The following reviews are complied by Arron Weedall of South Coast Detecting. Check Him out on youtube at southcoastdetecting
I know that this hobby isn’t all about having the best of everything, its about getting out and enjoying it, but you also need to have the tools that are going to do the job and hopefully last as long as possible.
Like many of us I’ve always used a normal mini spade bought from a garden centre or somewhere online, it did the job and did it well. But I had seen other spades popping up on youtube made by Black Ada and thought “they look nice” yes I had spade envy, especially for the bright red one called the Spartan Searcher Red.
Recently I’ve been lucky enough to get my grubby mitts on a Black Ada Spartan Red and the new matching digging knife and here are my initial thoughts on both items after a detecting session.
This spade is as sturdy as it looks, a very well made spade perfect for doing the job it was made for, the “D” handle is very comfy and fits well in the hand, the shaft is strong with no chance of bending or breaking if used for normal detecting needs and has the addition of “boot saver” pegs to help you drive this spade deep in the turf without ruining your footwear.
The spade head or scoop is a good thick steel with a rolled top and it is corrugated on one side to aid you in cutting through tree roots and such like.
During the summer I almost snapped my mini spade head while digging in the very dry dirt but with the thickness of the Spartan that seems unlikely, Now add all this together and not only do you have a sturdy spade but also a heavy one, if you already struggle carrying around a small lighter spade while detecting or you suffer with a heavy detector this may not be for you as yes this may last longer than a wooden mini spade but its not as cheap or as light, if you are on a budget going for a cheap spade is fine, it’ll still do the job required, but if you want one that’s more sturdy and will last longer then buy a Spartan.
Sturdy, boot saver pegs felt good, did the job easy, looks great. Bad points: The cost, the weight.
Just like the spade this felt very strong and sturdy, I had seen videos on youtube of digging blades that had been snapped during digs, and these were genuine detecting blades made for the hobby, at no point did this knife ever feel like it was capable of being broken, its concave “scoop” like blade makes sure its not going to bend or snap easily, the handle has a soft rubber grip ideal for prolonged use in the field and the cover it comes with is easy to get the blade back into without the fear of splitting or cutting through the sides.
This digging knife is a little more pricey than others out there but it really does feel great when using it, the only downside I had with this knife was the getting the cover on my finds pouch belt as the opening is a little small and I had to disassemble my buckle in order to get the straps to fit through. Not much of a problem but worth pointing out.
Good points: Sturdy, felt good in the hand, did the job easy, looks great.
Bad Points: The pouch loop was a bit too small for my buckle. (hard to find a fault with the knife itself so this will have to do)
Summary: If you are looking to buy any of these but you could only afford to buy one, I’d pick the knife, its great! Its no heavier than other detecting branded blades out there (not that I noticed) and will be a fantastic addition to your setup. But at the end of the day its all personal preference.
VIDEO REVIEW OF THE SPARTAN SPADE BELOW