Every once in a while, a product comes along that has the potential to be a game-changer. When I first heard about the RotoShovel, I thought this could be it! The RotoShovel is a tool that combines an auger and shovel, and is powered by a battery. It promises to “take the heavy labor out of shoveling.” That sounded great to me!
I am an avid gardener. When I first moved onto my one-acre property three years ago, there were only a couple of trees and a few sad-looking bushes. I have since planted multiple trees and dozens of perennials, and turned my entire backyard into a vegetable garden. Needless to say, I’ve done my share of digging and shoveling.
Unfortunately, the dirt on my property is rock hard. In the past, I’ve resorted to using a jack hammer to dig holes for even the smallest plants, because a regular spade or shovel just doesn’t cut it. I was hopeful that the RotoShovel would be a great alternative to the jack hammer, which, while effective, was not the most convenient tool for the job, since it required me to first break up the soil, and then use a shovel to dig out the dirt. The combination of the shovel and auger in one tool seemed promising. I also loved the fact that it is a cordless tool.
The RotoShovel came in a sturdy red case. All the parts were nestled nicely in foam. Assembly of the product was very simple. There was one screw that attached the shovel portion to the base, and the hex key to insert the screw was included. Then, you screw in the auger until it’s snug. Assembly literally took me one minute.
One thing I noticed right away was that the tool would no longer fit in the case once it was assembled. And while assembly was easy, I wouldn’t want to take the tool apart after every use for storage. The tiny screw and the accompanying hex key would certainly get lost at some point. This makes the nice case pretty much useless once the tool is assembled. Not the end of the world, but it would be nice if the case was able to accommodate the fully assembled tool and the charger. I ended up just throwing away the case, which seemed like a waste, but I knew it would just collect dust in my shed.
After the included lithium-ion battery was done charging (which took about an hour), I took it outside to give it a try.
I had a spot in my yard where I was planning to plant a large bush, so I figured that would be a good place to start. The auger tore through my hard-packed dirt pretty well. It took a few minutes to dig a decent sized hole, but it would have taken me much longer with a shovel, and I probably would have gotten a few new blisters in the process. I was happy with how it performed. Had I used the jack hammer, it would have left me with large chunks of hard dirt, whereas the RotoShovel broke up the dirt nicely.
I then brought the tool to my backyard where I have my raised beds. The soil in my beds is purchased from a garden center, and therefore much softer and easier to dig. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the RotoShovel dug a large hole almost instantly and with practically no effort on my part!
My overall impression of the RotoShovel is that it’s a great tool for an avid gardener like myself. If it can cut through my dirt, it can likely cut through whatever dirt you have. I will definitely be using it instead of my jack hammer in the future, since it breaks up the dirt better, is lighter weight, and is cordless. The only exception would be if I were digging a large, deep hole, like for a tree. I think that the size of the tool makes it better suited for digging holes for small to medium-sized plants.
As of this writing, the RotoShovel sells for $139.99 on Amazon, which I feel is a good price point for a product of this quality. If you love to garden, but have hard soil, or if you just want to make the process of digging faster and easier, the RotoShovel would be a great investment.