Root Assassin shovel review Shovels & Spades

Root Assassin Shovel: Product Review

GPR Recommendation

Ease of Use
Final Thoughts

This unique shovel means business! Not only will it dig through root-infested soil, it'll even cut off branches that get in the way.

Overall Score 5

Available on Amazon

Buy It

Golden Shovel Award Winners 2014One look at the Root Assassin shovel’s saw-toothed blade, and you know this tool means business. Nevertheless, I was skeptical. All my life I’ve gardened in dense clay soil, and my current garden is on a rocky ridge where I deal with both clay and stones. I doubted even this aggressive-looking shovel would be up to the challenging task.

pruning branches with Root Assassin

While slightly cumbersome to wield, the shovel did indeed saw through branches, even thick ones.

The video on the company’s website shows the shovel being used as a saw to cut through limbs as well as delving in the ground, cutting effortlessly through turf, and slicing through pesky roots with a single swipe. Again, I was skeptical. Would this shovel really work in the real world? Is this truly “Super Shovel,” coming to the rescue of gardeners who battle with roots and rocks and difficult soil? Can it do all that and prune branches?

Pruning Branches

penetrating turf with Root Assassin shovel

I casually stuck the blade into the grass to stand it up, and was surprised how easily it sunk deeply into the turf – deeper than shown in this photograph.

First I tried it as a saw to prune branches. While it was a little awkward to use a shovel to cut through wood, and it wasn’t as efficient as a bow saw, it worked. If you’re digging in the garden with your Root Assassin shovel and see a branch that needs trimming, you can deal with it right away, saving yourself a hike to the tool shed or garage to get another tool.

Penetrating Turf

digging thru roots with Root Assassin shovel

When you encounter a root, continue to dig and pull up against the intruding fibers. The shovel sliced through them with ease, making digging easy.

It was startling how easily The Root Assassin cut through turf, slicing through the thick mass of roots like a hot knife through soft butter. Clearly this is the tool you want if you’re planting in grass. The pointed tip, designed to penetrate through tough soil, would allow you to cut the perfect diameter holes for planting bulbs such as crocus or spring star flowers (Ipheon) in the lawn, and digging holes for trees or shrubs would be a snap.

Unfortunately, the pointed tip and slight curve of the blade makes the shovel unsuitable for edging, as it would be very difficult to cut a straight, sharp line. On the flip side, this is a superb tool for cutting deep and narrow trenches, so while the Root Assassin shovel can successfully multitask, it cannot – and should not be expected to – do everything.

Digging and Cutting Through Roots

long Root Assassin shovel

It would have been a little easier for me to dig with the Root Assassin if I were taller.

The Root Assassin also lived up to its claim as a root eater. We tackled a dead shrub that needed removing, so it didn’t take long to encounter roots of significant girth. A little sawing accompanied by continued digging, and each root was easily severed. The shovel worked like a charm, making a potentially challenging job much, much easier.

Ease of Use

handle on Root Assassin shovel

The padded handle is easy to grip and comfortable.

The solid steel shovel stands 4 feet tall. The narrow, commercial grade 14-gauge steel pointed blade represents at least 12” of that length. At 5’3” tall, I found getting my foot firmly on the step in a position where I could put my weight and strength onto the blade for digging was a bit like climbing onto stilts. However, my 6”4” tall husband had no problem whatsoever. It would be nice if the shovel came in different sizes: large, medium and small – or tall, mid-height, and short.

The handgrip is comfortably wide, accommodating large or small hands, and is made of reinforced rubber that is both durable and slip-proof.

foot step on Root Assassin shovel

The manufacturers claim the step is angled, but I didn’t notice that. However, I’m sure it didn’t matter one way or the other.

The manufacturers claim the step is forward turned for secure foot placement, but I couldn’t see it. To my eye it looked almost perfectly parallel to the ground if the shovel is held straight upright.

Specifications and Features

  • 20 Double edged sharp serrated teeth on each side
  • Commercial grade carbon steel 14-gauge blade
  • Forward turned-step for secure foot placement
  • Comfort D-grip, reinforced rubber handle for added leverage and control
  • Weighs 4 pounds
  • Retails for $59.99


5 Shovels Rating from Gardening Products ReviewOften hybrid tools end up doing neither job well. The Root Assassin is a happy exception. If you are digging a hole in a root-infested area, this is the perfect tool. While I would not pick up this tool simply to cut off a branch, if it’s in my hand when a branch for cutting presents itself, it will do the job effectively.

The Root Assassin Shovel lives up to its name, and to the claims made by the manufacturer. I highly recommend it.

The company can be reached online through their website The Root Assassin is a patented all-purpose garden shovel and saw.

Where to Buy

The Root Assassin shovel is available directly from the manufacturer or through Amazon. The retail price is $59.99 at either location, plus shipping.

Price Reduction
Root Assassin Shovel
This unique shovel means business! Perfect for digging in root infested areas, it'll even cut off tree or shrub branches that get in the way. Sturdy, comfortable and easy to use.

Last update on 2019-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Root Assassin for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

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