best post hole diggers

Best Post Hole Diggers – Ultimate Buying Guide And Review

We must admit that digging a post hole is a challenging and tedious process. It is very exhausting shuffling digging materials and handling heavy posts in your yard. The amount of work involved in digging post holes often surprises first-time fence builders.

Don’t worry; the solution is acquiring a post hole digger if you want to construct a fence on your property or even plant trees. The best post hole digger enables you to create the desired hole sizes to complete your outdoor gardening projects. Whether you select manual, automatic, or gas-powered, these digging tools allow you to dig deep into the soil. The diggers can save you both time and money.

best post hole diggers

What is a Post Hole Digger?

A post hole digger is used to dig deep narrow holes suitable for mounting posts into the ground, such as fences and fundamental signs. You can operate the tool either manually or automatically. It has a solid metal head, made up of 2 drilling blades for digging into the ground and removing dirt and drill holes you require for planting trees and mounting posts.

These devices are useful in digging holes, amending the hardened soil for planting trees. You can use them to dig irrigation trenches and other similar significant deep digging tasks.  You can also use a post hole digger to create sizable holes and single post holes.

There are two kinds of post hole diggers; one that scoops out a hole and bore out a hole. Choosing either of them is an excellent way for your digging project. A post hole digger is an essential tool for you to acquire if your garden soil is rocky and very solid.

One of the advantages of this powerful tool is that it makes work easier that might seem too tiring. This tool can also help you complete your garden projects quickly. If you are a first-time user, check out these insightful videos using post hole diggers.

Types of Post Hole Diggers

There are numerous devices used for digging holes you can choose from, such as heavy-duty excavators, standard shovels, and post-hole diggers. Let’s take a look at some common types of post-hole diggers for your soil projects.

Manual

Manual post hole digger is designed for medium and light digging tasks, but some perform effectively on tough and rocky soil. These types of diggers can drill holes of 5-feet deep and perform better in loose and soft ground. They are the most common options for digging holes for posts used for fencing and erecting signs.

The device is designed to dig into the ground and pull the two handles apart to break up the soil. Then close the handles together to collect the dirt. After removing the soil, you can erect your post into the hole. No need to worry about noise levels because it does not require gas or electricity to work.

Theoretically, this is the best choice that is easy to operate, but it requires a lot of effort and energy to dig deeper. If your garden soil is soft and loamy, a manual post hole digger is suitable for you. Nevertheless, if your garden is a tough and rock landscape, you might consider using a heavy-duty manual post hole digger.

Gas-powered 

This type of digger can be operated by only one person hence referred to as a one-man auger. It is a powerful machine made from robust, durable, and rust-free steel. Consider this digger to be a suitable choice for working in harsh outdoor conditions.

The tool has gasoline-powered engines erected on top like those found in lawnmowers. The machine turns the large auger to enable it to dig deep into the ground. As it bores down, the auger exhumes soil and rocks from the hole and loosens the rest of the soil, clearing the hole quite quickly.

A gas-powered model is ideal for digging rocky soil because it has enough power to move heavy rocks. The model is constructed of strong steel with variable digging blade width. So the more comprehensive the drilling blade, the wider the post hole.

Electric

Electric digger models are similar to gas-powered post hole diggers except for exhaust fumes. They have an electric motor used for powering the auger, and it is quieter, hence creating no exhaust fumes. These models are light, incredibly convenient, and they need less maintenance.

You have to be close to a sustainable power source or use a heavy-duty power cord such as Hiltex Electric Earth Auger. An electric model is ideal for digging rocky soil and ice due to unlimited power. There are also battery-powered electric models available for boring post holes. So consider using battery-powered digger models when digging post holes for mounting fences.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Post Hole Digger

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Post Hole Digger

There are a few factors you must think of and consider before purchasing a post hole digger. This section will highlight the areas and point out some relevant factors to keep in mind when purchasing the best post hole digger.

Engine or Motor

Soft and loamy soils are easier to dig than clay and rocky soils. So when using a gas-powered model, ensure it can handle the task. Most of the digging depends on a powerful engine or motor (powerhead), which powers the auger. The engine’s motors are expressed in cubic centimetres (cc), so look for a 45cc or larger model.

Electric motors always come with useful information regarding amps and wattages. Models with 1300 watts or more perform best and ensure that the motor has at least a 12-amp to prevent the post hole digger from overheating.

Auger

The auger is the spindle that digs into the soil, and it looks like drill blades. Augers often come in various sizes, so selecting your outdoor digging project’s proper size is essential. The auger should be made of robust steel.

Most electric and gas-powered models have interchangeable augers available in different sizes from 3 through 9-12 in diameter. And this also depends on the size of the hole you are digging. Therefore, choosing the best auger dramatically depends on your garden project.

Depth Capacity

One of the most significant factors to consider when digging a post hole is how deep it should be.  Tall fences create control in windy conditions; hence you can uproot shallow posts easily. Also, do not install fences above frost lines because they can be heaved up and out of the hole.

Most manual models have very long handles that can dig up to 4-feet down into the soil. The depth of 4-feet can bring you below the frost line in cold weather conditions. You can use a manual post hole digger to erect 4×4 fence posts.

Electric and gas-powered post hole diggers have extensions that can increase depth capacity past 4-feet. Burying the auger 5 feet deep into the soil can make it difficult to remove, so you need to clear the hole every 6-8 inches.

Weight

Weight is an essential factor when buying a post hole digger. You need a machine you can easily carry and operate. A device that enables you to remove it from the hole when loaded with soil. Manual post hole diggers weigh about 10 pounds; hence they are light. 

Electric models weigh about 20 pounds, so making them the most convenient. Gas-powered post hole diggers often weigh more than 42 pounds. The additional weight enables them to bore into the ground quickly but sometimes can be challenging to remove due to its heavyweight.

Handles

Posthole digger must have robust handles because you can hold onto the handles when controlling the digger. Handles are your user’s primary point of contact with the device, so the handles should be comfortable and offer the leverage required to dig the hole as deep as possible.

Manual diggers should be equipped with long handles to enable you to exert more energy into the hole for scooping soil and dirt. Long handles can allow you to dig deeper. Electric and gas-powered post hole diggers should be equipped with wider handles for great control. 

Consider handles fitted with anti-vibration padding to help reduce your arm’s vibration levels, enabling you to work for long hours.

5 Best Post Hole Diggers

Most post hole diggers are considered suitable for drilling holes for fences. You should specify the right size of the hole for your digger. We relied on certain selection criteria to help you make informed decisions on the type of post hole digger you want. All the models highlighted in this review attain the highest quality standards:

1. Southland (SEA438) One Man Earth Auger

This is a powerful, lightweight model that is easy to use as an auger. Therefore, consider Southland (SEA438) One Man Auger to handle your outdoor projects. This gas-powered model features a 44cc engine that produces up to 320RPMs running speed.

It is equipped with a 32-gallon fuel tank that can enable you to dig numerous posts between different fill-ups. It has a direct gear system made from a sturdy steel shaft for extended durability. The robust steel of 30-inches auger drill bits achieves a depth of 3 feet depending on the soil’s condition.

It is designed for one-man operation, and the throttle is appropriately located on the hands. The 26-inches large ergonomic handles provide outstanding control and balance when digging a hole. You can also detach the handles for easy storage.

Pros:

  • High-quality model
  • Great value for your money
  • Strong motor
  • Incredibly fast and highly efficient
  • Suitable for tough soil
  • It has a two-year warranty.
  • Designed to be used by one person.

Cons:

  • Unsuitable for dense rocky terrain.

2. AMES 2701600

Constructing post holes manually is not a fun thing, but sometimes it can be the only option available. Use AMES (2701600) Post Hole Digger for manual digging because it is fitted with hardwood handles. This manual model weighs over 6 pounds, ideal for digging holes for 4×4 fence posts.

It has a durable and robust steel point head with 6 ¼-inches for maximum soil penetration through tough earth soil. The extra-long 50-inches hardwood handles have comfortable cushion grips to prevent your hand from getting blisters and fatigue. The measurement hashes determine the depth of the hole without using a tape measure.

Pros:

  • Readily affordable
  • High-quality device
  • Suitable for medium-duty tasks
  • Provides maximum soil penetration in tough areas.
  • It has more than 12 years’ warranty and a 180-days return policy.
  • Hardwood handles are equipped with comfortable grips and an efficient measurement scale.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for hard and compact rocky soil.

3. XtremepowerUS Electric

This is a durable, powerful, and comfortable post hole digger that can help you dig holes in tough soils. Its auger drill bit is made of shiny and robust manganese steel that withstands extrusion, severe impact, and wear and tear. The black paint sprayed on it enables it to resist corrosion and rust, offering a high-performance level.

It has 1200-watts with a 10 Amp motor to produce 1.6 horsepower and about 90 pounds of spin. It is equipped with a 4-inch auger measuring 30 inches long and can be extended with Xtremepower US’s extension kit. It is efficient for digging holes between 3-4 feet, depending on the soil condition.

Digging a hole can be time-consuming and can cause blisters on your hand. This cannot happen with XtremepowerUS Electric Post Hole Digger. It features an ergonomic design with vibration-proof handle grips and two anti-skid, providing the required comfort, maximum control, and stability while working.

The powerhead has a safety lock to prevent accidental triggering. It is lightweight and easy to start hence saving on back pain. It comes with a hex spanner to easily change the drill bits.

Pros:

  • Affordable device
  • High-quality model
  • Suitable for erecting fence posts, planting trees, and other garden applications.
  • Ability to withstand impact and extrusion.
  • Suitable for one-man operation and comes with a hex spanner.

Cons:

  • Can be stuck in a rocky ground
  • It wobbles at a very high speed.

4. Hiltex (10525) Electric Earth Auger

Hiltex Electric Earth Auger delivers maximum drilling power, so it is suitable for all kinds of outdoor digging applications. It is ideal for mounting fence posts, planting trees, and maintaining your lawn. This digger is also ideal for both advanced and intermediate users, and it might be too powerful for first-time users.

It has a speed of 1200-watts with 12 Amp and 1.6 horsepower that churns out about 90-feet torque. Its sturdy 4×30-inches steel auger drill bit can dig up to approximately 30-inches in dense soils.

The safety lock function on the powerhead prevents any accidental triggers for additional security. The anti-vibration grip handle offers sufficient leverage, maximum stability and reduces fatigue. The model has a 2-years warranty.

Pros:

  • Perfectly designed for one-man operation.
  • Has two years’ warranty
  • Suitable for gravel and dense soil.
  • Great value for your money
  • High-quality model

Cons:

  • Non-reversible drill bit
  • Consumes a lot of power
  • Difficult to hold when drilling in hard places.

5. Seymour Structron Hercules

Seymour Structron Hercules Post Hole Digger is powerful and is built for maximum strength and long-term durability. This tool is an ideal choice for all kinds of industrial, commercial, and outdoor applications.

It has a 48-inch fiberglass handle with a core insert, which reinforces the connection to the head. The connection is the perfect stress point during digging and cushioned vinyl grip offering sufficient comfort and grip.

It has a wide 6.25-inches point spread for digging a sizable hole. This digger is easy to manage, and you can maneuver in tough soil conditions, but it requires more effort and maximum attention to dig an accurate hole.

Pros:

  • Gives a good value for your money
  • Strong and durable
  • Cushioned grip for excellent comfort and maximum grip
  • The fiberglass handle has a fiberglass core insert for additional strength.

Cons

  • It is heavy
  • It does not remove a lot of dirt.

Bottom Line

Now that we have taken you through various options and the factors you should consider when buying your suitable model, what is the best option for you? Is it manual, electric, or gas-powered? It is advisable to acquire one of each option to be on the safe side. So what are your best post hole diggers? Talk to us, and will be of help to give you a more in-depth review of your ideal selection.

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