Top 5 most used tools for digging

Share this article

Every construction project requires some amount of digging. For simple projects, basic tools like spades, shovels and digging bars are all you need. For slightly complex projects, you might have to get a small digger or mini dumper

As with every part of your project, having the right digging tools will make your work significantly easier and help you save time and avoid stress. The right type of digging tool to use often depends on the nature of the ground as well as the objectives of your project or purpose of digging. For instance, what you’ll need to dig a linear trench will be different from the tool you’ll use to dig a hole for a single post. The following are 5 most used tools for digging 

Say Hello to Mike - Your personal easyToolhire account manager

Spade & Shovel 

A spade is arguably the most-used digging tool in construction projects. Even in large scale projects, spade may still find application for digging in places that are too small to use machinery for. A spade is a square-shaped blade with a long handle. While the handle can be used to dig directly, the digging blade has a boot rest at the top. This allows you to place your boot at the top and apply some thrust to the blade in order to dig deep into the ground. The blade is also large enough to remove dislodged soil and transport it with ease.  

Although commonly confused for each other, blades and shovels have different designs. Shovels are built specifically for scoping up loose materials but they may also be used for minor digging as well. The main difference between a blade and a shovel is that the latter has a more angled blade with an upward-curving edge. This helps to retain loads that you scoop up in the shovel. 

A trenching spade is another type of spade used in excavations. It is built just like a regular spade, but the digging blade is narrower and longer. The narrow design helps to concentrate more force on a smaller area. This increases the penetrative force of the spade, making it more effective for digging into tough soils. 


An auger is basically a large drill that you can use to bore holes into the ground. The machine consists of a spiraling metal shaft with a blade at its end. As the flighting rotates to cut into the soil, it siphons out drilled material. The debris moves along the spiral flighting out of the hole you’re digging as the blade rotates. Augers come in a wide range of sizes from modest handheld units to much larger ones that are towed behind a tractor. They’re versatile tools that can help save time and energy on digging projects. 

Hand-held breaker

A Hand-held breaker is designed for digging on hard surfaces. It is an invaluable tool useful for digging to hard clay, frozen ground, and various types of concrete surfaces. During regular construction works, you may encounter sections of solid concrete while digging. A handheld breaker can be used to break up these hard obstacles to get to the soft surface underneath. 

Hand held breakers are not always thought of as a digging tool but can be invaluable! This is especially so if you encounter sections of concrete while digging. This is a common occurrence when digging holes for fence posts. It is very typical for new post positions to fall on old posts locations. This means breakers can be used to break up previous post concrete or any masonry obstacles you come across. 

Digging bar & Graft

A digging bar is essentially a long thin iron shaft with a sharp digging blade at its end. It looks like a spear which you can stick deep into tough ground to loosen it up. The slender design of this tool also makes it easy to stick it into tightly packed rubble to expose stop gaps and pry them open. During digging, they can also be used to cut through tree roots and buried wood. 

Grafts have a similar design to digging bars and are also useful for digging. It has a long pole-like shaft with a small narrow spade at the end. If you’re trying to dig a post hole or any other long and deep excavation, a graft would be a perfect tool to use. Their small robust blades can get into small crevices while the long handle gives you some extra force behind your dig. 

Digger or Excavator 

For heavy-duty construction projects, you might need to get a digger or excavator. This is a heavy-duty construction device for digging holes and trenches. Diggers come in various sizes and tend to have different designs. However, the general configuration consists of a boom and a dipper stick with a digging bucket at the end. A digger will also have a cab or house where the operator sits. Excavators are mobile. They tend to have tracks or wheels for moving on different terrains. For small-scale projects, compact diggers will work just great. However, you may need full-sized ones for large-scale projects


In addition to these basic tools, you may also need to get bigger pieces of machinery especially if you’re undertaking more complex projects. This might mean looking for mini digger hire and mini dumpers hire near you. Whether you’re working on a small construction or landscaping project, these are some of the tools you need to get for your work to progress smoothly. 

Share this article

Make an Enquiry

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We’ll be happy to help!

Thank you for submitting your enquiry!
We’ll contact you shortly.