How to choose the right spade
Spades come in many different types, shapes, designs and price ranges. Which makes it all the more difficult to choose the right spade when shopping online or in a physical shop.
Here are some tips to help you on your way so you can enjoy your spade for many years to come.
Tip 1 Soil type
What soil do you have in your garden? You till your garden, among other things, to loosen the soil and optimise the penetration of air and moisture. That is why you have to dig deeper in heavy soil, compared to lighter soils.
To break up heavy soil, like clay, choose a narrower, long, forged spade with a slightly thicker blade. For softer soils, like sand, you should go for a short but wide spade.
STRAPPED OR OPEN SOCKET
The blade of the spade is connected to the shaft with a socket. This is essentially a metal tube into which the handle is inserted. A strapped socket has two steel straps that are riveted to the top of the blade. You should use a strapped socket for heavier work or when working in heavy soil. An open socket is a simpler and lighter blade-to-shaft connection, making this type of spade better suited for light work.
In the Netherlands, they traditionally prefer spades with a swan neck socket. The shaft is inserted deeper into the socket, reducing the risk of shaft breakage.