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Digging holes made easy: Planting holes and holes for posts and fence posts can be dug with a special perforated spade without having to dig unnecessarily. By reading this guide, you can find out how such a device is used correctly, which models are particularly popular at the moment and what you need to look out for when buying one.

If a round hole is needed in the garden soil, a perforated spade is the simplest option

Our recommendations

our recommendation
Spear & Jackson Shovels and Spades Tubular Drainage Steel Grey
31.42 EUR To the product
material Hardened carbon/manganese steel with epoxy resin coating
shovel blade / size 405mm x 105mm
shovel blade / shape Drainage spade, tubular
stalk is included, length 71.1 cm
Weight 2.4kg
extras automatically spin welded

The tubular, very narrow drainage spade from the British manufacturer Spear & Jackson scores with several advantages:

  • Blade and stem welded together
  • handle adapted to the shape of the hand
  • powder coating
  • heavy, but still manageable
  • even sever roots

The Amazon reviewers praise this working device very much, especially the massive quality and the wide range of possible uses are emphasized. The spade not only digs planting holes, but is also suitable for planting perennials and shrubs, for digging out cable, drainage and water pipes in the ground and much more

our recommendation
Silverline GT41 Fence Post Spade 1560mm
39.99 EUR To the product
material hardened and stamped steel
shovel blade / size 2 shovel blades, 6" long, 6" deep
shovel blade / shape oval
stalk Hardwood with a soft handle, 80 cm long
Weight /
extras for deep, narrow holes

This model also scores with most Amazon reviewers due to its robust workmanship and high-quality materials - both the hardwood handle and the hardened steel spade blades make it easier to dig pinpoint holes of all kinds without suffering injuries. The perforated spade can be handled precisely and easily, but you need a certain amount of physical strength - if only because of the weight. But you don't have to dig up and close up unnecessarily large holes (which in turn makes little sense for the stability of fence posts or foundations, for example).

our recommendation
VITO Garden - Robust earth hole digger, earth hand excavator, hole spade, hand excavator - Hardened steel, very robust design - Powerful excavation - High quality and traditionally hand-forged
89.95 EUR To the product
material hardened steel
shovel blade / size for hole diameters up to 14 cm
shovel blade / shape 2 shovels, oval
stalk hardened steel with wooden handles
Weight approx. 4.8 kg
extras Handmade in Portugal

This perforated spade is traditionally hand-forged in Portugal by the manufacturer Vito Garden, so that the two tubular spade blades and the handle form a unit. This gives the device a special stability and robustness, which in turn makes it suitable for heavy earthwork. The handling of this model is facilitated by the special design and hand guidance of the handle. This ends in two handles that are covered with ergonomically shaped wooden handles. You still need power for the application, but this is used optimally - for excellent work results that are impressive.

Purchase Criteria

scope of application

There are different versions of perforated spades, each of which can be used particularly well for different purposes:

  • classic perforated spades with two shovels dig holes in the ground in a targeted manner
  • tubular single-bladed hole spades are suitable for drainage and other ditches
  • Earth augers create deep, very narrow holes that are perfect for e.g. B. are for planting, but also for aerating and watering soil

material and processing

As a rule, the blades of a perforated spade are made of hardened steel, after all the material has to be very robust and able to withstand a lot. High-quality models are either hand-forged or at least stamped - this reduces the risk of weak points and possible breakage. Many perforated spades are manufactured "in one piece", i.e. they consist of a firmly connected steel blade together with a similar handle. Others are separate in this respect, have a wooden handle in addition to the steel blades. Here you should prefer handles and handles made of hardwood, as these are more stable.


The selected model should have ergonomically shaped handles so that the perforated spade is easy to handle and you can make optimal use of the force expended. These can be made of soft wood that is comfortable to hold, but also made of other materials (e.g. plastic). A secure and firm grip not only prevents premature fatigue and cramps, it also increases work safety.

stem length

Since you have to ram a perforated spade into the ground, the handle and handle must not be as long as with other garden tools such as a hoe. Still, you should be able to use this tool without getting your back hurting afterwards. A total length of around 120 centimeters is considered ideal - plus or minus a few centimeters if you are particularly tall or short. Some models even do without a handle and only consist of the actual head with handle.

sheet size and hole diameter

Characteristic of perforated spades are the narrow, often tubular or oval blades that allow narrow holes to be cut out. Many high-quality models are not adjustable and usually allow you to punch out holes with a diameter of between 13 and 15 centimetres. There are also adjustable varieties, the width of which can be adjusted using an attached chain. Although these perforated spades are flexible and can therefore be used for a variety of jobs, they are also less stable.


The weight of most perforated spades often appears very high at first glance, especially when compared to other garden tools. Many people fear that they will tire too quickly during an assignment. In this case, however, the high weight has an underlying meaning, because it also makes it easier to drive the spade into the ground. Therefore, do not decide based on weight alone, but on the weight of the device in relation to your own build and your stature - after all, you should be able to handle the perforated spade easily.

frequently asked Questions

What is a perforated spade?

The classic perforated spade consists of two narrow, parallel spade blades that are sunk into the ground with the help of muscle power and stable handles. They can be used to dig narrow, deep holes - for example for fence posts, but also for other purposes, such as planting plants or flower bulbs.

Are perforated spades and hand excavators the same?

Perforated spades are available under many names: Some may know the device better as a hand excavator, earth hole drill or earth hole shovel. In any case, the same tool is meant. But be careful: There are different types of perforated spades that can also be used for different purposes.

What types of perforated spades are there?

The classic perforated spade consists of two shovels that hold the earth to be dug up between them. Various models are now available on the market - for example with an adjustable hole diameter or with a triple joint for easier operation. In addition, there is not the simple perforated spade, which only has a tubular, very narrow blade and is also referred to as a drainage spade. Furthermore, earth augers also belong to this group.

How do you use a perforated spade?

The classic perforated spade is used as follows: To dig the hole, the shovel is rammed vertically into the ground. Then pull the two handles apart and clamp the soil to be excavated between the leaves. Now all you have to do is pull the device out of the ground and the hole is done.

Who makes perforated spades?

The well-known and high-quality manufacturers of perforated spades include:

  • Berger + Schroeter
  • Vito Garden
  • Fiskars
  • silverline
  • Spear & Jackson

In addition, many DIY and garden centers offer their own products in both stationary and online retail, which in many cases are also of good to very good quality.

How much does a perforated spade cost?

How much you (have to) spend on a perforated spade depends entirely on the selected manufacturer, the quality, the size of the device and its intended use. You can get simple models from EUR 30, the high-quality ones are more in the price range between EUR 70 and EUR 90. You certainly have to pay less for a perforated spade that you only want to use for planting flowers than for a model that is used for building foundations. The latter must be much more robust and therefore of higher quality.


cable trench shovel

our recommendation
SHW-FIRE 59014 shovel cable trench shovel 30 cm x 16 cm hardened steel step protection with handle wooden handle ash 130 cm long
To the product

If you bury cables or lines in the ground and want to dig suitable manholes, you can also use a special cable trench shovel instead of a perforated spade. This is easier to handle for this purpose.

hand auger

our recommendation
Fiskars hand auger, for holes up to Ø 200 mm, black/orange, QuikDrill, L, 1000640
51.98 EUR To the product

Such a hand auger is ideal for drilling up to 20 centimeters wide holes in the ground, which can be used, for example, for planting flowers and perennials, as well as for aerating soil and compost and for setting fence posts.

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