As I hope you can see from the photo the two spades are well made and attractive to look at - so ideal for both the hardened gardener and fair weather digger alike. Having never paid too much attention to the variety of spades on offer and their different functions, I have been enlightened by these two and got a feel for the differences and how they are fit for their purposes.
Shrubery Spade (see left) - a spade with a small head ideal for a smaller user or for tight spaces. This is a very neat little spade which is easy to use and as it says can fit in between plants in a shrub border. It is also particularly effective in hard ground as the smaller head allows more pressure on the ground.
Rabbiting spade - ideally meant for digging holes for fence posts in confined areas. I didn't have any fence posts to put in this weekend but we did have to dig a hole half a metre deep to sink a 12ft trampoline into the ground - perfect road test! We're on quite stoney ground that I had tried to dig up before but gave up, quickly condemming the ground as totally rubbish and full of builders rubble.
However, after using the rabbiting spade with it's tapered, sharp end, breaking up the stoney ground became a far easier job and has made me less scathing of our soil quality. The T-shaped handle allows you to use both hands on the handle whilst stepping on the blade giving you good control and power. All in all the way it sliced through the compacted ground was very satisfying. The amount of digging we have done over the last 3 days, shifting about 3 tonnes of soil, would test any spade, and the Bulldog tools stood up well with no signs of wear and tear - I wish the same could be said of our aching bodies!
Thanks to Bulldog Tools for the opportunity to use their spades - they're not having them back...but next time could they send us a digger?