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With a hole digger, holes can be dug cleanly and accurately. Compared to digging holes with a spade, the use of a hole digger is much less complicated and less strenuous.

It is an essential tool for anyone who wants to work something in the ground. The hole digger can be used anywhere where soil needs to be excavated.

Let us help you find the earth drill that is most suitable for you.

How to choose a post hole digger

An earth auger is a tool that digs straight, round holes in the earth. Round holes can be drilled with the earth drill: With force, the earth drill is turned into the earth until it is completely stuck in the soil, then it is lifted out again. The uses of an earth auger are many and varied: from small plant holes to setting fence posts to drilling wells, it can be used anywhere earth needs to be excavated.

Digging holes with an auger is much faster and cleaner than with a spade and shovel. The handling of an earth drill is relatively uncomplicated and thus this tool is suitable not only for professionals but also for laymen.

There are also hydraulic drills with several meters in length and large diameter. These are used mainly in agriculture and construction to dig huge holes in the ground. In this article, however, we will confine ourselves to the hand-held augers.

For which substrate is an earth drill suitable?

Most augers are suitable for soft soil, preferably on level ground. The soil should not be too compacted but of loose texture. Also, many roots, stones, or other solid bodies can be an obstacle for the auger. Loam or clay soils also prove unsuitable.

What else to look for before drilling:

  • Weather: Too much rain will muddy the subsoil, so caution is advised. If the thermometer drops below zero, ground frost makes it impossible to drill a hole because the ground becomes too hard.
  • Hard surface: conventional augers are not suitable for hard surfaces either. On sealed surfaces, such as asphalt or flagstone, the auger cannot be used easily.

Loose soil is best suited.

Battery Earth Drill

For smaller gardening jobs, a small cordless earth drill is a helpful assistant. Here, you can simply use an ordinary drill with a soil auger attachment.

There are also cordless augers that can drill holes up to 150 mm in diameter. However, it should be noted that these devices can be more expensive than a gasoline-powered earth drill of comparable quality because of the battery.

Advantages Disadvantages
Wireless No immediate start-up must be charged beforehand
Location independent Dependent on battery life
Can also drill large holes depending on the device More expensive in comparison
The motor does (almost) all the work

Motor earth drill

The earth drill with a gasoline engine is your friend and helper when drilling larger holes, for example, for a foundation. They are usually used for holes from 100 mm to 300 mm in diameter.

For holes 100 mm in diameter, a one-man drill is sufficient. For larger holes, a two-man drill is recommended, because the weight becomes heavier, and you can not hold the drill alone. So, despite the motor, the work is also sweaty.

Advantages Disadvantages
Large holes (100x300mm) Cumbersome commissioning
The motor does (almost) all the work Maintenance
Wireless Relatively expensive
Loud

Post Hole Digger - The Best Choice

Southland Post Hole Digger

 4,9 Rating

Southland One Man Earth Auger

Features:

  • Manual recoil easy start fuel delivery system.
  • 8” Auger Bit.
  • Dimensions: 26 x 11 x 48 inches.
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The model 43 cc 8 in. Earth Auger Power head features a powerful 2-cycle engine with a bit speed up to 316 RPM for quick, efficient drilling. This auger provides 1.3-feet.-lb. of torque and sports a translucent fuel tank to let you easily keep an eye on fuel levels.

Southland Post Hole Digger – Video

Buyer’s guide for the post hole digger

This review and guide provide information on the best post hole digger you can find.

There are quite a few manufacturers of a post hole digger on the market, and the prices vary greatly. From a pure price point of view, the type of post hole digger can be priced from $200 to $435.

The best post hole digger for the money

Best Post Hole Digger

All our reviews are based exclusively on expert judgments or practical experience with most of the post hole digger we have tested. We strive to make our guide as independent and as detailed as possible.

Post hole diggers in comparison

Landworks Post Hole Digging

Landworks Post Hole Digging
  • No smog and are quieter.
  • Is equipped with an overload protector.
  • Whole kit weighing only 22 Lbs.

 4,8 Rating

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Eco-friendly and efficient design

This Landworks All-Electric 48V Auger Power Head comes w/ Steel 6″ x 30″ Earth Auger, Lithium-Ion Battery & Charger for planting bedding plants, bulbs, seedlings or fertilizing shrubs & trees, water aeration, weed, root removal & gopher control. Unlike gasoline augers powerheads, our battery-powered augers produce no smog, are quieter & Light Weight: at only 22+ lbs. Designed with wide-spaced ergonomic silicone grip handles for improved balance, an overload protector & Quick Safety Release for fast electronic stops during operation.

PROYAMA Gas Post Hole Digger

PROYAMA Gas Post Hole Digger
  • Powerful Engine 2.4HP 1300W.
  • Vibration reduction handle.
  • It will discharge less fuel gas in use.

 4,9 Rating

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Won’t cause pollution or do hard to human body

EPA certificated engine will discharge less fuel gas in use, and won’t cause pollution or do hard to human body. Vibration reduction handle, free ear defenders, gloves, glasses, can all protect and help you. 2 Cycle Oil /Gas mixing ratio: 1 : 25.

SuperHandy Post Hole Digger

SuperHandy Post Hole Digger
  • One 2 Amp Hour Lithium-Ion Battery & Charger are included.
  • No smog.
  • Work quieter.

 4,8 Rating

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Eco-friendly & safe

Our Power Head is designed with a 3-Planetary Gear Mechanism for higher transmission efficiency. A Brushless Motor makes the digging process more smooth & efficient. Item only weighs 22 Lbs. Including the 2Ah Battery, Powerhead & 6′ x 30″ Earth Auger Bit. All augers are produced with the universal Cap Screw Bolt thread design. LED Light for nighttime use & universal auger connection with a threaded bolt design for a strong connection.

Buying criteria of post hole digger

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the variety of earth drills.

The criteria by which you can compare the earth drills are:

  • Drive type
  • Drill diameter/length
  • Material
  • Applicability

In the following paragraphs, we explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Drive type

Should the drill be powered by a motor, electric or hand? The hand-held earth drill comes in at the lowest price but is the most strenuous. However, it is well suited for smaller holes in loose soil where a motor-driven earth drill would be almost “overkill.”

Electric earth augers and gasoline-powered ones are in about the same price range. The advantage of the motorized earth drill is that it can be used to drill anywhere as long as there is gasoline in the tank. With the electric earth drill, on the other hand, you are tied to the length of the cable. For deeper holes with larger diameters (from 100mm), a hand auger quickly reaches its limits. For this purpose, machine drills are clearly suitable.

Drill diameter/length

When buying an earth drill, not only the drive of the device plays a role, of course, but also the drill itself. Most earth drills come with different drill heads that vary in diameter and length. So there is something for every need. However, the drill attachments can also be purchased separately at a later date.

The diameters of the drill heads can be selected individually.

Material

Since a soil auger is not an everyday tool, and you will also invest some money when buying it, you will naturally want to purchase a good quality device. When comparing, you should make sure that the auger is made of materials that are durable.

When buying, you should make sure that the auger is made of a powder-coated material. Stainless steel, for example, is a good choice. After all, the auger should be sturdy and robust and not exactly break when it hits a rock. It should also be able to drill through loose roots.

Applicability

To get a nice hole, not only the potency of the earth drill plays a role, but it depends solely on the subsoil. As explained in the section “For what kind of ground is an auger suitable?”, the condition of the soil has a great influence on a successfully drilled hole.

Loose, preferably sandy soil is best suited. Small stones are usually no obstacle. However, as soon as the soil is riddled with roots and large stones or even rocks are in the way, nothing can be done even with a powerful power auger; it gets stuck.

How to choose an earth drill?

The earth drill is a massive metal tool designed to cut holes and holes. In the classic version, it is a round metal rod with blades on the end and a cross-shaped handle on top. The device works on the principle of a screwdriver.

It screws into the ground, slicing through the dense mass with each turn. As the tool deepens, a hole is formed with a circular cross-section and flat walls. The drill is periodically removed from the hole as the soil remains cut on its blades, which is cleaned and the tool is dipped again for further deepening.

Where the earth drill is used

At first glance, it is a very simple device, but despite this, it has found its application for many purposes:

  • Installing piles for foundations.
  • Preparing holes for planting plants.
  • Mounting poles for fences.
  • Creating drainage holes in the soil.

Taking deep soil samples for lab work.
Although it is called an earth drill, in fact, its scope of application is wider. It can work with any non-hard rocks. It can be used to create a hole with a regular round cross-section in clay. Any kind of garden auger can cut a hole in the ice, although with different efficiency due to the higher density of this surface.

Types of augers

The earth auger can have different designs, but still, the main criterion for dividing the tool into varieties is the type of its drive. According to this direction, augers come in:

Hand-operated drills

The manual earth drill is the most common and affordable design. This tool has a handle. Human muscle power is used to turn it. The effectiveness of the device depends only on the physical training of the one who uses it. The advantages of the tool include:

  • Low cost
  • Lightness
  • Maneuverability when carrying
  • Ability to reach hard-to-reach places

However, it is worth noting that the manual earth drill is characterized by a low speed of work. Its main disadvantage is the rapid depletion of physical strength of the one who uses it. Working with such a tool is really very hard and comparable to digging trenches. If there are obstacles in the path of the hand drill, such as rocks or tree roots, the tool stops deepening. As a result, it is necessary to remove it, and manually try to remove the interfering object from the path of the blades.

As the blade deepens into the ground, a large amount of cut earth accumulates on top of it. As a result, a powerful pressure is created, so it becomes almost impossible to scroll the handle further. As a result, it becomes necessary to clean the hole, so the drill needs to be removed. It is often difficult to pull it out, so it is necessary to turn the handle in the opposite direction, counterclockwise, so that the blade is lifted and freed from some of the soil. The drill is then twisted again to clean up the rest of the ground.

Mechanized drill

Mechanized drills are much more advanced. They are equipped with an internal combustion engine, which itself provides the rotation of the rod with the blades. There are also electric varieties of this tool. As for the equipment on the internal combustion engine, it should be noted that in most cases it is equipped with a two-stroke motor. In this regard, to fill it, you need to mix gasoline with oil in a certain proportion, which is recommended by the manufacturer of the tool.

The unconditional advantages of such a device can include:

  • High speed of work.
  • Reduced load on the operator.
  • Effective cutting of tree roots.
  • Possibility of extending the rod for deep drilling.
  • Detachable nozzles for different types of soil.

The power drill deepens into the soil in one pass. There is no need to pull it out to the surface every few revolutions to clean the blade from loose soil. The hole is cut very quickly, and for further cleaning of the cut soil, you only need to lift the auger, which will cause the earth to rise quickly over the blades and scatter it around the hole.

This is ensured due to the special design of the working rod. If at manual devices blades are only at the tip of the rod, then at motorized drills they go all around, as in a meat grinder, so the cut earth rises high to the surface. Motorized units create deeper holes, because they use extending rods if it is provided for the selected model, and the power of the engine allows them to do so. The best-motorized drills can go deep into the soil up to 3 m.

The disadvantages of such devices can include a large weight. Often when working with very hard soil, it is almost impossible to hold a power drill in the hands, especially if the blade encounters a dense root at depth. All the disadvantages of these devices are not in any comparison with the difficulties faced by the worker when using a manual modification, so it is not necessary to focus on the weaknesses of power drills.

Mounted auger

A mounted earth drill is often a cheaper design compared to a power drill. It is a hybrid model that is something in between a device with a motor and a hand-held design. Such a device is connected to the PTO on various machineries, such as tractors or power tillers. The clear advantages of mounted drills include:

  • High power.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Good penetration rate.

Technique, to which the attached equipment is connected, has more powerful motors than you can equip a power drill. In this regard, the efficiency of these two varieties of equipment is not comparable. However, it is necessary to note the significant disadvantages of attachments. First of all, for their work, it is necessary to have at their disposal a tractor or power tiller. Also, a significant disadvantage of this design is low maneuverability. If you need to make a hole in a hard-to-reach place, where such equipment will not go, you will have to work with other diggers.

Selection criteria

Choosing an earth drill should be guided by the following criteria:

  • Depth of drilling.
  • The diameter of the resulting hole.
  • Type of blade.
  • Weight of the tool.
  • Handle comfort for (hand-held drills).Engine power (for power drills).

As for the depth of drilling, the greater it is, the better. Even if you need to always drill only a hole of 1 m, it does not mean that after a few years you will not need a deep hole. The availability of a drill with rods to increase the length will allow you to use it for any purpose within its diameter.

Also, an important selection criterion is the diameter of the resulting hole. For domestic applications, it is enough that this figure was 20-30 mm. It should be taken into account that the smaller the diameter, the easier and faster the work is done, which is especially important for hand-held tools. A thin drill is always much easier to work with than a thick one. Having several augers at your disposal, you should first prepare a hole with the thinnest one, and if necessary expand it with a wider tool.

The weight of the drill is of great importance since hand-held and power drills need to be carried on hands. At the same time, too light a tool should be avoided, as it indicates the use of thin-walled steel in its manufacture, which deforms under load. A bent blade or rod is a reason to reject an earth drill.

For hand drills, an important selection criterion is the comfort of the handles. If their tube is very thin, then as you work it will press heavily on the palm up to the appearance of painful sensations. Thicker tubes have a larger contact area with your hands, so the pressure is distributed evenly. It is better to have smooth grips, as all kinds of rubber pads with embossed surfaces press strongly on the skin later on.

For power drills, one of the most important selection criteria is engine power. The higher it is, the more productive and reliable the tool is. However, if you only need to prepare holes with a depth of 1 m, you should not take too powerful equipment, because it has a large weight and a set of unnecessary bars for extending the working part.

Alternative installations

The earth drill can have not only an auger design but also work on other principles. Quite an effective alternative to it is a percussion-rope rig. It is used in those cases where it is necessary to prepare a deep hole. With its help, it is even possible to make a well of several tens of meters for water extraction. Such installation is characterized by a large size, so it is not reasonable to assemble it only to prepare holes for the installation of fence posts.

The installation consists of a high tripod, on top of which a pulley is fixed. On it on a rope suspended a heavy metal tube, the diameter of which corresponds to the thickness of the future hole. The winch mechanism lifts the tube to the top of the tripod and then sharply releases it. The shock rod falls to the ground under the force of gravity, as a result of which it forms a small hole. The winch then raises the pipe to the height again and the action repeats.

Each owner of a household plot had to carry out excavation work. And everyone knows that this is a hard job, which takes a lot of time. To simplify the task, the manual earth drill was invented.

Post hole digger test

Post Hole Digger Price:

Under $300

  • Southland Post Hole Digger

Under $400

  • PROYAMA Gas Post Hole Digger
  • Landworks Post Hole Digging

Under $500

  • SuperHandy Post Hole Digger

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