The Best Tools For Digging Holes For House Foundations

Excavator for digging foundation
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For a house to be built, it has to go through stages, and digging the foundations is one of those stages. Digging is a compulsory step in constructing the foundation of a building, requiring both hand tools and machines to get started.

Building tools like the pickaxe, shovel, hoe, and trowel are the basic hand tools used during the construction of a house while machines like the excavator and the trenchers are used to make the work easier and faster. For large construction projects that require deep foundations, it’s impossible to do without heavy machinery. 

Since a construction company is unlikely to have every single machinery they need for a project, hiring tools such as diggers, trenchers or mini digger hire is almost impossible. Here are some of the best tools you will need for digging holes for building foundations. 

Shovels & Spades

A shovel or spade is a simple hand tool for digging, lifting, and moving soil, gravel, and sand. They’re handy tools with a broad blade and a medium-length handle (it’s usually wooden). These two tools are probably the most common hand tools used for excavation projects. The shovel is very similar to a spade and is often used interchangeably by people. The main difference between them is the edge. The edge of the shovel is typically curvier than that of the spade.


The trowel is a small hand size digging tool, with pointed blades made of metal or plastic. They are shaped like scoops, making them easy for bricklayers to use. It is generally used to dig small trenches or to remove shallow roots in the soil.


A digger is a common heavy-duty equipment used for different types of construction projects. Primarily, they’re used for digging holes, foundations, and trenches. This piece of plant machinery is controlled by an operator who sits on top of a rotating platform from where it controls the long arm of the machine for digging the soil. 

The long arm of the excavator consists of two parts; there’s the boom and the dipper stick with a digging bucket at its end. The bucket scoops up the soil as it digs trenches for a building foundation. There are different types of excavators. They can be classified based on their size or how they move general design and how they move: 

Based on mobility, diggers are either wheeled (with tires) or tracked. Tracked units are often preferred for projects in rough and uneven terrains. In terms of hire options, there are micro digger hire options, mini diggers and small digger hire alternatives. Dragline Excavators are even bigger units only used for major construction projects such as ports and underwater projects. 

Backhoe Loader

Technically, this is a type of excavator but with a different configuration. For a backhoe unit, the machinery has the hoe at the back and a loader bucket in front of the vehicle. This makes the machine quite versatile because it can be used for digging operations as well as loading and lifting soil at the same time. 

The backhoe loader is a very common piece of equipment used for construction projects. In addition to being very versatile, the equipment is also quite portable. They usually have wheels for transportation and this further improves their mobility. 


Trenchers are heavy machines designed for earthmoving and digging holes in the ground. Typically, you’ll need this machine if you’re trying to dig a trench on a hard surface where a regular digger cannot work. 

The trencher is used for cutting pavement, creating drainage, and removing excavated materials. Although they work faster than diggers, they’re not as versatile. Like diggers, there are different types of trenchers depending on the size and configuration of the machine. 

Generally, there are two kinds of trenchers you can ask for when you search for mini digger hire near me. The walk-behind trenchers are small to medium-sized machines used for landscaping jobs and small-scale residential and commercial construction. The ride-on trenchers are best used for larger, tricker jobs that require more horsepower. 


Hiring a tool or machine is essential when you’re working on a construction project that requires digging of some sort. Fortunately, getting a small digger hire or micro digger hire is easier than ever. It is worth noting that the tools you need will depend on the nature and complexity of your projects. However, these are some of the best tools you are likely to need regardless of the nature of your project. 

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