Best Tools to Dig A Trench 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

There are certain moments when digging a trench is mandatory. For example, to install the irrigation system in your garden or change the old pipes in your house. This activity demands precision and optimal use of force.

When you don’t have time to lose, you need to know how to dig a hole fast. To achieve this you need the right tool. In the market there are many digging shovels, but not all of them help you dig perfect trenches.

Best Tools to Dig A Trench

Best Tools to Dig A Trench

Top 10 Best Tools to Dig A Trench

Whether you’re an expert excavator or a beginner, you need to learn how to choose the best digging tools to get the best performance. Today, you’ll know the digging tools for hard ground most efficient in 2021.

1. Seymour S702 48-Inch Fiberglass Handle Trenching Shovel

If your main goal is to remove as much soil in the shortest time, this is the tool you need. Seymour S702 is the best trenching shovel on the market. If you still don’t know how to break up hard ground, here’s the solution.

Its 48-inch long shaft and the inclination of its blade is the secret of its efficiency. You’ll no longer have to bend down again to dig a hole in the ground. The shape of its blade allows greater penetration in loose and compact soils.

Its shaft is made of fiberglass, which makes it lighter in contrast to other similar models. Its handle with soft material dampens impacts and prevents blisters in your hands.

Its scoop is bigger to remove more soil in less time. Ideal for digging trenches and deep holes.

We Love
  • Lightweight and easy to use.
  • You don’t need to bend down to use it.
  • Durable and resistant.
We Don't Love
  • It tends to rust over time.
  • Handle uncomfortable for certain people.

2. Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel

Although its main objective is to cut and remove sturdy roots, Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel is also excellent for trenching. Its blade penetrates the more compact soil as if it were butter.

Most trenching shovels have round tip blades. However, the blade of Radius Garden 22011 Root Slayer Shovel looks like an inverted “V”. This way, the blade doesn’t have a single tip, but two.

In addition, it provides a greater support area, allowing applying more force. The result is a greater penetration of the scoop. However, the area of the scoop is smaller, reducing its capacity to remove large soil volumes.

It also has wide edges on the scoop to provide stable foot support. In contrast to previous models, this one is 30% lighter.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Lighter than similar models.
  • High performance in any kind of terrain.
We Don't Love
  • Reduced scoop area.
  • Uncomfortable handle.

3. Bully Tools 92719 14-Gauge 3-Inch Trench Shovel

Ideal for making straight cuts on the soil. If you’re tired of your trenches looking awful and uneven, you need a Bully Tools 92719 14-Gauge 3-Inch Trench Shovel.

Its 14-Gauge steel blade guarantees high strength and maximum durability. Not even the strongest rocks on the ground will prevent a perfect cut. Ideal for very compact soils, where the blade tip of a common shovel can’t penetrate.

Its shaft is made of fiberglass and reinforced with hardwood. You can apply great energy without worrying about breaking the shaft or bending the blade.

We Love
  • Lightweight and easy to use.
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Ideal for straight and deep cuts.
We Don't Love
  • Blade may bend in contact with hard surfaces.
  • Some models sold reported defective.

4. Bully Tools 92730 14-Gauge 4-Inch Box Style Trench Shovel

Ideal to penetrate compact soils and remove large amounts of loose soil in trenches. Bully Tools 92730 Box Shovel catches more soil than any other model.

Its box- shaped scoop is longer for greater penetration. Its slight inclination prevents you from having to bend to dig. It’s ideal for people with backaches and other similar conditions.

The wide and straight walls of the scoop allow you to catch more soil in a single movement, preventing it from overflowing to the sides. The blade tip has a “V” shape, ideal for penetrating very hard and compact soils.

In addition, its shaft is made of fiberglass reinforce with hardwood for more strength and lower weight.

We Love
  • Lightweight and easy to use.
  • Scoop allows you to catch more soil.
  • Durable and resistant.
We Don't Love
  • Uncomfortable handle.
  • Blade tip may bend with hard efforts.

5. Corona SS 64104 4-Inch General Purpose Trench Shovel

Ideal for digging deep trenches in a short time. Corona SS 64104 Trench Shovel helps you get further than any digging shovel on the market.

Its hardwood shaft allows applying more energy to the ground for greater penetration. Its blade with a 35-degree inclination better removes loose soil and debris. It’s perfect to give the finishing touches to the walls and the bottom of your trench.

Its V-angled head allows straight clean and precise cuts. Ideal for working on compacted or too hard soils. The red coating of its blade protects it from external agents for more durability.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Penetrates better than fiberglass models.
  • High resistance to external agents.
We Don't Love
  • It works better with a D-handle.
  • Heavier than similar models.

6. Fiskars 46-Inch Steel D-Handle Transplanting Spade

Created to withstand large impacts. If durability is your biggest concern, Fiskars 46 Inch Steel D-Handle Transplanting Spade is ideal for you. This tool has steel from the bottom to the top.

With a 14-gauge steel blade and an 18-gauge steel shaft, this tool promises to withstand heaviest duties. Its steel head is long and narrow, ideal for digging deep holes. It’s also perfect for digging trenches to install underground pipes.

Its extra large D-Handle allows you to work with both hands to apply more force. Easily penetrates loose soils. This makes it the ideal tool for transplanting and other garden work.

We Love
  • Maximum durability and resistance.
  • It allows applying more force to the ground.
  • Ergonomic handle.
We Don't Love
  • Too heavy.
  • Some models sold reported defective.

7. Truper 33436 4-Inch Tru Pro California Trenching Shovel

Another recommended tool to remove loose soil from trenches and deep holes. Truper 33436 is light, resistant and above all, very cheap.

Its most striking feature is its affordable price. Truper 33436 is lighter than other models because of its shaft made of fiberglass. Its V-shaped blade allows greater penetration in difficult terrain with minimal effort.

Its 14-gauge head can withstand strong impacts without bending. In addition, the neck that connects to the shaft has more steel for maximum durability. Its D-Handle made of fiberglass allows better control during work.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • 14-Gauge steel head better resists large impacts.
  • Lightweight and easy to handle.
We Don't Love
  • Fiberglass shaft tends to bend with great efforts.
  • Head may break in contact with large rocks or very hard soils.

8. Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger

Ideal for wide and shallow trenches. Its blade made of high caliber steel penetrates the hardest ground very easily.

Its 12-gauge steel blade is stronger than any other on the market. This tool penetrates too compact and rocky soils. If you combine its action with a good digging shovel, digging a trench will take less time than you imagine.

Its point round blade slides better through the ground and can cut the most robust roots. With Bully Tools 92251 Round Lawn Edger you’ll have perfect trenches all the time.

In addition, its T-handle and its shaft are made of sturdy steel. Without a doubt, you can apply the greatest amount of force without fear of breakage.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • 12-Gauge steel blade.
  • Penetrates the hardest soils.
We Don't Love
  • Tip can bend in contact with large rocks.
  • Handle uncomfortable for some people.

9. Fiskars 46-Inch Steel D-Handle – Top Choice

For cutting perfectly straight on all types of soils. The best way to dig a trench for electrical wire. Fiskars 46-Inch Steel D-Handle Square Garden Spade is tough, practical and very powerful.

Both shaft and scoop are made of sturdy steel. Its 14-gauge steel square blade allows clean cuts in all kinds of terrain. It slides, cuts and borders better than a round blade spade.

In contrast to fiberglass models, its shaft doesn’t deform with great efforts. In addition, its high strength allows applying more force without risk of damaging the tool.

Its extra large D-handle allows you to apply force with both hands for maximum penetration.

We Love
  • Durable and resistant.
  • Make perfectly straight cuts on the soil.
  • Large D-handle for both hands.
We Don't Love
  • Unstable plastic handle.
  • Heavier than similar models.

10. Nupla TS-V4-E Ergo Power Trenching Shovel

Very cheap and strong enough to penetrate loose soils. Nupla TS-V4-E Ergo Power Trenching Shovel is ideal for digging trenches and holes in gardens and soft surfaces.

Although it isn’t exactly the most suitable for heavy duties, it has excellent performance in loose soils. Its long head allows greater penetration with minimal effort. You’ll need strong arms to use it, because its edges aren’t wide enough to support your feet.

Its V-shaped blade is made with 16-gauge steel. This feature makes it less resistant than most of the most popular models in the market. However, as stated earlier, it isn’t a tool for heavy duties.

We Love
  • Lightweight and easy to use.
  • Very cheap.
  • Ideal for garden work.
We Don't Love
  • Blade not very resistant.
  • It can bend or split with too large efforts.

Tools to Dig A Trench Buying Guide

Don’t know how to dig a trench for drainage? Don’t worry. You don’t need to be a genius to do it. You just have to learn how to use the right tools.

Digging a trench in the right way is more than just removing soil with a shovel. It’s a task that requires some ingenuity and skill. And obviously, the extra help of the best air trenching tool.

Many people use to dig trenches with conventional digging shovels. However, if they don’t have the required experience, they may end up making a mess. Maybe the walls are irregular or the bottom isn’t flat and even.

In theory, digging a trench shouldn’t be that difficult. But once you get your hands dirty and start trying, you realize that it is. Especially when you don’t have the right tools.

No matter how skilled you are in digging trenches, it’s useful that you know how to choose the power tools for digging soil to make the job easier and in less time. Here you have a detailed guide of variables that you should consider before choosing the best digging tool for trenches.


Not all shovels can help you dig perfect trenches. The secret is in the shape of the blade. First of all, the blade must be sharp at all times to effortlessly pierce the hardest layers of soil.

To penetrate and execute clean and straight cuts in the ground, the best blade types are:

  • Inverted “V” blades
  • V-shaped blades

Inverted “V” Blades vs V-Shaped Blades

What do both blades have in common? They have point tips. This type of configuration allows applying all the force at the same point to weaken the more compact soil. A V-shaped blade has one point tip. Instead, an inverted “V” blade has two.

Obviously, with such a small force application area, the tips need to be strong enough to not bend. So that doesn’t happen, better blades are made of steel with gauges between 12-14. A 16-gauge steel blade would be more prone to deformations.

Inverted “V” blades, in addition to being perfect for cutting soil, are ideal for digging up roots. There’s no obstacle strong enough that one of these blades can’t cut when it’s perfectly sharp.

V-shaped are also excellent for penetrating compact soil, but they aren’t the most efficient for digging up roots.

Some scoops are fully aligned with the shaft of the shovel for a perfect 90-degree cut. They’re especially useful for sculpting the walls of the trench. However, they aren’t useful for removing the soil.

Other models, implement scoops with a 35-degree rotation. This serves to execute straight cuts on the ground, but also to remove loose soil like a digging shovel.

To perfect the walls and bottom of the trench, you can use a box style trench shovel. By combining the action of each tool, you’ll get perfect trenches regardless of the experience you have.


There are currently many trench shovels with different materials and shaft lengths. Most of them use the following materials:

  • Steel
  • Hardwood
  • Fiberglass

Among the three, steel shafts are the best for digging trenches, because they allow applying greater force without risk of deformation. A 16-gauge steel is more than enough to guarantee the required strength.

Hardwood shafts are also useful, especially because they help dissipate efforts better. However, they tend to weaken with use, until they finally break.

Fiberglass shafts significantly reduce weight, but tend to bend too much with great efforts. A bent shaft is the least you need when you want perfectly vertical trench walls.

The choice of shaft length is also very important. The total length of the shovel should be sufficient to prevent you from bending down during work. Therefore, before choosing any model, think about whether the length of the tool fits your height.


Usually, all trench shovels have straight handles. That way, the shaft slides through the hand and there’s no impact on the palm. However, when using this type of handle, it’s convenient to wear gloves to prevent blisters.

A few models use D-handles for greater control and comfort. D-handles allow the hands to rest on a flat surface. Depending on the size of the opening, you can apply force with one or both hands at the same time.

The best models implement handles coated with soft materials. This allows better grip and comfort.


Trench shovels are plenty in the market. You can find them in hardware stores and even on the Internet. The price difference between one model and another is incredible. However, the fact that one model is more expensive than another doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better.

For example, some popular models are more expensive simply because they belong to a well-known brand. But basically, it has the same technical features that cheaper models.

A good way to avoid spending too much for something that isn’t worth it is to analyze the pros and cons of some popular models in the market. Comparing each model will help you determine which one is the most convenient for you.

Best Brands of Tools to Dig a Trench

Based on the number of copies sold and the level of consumer satisfaction, there are currently three leading brands in the market for tools for digging trenches. They are:

  • Seymour
  • Radius Garden
  • Bully Tools

Their best shovels use 14-gauge steel for maximum durability and strength. If you’re thinking of buying a new tool to dig a trench, always keep these 3 options in mind.

Tools to Dig A Trench FAQs

With so much information at the same time, you may still have doubts in your mind that won’t let you make a decision. If that’s your case, these FAQs and their answers can help you.

Q-1. Are all shovels useful to dig a trench?

No. There are many shovels with different blade types for different purposes.

Q-2. How to know if a shovel is useful to dig a trench?

Check if it has the following characteristics:

  • V-shaped blade or inverted “V” blade.
  • Straight head or rotated 28-90 degrees.
  • Resistant shaft.
  • Handle with soft cover.
Q-3. Is it convenient to buy a shovel with a 16-gauge steel head?

No. With great efforts it could break or bend.

Q-4. Which is the strongest material for the shaft?

For these purposes, steel shafts are the best.

Q-5. How to know if the shaft length is appropriate?

The distance between the tip and the top of your shovel must be equal to or greater than the length between the tip of your feet and the midpoint of your chest.

Q-6. Are straight handles suitable for trenching shovels?

Yes, because they allow your hands slip on the shaft to not absorb the full impact. However, you should wear gloves to prevent blisters.

Q-7. What’s the best blade type to dig a trench?

Both V-shaped and inverted “V” blades are excellent. However, inverted “V” blades are more versatile.

Q-8. Why are some trenching shovels’ heads rotated?

To better remove loose soil. Those with heads aligned to the shaft are only good for cutting the ground.

Q-9. Can I use a trenching shovel to cut roots?

If the blade is sharp enough, you can do it.

Q-10. Is it necessary to sharpen the blade of the shovel?

Yes. With use, the blade loses its original sharp and needs periodical maintenance.


The secret of an excellent trenching shovel is in its blade type. For better performance, it’s important that you constantly sharpen it. Make sure the steel gauge of the head is 12-14 for maximum strength and durability.

Also remember that you need a sturdy shaft that doesn’t bend with great efforts. If you follow these tips, digging a trench will be a piece of cake for you.

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