no idea about HOW TO DIG A TRENCH? 7 Amazing tools you can use for digging

how to dig a trench

Gardening is such a fun hobby that requires less time and connects you with nature. Various activities come under the gardening process like seed planting, trimming plants, digging a trench, etc. Are you wondering how to dig a trench? No need to wonder, as this article will help you understand this in a very easy way. Dig a trench to lay an electrical wire or a pipe to prevent floodwater from entering your house. 

What is a trench? A trench is a narrow and long ditch made in-ground and deep as you want. Trenches range from small size for seeds planting to large size for heavy planting. Size doesn’t matter; through trenches, you can save time, back pain, and effort by doing it efficiently. But, the main question arises – how to dig a trench for a water line

Trenching is a famous digging form that proves to be very beneficial. Various methods of trenching can be useful for various DIY activities, such as the laying of electric cable and the cable will be underground protected. A long-term method to hide pipes and cables, the digging process is done with the help of trench diggers. Let’s learn the famous process – how to dig a trench.  

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How to dig a trench

Trenching is a popular method along with non-destructive digging practices that helps in repairing and exposing underground facilities. Provides permanent installation of pipes, cables, etc. There are three different ways of digging a trench which makes the task easy. In all the ways, you will get a proper understanding of how to dig a trench. Let’s learn the ways one by one. 

By hand

Want to know how to dig a trench with the help of hands? If yes, then head towards the points that make the understanding easy. 

  1. Firstly, call to utility location service that helps in locating any buried pipes, cables, and other things. It is essential to check this before digging, as this activity helps in avoiding any damage. 
  2. Know the trench’s purpose and dimensions, as it will save your effort and time. It also helps in keeping the trench in shape just as you want. You can mark length, width, and route. 
  3. Then, to install pipes and cables, dig a 2.5 ft deep trench to protect them from frost. For the sprinkler system, dig a trench 9 to 12 inches deep. 
  4. After deciding this, you need to buy supplies. You need sharp and clean shovels, a shear, etc. During digging, wear boots and gloves to protect yourself. 
  5. The next step is to loosen the dirt with the help of shovels on both sides. The dirt present in the middle can be separated easily with this activity, then cut on both sides of the hole, break the topsoil, and work on both sides until enough soil is loosened. 
  6. After accumulating enough loose soil, remove this out from the middle of the trench through a shovel. 
  7. Continue the process of clearing and loosening of soil until the trench attains desired shape. 
  8. Then place the soil you pulled out from the trench; in this way, the trench’s other side becomes easily accessible. 

Also read: 10 Best Trench Digging Tools For 2020- Buying Guidance And Reviews

By a machine

Do you want to know how to dig a trench with a machine? If you follow the given instructions, then the process becomes easy. 

  1. A skilled operator should dig the trench by using a machine. If used by an unskilled person, it could be dangerous. 
  2. Then, the next step is to select the machine according to trench size and your budget. Again, trench depth helps in choosing the best machine for this job.
  3. Then decide on renting or purchasing the machine. But, to take the machine on rent is the best option. 
  4. Then abide with safety precautions, remember stability, soil’s consistency, and much more things. During operating trencher, make sure to wear safety glasses. 
  5. Know properly to operate the machine, get familiar with the manual before using it. 
  6. Make sure not to use the machine when people and pets are near you. Also, don’t leave the machine in on condition; if done this, it can create damage. 
  7. As you are aware of the functions of the trencher, turn the ignition on, pull the choke out, and place the digging chain where you desire to make a trench. 
  8. Then, switch on the machine and walk backwards slowly on the trench path. Remember not to get hurt by the machine. 

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Digging a trench in the garden

Digging a trench in the garden can be very useful for you. It requires labor and some hard work, and after that, a fruitful trench sprouts up. To know this, it is important to know how to dig a trench for drainage in the garden. Let’s learn about this. 

Inspect the area

Usually, the garden trenches are small in size, which helps in growing your flower beds. However, if your trench is shallow or an inch deep, the trench can give various surprises. So, it is necessary to check the digging place, if it is free from pipes, cables, roots, etc. 

Clearing of dirt and trimming of grass as well as weeds

A bunch of weeds can put a halt to the easy and quick process of gardening. On the other hand, trimming unwanted grass makes the area more attractive, and the trench area becomes clean. 

Make a layout of the trench

Most of the beginners don’t know how to dig a trench. So! for that, first make a mark for your trench just as you do for other projects, with the help of high-quality marking paint so that it is properly visible. By doing this activity, you can avoid serious mistakes and can avoid wasting effort. 

Make the soil loose from one side

Step on your spade and dive it through the soil at a 45° angle; keep the spade at 6 inches into the soil. The spade should be at an angle to make walls angled. 

Using of spade on a different side

While you don’t know how to dig a trench? Just use the same angle you did for the other side to make the trench walls angled. Move your spade back and forth for loosening soil, and remove all debris. 

Maintaining of trench walls

With the help of a trowel, pack soil on the trench walls to avoid collapse. Trim grass by using shears so that the boundary of trenches can become clean. Do plastic edging to minimize maintenance effort. 

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Equipment used for digging a trench

Trenching is a process that requires some special tools and machines. Various tools are available for digging a trench and are designed for better efficiency. These tools help in removing the bare soil that is needed to make a trench. You have a wide range of trenching tools and machines that help make trenches with different costs, labor, and efficiency. Let’s discuss the tools and machines to know how to dig a trench. 

Machines are used, such as excavators, tractors, skid steer loaders, and removal trucks. In addition, various essential tools are required during the digging process like gloves, wheelbarrow, sunscreen, shovel, measuring tape, and a suitable plant. Let’s know about some useful tools required in trench digging

1.Chain trencher

A chain trencher is a tool that helps in driving the chain around the blade for excavating soil. The tool is costly and best used in big irrigation projects that consist of hard soil. It helps in reducing physical as well as labor costs. 

2.Disc trencher

You can use small machines if you don’t have any idea about how to dig a trench? These trenchers are small and motor-driven machines used for digging small size trenches. Provides quick work, easily transportable machines. Make sure to do quick replacing according to the soil, as the blades can get damaged. 


Excavator, a popular and track-driven machine and used in big projects for making trenches with multiple pipes. Helps in scooping up soil and deposits the soil near the trench. Also, the long broom can dig holes quickly. 

4.Skid steer machines

Usually, the machine helps in leveling earthworks. The weight of the machine makes the stuffed trenches compact and work quickly. Operators should be efficient in work as lazy operators can destroy irrigation systems. 

5.Trenching shovel

The tool consists of a square mouth so that the trench bed can become flat for pipes. The tool’s handle needs to belong and light so that digging can become easy with less back strain. Perfect for digging small size trenches. 


Spad is a very traditional type of tool of all time, you can easily handle a spade even if you have 0 experience about how to dig a trench? A most popular and valuable tool that helps in cutting trenches. It consists of a sharp edge that penetrates smoothly into the topsoil and is available wide but not perfect for lifting soil. 


Most suitable tool for digging trenches and present in two types – in pointed and in the wide mouth. Quickly available and useful in the lifting of sand or soil. 

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How to dig a trench for drainage

When you dont know how to dig a trench? It is essential to dig a trench in a way that does not cause any damage to your lawn or your neighbor’s lawn due to drainage. A garden flooded with water is the havoc that submerges plant roots, causes roots, and destroys your home. How is this flooding done? Due to improper drainage. In case of drying a flooded lawn, it is essential to dig a trench and then install a drain pipe. Here are the steps that help in knowing how to dig a trench. 

● Firstly, plan the way of water down away from flooded areas. Know specific points like where the water is collecting, where the water is coming, and much more. 

● Then, think about the slope for the trench. If you want water to drain correctly, your slope of the trench should be downward. The slope should be proper so that water can drain properly. 

● Then, with the help of a tool, dig the trench, and if the size should be large enough, that can contain a draining pipe. 

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Q1. What is meant by trench tool? 

It is a type of digging tool mainly used by military people for performing various military activities. This tool is handy in the case of the field. Also known as an entrenching tool, e-tool, and much more.  

Q2. What is the name of the digging tool? 

A shovel is the most popular tool that is used for digging a trench. A hand-based tool that includes a broad blade connected with a medium-length handle. Blades of shovels are made of steel or plastic, and the tool is strong enough. 

Q3. Which is the important tool for digging a trench? 

A shovel is the best tool for digging trenches, as the tool makes the process simple and easy. Various types of shovels are available in the market for digging. In addition, the tool helps in the clean scooping of soil. 

Q4. At what time is a trench dug? 

To dig a trench takes time; it almost takes 12 hours to dig a 100 linear feet trench. So first, you need to measure the number of linear feet you want to dig and then multiply with 0.12 to calculate the labor period, this is how to dig a trench in the garden.

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