Best Garden Root Slayer

To help you find the best garden root slayer for the elimination of roots and similar materials, we tried out dozens of top models, looking for products made from ultra-durable components, including carbon steel, with highly efficient designs that make short work out of roots, in addition to effortlessly doubling as a shovel or spade. We also liked solid grips, with plenty of surface area, and long-lasting warranties, with our top pick, and several other picks, offering a lifetime warranty.

The best product we tried was easily the Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel, which boasts a large o-shaped surface area for gripping purposes and an inverted v-shaped cutting tip that excelled with ripping through dirt and roots. We also liked that it is available in two size options, standard and XL, and that it comes with a fantastic lifetime warranty. Keep reading to learn more about the Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel and the other models on this list.

Top 6 Garden Root Slayers Compared

 #1  Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: A high quality product made from ultra-durable components, such as carbon steel, with plenty of surface area to grip, ultra-sharp cutting blades along the side and the inclusion of a fantastic lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Excellent lifetime warranty
  • Very durable
  • Cutting blades made from carbon steel
Cons
  • Not the lightest product on our list
  • Narrow blade not suited for extensive shoveling
  • Only available in one color (number 2 pick has many)

The Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel truly shines with digging up dirt and cutting through roots, thanks to being manufactured with high quality components. The blades that run along the side of the spade are made from powder-coated carbon steel and the shaft is made from resin-encased carbon steel. The grip surface is o-shaped, providing plenty of room for both hands to work the tool, and the product comes with a lifetime warranty, tied for the longest on this list.

Though the gripping surface does allow for two-handed operation, the product is fairly heavy, at five pounds, so lengthy use sessions may become slightly tiring. Additionally, the blade is somewhat narrow, at around 2.5 inches wide, which is great for stabbing at roots but could be cumbersome for extensive digging projects. Your lawn will look great after using this and the best electric lawn mower.

 #2  Spear Head Spade Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: Great hybrid design that shines at both root slaying and standard shoveling tasks, with a light form factor (3 lb) and a suite of high quality components, including fiberglass on the handle and high carbon manganese steel on the blade.

Pros
  • Very lightweight design
  • Excels equally at destroying roots and standard shoveling tasks
  • Available in variety of color, handle and length options
Cons
  • Lacks mini blades on side as found with top pick
  • Not as much surface area to grip as top pick
  • No official warranty, though it is highly durable

This Spear Head Spade Reinforced Fiberglass Gardening Shovel boasts a fiberglass handle that is extremely light, bringing the weight of the entire product down to around three pounds, which is great for seniors and those looking to simplify gardening tasks. It also features a thicker and wider blade than our top pick, which makes it excel with simple shoveling tasks, in addition to doing an adequate job with root slaying. We also liked the number of color, handle and length options on offer.

There is not as much gripping area along the surface with this product as found in our top pick, making it somewhat difficult to use with both hands simultaneously, though it can nicely fit a gloved hand. Also, it lacks mini cutting blades running along the side, so it may not do quite as thorough a job at root slaying as our top pick, though we found it performed adequately. You can also have a look at the best riding lawn mower for your yard.

 #3  Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Digging Shovel – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: Great item for the budget-conscious consumer, arriving with a pre-sharpened blade, which excels at both standard shoveling tasks and root slaying, and a lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Pre-sharpened & rust protected blade
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Large handle can accommodate two-handed use
Cons
  • Lacks blades on side like top pick
  • On heavy side, at 5 pounds
  • Multipacks are not a great deal

This Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Digging Shovel is a high quality product that is perfect for the budget-conscious consumer, arriving with a pre-sharpened blade that we found excelled with standard shoveling tasks, in addition to performing adequately with root slaying. The large handle can accommodate two-handed use and it also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is tied for the longest warranty to be found on this list.

Though this blade performed adequately with root slaying, it is not quite as sharp as our top pick, nor does it come with miniature cutting blades running along the side. Also, this is a much a bit heavier product than our number two pick, coming in at around five pounds, which could impede use. For those with pools, another great yard item is the best pool cleaner.

 #4  Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade – Best for Surgical Tasks

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is a product designed for exacting and surgical tasks, with a long and narrow blade that is perfect for eliminating roots in problem areas and for digging small holes for planting bulbs and the like.

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Welded steel blade
  • Plenty of grip space for two-handed use
Cons
  • Not ideal for large jobs
  • No mini blades on side like top pick
  • Could be a bit lighter (over 4 lb)

This Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-handle Transplanting Spade is perfect for exacting and surgical tasks, like eliminating roots from specific problem areas and digging small and circular holes for the planting of bulbs and other materials. The welded stainless steel blade is long and narrow and there is plenty of grip space for two-handed use, even while wearing gloves. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is tied for the longest warranty to be found on this list.

This is a long and narrow blade suited for exacting tasks, so it does not fare well with eliminating roots from an entire garden area or for performing a large shoveling job. Additionally, we found that it was slightly heavier than we’d like, at four pounds, given the detail-oriented tasks it is suited for. Still, it is a great addition to your lawn and garden.

 #5  Radius Garden 25202 Pro-Lite Ergonomic Carbon Steel Shovel – Best for Prolonged Use

WHY WE LIKE IT: A molded and comfortable handle makes for a near elimination of hand and arm fatigue that usually comes with extended use of this type of product. All of this is matched by a very durable heat-treated carbon steel blade and a fantastic lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Excellent ergonomics to reduce fatigue
  • Wide foot rest for extra power
  • Heat-treated stainless steel blade
Cons
  • Somewhat heavy at 4.5 lb
  • Lacks miniature blades running along side

This Radius Garden 25202 Pro-Lite Ergonomic Carbon Steel Shovel is designed to minimize the kind of arm and hand fatigue that usually accompanies extended use with this type of product. The handle is extremely comfortable and o-shaped, with plenty of grip space for dual-handed use and there is a wide foot rest atop the blade, which allows you to press into the dirt using the power of your legs. We also liked that it comes with a lifetime warranty, which is in line with our top pick.

Though this product excels with standard shoveling tasks and does a decent enough job at root slaying, it is not as effective as our top pick, thanks to the omission of side-located miniature cutting blades. Also, the shovel weighs around 4.5 pounds, which is not the heaviest item on this list but can cause a measure of fatigue with extended use. Lastly, it has a lifetime warranty. You can also read about the best log rack cover to make your outdoor area look great.

 #6  Radius Garden 16011 Root Slayer – Best Handheld

WHY WE LIKE IT: The handheld trowel design which is perfect for small jobs, with a series of ultra-sharp blades running along the side and a comfortable grip that is suitable to be used with a gloved hand.

Pros
  • Heavy duty blade with sharp teeth
  • Blades can be sharpened
  • Comfortable grip
Cons
  • Can holster to pants but requires additional purchase
  • Cannot be used while standing
  • Not for large shoveling tasks

The Radius Garden 16011 Root Slayer is a fantastic product made from durable components (matched by a lifetime warranty), such as powder-coated carbon steel, that is perfect for exacting jobs that require the user to get close to the dirt. It has cutting blades running along the side, like our top pick, which can be sharpened for additional power. We also liked the comfortable thermoplastic grip, which suits a gloved hand, and the lifetime warranty, which is tied for the longest warranty to be found on this list.

Due to being primarily a handheld product, it cannot be used while standing up, as the handle is simply too short. The item’s mini digger size also impacts the ability to complete large shoveling and root slaying tasks.

How We Decided

To help narrow down to the above list, we tried these out on a variety of soil types, looking for products that excelled with transporting tightly packed dirt in addition to swiftly cutting through embedded roots and other obstacles. To that end, we preferred models with sharp blades on offer, typically made from some formulation of carbon steel.

We also liked useful add-ons that truly helped with slaying roots, such as the addition of miniature cutting blades running along the side or foot rests sitting atop the main blade, which allows users to use their legs to power through tough jobs. We also liked comfortable handles that boasted plenty of room for stable dual-handed grips, even while wearing thick gardening gloves.

We populated the above list with a nice mix of length options, from the standard 44 to 46 inch size to handheld variants that work best while kneeling on the soil. On the warranty end, many of the above products come with lifetime warranties, which should come in handy if the product breaks somewhere down the line, though these are stably made tools that should suit you for years to come.

Garden Root Slayer Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Sharp Blades
    For effective root slaying you are going to want to make sure the product you choose has a sharp blade or blades. Some of the above products arrive pre-sharpened, which is nice, and others can be further sharpened via a standard knife sharpening tool. Some products, like our top pick, amp up the root slaying power by adding miniature cutting blades along the side, which can truly excel at shredding roots and related materials. As an aside, make sure the product you choose has a blade made from steel, usually carbon steel, which can retain sharpness for a longer period of time than non-steel blades and resists rust.
  2. Comfortable Grips
    Every person is different and a variety of factors can impact the comfort of a grip, including height and tensile pressure ability. There are a few things to look for, however, to reliably ensure you’ll get a good grip with your chosen product, so you can use it without fear of arm or hand fatigue. Look for items with plenty of surface area, enough to support two hands, and those that are made from comfort-forward materials, such as thermoplastic. You will also want a big enough hole on the handle to support a gloved hand, as garden gloves tend to be on the thicker side.
  3. Hybrid Designs
    Many of the above products offer something of a hybrid design, combining elements of a root slayer with that of a shovel, trowel and spade, among other garden-related tools. These products are great because they allow you to perform simple root slaying tasks while also digging through large areas. They are not typically quite as effective at root slaying as single use products, as some design compromises are usually made, but for the average user they certainly perform as advertised.

FAQs

  • What is a garden root slayer primarily used for?
    These products are typically reserved for the slaying of roots. If you’ve ever hit roots while trying to plant a perennial, or been stymied by roots when trying to dig up a shrub, or tried to divide
    hostas with a spade only to have them slide away from your shovel, you’ll appreciate the design elements affiliated with the above items.
  • Can I saw branches with these products?
    While some of the above items offer sharp blades, they are not intended to be used to saw branches. We recommend that if you need to cut branches you use a pruning
    saw.
  • How do I keep these items from rusting?
    Any item that is primarily composed of carbon steel can be kept free from rust by performing regular maintenance, including giving them a good cleaning and light oiling after every use. If it does ever rust, you can use coarse steel wool to take off the rust.

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Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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