How to Build a Homemade Trench Digger

A trencher is a walk-behind machine designed to excavate a small trench, needed to bury cable or other wire.
If you do not have access to a trencher, you can build your own by using an old edger. To do this, all you need is a trench blade to replace the existing blade on the edger. The trench blade will convert your edger into a mini-trencher.

Step 1

Tilt the edger on its side to access the cutting blade. Wedge a scrap piece of wood between the body of the edger and the blade.

Step 2

Loosen the nut used to secure the blade, by turning it counterclockwise with the wrench. Take off the nut and set it aside.

Step 3

Place the new blade onto the spindle. Verify that the blade is facing the proper direction. The blade will not work correctly, if it is installed backward.

Step 4

Lower the edger so you can check the position of the blade. The carbide teeth of the blade should be the only part that touches the ground. Tighten the nut to secure the blade onto the spindle.

Step 5

Set the depth of the edger blade to its lowest setting. Run the edger over the area where you want to dig the trench.

Things You Will Need

  • Scrap piece of wood
  • Wrench
  • Trench blade


  • If the ground is unusually hard, you may need to dampen it with water from a garden hose.
  • More than one pass may be needed, if the ground is hard.


  • Wear work gloves when changing the blade on your edger, as the new blade will be sharp.

About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.