The RotoShovel is a 22-inch long 12V Max cordless auger that can “dig out” holes 3″ wide up to 7″ deep.
You could potentially bore out deeper holes, as Rotoshovel says in answers to customers that it can reach a depth of 10″ if needed.
Despite this being described as a cordless electric drill shovel, targeted towards homeowners and even landscaping professionals, it’s more of a powered hand trowel.
It looks like it could still do a lot, although its scope of use is likely going to be very specific.
I purchased a ProPlugger bulb planter a few months ago ($40 at Amazon), and in some areas the compacted soil was very difficult to cut through. Would this RotoShovel have been able to power through that? Probably not.
The RotoShovel has safety features that turns off power to the auger when it hits any rocks or roots. If working in difficult soil, the auger is unlikely to provide an effortless and quick experience.
What if you started plants indoors or bought something at the nursery, and are faced with transplanting a 4-inch plant into a 3-inch diameter hole? Sure, you can remove some of the initial potting mix, but probably not without traumatizing the root structure.
I think the RotoShovel is a neat idea, and it could work very well for certain users, namely anyone looking to dig 3″ diameter holes in easy-to-work soils.
For me, its digging diameter is too narrow, and for tasks where it’s not, I doubt it would be up to the task of digging into very dense soils.
If it suits your application, the removable auger and strong scoop allows for manual digging if needed.
Price: $125 for the kit
The kit comes with a battery, charger, and case. The battery is removeable and replacements or spares are said to be available separately.
Rotoshovel says the included battery lasts for 2 hours.
RotoShovel’s marketing language deserves an eye-roll.
It’s time. Time to say goodbye to your shovel, because the RotoShovel is going to forever change the way you garden. Our cordless, electric shovel works just like a drill for your dirt, digging holes ideal for planting vegetables, installing annual flowers, and more.
Goodbye to my shovels? But this does not match the functionality of a shovel, it’s sized to replace hand trowels. That’s a big difference, like calling a bucket a wheelbarrow.
Learn more about how the RotoShovel will smarten up your gardening and why shovels are dumb!
I can understand the direction they’re going in – RotoShovel wants to portray their product as a do-it-all replacement. But it’s not. I do think it has the potential to be fantastic for certain gardeners, replacing manual small hole-digging with this cordless power auger.
But as mentioned, what happens if you need a hole 4″ wide? 5″? 6″? Can this create wider holes? It’s very difficult to precisely widen a drilled-out hole in wood or metal – can this fare better in soil?
From the product videos, the auger makes a little mess when boring a hole, or at least much less of a mess than without the included trowel-like blade. I would also guess that the unspecified speed of the motor helps for controlling the mess as well.
Watch the Video
If you need something a little different, there are quite a few auger and post digger attachments at Amazon. This one is a 4″ x 12″ auger attachment that’s meant for planting bulbs and for similar uses.
Here’s a good question: if a task can be completed with either the RotoShovel or an auger attachment, which tool would deliver easier, better, or faster results?