Garden Spade vs Drain Spade

A garden spade and a drain spade are two distinct types of shovels, each designed for specific purposes. Let’s compare them:

Garden Spade:


A garden spade typically has a flat, squared-off blade with a straight edge. The blade is often wider and shorter compared to other types of shovels.


Garden spades are primarily used for digging, edging, and transplanting in garden beds. They are suitable for tasks like turning over soil, creating planting holes, and cutting clean edges around flower beds or vegetable patches.

Blade Shape:

The flat and straight blade of a garden spade is ideal for digging into soil, making it easier to create straight-sided holes or trenches.


Garden spades usually have a long handle with a D-shaped or T-shaped grip at the top for comfortable and efficient digging.

Drain Spade:


A drain spade, also known as a drain shovel or trenching shovel, has a narrow, pointed blade that is often curved or rounded on one side. This blade design distinguishes it from the broader, flatter blade of a garden spade.


Drain spades are specifically designed for digging narrow and deep holes, trenches, or ditches. They are commonly used for tasks like installing pipes, drainage systems, or irrigation lines, as well as for trenching in landscaping projects.

Blade Shape:

The narrow, pointed blade of a drain spade is perfect for cutting through tough and compacted soil, making it well-suited for creating deep, straight-sided holes or trenches.


Drain spades typically have a shorter handle compared to garden spades. This shorter handle allows for greater control when digging in tight or confined spaces.

garden spade vs drain spade

In summary, a garden spade and a drain spade serve different purposes in gardening and landscaping:

  • Garden Spade: Designed for general garden work, including digging, edging, and planting in flower beds and vegetable gardens.
  • Drain Spade: Specialized for digging narrow, deep holes or trenches, often used in drainage and trenching projects. Its pointed, curved blade is designed for cutting through dense soil and is particularly useful in tight spaces.


Choosing the right tool depends on the specific task at hand. If you need to dig deep and narrow holes or trenches, a drain spade is the appropriate choice. For general gardening and digging in wider spaces, a garden spade is more suitable.

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