For many of us, gardening is a passion, but it can also be a major chore. This is very relevant when it comes to landscaping, as you will always require digging to some extent.
You may need to dig a trench whether you're laying out underground irrigation pipes, removing plants, or just need to dig a narrow hole for installing a fence.
Trenching can be a difficult job, and it's essential to do it right so that your lawn will be healthy and lush throughout the year.
There are many different types of trenching tools on the market, and you want to know what works best for you.
So, you've come to the right place as we have thoroughly reviewed the top 7 best trenching shovels available in the market and included buying guide later in the article.
If you're in a rush, you can pick from our top three trenching shovels.
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This trenching shovel is perfect for a variety of outdoor projects. It has a blade that measures 3" wide by 12" high. and has a handle that meet the highest performance ratings.
Unlike the flimsy shovels you'll see at big-box stores, this shovel uses a 48 inch large fiberglass handle and rear rolled steps for stable and efficient digging.
This is a rugged, heavy duty shovel that is designed to perform in the most demanding conditions. It has reinforced handle that makes it a perfect all-around digging tool.
7 Best Trenching Shovel in Market
- 48 inch long handle
- 14 gauge V-shape blade
- Ergonomic design
- Fiberglass handle
- 14 gauge blade
- Life time warranty
- 48 inch fiberglass handle
- 5 inch wide blade
- Steel made blade
- 54 inch fiberglass handle
- V-shaped blade
- Boot saver step
- 16 inch foldable handle
- 5 inch blade
- 19 oz weight
- Small size shovel
- Hardwood handle
- 47 Inch long handle
- 4 inch blade
- Ash wood handle
Our Top Pick
Seymour trenching shovel is the tool you need to get your work done. It's no wonder that this is one of the best selling trenching shovel. It has a wide blade and pointed tip to cut through tough soil.
The handle is made of sturdy fiberglass and has a comfortable grip for easier digging. With it's high-impact handle and padded grip, you're guaranteed to stay comfortable and in control.
What to consider when choosing Trenching Shovel
A steel made blade is durable and won't rust. For greater strength, a forged steel blade is the best option.
For a trenching job, pick a long handle. It gives you a better leverage when digging dirt but also not very portable.
A cushioned grip handle protects your hand while digging. It saves your hand from getting blisters or you can use work gloves.
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Why do you need a trenching shovel?
When digging trenches, you can always use a regular shovel or even a digging bar depending on the area. However, when working on the hard ground made of rocks or tree roots, a trenching shovel is the way to go.
The trenching shovel's unique design allows you to scoop and remove any loose soil. You can use it along the side of the trench to dig a post hole or use it to assist in cutting or digging the ground away from the trench to allow for the excavation process.
If you’ve got a large garden or you're a professional landscaper who needs to do lots of trench digging, a walk-behind trencher or a powered trencher may be the best option.
It allows you to dig up trenches 3 to 4 feet deep easily. Some higher-end types of shovels will let you dig a deep hole and a 6- to 8-inch-wide trench.
The Top 7 Trenching Shovel Review
#1. Nuple Trenching Shovel
3 inch Trenching Shovel
Nuple trenching shovels are ergonomically designed for comfort and less fatigue. The V-shaped narrow design blade enables the shovel to cut precise walls in a trench. The wide edge and compact shape make for precise cuts into a variety of trencher depths.
With a blade measuring 3 inches wide by 12 inches high, this product is perfect for trenching in any condition. Nupla ergo power handle meets the high-performance rating. It features cores made with a molded “nuclad” contoured jacket.
The fiberglass-made handle is sturdy and allows you to make a firm grip while trenching with a single foot. The 48-inch-long handle provides good leverage when cutting through a hard ground surface.
You can quickly move the dirt around without needing to bend a lot. This makes it easy on your back and gets the job done in less time.
This trencher is specially designed to get you through your lawn care tasks with ease. It’s light and portable so that you can use it for a variety of purposes. It comes only in a yellow color handle.
See More Information about: Nuple Trenching Shovel
#2. Bully Tool Trenching shovel
Best for Landscapers
Bully Tool trenching shovels are built to last. Bully began as a single product manufacturer of forged steel shovels and has since evolved into one of the leading constructions and gardening tools suppliers.
Built for tough jobs, this triple wall fiberglass shovel with a wood-reinforced handle won't break, no matter how hard you use it. A 14-gauge blade and ergonomically designed shovel are a favorite among homeowners and contractors.
The high-quality and lightweight shovels are just as strong and hefty as a premium-grade metal shovel. The closed-back design prevents debris from sticking to the back of the blade.
This trenching shovel is a must-have for anyone who needs to get a tough job done. You can tell at first look that this is a sturdy and heavy-duty shovel.
The padded handle with a soft cushion grip makes it comfortable to use when pushing it deeper into the hard ground. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is made in the USA.
See More Information about: Bully Tool Trenching shovel
#3. Seymour Fiberglass Handle Trenching Shovel
Best For Residential and Commercial Use
The Seymour trenching shovel is a good choice for anyone looking to do basic trenching, digging, or cleaning-out tasks. It features a solid 48-inch fiberglass handle and a sturdy blade.
It's strong enough to break through compacted soil and rough roots. The flat blade is designed for easy shoveling. A rear-rolled step can be used for light digging and cleanouts. The front turn step head style has a Perma grip collar that provides extra gripping power. The cushioned grip will make trenching a breeze.
The blade is made of sturdy steel for strength and durability, while the handle is constructed from strong but lightweight fiberglass that won’t crack or break. Thanks to the cushioned grip, this shovel will feel nice and comfortable in your hands.
Overall, it has a very well-built quality. A 5-inch-wide high-grade steel blade can withstand the rigors of trenching and make this shovel a versatile tool for various outdoor activities.
See More Information about: Seymour Fiberglass Handle Trenching Shovel
#4. Structron 3" Trenching Shovel
Best For Digging Hard Grounds
The Structron trenching shovel is the go-to tool for contractors and landscapers who need a durable, high-quality trench digging shovel that won’t let them down.
It features a 14-gauge narrow blade head with a 28-degree V-shaped tip and forward-turned steps. It makes the digging job more manageable, and the steps turn forward for better stability.
This heavy-duty trenching shovel is designed to perform in the most demanding conditions. Its 54-inch fiberglass reinforced handle makes it a perfect all-around tool for digging trenches, backfilling excavations, or scooping out clay soil and dirt.
The shovel head has a boot-saver step to protect your bottom feet from wear and tear while digging. We liked its uniquely designed forward-turned step and a solid fiberglass reinforcing rod that prevents bending and cracking.
And finally, the 54 inches long extended fiberglass handle comes with a cushion grip for comfort. Now you can spend less time bending down and more time maintaining your lawn.
Overall, this is a solid and rust-resistant trenching tool with a large handle for effective leverage. You can confidently use it on dry, wet, and muddy soil to dig narrow trenches without worry.
See More Information about: Structron 3" Trenching Shovel
#5. Yeacool Camping Foldable Scoop Shovel
Best For Campers
The Yeacool camping foldable shovel is the perfect tool for camping, backpacking, hunting, and digging trenches. This shovel is lightweight and easy to carry with its clever foldable design.
It also comes with a non-slip soft rubber grip handle for a firm hold on the shovel. With a 16-inch-long foldable handle and 5 inches long and 3.94-inch-wide blade, this shovel has all your needs covered.
The light 19 oz weight makes it easy for anyone to use this shovel—even if they don’t have a lot of upper body strength. With 180 degrees rotating handle, it’s easy to turn and spin the blade to clear obstacles.
The foldable shovel design makes it easy to be stored and carried anywhere. You can use it as a shovel, saw, bottle opener, hoe, pickaxe, and more. This folding shovel is lightweight, durable, and compact so that you can take it on all your adventures.
See More Information about: Yeacool Camping Foldable Scoop Shovel
#6. Infantry Army Sapper Shovel
Best For Multiple Use
If you want a shovel that goes beyond a regular trench shovel, check out Infantry Army Sapper Shovel. It’s a small infantry shovel with a length of 50 cm. The handle is made of hardwood and isn't painted.
Due to a small size handle, it’s a very portable shovel that you can use to dig shelter and trenches or move small amounts of soil. The blade is made of high-quality steel and has a premium quality oak handle.
The steel tray is about 15 cm wide and 18 cm long. The shovel weighs 800 grams and can be used as a self-defence weapon. You can also use this shovel as a lever, paddle ax, frying pan, and ruler.
If you're an outdoor enthusiast and need something more than a shovel, this is a great choice to have.
See More Information about: Infantry Army Sapper Shovel
#7. Truper Tru Pro Trenching Shovel
Best For Trenching and Moving Dirt
Truper Tru Pro Trenching shovels are the leading choice of contractors for their durability and strength. The patented design features a 47-inch professional-grade North American White Ash handle with an optimum ratio for resistance and flexibility.
The sharp edge blade is perfect for digging and side-loading excess dirt. This professional-grade shovel has an extended socket for a solid handle connection.
A 14-gauge flat steel blade provides the maximum toughness even when digging the hard ground. It has a step at the end to push it deeper into the ground with afoot.
The socket connection is heavy-duty riveted for maximum durability. It features a flat blade with a 50-degree angle head, made to cut through the tough ground like butter.
The head is made of high-quality steel that will never rust or chip. The handle has an ergonomic grip, and the shovel comes with a lifetime warranty.
So, if you’re looking for a durable, lightweight shovel with a foot handle that’s perfect for digging trenches and foundation work without costing too much, this is a great shovel to have. It comes with a limited warranty.
See More Information about: Truper Tru Pro Trenching Shovel
What are the different types of digging shovels?
When choosing a trenching shovel, it’s vital to remember that they’re different from a standard shovel. The blade of trenching shovel is narrow and less wide than a regular shovel. They're designed to move up any loose soil in the trench.
Several types of digging and trenching shovels are available, depending on the work. This includes, among others, the following shovel style:
Shovel: It has a broader blade that curves to a rounded point. The design of the blade allows you to dig and move soil. The collar at the top of the blade makes it easy to rest your foot and push the shovel to the ground. Shovels have a long handle and straight blades.
Flat Shovel: These have flat blades and can move dirt, dig a hole, or level ground. They can also be used as an improvised snow plow to clear your driveways or sidewalk. You can use these to scoop dirt from one place to another.
Spade: Although people use spade and shovel names interchangeably, they’re different. Spade cuts through roots or hard soil.
The garden spade blade is made of metal with a flat edge, and a curved front cutting edge sharpened like a knife. The sharp tip is used for digging and chopping roots and grass.
The spade is also called a trowel or soil scoop and has a collar to rest your foot and dig it deeper in the ground. You can choose a drain spade with a narrow round point to dig deeper into the ground for digging shallow trenches. It’s almost like a trenching shovel with a slight variation in shape.
Trenching shovel: Trenching shovel is used to dig trenches 4 inches wide and 18 inches deep. They're called step-trench shovels because the back surface is upturned.
This means you can step on the shovel with your boot to push it down in the ground. High-angle handles make it easy to lift material from a pit or ditch.
Scooper: The scooper has a large flat blade designed to move a large amount of dirt and sand. These aren't suitable for digging into the ground.
They're also known as a cleanout shovel and have a high handle to reduce the bending while moving different soil types and dirt from the ground. You can use a wider blade scooper as a snow shovel.
Things to look for in a trenching shovel
Choosing the right trenching shovel for the job is essential. I’m a big fan of the trenching shovel for digging soil, installing irrigation, and taking it out for outdoor camping needs.
These are nice to have for any digging jobs and are incredibly efficient. Keep following things in mind when choosing your best shovel to dig a trench.
Choose a sturdier but lightweight handle
When you’re choosing a trench shovel, you can pick either made of wood or fiberglass. Both have their pros and cons. The wood-made handle has a smooth texture and feels natural to handle, whereas the fiberglass handle is sturdier and lightweight.
Usually, the fiberglass handle lasts longer as it won’t rot with time. But a good quality treated wood made of hickory ash can last several years and a bit less expensive shovel than made with fiberglass.
You can also pick metal-made shovels for heavy twisting of the handle. They usually cost the same as those made from fiberglass but heavier.
Pick a right blade shape depending on the job
When you’re looking for a trench shovel, the choices for shovels and blades are endless. But you must choose the right type of blade to get the job done effortlessly.
There are three types of shovel blades available based on shape. The edges can be either pointed, round, or square.
The pointed blade makes it easy to dig deeper into a hard ground surface, but they’re not efficient in scooping soil. You’ll have to use a scooper to move the dirt around.
The square shape blade makes it easy to move around dirt but won’t be very effective in digging hard surfaces. The round shape blade falls between those and great for most residential users.
Choose a forged steel blade
A steel-made blade is durable and won’t rust. For greater strength, look for a forged steel blade made from a single piece of hardened steel.
The cheaper shovels are made of a stamped steel blade that isn't as sturdy. But if you'll use a trenching shovel occasionally, a stamped steel blade will be a good option.
Pick a good handle length
Most shovels in the market for gardening tasks have a large handle, usually anywhere from 44 to 48 inches long. Longer fiberglass or wood-made handles make it easy to get the job done as it provides you with more leverage when digging dirt.
But a longer handle makes it difficult to store and transport. If you’re looking for something more portable, you can choose a foldable or telescopic shorter handle. It allows you to adjust the length and move any type of soil.
Comfortable cushioned grip
A comfortable cushioned grip handle protects your hand while digging and moving dirt. The “D” style handle gives you a good grip and higher control when in use.
But a long-handle shovel won’t have any grip as you won’t be using it from the end. In that case, you should wear comfortable cushioned work gloves to protect your hands.
Riveted collar on the shovel
The shovel handle and blade must be securely attached to the collar. A cheaper shovel has a handle shoved to fit into the collar and secured with a nail or screw.
It could easily get loose or break with time. A sturdier and higher-quality trenching shovel has a handle attached to the blade with a round rivet that keeps it secure and reduces the risk of injury.
Pick a wide step foot pedal on the trench shovel
You’ll need to push the shovel in the ground by pressing your foot on a step. The step doesn’t need to be too broad but should be wide enough to place your feet comfortably and distribute uniform pressure on the ground.
How to dig with a trenching shovel
When you’re ready to dig with trenching shovel, there are few things you can do to make your job easy. The first thing you can do is to water the ground a day before.
This helps with softening the ground and makes the digging easy. Don’t overwater the ground as it will make the ground soggy and difficult to move the wet soil.
The next step is to mark the area that you’ll be digging. You can use lime or color markers to indicate the places where you need to dig. You should factor in the width of the trench blade when marking.
Also, decide where you’ll be piling all the dig-out dirt. It makes the job much easier as you won’t need to dump dirt at a far distance in a wheelbarrow.
When you’re ready to dig, ensure the trench is wide enough for you to work around in the area easily. Follow the proper safety precaution and check with your local municipality to be aware of the underlying electrical or gas utility line at the digging place.
You may also consider renting or buying a power trencher depending on the job.
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