The new Craftsman Long Handle Digging Shovels and D-handle Shovels are made in the USA. The new shovels, branded by Craftsman (and available at Sears and Kmart), feature Powerstep plates which give you tons of room and lots of leverage for using your boots to really dig in deep, even in compacted soil. The round point blade also feature a nice serrated edge for when you want to rock it back and forth to really saw through tough material.
Craftsman Long Handle Digging Shovels Build Quality
The first thing we noted about these shovels was their red, black and silver motif. They blend well with the Craftsman design and they stick out from the wood-handled shovels we’re used to seeing, and even the blue Jackson shovels we used in our comparisons. The two models we reviewed take care of a majority of true digging needs. While both models are steel-reinforced fiberglass, the D-Handle Digging Shovel gives you better control when you need more pivoting action. It’s also more ergonomic when you’re tilting the shovel blade left or right to offload debris on a repetitive basis. When you want more two-handed leverage, the more traditional Long Handle Digging Shovel provides a nice thick rubberized grip around the middle and a more grippy foam rubber material at the top so your hand doesn’t slip. This foam looks like it will eventually give way and tear at the top of the hollow handle, but this didn’t happen during our testing.
Reviewing a shovel is pretty straightforward. We dug. And dug some more. Actually, we were getting rid of some water oak growth that had sprung up all over a yard where the 40 year old “parent” tree had dropped thousands of acorns into the ground below. As anyone who’s been around these trees knows, it doesn’t take long before you have a mini forest on your hands. That’s great out on the wild, but in a back yard, we reached for the new Craftsman Digging Shovels and got to work. Some of the trees had grown to over 4 feet tall, which required a bit more than the casual yank-by-hand effort to get them out. We found the Craftsman shovels to be both easy to use and effective at sawing through the root tendrils.
On a larger project, the Craftsman shovel’s serrated edge and Powerstep again came through as it helped us to literally punch through a root system that ranged in thickness up to 1/2-inch in diameter in order to remove some stubborn bushes. In tough dirt we found that we could literally jump onto the Powerstep plates with our Timberland Pro Helix boots and drive the shovel blade deeper than was possible with a traditional spade.
We’re a big fan of the Powerstep feature used in the Craftsman Long Handle Digging Shovels feature which, though not new, gives these shovels a unique and effective solution to digging and removing soil and undergrowth. In our extensive testing we left the shovel outdoors quite a bit and can report that the 14 gauge blade resists rust pretty well. These are both excellent outdoor tools. The price is right and they are even made in the USA. If you’re tired of “throwaway” shovels, these new models should last a good long while – and for $30 we feel they are well worth the small investment. Pair these with you Jackson Total Control wheelbarrow and you’ll have a great mix to get your work done quickly.