The Best Trenching Shovel: Top 5 Picks

Trenching shovels, otherwise referred to as cleanout, trench, or entrenching shovels, are designed to enable you to scoop or carry out loose soil and form ditches or trenches, hence their name.

Unlike your regular shovels, trenching shovels aren’t particularly built for cutting down deep into the soil. They instead serve as an additional tool for clearing loose soil. Because they’re not as well-known as other types of shovels, many people have some trouble when it comes to picking out the best one.

The 5 Best Trenching Shovels on the Market

If that sounds familiar, then this piece is designed for you. We’ll review some of the best trenching shovels available right now.

Without wasting much more of your time, let’s dive in.

1. iunio Survival Multi-tool Folding Shovel

Designed to be multi-functional, this tool can be used as a hoe, pickaxe, hook, shovel, and more. Unlike most other trenching shovels you’ve seen, this tool from iunio enables you to extend it from 7 to over 30 inches.

While this shovel has a ton of features, there are a couple that happen to stand out. For example, the tool has been built with some of the best materials available, and the handles are made from strong, wear-resistant, high-quality steel.

Its portability is another key feature to pay attention to. Aside from being foldable, the shovel is incredibly lightweight and can fit perfectly into your backpack. The shovel is incredibly versatile too, and is capable of functioning like almost any other shovel you own.

Unlike a regular shovel, this one is foldable and can be extended depending on the height you need. If you’re looking for the ideal gift for an outdoor enthusiast, then this might just be the best product for you.

Product Specifications 

  • Brand: iunio
  • Materials: High-carbon steel
  • Style: e-tool
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • Ideal for all of your trenching and outdoor needs
  • Super portable design
  • Comes with a tactical waist bag
  • Highly functional and versatile
  • An Amazon’s Choice product

Cons

Cons
  • May come with too many extra features for someone who just needs a trenching shovel
  • More expensive than other products

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2. Tabor Tools Folding Entrenching Shovel

There are tons of trenching shovels available for purchase on the market, but only a few of them have been designed to offer you a complete package like this product from Tabor Tools.

One thing that sets this tool apart is that it comes with serrated edges. The serrated side of the shovel helps you cut into small branches or roots. In addition to this unique feature, this is a super functional and smart tool that offers you more value for less money.

Unlike other products out there, this is a military-style shovel that offers you a 90-degree digging angle in addition to a straight angle. This means that you can use this tool in its folded position to easily remove debris, sand, and soil from the ground just by pulling back on the handle.

At first glance, you’ll notice that this tool has a rugged look that gives you confidence in its ability to dig a trench and to dig up your tire if you run into some muddy ground. Not surprisingly, this tool is designed with some of the best military-grade materials available on the market.

Despite its rugged look, the shovel is also very portable and comes with an extra storage pouch for carrying or for storing other essentials. It only weighs 1.6 pounds, so you won’t break your back carrying it around with you.

Finally, with Tabor Tools being one of the foremost shovel brands in the world, you’re guaranteed a perfect working tool that has been designed to give you tons of value.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Tabor Tools
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Style: Military-style
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • Portable, foldable design
  • Comes with serrated edges
  • Storage pouch included
  • Compact size
  • Made from durable, military-grade materials
  • Affordable price
  • An Amazon’s Choice product

Cons

Cons
  • May warp or bend if used on very tough ground
  • 19-inch length may be too small for some uses

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3. Truper Tru Pro Trenching Shovel

With over 40 years of experience in the work tool industry, Truper has cemented its place as one of the leading brands. While most brands claim to offer you fully functional and versatile tools, not all of them live up to that claim. Truper differs in that regard.

Like most of Truper’s work tools, the Tru Pro has been built to offer you an amazing tool for all of your trenching needs. Although similar to other products in terms of size and shape, there are a few features that set it apart.

One of these features is its design process. Made by experts from some of the best materials available, this shovel has a 48-inch, pro-grade, fiberglass handle.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Soft cushioning is attached to the handle for added comfort and additional support, ensuring that you can use the tool for hours without experiencing pain.

Unlike the other trenching shovels we’ve reviewed, the blade on this impressive Truper shovel is made from heavy-duty, 14-gauge steel capable of digging through almost anything.

Over the years, many people have sustained injuries when using trenching shovels, and reports have revealed that a poor grip is the most likely cause of these injuries. With this information at their disposal, the Truper brand has designed this shovel to guarantee you the perfect grip and balance.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Truper
  • Material: Fiberglass, alloy steel
  • Style: Military-style
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • Offers you a cushioned grip for control and balance
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Super portable
  • Made from quality, durable materials
  • Manufactured by one of the best brands in the industry
  • An Amazon’s Choice product

Cons

Cons
  • More expensive than other products
  • 48-inch length may be too long for some uses

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4. SOG Folding Entrenching Shovel

While many trenching shovels are foldable, this brand takes things up a notch by integrating a unique three-way folding design. Unlike your regular trenching shovel, this work tool by SOG can serve as a portable outdoor shovel, a hiking shovel, and an emergency shovel.

Although a multi-functional tool, one of the things you’ll appreciate most about this shovel is its lightweight design. It’s nowhere near as bulky as any of the other shovels you’ve probably used before. It weighs only 1.5 pounds, is compact, and can fit perfectly into your backpack as you set out for that camping trip.

Additionally, this product comes with its own carrying case, which makes it easier for you to carry or store some of your other camping or working essentials. One side of the shovel also comes with a serrated edge that allows you to cut down any branches that get in your way.

Durability and functionality are not mutually exclusive. The SOG brand reinforces this by ensuring that this work tool is just as durable as it is versatile. Only the best materials were used in its production. Like many durable trenching shovels, this one is made from high-quality carbon steel.

Aside from being a durable, portable, and multi-functional tool, this product has also been designed to appeal to the eyes. It’s an aesthetically appealing piece of equipment.

Designed by one of the best brands in the industry, you’re guaranteed a perfect work tool.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: SOG Specialty Knives and Tools
  • Material: High-carbon steel
  • Style: e-tool
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • Three-way folding capabilities
  • Lightweight, portable design
  • Comes with a serrated edge
  • A multipurpose tool
  • A #1 best seller

Cons

Cons
  • 18-inch length may be too small for some uses
  • May not lock into folding positions securely enough

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5. Nupla Ergo Power Trenching Shovel

With a 16-gauge, high-grade steel blade, this is arguably one of the best trenching tools anyone can get their hands on at the moment. The rounded blade adds to the overall strength and durability of this powerful work tool by Nupla.

For better grip and control, this piece of equipment has been designed with a solidly molded D-grip handle, which helps to give you total control when pushing, digging, or lifting. The narrowly-designed shovel blade also allows for precise digging and trenching.

The Nupla brand made this tool with durability in mind. Unlike many trenching shovels, this product is made from fiberglass and has a polystyrene core. A polypropylene protective sleeve contributes to the shovel’s strength and longevity.

Surprisingly, this work tool is also weatherproof and chemical-resistant, making it one of the best tools you can find today.

Although a powerful work tool, this product is on the expensive side for a non-foldable trenching shovel.

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Nupla
  • Material: Fiberglass and polystyrene core
  • Style: e-tool
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds

Pros

Pros
  • A heavy-duty work tool
  • Offers you a firm grip while digging, lifting, or pushing
  • Sharp, narrow blade for precise trenching
  • Weather and chemical-resistant

Cons

Cons
  • Relatively expensive for a non-folding shovel
  • Not a multi-purpose work tool

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Buying Guide for Trenching Shovels

Getting your hands on the best trenching shovel is not an easy task, especially with the influx of various brands in the industry. While we’ve reviewed some of the top options to choose from, there are a couple of features you should keep in mind when shopping for these shovels.

These features include:

Shovel Blades

All shovels have blades, typically between 8 to 10 inches in width and 10 to 12 inches in height. Some of the most durable shovels have forged steel blades. Forged blades simply start as a single piece of metal that is then hammered into the perfect shape.

Non-durable and cheap shovels are usually stamped blades. Unlike forged blades, stamped blades are stamped and pressed by a machine for shaping. The work put into the production of forged blades is exactly why they are more expensive and more durable.

If you’re looking for the best trenching shovel, getting one with a forged blade is your best bet. These shovels not only last longer, but are typically sharper than the others too.

Shovel Handles

Although overlooked by most buyers, handles are an important feature to look out for when shopping for a trenching shovel.

Here’s why.

Trenching shovels with short handle lengths don’t offer much leverage and tend to negatively affect your back as you dig with them. Shovels with comfortable handles and the perfect grip make it much less likely that you’ll sustain any injuries, even when you work for hours.

Generally, an ideal handle length for trenching shovels is 44 to 48 inches long. This will provide you with enough leverage, won’t hurt your back, and may potentially save you a trip to the hospital.

Shovel Weight

The weight of a trenching shovel is another key factor to take into consideration when shopping for one. Ideally, a shovel shouldn’t be too heavy to carry around, but it shouldn’t be too light and flimsy either.

The most durable trenching shovels will typically weigh about 3 to 8 pounds. However, bear in mind that the perfect trenching shovel for you will depend on your weight and height as well.

Conclusion

As we’ve said before, getting your hands on the best trenching shovel can prove to be a herculean task for many people. To help you out, we’ve reviewed some of the best options on the market today. Additionally, we’ve shared some key features to look out for before you make a purchasing decision.

Any of the five shovels we’ve reviewed would make a great choice, and we hope this review has made your trenching shovel search a little easier.

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