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What are garden trowel blades made of?

Shop for Garden Trowels

Garden trowel blades can be made of five different types of materials: carbon steel, stainless steel, plastic, aluminium or bronze.

Carbon steel

Carbon steel garden trowel blade Carbon steel, also known as plain steel, is an alloy of carbon and iron where no other elements have been added.
ADVANTAGES  DISADVANTAGES
Advantages and disadvantages
  • Not prone to fatigue
  • Can be burnished, which gives a long life
  • Strong blade
  • Great wear resistance
  • Rusts
  • Heavy

Stainless steel

Stainless steel garden trowel Stainless steel is an iron alloy which contains a minimum of 10.5% chromium. It can also have added elements such as nickel, titanium and copper which enhances its properties, such as its strength.

A stainless steel garden trowel blade is the most common variety available.

ADVANTAGES  DISADVANTAGES
Advantages and disadvantages
  • Works in hard ground
  • Rust resistant
  • Low soil adhesion
  • Expensive

Plastic

Green plastic traditional garden trowel A plastic garden trowel blade is made from a carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer. This is a type of plastic where epoxy is used to bind carbon fibres together to create a strong but lightweight material.

This is the cheapest variety of garden trowel blade available.

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
Advantages and disadvantages
  • Cheap
  • Bright coloured – hard to lose in the garden
  • Lightweight
  • Does not make much soil impact
  • Breaks easily
  • Blade is not sharp

Aluminium

Aluminium transplanting trowel An aluminium garden trowel blade is a soft and lightweight metal blade made from the atomic element Al. It is the least durable of all of the garden trowel blade varieties.
ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
Advantages and disadvantages
  • Cheap
  • Rust resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Not as strong as steel blades
  • Looses sharpness quickly
  • Prone to chipping in rocky soil

Bronze

Copper garden trowel A bronze garden trowel blade is made from a mixture of copper and tin. It is the most expensive variety available as they are only made on a small scale.
ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

Advantages and disadvantages
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Deters slugs from the garden
  • Low soil adhesion
  • Durable
  • Sharp edges
  • Expensive

Which type of garden trowel blade material should you choose?

Stainless steel garden trowel The best material to choose for your garden trowel blade would be stainless steel. This is because it is lightweight but still strong enough to dig in hard soil.

What are garden trowel blades and tangs coated in?

Zinc chrome plating Many garden trowel blades can be zinc chrome plated. This works as a sacrificial coat for the garden trowel – this means that the plating will wear off before allowing it to corrode. Zinc is a natural water barrier, therefore if no water can get to the trowel then there will be no corrosion.

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