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Digging or Border Spade?

Discussion in 'Tools And Equipment' started by Kipwad, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Kipwad

    Kipwad Apprentice Gardener

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    Once again, back for some sound advice. I'm about ready to start digging the virgin veg patch which is mostly clay and have decided to treat myself to a new spade. Am I right in thinking, for clay soils I should buy stainless? and any thoughts on "digging or border" type of spade, or is it just personal choice
    Thanks once again:cnfs:
     
  2. Aesculus

    Aesculus Bureaucrat 34 (Admin)

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    Well if you want effortless cleaning I would go with stainless:thumb: just a quick rub with a rag! and your probably be better off with a digging spade (IMO....:p)
     
  3. daitheplant

    daitheplant Total Gardener

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    I agree, you can`t beat stainless steel, and yes, definitely a digging spade.:thumb:
     
  4. Pro Gard

    Pro Gard Gardener

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    Digging spade.

    I dont use stainless as they dont make them strong enough for heavy daily use and they dont hold an edge very well.

    However for normal gardening id sudgest one. At the very least it wont rust.
     
  5. Freddy

    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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    Hi Kipwad. Like the others have said, I'd definitely go for a stainless steel one. To me, the main benefit is that the soil doesn't stick to the spade nearly as much as with a steel one. Cheers...freddy.
     
  6. lollipop

    lollipop Gardener

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  7. spudbristol

    spudbristol Gardener

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    Id just go for a bulldog diging spade if its that heavy soil chances are the stainless spade will break where its welded to the socket holding the handle
     
  8. PeterS

    PeterS Total Gardener

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    My stainless spade (an expensive one) was rubbish. It just broke. So I have gone back to a cheap steel one - much stronger.

    However when I was digging up my front garden of clay, that hadn't been dug for 30 years or more, I borrowed a post hole spade. I was brilliant. I see them on sale at builders merchants. Its quite narrow and very curved, which makes it immensely strong.
     
  9. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    I'm on my second stainless steel spade, the first one had a plastic handle which bent. Be careful how you choose, mine had a 10 year guarantee but I couldn't find the receipt after a couple of years. I bought another with a wooden handle but am careful what I dig - only use it on light soil.

    In a previous garden I was on heavy clay, that was real tough work digging - either wet/claggy and very heavy in the winter or set like concrete when it dried out in the summer.
     
  10. Kristen

    Kristen Under gardener

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    I like a spade with a flatten edge on the part that you bang your boot on to. Otherwise after a while the spade comes through your wellies!

    I prefer a stainless spade on our clay soil, but I still take a wall-paper / paint stripper tool with me to get the mud off the spade :(
     
  11. Flinty

    Flinty Gardener

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    I've got clay soil, full of flints and stones. I use a old carbon steel spade with a very long shaft I made myself and a Neverbend carbon steel spade, also with a long shaft. They're very strong and never get rusty because I use them a lot. I clean them off with a hand trowel - it takes about 10 seconds.

    I never seen the need for stainless steel garden tools.

    Oooops. Forgot to add - if your soil is really heavy or full of big stones like mine, use a garden fork. You'll find it easier in some situations because the fork produces less resistance than a spade.
     
  12. Makka-Bakka

    Makka-Bakka Gardener

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    I have a normal matching pair off Spear & Jackson spade and FLAT tined fork.
    Both have proper wooden shafts, which I keep varnished. None of those useless heavy metal shafts, thank you!
    The spade blade has worn smooth with use, very thin and sharp, the fork tines have also worn smooth and sharp!

    I also have a matching pair of stainless steel spade and SQUARE tined fork,also with varnished wooden shafts.
    I have been unable to get a proper thin sharp edge using a file on the spade, the blade just does not thin down with use, and the SQUARE tined fork is fairly useless compared to the flat tined normal fork.

    After use I always clean the soil off my tools, I wash the stainless in water, the ordinary ones I clean and then spray with a mixture of about 90% white spirits to about 10% ordinary engine oil.

    It's much nicer starting with clean tools every time!

    .
     
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