
  • Stout metal blade is of durable quality
  • Is apt for shoveling away snow in narrow spaces such as between parked vehicles

Cons

  • Overall build quality is not good
  • Not suitable for tough shoveling
  • Is appropriate for occasional usage only

Drain spade final thoughts

If you are looking to purchase a drain spade, you might be looking to do some irrigation trenching, working with runoff drainage or have some fence post holes that you need to dig on your property.

Whatever the case, drain spades are typically designed with reinforced fiberglass handles with foam grips to help absorb the stress of shoveling. The most common buyers are homeowners, gardeners, contractors, construction workers and farmers.

One reviewer that we surveyed describes using his drain spade to dig along the edges of the driveway that was sitting beneath redwood trees that had an elaborate system. The long blade of the drain spade was essential for performing this difficult task.

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