To get your lawn looking its best, particularly if it has been infested with hard-to-get-rid-of weeds or dead grass, sometimes means getting your hands dirty. And if you’ve got a green thumb, you don’t mind one bit. After all, there’s something very basic about digging up the dirt – almost connected to our early roots as humans. And the love and care with which you do it matters above all.
But, we’ve advanced technologically since then, and there’s nothing wrong with getting a little aid. For expert sod removal, one needs a quality shovel – one that can be both precise and carry a heavy load. There are plenty of shovels on the market, many that brag about their sod removal traits, but which ones are really going to work? We did a little research, and here’s what we came up with.
List of The Best Shovel for Removing Sod
#1: Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel
You probably already know that the best kind of shovel for removing sod is a spade. Its sharp, serrated edges and tip give you the kind of preciseness you require when you’re trying to avoid certain areas.
The Radius Garden Root Slayer is like a spade with length, and one of its best features is the long handle. No longer will you have to get on your hands and knees to pull up specific areas. It’s also much wider than a regular spade, meaning it gets more done faster.
The only problem is, as good as the length is, it would be better if the handle were made of more durable material. The spade itself is a durable, powder-coated metal and you couldn’t ask for better material. But the handle is simply plastic, so if it gets stuck deep in the ground or you’re not gentle enough, it can snap in two.
Fortunately, however, there’s a lifetime warranty that replaces any broken items right away. As long as you’re even a little careful, though, you shouldn’t have to rely on it. The O-Ring at the top makes it incredibly easy (and kind of fun) to swing around, just do so with caution.
#2: D Handle Shovels for Digging Spade Shovel for Gardening Mini Garden Spade Shovel with Short Handle All Metal Shovel Round Point Spade Shovels 29.6inch Steel Spade Shovel with Short Handle
This shovel attempts to fix the main problem any shovel eventually has – it’s a one-piece. Usually, shovels are connected to a handle or wood, plastic, or metal, but this is welded together. If you’ve had a lot of breakages, this would probably be your best bet when you’re dealing with difficult soil.
It’s also made of pretty strong material, great for penetrating deep in loose soil. But, unfortunately, you probably want to upgrade to something stronger if you live in a rocky or firm area. As good as the shovel is for loose soil, too much resistance can damage the welds. While it won’t break, it will occasionally start to bend after a while.
Of the shovels we looked at, this is the most lightweight, which made it really easy to use.
It’s a mini-shovel, meaning you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time on the ground. In a way, this helps prevent any bending, but it won’t do your back any favours. It also says it’s powder-coated, but there were a few spots that clearly weren’t.
Despite its problems, it’s a great shovel for quick, light work. The head is strong enough to deal with some resistance, it’s only the handle you need to worry about. Anything more than just light lawn work most likely requires something a little stronger.
#3: Martha Stewart MTS-MDS1 27-inch Round pt. Digging Shovel with 8-inch Heat-Treated Rust-Resistant Solid Steel Blade
It’s understandable to have mixed, or even negative, opinions about Martha Stewart, but you have to hand it to her – she knows how to make a shovel that lasts. No plastic here, the handle is hardwood. And the 8-inch blade is sharp enough to penetrate even the toughest soil – even in areas where it’s close to 70 percent rock.
Martha’s shovel is a little smaller than the Root Slayer, so taller people may have some difficulty using it without some back pain. There were also some handle issues; it won’t easily break, but if the rivets were poorly constructed, it can get a little loose. It’s an easy fix, and worth it for the sharpness of the tool.
Regarding the handle – there’s never been a more comfortable grip. The D-ring fits nicely in the palm, and it’s unlikely you’ll even need heavy-duty gloves, as is often the case with shovels. And that comfort makes gardening easy, even pleasant.
It should be noted that a shovel like this is best for small lawns. It’s also best for light lawn work, but if you reinforce the handle, it should be clear for just about anything. The real attraction is the sharp end, and it certainly makes up for the rest of the product’s shortcomings.
So what’s the best shovel?
There are many things to consider when you’re in the market for a shovel that can handle the tough work of sod removal. And it can be a bit of a mystery, especially when you’re shopping online, as you can’t physically feel what kind of grip the product offers.
But while there are many different shovels, each with a different attractive hook to try and draw you in, there’s really no answer to which shovel is best for sod removal. There are too many factors regarding your specific lawn to know for sure.
Instead, it might be best to buy a combination of shovels, and delegate lawn work to each one depending on their durability, sharpness, and ease of use.
Whatever shovel you ultimately choose, the most important aspect of sod removal is that it’s done with care. As long as you maintain a certain standard of care, your lawn should be clean and ready for planting new seeds and grass in no time.