You probably think you don’t need post hole diggers for your garden works.
For instance, if you want to install a deck, only to realize that you need to dig out holes that are 6 inches wide and 25 inches deep. How do you go about that?
In any situation where you need to dig out a hole, particularly when you should follow specific measurements, a good post-hole digger is almost irreplaceable.
What Is A Post-Hole Digger?
Post-hole diggers are used to dig out holes for posts. But, with their robust construction, these devices work for much more than a post. They come in handy for digging out dirt, cutting larger holes, and starting trenches for irrigation.
Why Would You Need A Post-Hole Digger?
You could always use your shovel to dig out a hole. But, deciding whether to use a post-hole digger or a shovel largely depends on the size and kind of hole you want to make. A regular shovel will cut out a hole that is much larger and less defined than a post-hole digger. And you may not like that.
Besides, if your soil is very rocky and tough to handle, you may have no choice but to use a post-hole digger.
Types Of Post-Hole Diggers
Post-hole diggers come in three different options from which you can choose what to use.
- Manual post-hole diggers
Manual post-hole diggers are a set of two curved blades, each connected to two long handles as two shovels joined together. Using manual post-hole diggers requires you to dig them into the ground while the curved edges cut through the soil. Then, you will pull out the handle in such a way that you bite out the soil, leaving a hole behind. Ensure to buy a quality set of manual post-hole diggers with sturdy handles and sharp blades for cutting through tough soils.
- Gas post-hole diggers
Gas post-hole diggers are similar to drills and run on gas, so you use less workforce to operate it. These devices are most suitable for large digging projects that may require a lot of physical effort. Gas models are usually made of steel and come in different blade widths. And the width of the blades determines the width of the holes you dig.
- Electric post-hole diggers
Electric post-hole diggers are almost like gas models, only that they do not emit fumes of any kind. Electric devices run much silently than their gas counterparts, although they both weigh similarly. If you have a constant electricity supply, it’s best to use an electric post-hole digger for your large projects.
How To Use A Post-Hole Digger
Below are the steps to using post-hole diggers.
- Manual post-hole digger
Manual Post-hole diggers might seem challenging to use at first, but you will get the hang of it when you understand how they work.
These diggers are similar to pliers. Pulling the handles apart will make the blades clamp together while pushing the handle inwards will release the blades’ grip.
Post-hole diggers usually have rounded blades, so you are expected to lift the soil as you dig.
- Stick the ends of your digger into the soil horizontally. You could use your feet to drive it in further.
- Hold the handles separately and pull them apart from each other until the blades at the end clamp up. You should have enough soil inside your digger.
- Pull out the digger without releasing the blades and turn it elsewhere to remove the soil by pushing the handles towards each other.
- Repeat this process until you’ve gotten your desired depth
- Powered post-hole (gas and electric) diggers
Powered post-hole diggers are useful for digging deeper post-holes with better accuracy. These machines differ by voltage and speed and can drill as deep as 32 inches down a hole.
Like this one on Amazon, a powered post-hole digger requires less manpower, but you need to be careful while using this machine. A powered post-hole digger is thrice as fast as a manual one.
Things to note when using electric or gas powered post-hole digger:
- Take precautions not to wear loose clothing that could get caught up in the drill’s rolling blades.
- Also, move away about 5 inches or more from the device while in use and make sure to hold it firmly to the ground you’re drilling. Most diggers tend to move away from the drill spot when enough pressure is not applied to them, leading to accidents.
- Place the digger over the exact spot that you want to dig out. If you want a neat hole, ensure that it is at precisely 90 degrees to the ground. Bending the machine over the ground could cause unevenness or make the topsoil break into the hole when it’s drilled.
- Power the machine on and work it over the spot. As it drills, it may move slightly in circular motions that will cause it to deviate. Hold onto the machine firmly and try to keep it in place. If it moves out of place, stop it, place it on the original spot, and power it again.
- Once the machine starts to heat up or make noises, it means it’s time to take it off. Put off the machine and keep it close by while you scoop out the dirt from the hole. Power on the engine again and continue drilling till the machine needs a break. Repeat this process severally until you’ve gone deeper.
- As you continue, make sure to take out all the soil that has been dug out before using the machine on it again. If the ground has a lot of rocks, you may need to frequently take the device out, particularly if it doesn’t run on a powerful engine.
- Stop drilling when you reach your desired depth.
Overall, powered diggers are much faster and accurate than manual post-hole diggers. However, they require more precaution and may drift off if you are not careful enough.
Using a post-hole driver is an effective and smart way to install your posts without stress.