Published on July 29, 2021

Based on our comparisons and many hours of research, here are the 5 tools we recommend for turning the soil.

1 – A spade to loosen the soil

Perfect for turning over and loosening the soil (i.e. making it less compact), the spade is also used to dig holes or to make straight edges for your vegetable and flower beds.

It differs from the shovel, which is wide and curved to move the soil, by its flat shape, shorter handle and the presence of a handle.

To choose the right one, it is important to take into account its weight: choose a model that you can carry easily. The size is also an important criterion. To choose the right height, the top of the handle should reach at least above your hip. The taller it is, the easier it is to use. The shorter it is, the more stability you will have when moving material.

Our recommendation

Bêche à bord pointu Fiskars

With a length of 117 cm, this model is ideal for people who are about 1.65 m to 1.80 m tall. Its solid, pointed edge allows you to dig through hard ground easily. It also has a good handle.

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2 – A spade for heavy soil

A kind of spade that is longer and narrower than a conventional model, the spade is used to make holes in heavy and clayey soil. You can use it to turn over a small area if you have such soil, but it is not intended to turn over your entire garden.

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To make your choice, it is important to check that the blade is well polished on both sides. It is this polishing that will allow the heavy soil to slide and not stick to the blade.

Our recommendation

Louchet 315367 Leborgne

Admittedly, this tool is a bit expensive but it has a good size (about 130 cm) allowing even tall people to use it. In addition, the hardened steel blade is polished on both sides.

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3 – A hoe for turning over the top soil

The hoe is used to turn and aerate the top soil without going deep (to break the crust that may have been created after heavy rains for example). This allows to preserve the life under the ground. It is therefore the essential tool for the vegetable garden.

It must be practical, light and easy to handle. So make sure you choose an ergonomic model that you can easily lift. In addition, It is best to use a wooden handle as the tool will last longer.

Our recommendation

Binette forgée 318161 Leborgne

With less than 1 kg on the scale, this model is quite light. The head of its blade reaches 16 cm. Moreover, its wooden handle is quite large with 130 cm for a total length of 143 cm.

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4 – A grelinette to save your back

Looking a bit like a spade with two handles, the grelinette (or biogrif) is used to loosen and aerate the soil without turning it over completely. Its use is ideal for people who suffer from back pain because it remains upright and there is no need to work the lumbar region.

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In order to choose the right tool, it is important to choose a large one. Indeed, you need to be able to keep your arms at a right angle to keep your back straight and avoid having to make extra efforts.

Our recommendation

Grelinette 5 dents L320301 Leborgne

With a total height of 135 cm, this grelinette is ideal for people up to about 1.70 m tall. The width is 50 cm, which allows you to loosen a large area of soil.

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5 – A hoe for large areas

As an alternative to the hoe for larger areas, the hoeing machine has an electric or combustion engine. As explained above, hoeing allows the soil to be loosened on the surface, aerated and weeded so that it can be sown.

Before buying a hoeing machine, you should take into account the size of your garden and the type of soil you have. To find out more, don’t hesitate to consult our dedicated comparison.

NB: the rotovator is not to be confused with the tiller. The latter is wider, ploughs deeper into the soil and is more suited to market gardening.

Our recommendation

Einhell GC-RT 1440 M

This easy-to-use tiller has a power rating of 1400 W and can work areas of up to 150 m². It covers a width of 40 cm and a depth of up to 20 cm.

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Promesse de Fleurs, Olivier’s essentials: choosing your spade (YouTube), 27 July 2021

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