Call a spade a spade? How to choose a decent spade..


If you’re passionate about gardening  – the chances are you probably take pride in your shed and your beloved garden tools.

I still have my grandfather’s spade which is a beautiful sturdy beast that’s been going for decades.  But recently it was time for Grandpa’s spade to retire due to overwork.  This meant is was time for me to make friends with a replacement spade.  I wasn’t really sure where to start.  A spade’s a spade innit?  Well not really.  They’re kind of like a well rounded pair of shoes – they need to fit you, look good, and be comfortable and durable.  A good spade is definitely one that is comfortable to use and effective. This means that it needs to be the right length, a comfortable tread, not too heavy and the blade must not be blunt.  Although there are many spanking new spades that fulfil this criteria, there’s also something very beautiful about antique and second hand garden tools I think.  Like they could tell a story.  Why not be green and give a good home to a vintage spade off eBay like I did?  If you are determined to buy new – I was pleasantly surprised to find that Amazon do a good range in garden tools too.  Happy digging!

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  1. Elspeth, why not try onr of our Bulldog spades. We still forge them at our factory in Wigan. They are about as strong as you will buy. The fact that they are one piece means that they do not have any weak spots such as a weld. We believe that our tools are about as green as you can get, from the angle that “buy a quality tool and you buy it for life”. Let me know your postal address and I will send you one of our spades to test. Let me know what you think. Stuart

  2. Thanks Stuart! I’d be very happy to test your Bulldog spade. I subscribe to the philosophy that ‘a spade is for life; not just for Christmas’. ;o) Watch this space for a review!

    • luismorenolandscapes
    • March 29th, 2010

    Thinking at the moment on buying one too! Quite useful when planting your client’s plants as well!!
    Thanks!!

  3. I like the idea of possibly getting an antique spade. I have been using one that my father handed down to me so I could do with getting a new one. I’ve used Bulldog tools when I’ve been working on site, I think they’re pretty good tools so I’d be interested to see your upcoming review.

    • Thanks John – review coming up soon..

  4. I am a great believer in using antique tools. I have the same spade that my father handed down to me when I was 17. I’ve used Bulldog tools before on a landscaping job and they seem pretty good. I look forward to reading your review.

  5. I hope the spade arrived with you for testing. We are looking forward to reading your review. Please let me know what you think. Stuart

  6. our garden tools are always made by Stanley Tools because they are the best when it comes to quality and durability:’.

  1. April 30th, 2010

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