Radius PRO Digging Spade: Product Review
I’m usually pretty skeptical about so-called “ergonomic” gardening tools. They’re usually just the same old tool but with a bent handle (which makes it almost impossible to hold the tool comfortably) or some sort of add-on attachment (which promptly falls off or breaks). But when I saw the NRG Pro Digging Tools from Radius Garden Products, I thought I’d give the spade a try.
You may have noticed the Radius tools – it’s hard to miss the big “O”-shaped and bright green handles. Radius Garden Products introduced the NRG line of hand tools several years ago but only recently brought out digging and long-handled tools. “NRG” stands for “natural radius grip.” This is the large “O”-shaped handle that allows your wrist to be held in a more natural position while the large muscles of your arms can use their full strength and power for gardening. The large size of the handle, with four times the gripping surface of traditional tools, also means that you’ve got many options for hand positions and you don’t have to squeeze so hard to hold the tool. While I’ll admit that it does look and feel a little odd at first, I noticed after a while that my carpal tunnel problems were greatly minimized using this innovative handle design. In fact, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the tool’s comfort, strength, and ease of use.
Related Article: Shovel vs. Spade: What’s the Difference?
One of the other features I really appreciate is the bright handle color – it’s hard to misplace a tool that practically glows in the dark!
In addition, the extra large steps are set relatively high and fold forward (rather than backward, which is what you find on most shovels or spades) which makes it easier to get your foot fully on it and put more weight into driving the spade into the ground.
The stainless steel spade has a steel-reinforced, resin-encased shaft and seamless socket, and like the other NRG Pro Radius digging tools, is guaranteed for life. After snapping a shovel in half last fall (and almost impaling myself on the shaft), it’s good to find a tool that will dig up my Joe Pye Weed without turning me into the latest casualty of under-strength gardening tools. Simply put, it’s easier to dig deeper and faster with the Radius Digging Spade than with any other spade I’ve used.
The one drawback to this spade is that it’s rather heavy compared to wooden or other composite shovels. For a long day in the garden, I’d choose something lighter and less tiring. However, for a tough job where I know I’ll be putting a lot of weight against it, I’d rather have the Radius spade than a wooden one!
I haven’t tried any of the other NRG tools yet, but based on this experience, I fully intend to try them as I replace my existing tools as they break or lose function (maybe I should attack that Joe Pye Weed with some of my other tools!).
Disclosure: I purchased this Radius spade at the full retail price at a local garden center. However, you can buy it on Amazon, as well as a wide range of other Radius tools.
- Based on a 120 year old nursery spade design, the PRO Ergonomic Stainless Steel Spade is the ultimate landscaping workhorse tool. Transplant shrubs and small trees, trim roots, and dig deep narrow...
- Super strong stainless steel blade. Resin encased carbon steel shaft. Extra-wide, elevated, forward step for safety and performance.
- Patented ergonomic Natural Radius O-Handle Grip provides extra leverage, reducing hand and wrist stress. Made from a comfortable non-latex, thermoplastic elastomer and polypropylene.
- Editor's Choice, Organic Gardening Magazine.
- Lifetime Guarantee (Continental US Only)
Last update on 2023-03-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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Just my comments about the Radius tools. My wife and I started with their hand tools and really liked the sturdiness of them. Needless to say we bought 2 sets. We bought them when Green was the only color. I saw of the handled tools at a garden center and picked them up (as a gardener I guess I fondled them) I agree they are heavier, however when I use them in the yard I find that I am into the job and the tool is sturdy and will do the job. All of ours are stainless and green because they di not come in any colors. They now have some steel ones but I am not familiar with them. I also have a long handle shovel and for casual planting I do use that. The transplant shovel is great for digging holes for 1 gallon plants. I love the blubber for sod plugs and annuals. I still like the fact that the tool feels like something you can do work with. No concern from it being a short handle tool vs a long handle tool My wife and I are Master Gardeners in central Florida.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Dave. Finding the “right” tool for you given the type of gardening you do, any physical issues, soil, etc. is SO important. I love the fact that the Radius shovel isn’t going to snap in half when I’m using is (unlike the wooden shovel that almost impaled me a few years ago!). Sometimes the added weight is worth it!