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Best Shovel for Digging Up Roots (Heavy duty in 2020)

Published By andre lutforovich Last Modified: 
October 17, 2020

Do you need to pick the best shovel for digging up roots? or a root cutting shovel? Here, we have listed the 10 best heavy duty shovel for digging up roots.

Having overgrown tree roots in your yard can be quite unsightly and you might want to get rid of them as soon as possible. In extreme cases, roots growing close to a foundation can be quite dangerous as they might damage underground pipes without you even noticing. The best thing to do is to dig them ASAP.

Easier said than done, digging up roots can be quite a hefty job and not as simple as using a shovel to remove it. So here we are with our review of the most popular shovels for digging up roots that you can find online.

Keep on reading as we guide you through various shovel types and what are the factors that you need to take into consideration while hunting for a shovel that suits you best.

What Type of Shovel is Best for Digging Up Roots?

It is completely normal to get overwhelmed by all these shovels that you will find online. However, you need to consider some factors before buying a shovel that will suit you best. Firstly let’s go through the types of shovel that are available for you.

For any tools used for digging purposes, the build quality, and materials needed to be durable.  However, in terms of digging roots, the most important factor is the shape of the blade. It will determine whether it is for digging up and cutting roots.

Here are the types of blades that are recommended for root digging. 

  • Open Back

These are economic options for you if you are on a tight budget and looking for a shovel that you straightly get the job done. These shovel's blade is stamped into a particular shape which is designed to give a lightweight experience. These are certainly a great affordable option for carrying out basic gardening tasks.

  • Closed Back

Unlike open back shovels, these are considered to be a mid-range shovel that has a sturdy construction. They generally have an additional welded plate which gives them the name close back and indeed has improved strength and rigidity. The added plate prevents soil from building up due to having a smoother and flat surface.

  • Forged

Now, these are the heavy-duty shovel that will make you feel worthy just as Thor feels while wielding his storm breaker or Mjolnir hammer. We kid you not, this shovel is forged from a single steel piece which makes it thicker and stronger having high-performing blades. Which leads to improved cutting performance.

Forged shovels are the best choice for digging up roots and loose soil. However, judging by your budget and preference, the other two types will also perform just fine to get the job done.

Top 10 Best Shovel for Digging Up Roots in your Backyard

Digging up tree roots or roots plants is considerably troublesome.  These tools can ease up the process. Here, we have reviewed the most effective shovels.

  1. 22011 Root Slayer Shovel by Radius Garden

If you are looking for a multipurpose shovel the 22011 Root Slayer won't disappoint you. This award-winning shovel can do most of the gardening tasks that you can throw at it. This includes this tool to be used as a hatchet, a saw, and a pry-bar.

And then there is the design of this shovel which will take your expectation much higher. This well-designed shovel looks incredibly refined and you will enjoy working with it. 

You know what they say, you need to look good to feel good, and trust us when we say, having this in your daily gardening activity will be much pleasant.

The shovel is remarkably reliable too! It features an O-Handle designed grip which you will find comfortable wielding in your hand. The design is expected to give you greater gripping power (4 times compared to what you will feel in a regular shovel) and is much comfortable to work with.

Being involved in gardening activities for a longer period can be quite stressful for you. Keep this up long enough and you are bound to suffer long term damage to your body. 

Thankfully, the 22011 Root Slayer has a serrated design and will reduce hands and wrist stress while working with it. 

Additionally, the comfortable non-latex paired with thermoplastic elastomer just makes it one of the best shovels for digging up roots in your garden.

Key Features

  • Sleek design that reduces stress while working with it.
  • A V-Shaped shovel helps to efficiently dig up roots and dirt.
  • Features a powder-coated tip that adds up to the durability of this shovel.
  • Multi-purpose shovel that can handle most of the gardening activities.
  1. LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel by Bond

Bond has done an amazing job of creating this lightweight shovel that is riddled with astonishing features. If digging deep is what you have for demand, you won't be disappointed with this shovel in your hand. 

The rounded edges paired with pin tip makes it an ideal shovel to dig up deeper.

Now let's talk durability, will this heavy-duty shovel keep up with you for an extended period? You bet it will! Made of hardened and heat-treated steel, this shovel is an extremely durable one that you will find online. 

The pain used in this shovel is powder coated to be rust-resistant and will keep it rust-free.

As heavy-duty as it sounds the handle is quite comforting. The mini D-Shaped handle of this shovel is quite comfortable on the grip and while working on lengthy gardening sessions, you will seldom feel stress on your hands. All these features make it effortless to carry and lift this shovel.

The shovel fits best for beginner level gardeners or individuals who are engaged in basic level gardening. Simple, elegant, and effortless to use, you will find it joyful to work with this shovel. 

If you are looking for a lightweight shovel that gets the job done without having far-fetched features, this one might be the best for you.

Compared to most of the shovel that you might find online at this price point, this one offers a much greater value. And the 5 years of guarantee is just a cherry on top.

Key Features

  • Lightweight shovel which is appealing for beginner level gardeners.
  • Durable build quality makes it last for quite a while.
  • A sturdy steel shovel will enable you to lift heavy soils without putting much effort.
  • Serrated edges make it effortless to break off tough clustered soil.
  1. RA-002 Carbon Steel Shovel, 32-Inch, Red by Root Assassin
RA-002 Carbon Steel Shovel

Sturdy as it looks, this shovel can remove big chunks of dirt compared to other shovels. As you remove a bigger chunk of soil, you will find it effortless to cut weeds and roots in the process. Which makes it one of the best shovels for seeding and fertilizing most kinds of plants.

Working on multiple gardening projects, you will need a shovel on which you can rely on. With the help of RA-002, you will find activities such as plant transplantation and fertilization much easier. 

The infrastructure of this shovel and the sleek design makes it durable and efficient to work with.

Let’s talk about the build quality and design of this shovel which makes it stand out of the crowd. Made with metallurgic materials this shovel has a curved tip that allows you to dig deeper. This will come in handy to cover up maximum coverage without putting much of a physical effort.

The innovative deep does a remarkable job in making your gardening project efficient as you dig through soil faster. This saves up much of your time so that you can emphasize on other projects that you might have on your to-do list.

Key Features

  • Serrated shovel that makes gardening activities efficient and time-saving.
  • Made with metallurgic materials, digging deeper with this shovel is much satisfying.
  • A curved tip that can cut through roots and similar types of substances in the soil.
  • With a lifetime replacement warranty, this is an amazing value that you can get for the price you pay.
  1. D-handle Digging Shovel 46 Inch Steel by Fiskars
D-handle Digging Shovel 46 Inch, Fiskars Brand

Although you will find plenty of variations of this shovel online, the best one that we recommend is the digging shovel version of this one. Other versions include Square Garden Spade and Transplanting Spade which performs best on trench maintenance and transplanting activities respectively. However, all of these separate versions can perform most gardening activities without breaking a sweat.

This shovel features a D-ring handle which makes gardening tasks such as transplanting, trench maintenance, and root separation quite comfortable. As the handle is extra wide, it allows you two wield two hands and has a stronger grip while working with it.

The only downside of this shovel might be the coloring. As it is color coated in pure black, leaving it in sun exposure while taking a break from gardening activities might leave it hot. And trust us, you won’t want to get your hands on a scorching hot shovel unexpectedly.

This 46-inch shovel has a steel shaft of 18 gauge and completely powder coated. The powder coating enables this shovel to resist rust which adds up to its durability. As the shovel weighs about 4.8 pounds, you will find this light-weight shovel effortless to lift and work with.

Did we mention that the handle is made of plastic? Regardless of this, this one is an amazing purchase for the value it provides.

Key Features

  • Large D-Handle offers comfortable two-hand wielding.
  • Powder-coated shovel that has enhanced rust resistance for improved durability.
  • Sharpened steel of 14-gauge can chew through roots effortlessly while digging.
  • Foot platform is extra-large for applying greater force while digging.
  • Has a life-time warranty from Fiskars.
  1. D-Handle One-Shot Garden Shovel, 43" by Root Assassin
D-Handle One-Shot Garden Shovel, 43

Talking about high performance and top of the grade shovel, the One-Shot Garden Shovel of Root Assassin is a beast. Their experts have done an amazing job in creating this shovel as it is as durable as it claims to be. The fiberglass used in the making of this shovel is capable of doing heavy-duty tasks while being light-weight at the same time.

When it comes to digging, this shovel sure delivers a top blow. Whether you will be using this shovel for shoveling coal, digging a trench, removing dirt, or just regular gardening activities, you will find this shovel a reliable one.

The shovel is designed with innovative wing technology and can carry a significant portion of soil in one scoop. The shovel is designed in such a way so that your payload is less likely to spill dirt and soil in your yard or pavement. 

The shovel blades have amazing strength and will provide you with a neat shoveling experience.

You will be using your foot a lot while digging up trenches or holes in your garden with a shove. And to make the process efficient, a shovel that has more room for applying force with feet is greatly appreciable. 

Root Assassin did just that with this shovel as you can put greater force to dig deeper with this shovel as it has extra-large foot capacity. 

Root assassin sure does provide quality gardening tools and you are less likely to be disappointed by this shovel in the grip of your palm.

Key features

  • A sturdy handle made of heavy-duty fiberglass is less prone to rust and chipping.
  • Light-weight shovel that appeals to most gardeners.
  • Sleek and innovative design.
  • Has extra-large foot capacity to dig deeper.
  1. Shovel with Rounded Blade and Comfortable D Grip 31 Inch Fiberglass Handle by Tabor Tools
Shovel with Rounded Blade and Comfortable D Grip 31 Inch Fiberglass Handle by Tabor Tools

This shove has a lot of alternative versions each being specialized in a certain type of task. The round pointed one works great while digging loosely-packed soils, the compact version works great while working in tight spaces, the straight blade version for transporting shrubs and trench edging tasks, and finally the trench shovel for efficient trench digging and maintenance tasks.

For digging up roots, the best one that we recommend is the round pointed various of this shovel. Soil that has a densely packed root system requires a pointed shovel to cut through roots effortlessly. 

And this shovel is designed specifically to do just that as it chews through roots and rocks quite naturally.

The shovel features a tempered steelhead that is amazingly durable. The steelhead is heat-treated and is powder-coated to be completely rust-resistant which further adds up to its durability. For better handle and head assembly, the strong steel collar is reinforced between them.

Made with a lightweight fiberglass, the shovel is quite fun to work in gardening tasks. The fiberglass handle will provide you with improved strength and the lightweight of the fiberglass appears comforting on the grip. Overall, a well-balanced handle to shovel mechanism which will surely become your best friend.

The handle is designed in a D-Grip manner which makes it less likely to slip from your hands. Comes in handy while digging up loose soil.

Key Features

  • Round pointed shovel which is effective for digging up roots.
  • Heat-treated tempered steel shovel head that is durable in the long run.
  • Made with sturdy lightweight fiberglass for the smooth digging experience.
  • The D-Grip handle is designed to be non-slip and appears comforting on the grip.
  1. Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel with Cushioned" Grip by Spear Head Spade
 Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel with Cushioned

Now from a hybrid spectrum of the shovel, the Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel by Spear Head Spade has been designed for maximum comforting digging experience. With this spade by your side, you will find digging up roots on a loose soil system much less effort demanding. The shovel is only 40" in size and is one of the best compact shovels you can find online.

Most of the shovels you have reviewed so far have fiberglass handles that prove to be lightweight and sturdy. However, this one stands out of the crowd as it is specially reinforced with pultruded fiberglass. Which means, 60% sturdier compared to most of the spade that has a handle made of fiberglass.

The shovel appears to perform great for digging up rocky and compacted soil. You will also find digging up clay with this shovel easier than ever. As for transplanting and dividing up highly rooted perennials, this spade performs excellently.

Lots of gardeners have complained that working with a shovel while wearing gloves can be a little uncomfortable. This occurs due to the handle of the shovel being smaller or having friction with the material that shovel handle is made of and the gloves. To counter this problem, this shovel has a larger cushioned D-Grip that works remarkably well with gloves.

Key Features

  • Hybrid spade that reduces digging effort significantly.
  • Features pultruded fiberglass handle that is 60% sturdier compared to most spades.
  • Excellent transplanting spade that works well while digging up rocky and compacted soil.
  • Features Cushioned D-Grip hands that are comfortable to work with while wearing gloves.
  • Award-winning spade that is claimed to be "Best of the Best" by BEST REVIEWS.
  1. 397960-1001 PRO Shovel, Digging, 44 Inch, Silver by Fiskars
397960-1001 PRO Shovel,Best Shovel for Digging Up Roots, by Fiskars

The 397960-1001 model by FIskars is a professional tool and is extremely useful for yard works and working on raised beds. Apart from digging holes, this shovel additionally performs well for transporting dirt and soil from one place to another with the help of a wheelbarrow.

Unlike the lightweight fiberglass handle, this shovel features an extruded aluminum one that maximizes its strength and durability. Not that we are complaining about the fiberglass handles, though the double bolted connection of this shovel’s handle sure does provide greater grip. Comes handy while lifting handy loads of soil

The designing team at FIskars has done an amazing job to make this shovel as heavy-duty as possible. The design features an extended shank that provides improved strength while digging up a large chunk of compacted soil. The optimized angle of this shovel is just a cherry on top as it proves to be beneficial for digging as well as prying.

Boy, we sure have a lot of D-Shaped Handled shovels on our review today and this one is to an exclusion from the list as well. There is a reason why most shovels feature a D-handle because it greatly reduces arm strain. 

As for this shovel, the d-shaped handle with a combination of this shovel being compact makes it an amazing tool to work in tight spaces.

Key Features

  • Professional digging shovel that features an extruded aluminum handle for greater strength.
  • Heavy-duty compact shovel that makes working on tight spaces easier than ever.
  • Has extended shanks and optimized angles for effective digging and prying jobs.
  • Feature D-shaped handles to reduce hand strain.
  1. Round Point Shovel, 48 in. Handle, 16 ga.

Round Point Shovel, 48 in. Handle

If you are on a budget and looking for an affordable digging shovel that will last and will get the job done, Round Point by Nupla might be the best bet for you. Sturdy, reliable, and compact, this shovel sure does deliver a great blow for the price you pay.

The shovel features an amazing design for providing you with maximum leverage while digging up holes or planting seeds in your garden. Working on thigh spaces will come in handy as the spade is quite lightweight and is compact enough to work from most angles.

You will be amazed by all the features that this shovel offers while being this cheap and affordable. The shovel is durable enough to last a lifetime and has built-in quality such as rust resistance. It is also powder-coated to take a great deal of beating while you work with it.

You will certainly appreciate the design of this shovel as it has an ergonomic design for maximum comfort. The design results in less fatigue and will provide you with greater safety standards. You will find the 27″ handle pleasing to work with as the ergo power handle results in all-out performance.

All in all, an admirable model that offers amazing value over its price point. One of the fines shovels for digging up roots that you can find online.

Key Features

  • Features ergonomic design for comfortable and less fatigued digging experience.
  • Ergonomic power handles outcomes in greater performance expectations.
  • The best economic choice for tight budget gardeners.
  • Compact and lightweight shovel that offers greater performance in thigh spaces.
  1. Super Duty Multi-Purpose Garden Spade Root Cutter Shovel by LavoHome
uper Duty Multi-Purpose Garden Spade Root Cutter Shovel by LavoHome

If you are having a problem clearing your tracks this perfect shovel which is a great innovation of LavoHome will gladly help you with it. As comfortable as it sounds, this shovel does an amazing job in clearing up trenches and drains that you might have to peel around your home.

This shovel comes as secure as it promises and you can use it for multi-purpose activities. Digging through roots and sod will feel like a joyride with the utilization of this shovel. On top of that, this shovel will eliminate the need for saws as it can be used for a diverse set of activities.

For secure placement of your foot, this shovel is designed in a forward turned-step manner. Applying forces while digging up the soil will come in handy. While most of the shovels result in wrist and hand strain, this shovel however has additional leverage which feels much comforting to work with.

Whether you decide to use this shovel for regular gardening activities, residential uses, or take it up on carrying out commercial tasks. It will carry out each set of tasks without breaking a sweat. This helpful shovel proves a greater and smoother grip compared to the traditional ones.

Key Features

  • Perfect garden shovel for digging up roots and clearing up trenches.
  • Features forward turned step design for applying greater force to dig up compact soil.
  • Hybrid shovel that performs amazingly and has a sturdy grip handle.

How To Choose a Comfortable Shovel for Digging Up Quickly and Easily? 

Now that you have a pretty clear idea of different types of a shovel and how each of them varies from one another in terms of performance, let’s go through some criteria that you need to take under consideration before jumping in and getting a shovel of your choice.

  1. Blade Material

Typically shovels are made of three varieties of blade materials and having an understanding of them will help you to narrow down your preference.

  • Steel Blades: Steel blades are hands down the best and finest that will go a long mile without suffering much damage. Though they might be quite heavy to lift and work with, compared to the performance, the weight is justifiable.
  • Aluminum blades: Compared to the steel blades, aluminum also does quite a remarkable job in digging up roots and trenches. Though they are not as heavy-duty as the steel ones, they are quite strong and durable.
  • Plastic Blades: We do not recommend plastic bladed shovels for serious gardening activities as they are the least durable shovel. They can't endure extreme weather conditions and while lifting heavy weights, they are likely to break. If you are just a beginner gardener and involved in basic gardening activities, we recommend this kind of shovel.
  1. Blade Size

Now shovel blades come in different shapes and sizes, and depending on these sizes you will be carrying out gardening tasks differently. Such as bigger blades are expected to dig deeper trenches and chew through roots effectively. Though they are heavy to lift and might often result in muscle soreness you might want to stick with medium or smaller blade ones.

The medium and smaller blades shovel is quite easy to lift and is less likely to result in muscle soreness compared to the bigger ones. However, they are less efficient due to the size of the blade and will require much of your time to dig bigger holes or stronger roots.

  1. Handle

Similar to the blades, you will find most of the shovel having three types of handle. These handle to suit different types of users and types of tasks that you will be performing.

  • D-Grip: These are the best kind of shovel handle that offers amazing leverage. Most ergonomic shovels have this kind of handle. Although they can be compact, they provide an amazing shovel grip.
  • L-Grip: L-grip shovel falls under the lightweight spectrum and you will find working with them quite comforting.
  • T-Grip: Most shovels have this kind of grip and they provide fines shoveling experience.
  1. Weight

Wight of the shovel is one of the strongest determinants while picking up a shovel of your choice. As you will be using a shovel for a longer period and performing heavy-duty tasks, having the right weight sure makes a difference as it will save you plenty of time and energy.

A heavy shovel is bound to result in torso and wrist fatigue and is not recommended by us. Go for the lightweight ones which have a comfortable grip. Be sure to tweak around whether your chosen shovel will prove to be efficient or not in the long run.

These are the top factors that you must take into consideration while shopping for a shovel online.

Best Way to Dig up Roots with Shovels

Root factors to determine before digging them up-

Factor-1: The very first step is to track down the root that is safe for cutting down. If you cut down roots that are too close to the tree, it might result in falling the tree over and causing an accident.

Factor-2: Avoid large roots at all costs! They are considered as the structural roots of a tree and are quite important for the tree to stay in place. They are usually the base of the tree and usually are about 6 inches far from the trunk of a tree.

Factor-3: While digging up roots, avoid removing more than 20% as cutting more than this will result in your tree dying. Cute less than 20% of roots every year and you will be all set. If you are indeed considering removing more than this, we recommend that you remove the entire tree instead.

Following are the steps that you can use to dig up roots effectively using a shovel of your choice:

Step-1: After you have identified the roots that you need to remove, dig a hole around that area.

Step-2: Drawing a line around the hole will help you efficiently dig out the selected roots.

Step-4: Now that you are set, using a medium to smaller spade, dig out the roots. Make sure that you dig under the selected tree of the plant as well.

Final Words

Now for wrapping things up, we do recommend having a decent shovel by your side at all times as they are quite a helpful tool.

From the list of some of the best shovels for digging up roots above, you now have the independence to choose the one that fits your purpose best. 

They are quite popular among other gardeners and we highly recommend them.

Happy digging.

Andre Lutforovich, founder member of Farming method -The modern Farmer's blog and regarded one of the best farming experts. He completed his higher education introductory agricultural systems . Now, he is involved in various livestock business research. His hobby is gardening and blogging.

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