17 Excellent Types of Tool for Digging in Outdoor Projects

Utilizing the right tool for digging to prepare the soil for cultivating is necessary. It is because the best equipment will make the work easier.

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However, sometimes gardeners are getting confused to choose the best hand device for their outdoor tasks.

Therefore, this article presents several excellent digging tools in agriculture. You will know how to choose the one that is suitable for different kinds of soil.

Also, there is guidance to maintain the equipment. Thus, they will make gardening activities full of ease and joy.

Types of Tool for Digging

Martha Stewart Stainless Steel Garden Digging Tool Set


Whether you have novice or advanced skills in gardening, utilizing the right tool for digging will make your outdoor tasks quicker and simpler. There are some types of diggers, either manual or electric devices, that bring different functions to fit the soil conditions.


Blue Hawk Digging shovel 40-in Fiberglass Digging Shovel in the Shovels & Spades department at Lowes.com


Shovels can complete some digging processes in different spots. They are the most popular devices that are mostly used by gardeners. Working in small areas or making holes on the dirt will be easy for them.

As a tool for digging, the shovel comes in various types. That traditional one is useful for working on dirt. It features a pointed blade so that you can make some holes in the compact ground. To prepare the soil deeper, step your foot on it to press the device into the land.

Furthermore, four kinds of diggers can be used to move any debris, scoop up the sand, and other materials.

They include square, pointed, micro, and snow shovels. These tools also have different materials and finishings to do some heavy tasks.

The square shovels feature a flat shape at the front part and rectangular back section with raised edges. They are suitable for leveling the ground, scooping, and removing lots of remaining garden materials.

Meanwhile, the second is a pointed shovel. This tool for digging has a pointed mouth with raised edges.

You require it to work with harder ground and materials such as rocks as well as gravels. Besides, in a narrow area, the micro version works best for easy transportation.

The last type is an essential tool for digging in the winter season. In the other words, it’s a wide shovel made of aluminum that can transport lots of snow.

Additionally, its metal head can move the compressed ice that covers the ground.


Hoe Dag - Lee Valley Tools


All expert gardeners are very familiar with this tool for digging. A hoe is a multi-functional device that can do many gardening tasks and maintenance.

Instead of being a digger, it can remove weeds or debris, cultivate the lawn, and collect the crops.

Importantly, choose a hoe with durable features to reach more depth into the earth. You can lift sand by pressing on it without facing any troubles.

The tool is light enough to grasp, so a long-duration project requires this device.

Garden hoes come in two types that include the Dutch and draw versions. The first model has a sharp blade on each edge. It can prevent new weeds from germinating since the loose materials will be completely removed.

Meanwhile, the draw hoes feature a triangle-shaped blade to chop into the earth and pull back to you. They are perfect for making ditches for bulbs or seeds in the ground and tilling the soil with more depth.


Stainless-Steel Transplant Spade - Lee Valley Tools


A spade is a typical tool for digging to create small deeper holes. This type is the perfect device for planting bulbs in the lawn.

Even for working in specific areas, the device performs well. The other model that has a long handle allows you to complete the task while standing up.

However, to dig tiny holes, the small hand version works great. This model is the best option to avoid getting on the earth while doing garden jobs.

Meanwhile, the other three types that you should know are a drain, border, and digging spade.

Folding Shovel

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A folding shovel is a versatile device that offers many functions instead of being a tool for digging. This portable version suit well in your car to clean the snowy road that can cause the vehicle stuck. It is also the perfect equipment for camping that features a saw blade, compass, and screwdriver.

Gardening Fork

Worth Garden Garden Hand Carbon Steel Fork-2018 - The Home Depot


A gardening fork functions as a tool to impregnate the ground with air. It is perfect for compact and rocky soils.

This device will make the land workable for growing plants. You only need to dig into the earth with the small version while sitting down.

Whereas, the long gardening fork allows you to work in a comfortable standing position. It has a sturdy hardwood handle to hold and fit any gardening tasks for long periods. Besides, this type is the best tool for digging in a large place.

Generally, three kinds of garden forks are available. The standard model is suitable for heavy tasks like loosening hard soil. Even working on clay areas, the matter will not stick on the tines as what occurs on the spade’s blade.

The second type is the pitchfork. It has a large design with long and wide tines that separate each other. This tool for digging is also perfect for transporting and removing hay, compost, and manure.

The third model is a border fork that features a light and small design. Therefore, gardeners utilize this tool in a very confined garden without damaging the plant root systems as it will happen if they use a larger digger.


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A pick features an ax at one part and a slim sharpened metal tool on the other side. The blade is perfect for vertical cutting and breaking up the firm ground. You can move hard tree roots with this device.


Marshalltown M/T1912D M1912D 19/12d Trowel-Red Durasoft Handle, Multi, 12": Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools


Although a trowel often resembles a hand spade or shovel, this tool for digging is easier than those devices for several jobs, for example creating small holes for cultivating plants.

The digger features a wooden handle as well as a steel blade. Then, you have to get down on the earth to use it properly.


BD Ltd. Mattock 5lb Head and 36” Solid Wooden Handle Digging Pick Adze Hoe: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home


A mattock closely resembles a pickaxe since they bring the same features. It functions as a digger or cutter.

This handy garden equipment is suitable for cutting weeds and creating holes into the dirt to plant seeds.

The tool for digging with a thin arched blade is called a cutter mattock, whereas another type features a pointed blade that is named a pick grubbing device.

Furthermore, the hard ground needs this equipment to transform it into a workable soil.

Post Hole Digger

Anvil Post Hole Digger | The Home Depot Canada


A post hole digger is an essential tool for digging to install or maintain fences. The device that has a specific task can be easily combined with other equipment.

Generally, it features a fiberglass handle and two steel blades.


Crowbar | Miscreated Wiki | Fandom


When it comes to working on either hard or soft soil, a crowbar is a proper tool for digging. This device has sharp and wide blades.

Besides, the garden equipment can be used for loosening concrete or rocks and moving heavy things.

Digging Knife

Amazon.com : Nisaku NJP800 Hori Weeding & Digging Knife, Authentic Tomita (Est. 1960) Japanese Stainless Steel 7.25" Blade, Ergonomic Handle : Garden & Outdoor


A knife, indeed, can become a tool for digging. It can cut very compact soil and create some holes.

In several conditions, this device is more effective than a traditional trowel. Moreover, its flat shape allows you to eliminate embedded rocks in the ground.

Digging Bar

COUNCIL TOOL Digging Bar, 70" L X 2-1/2" W, High Carbon Steel - 12N139|TB6 - Grainger


Digging bars are long and straight metal pieces to set a post, clean hard objects like rocks, and create holes for planting a tree.

They also function to remove any dirt, debris, and weeds. Some say that these hand devices are referred to as a kind of shovel.

Planting Auger

Earth Auger Spiral Drill Bit Electric Garden Planting Digging Hole Digger | Shopee Indonesia


A planting auger is a kind of tool for digging that is attached to a drill to deep plant an object into the ground. This durable device is made from steel so that it can last for years.

Use a standard drill to coupled with this auger to cultivate bulbs and annual plants. By drilling the soil, you can create some holes faster than using a traditional shovel.

Power Tillers

China 10HP High Clutch Power Tiller Walking Tractor (SH101H) - China Tractor, Power Tiller


A power tiller is a tool for digging that functions to plow the ground in the garden. This device digs into the soil surface to supply the soil with air.

It is the electric version of the gardening fork, so your gardening projects can be accomplished quickly.

Two types of power tillers are available. The first tool is a gas-powered version that makes a noise, but it is more powerful. Unfortunately, this model causes some air pollution so that many gardeners neglect the device.

Additionally, the electric version becomes the most favorite tool for digging. The corded power tiller performs well for any gardening purposes.

Its six steel tines can aerate the ground quickly due to the high speed. Interestingly, this device has rear wheels to move from one place to another.

Garden Cultivator for Digging Soil

Make At-Home Gardening Easy With a Small Tiller


A garden cultivator can function as a digging machine. Its cordless model is a battery-operated tool that can cultivate up to 99 meters.

Then, to prevent the weeds from knitting together during the process, this zero-emission device is completed with counter-oscillating tines.

Using a garden cultivator for digging will reduce arm fatigue since it has an upright and lightweight model.

Other features such as soft grips, adjustable handles, and telescoping tubes can enhance your comfort while cultivating the soil.

Moreover, use another version of the garden cultivator as a tool for digging in small gardens and flower beds.

The power digging machine comes with an electric motor, so you do not need to fill the gas or change the oil. It also features a powerful punch that serves a fast soil turnover.


Transplanter | Products | Kubota Agricultural Machinery India.


A transplanter is a specific tool for digging deeper and smaller holes to plant seeds. Also, weak seedlings can be removed easily without causing any harm to others.

Additionally, this digger has a narrow head that allows you to work on limited areas and flower beds.

Dibbers and Bulb Planters

Garden Dibber (Dibbler) Seed and Bulb Planter – The Celtic Farm

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A dibber is a small-handled tool for digging that has a tapering point. Its head is very sharp to create tidy holes to cultivate tiny rhizomes or seedlings.

Meanwhile, for planting with larger holes, choose a bulb planter to transport and grasp the soil for a while before turning it back to cover the surface.

How to Choose Power Tools for Digging Soil

How to Choose and Use Shovels and Other Digging Tools - This Old House


When it comes to gardening tasks, digging becomes the essential job to break up the ground so that the air gets into the soil and the weeds lose. Therefore, you need a specific tool to turn over the planting area.

Varied types of soil and digging techniques require different specific tools. It is not about choosing from the available devices but determining the right equipment for a certain job.

To know the proper tool, create a hole to see the type of soil that you are going to work with it. When the digging test seems hard, it means that a more sophisticated device is necessary than a shovel or spade.

Likewise, you can choose power tools for many gardening tasks. They include digging a small pole, planting shrubs, repairing a fence, transplant trees, building a deck, and so on. Consider the level of difficulties for these projects.

Then, things to consider before buying a power tool are the depth, weight, handles, and engine or motor.

For example, if you want to install a fence, you can use augers, post hole diggers, or garden cultivators with a capacity of 1.5 meters deep.

Next, gardeners will buy a power tool only if dealing with a hard project. Choose a lightweight device to operate it easily. This equipment allows you to move from one spot to another garden area quickly.

Since you are going to use power digging tools, vibrations may occur. Select sturdy handles that offer comfort.

It means that the fatigue can be reduced when the electric device vibrates during the digging process.

The last thing to remember is the types of motor or engine. Some kinds of diggers require gas filling or oil changing. However, you can utilize corded augers or cordless rotary tillers.

Things to Consider While Choosing Hand Diggers

Top 10 Best Post Hole Diggers for 2020


Remember some aspects to make your digging easier that include blades, handle length, material, grips, and weight.

Thus, choosing a comfortable tool depends on these criteria to create holes or do other gardening jobs with less sweat.

All spades and shovels usually come with steel. Choose durable tools with forged blades, the most expensive ones, that are made of a piece of heated iron sheet.

It turns into a required shape by hammering or pressing. Meanwhile, the cheap tools have machine-stamped cutting part design.

Whereas, garden scoops have aluminum. This blade is lighter than the steel ones. However, use the tool carefully since it tends to bending and denting.

The second aspect is the length. A comfortable handle size for gardeners is about 1.1 to 1.2 meters long.

Likewise, this elongated tool is suitable for plenty of digging projects. However, the short-handled design is about 0.5 to 0.6 meters to work in limited space. Thus, having both is necessary.

Then, the handles of a tool for digging will use three materials that include fiberglass, steel, and wood.

The wooden element that usually comes from Ash or Hickory offers a good-looking appearance and also an affordable price. However, it is heavy and easy to slivering or breaking due to hard usage.

The fiberglass is more expensive and lighter than wood, but its cost is as much as the iron sheet material. Meanwhile, the steel handles are heavy and sturdy.

Furthermore, gardeners usually hold the wooden handle of tool for digging directly. The best quality devices feature some D-shaped grips from rubbery foam or plastic to prevent hand pain. They protect and give comfort during the long duration of gardening projects.

The tool for digging generally weighs 454 grams to 4 kilograms. A heavy tool will be more durable, even though the real weight is depending on the strength of the gardeners. Working on a heavier device will make a great impact after several hours.

Maintenance of Gardening Tools

How to Care for Lawn and Garden Tools | DIY


Maintaining the tool for digging is very important so that it can last longer for later use. There are four things to do, and the first is keeping the garden equipment clean.

First, you must use a damp cloth to remove any smut and dust that make it stop working, especially for the electric devices.

A monthly deep cleaning by using essential oil is also necessary. After that, you should store the equipment in a clean area.

Stay away from debris, dirt, as well as humid condition. Place the devices in storage drawers and tool chests. Besides, a basement and garage are the best locations to keep them.

Next, if you want to use the tool for digging, make sure that an inspection has been done to know any damage.

For the electric corded diggers, pay attention to the power chords. When a broken part occurs, repair it as soon as possible to avoid injury.

The other thing to do to maintain your power tools is lubricating their moving sections for an excellent performance.

A clean digging device will operate smoothly. Also, it can avoid developing any rust. Execute the lubrication process by using a specific machine oil.

In conclusion, you should determine what kind of gardening task and the kind of soil to get the proper tool for digging. Heavy-duty devices are suitable for more complex projects, whereas the lighter ones are great for less dense ground to make the gardener’s job easier.

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