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Top 5 Recommended Shovels for Metal Detecting

Top 5 Recommended Shovels for Metal Detecting

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There are tons of options when deciding on which shovel to choose for metal detecting. In this blog article we will discuss our favorite options for long handled shovels. Stay tuned for our article and video on hand shovel options. Let’s cut to the chase.

Since I am the author of this article I get to choose where I start…although others in the shop may disagree with my choice, I now have control over the keyboard.

My personal favorite long handled metal detecting shovel is:

W.W. Manufacturing’s (Lesche) Sampson Ball or T-Handled Spade

This little spade is my favorite. Personally, I prefer the ball handled option but others in the shop prefer a T-handled options. The ball handle in my opinion allows more versatility in digging angle and allows you to carry the shovel in a common belt tool holder. If you prefer the T-Handle version, we have a specialty belt carrier for it. These spades are virtually indestructible. I have been using the same one for about 7-years. If they dull, you take a file and sharpen them up. They come with serrated edge on either the left, right, or both sides of the blade.  They also come in a smaller, 18" version.

Retail Price - $67
Overall length – 31”
Blade Length –
Blade Width
Material – Solid Hardened Steel

Scrap Iron's favorite long handled metal detecting shovel is:

Radius Garden’s Radius Pro Transplanter

This is Scrap Iron’s go-to long handled metal detecting shovel. The narrow, tapered blade enters the soil much easier than does a standard shovel or spade blade. Simply put you can dig a huge plug with little effort. The patented ergonomic Natural Radius O-Handle Grip has 4 times the gripping surface of traditional D-Handle tools and is designed to relieve arm, hand, and wrist stress. The Radius also provides generous stepping edges for longer digging with less foot pain at the end of the day. This shovel is both comfortable to use and strong enough for heavy duty metal detecting use.

Retail Price - $54.95
Overall length – 41.5″
Blade length – 11.25″
Blade width – 7.75″
Weight – 4.875 lbs
Material - Stainless steel blade, polypropylene encased carbon steel shaft, and thermoplastic elastomer grip.


White's Ground Hawg

This heavy-duty digger does double time on roots, clay, rocks, and other challenging conditions. Twin serrated edges tear through the toughest earth, and the wide blade makes digging larger plugs easy without damaging your target. The extended length also means you don’t need to stoop to dig.
The blade on the GROUND HAWG is specifically designed for the perfect plug – with 3 cuts you have a 6″ wide and 7″ deep cube. Shallow targets (under 7″) show up in the plug, while deeper targets (over 7″) will still be in the hole… but should be within reach of your TRX pinpointer or trusty DigMaster if further excavation is required. 

Retail Price - $54.95
Overall length – 36″
Blade length – 7.5″
Blade width – 5.5″
Weight – 2.85 lbs
Material – Solid Hardened Steel

Radius Garden’s Root Slayer Perennial Shovel

The Root Slayer Perennial was originally designed in a larger version, the Root Slayer Shovel or the Root Slayer XL, for doing tough digging in areas with a lot of roots and trees. This version was slimmed down and designed for use around the house. The sharpened inverted V cutting tip prevents perennial roots from slipping from underneath the shovel blade. The patented ergonomic Natural Radius O-Handle Grip has 4 times the gripping surface of traditional D-Handle tools and provides additional leverage while reducing hand and wrist stress. It is great for people who have arthritis in their hands. The comfort grip is made from a comfortable non-latex, thermoplastic elastomer over-molded onto polypropylene. This version is also available in a ergonomic straight shaft handle with a sort of ball on the end called the Root Slayer Nomad additionally it is available in a shorter, 29" mini model suited for travel purposes. The company is so confident in their products they provide a lifetime guarantee.

Retail Price - $34.99
Overall length – 44″
Blade length – 9.25″
Blade width – 7.5″
Weight – 3.2 lbs
Material - Tempered Mid-Carbon Steel blade, fiberglass shaft, polypropylene and TPE grip.

Premium Tri-Fold Serrated Shovel

The reason this shovel made the list is because it serves a very specific purpose.  This compact travel companion folds up to a mere 9.5" and extends out to 22" and makes it ideal for backpacking, camping, and stowing away in a vehicle. Great for impromptu metal detecting or gold prospecting. The Tri-Fold Shovel is designed to be compact and stored in its oxford nylon pouch. Constructed of hardened steel, the multi-angles grip handle and serrated-edges on the spade-head will help pierce through roots and hard-packed dirt.  Although not a shovel that should be used for prying heavy object, it does serve a very good purpose in the world of treasure hunting.  It has a good solid structure and a nice large shovel blade that allows for digging and scooping.

 Retail Price - $14
Overall length – 22″
Collapsed Length - 9.5" 
Blade length – 8.25″
Blade width – 6″
Weight – 2.5 lbs
Material - Hardened steel

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  • Josh Turpin