Choose the right digging tool

The right tool will make any job easier, especially when it comes to digging. And when it comes to digging, there's no shortage of tools to choose from – but which tool is right for which job?

Square Shovel

With its sharp flat tips, square shovels are designed for digging in hard-packed soils. They’re also ideal for scooping and moving soil, gravel, mulch, sand or rock.

Trench Shovel

Trench shovels are good for digging and clearing trenches. Their sharp, pointed tip and squared sides produce clean trench walls. They’re also good for laying irrigation pipes or removing deep-rooted plants.

Plumber’s Shovel

With its narrow blade, the plumber’s shovel is designed for digging drains, holes, laying pipe and shifting and spreading soil. It has an extra-long handle for greater leverage.

Post Hole Pincer

Post hole pincers are two shovels connected by a hinge. They're used to break through loose soil and dig holes to sink fence posts or patio supports and to plant bulbs.


Spades generally have a shorter handle than a shovel. They are used more as a cutting implement to make holes in the ground for planting. They should always be kept sharp with something like a bench grinder.

Garden Fork

Garden forks are used for breaking up, lifting and turning over soil. They’re ideal for working organic matter and fertiliser into the soil.


Mattocks are a versatile hand tool that can be used for digging and chopping. They have a long handle, and a head with an axe blade and a cutter for digging up and cutting tree roots.


Picks can be used to dig trenches, excavate and break up soil. Its pointed edge breaks rocky or hard surfaces, while the chiselled end can cut through roots.


Hoes are used for cultivating soil, removing young weeds and breaking up clumps of soil. They can also be used to pile soil around the base of a plant, to create furrows and dig shallow trenches for seeds and bulbs.


With their wide and sharp blade, crowbars are great for digging in soft or hard soil. They can also be used to break up rocks and concrete or as a lever to move heavy objects.


An auger is a drilling device or drill bit that removes the material out of the hole being drilled. Augers are ideal for digging post holes, hanging gates and planting trees and shrubs.

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions which came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings team member.

Top of the content