The best post hole diggers can be used to dig holes for your garden, a mailbox, or fence post. Each model is designed to make the entire process less excruciating and the job much faster. These tools come in two-man or one-man styles and the bits can be changed out for different tasks. But finding the right model for work or home use can be challenging since there are many different types and styles to choose from. Because of this, I decided to create a buyer’s guide that includes all the important features to look for based on application, budget, and user needs. I’ve reviewed several best-selling diggers, narrowing it down to four of the most powerful and efficient models on the market, each of which scored well in a variety of areas.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the models that made it onto my list, their top features and how they rated.
Post Hole Diggers Comparison Chart
TAZZ 35365 Earth Post Hole Digger
If you’re looking for a more versatile model, one you can use both on the job and at home, then your search is over.
This powerful post hole digger is designed to easily handle all types of soil. This model starts up with the pull of a recoil. This gas-powered model is fuel efficient and CARB and EPA compliant. It also features a transparent gas tank, so users can easily keep an eye on the fuel level. The transmission of the tool is made out of aluminum castings, steel ball bearings, and alloy gears and is designed to easily withstand repeated drilling. The handlebars have been steel welded and offer the type of durability needed for any size job. The breakaway clutch is designed to minimize torque, transferring the energy successfully in order to reduce user discomfort. This model is designed to drill at a depth of thirty-six inches, which is pretty impressive. Additionally, it can also accommodate a 4×4 post.
- 36 inch digging depth
- Handlebars are steel welded
This model comes with a heavy-duty spring that’s designed to absorb shock, allowing for a smoother, safer operation. The top of the line transmission and the raw power this post hole digger provides makes it a good choice for both home and work use.
True Temper 2704200 Post Hole Digger
This is an eco-friendlier option and one that’s easy to use, rugged, and designed to last.
This is a durable, lightweight manual post hole digger that comes equipped with an atlas pattern steel blade design. The blades feature a round size and sharp points that will create the perfect hole. To make measuring depth easier, you can utilize the built-in ruler located in the handle. The handles are made out of fiberglass and measure in at forty-eight inches. The handles are also weather-resistant and durable. The ends of the handles feature a cushioned grip for improved control and comfort.
- Easy to use
- Excellent digging depth
- Cushioned grips
- Thin metal located around the hinges
This manual model is affordable, durable, and lightweight, which can help to reduce user fatigue. This model is perfect for installing in-ground structures including flag poles and fence posts. While this model may not be the best choice for major jobs, it’s a great tool for home use and features the type of durable design all buyers are looking for.
Xtremepower US Industrial Post Hole Digger
This tool is equipped with a finger throttle switch that’s incredibly easy to grip. The switch control located on the handlebar will allow the user to easily control the digger’s speed. The two-cycle engine offers 2.3 HPs, for impressive power. The easy fuel delivery system promotes faster pull-start action. Additionally, the transparent fuel tank allows users to keep a close eye on the fuel level during use.
- 2.3 HPs
- Finger throttle switch
- Efficient fuel delivery system
- Can be difficult to start in colder weather
This model comes with a manual recoil start combined with an efficient fuel delivery system that promotes quick pull start action. The model also comes with a six-inch auger bit kit for improved versatility. The post hole digger will work well for both home use and on the job tasks.
Hermes’ Post Hole Digger
This post hole digger features a compact, lightweight design that will allow you to easily dig holes for fencing, planting, and more. This model is made out of A3 iron for improved digging efficiency. It also comes equipped with a nonslip hex drive and can accommodate a drill bit that’s 3/8” or bigger. This may not be a heavy-duty post hole digger that you can use on the job, but it can easily handle most of the digging tasks around the yard.
- Made out of A3 iron
- Not recommended for pro use
- Low digging depth rating
This tool will come in handy around the yard, but it lacks the raw power needed to handle heavy-duty tasks on the job. The low price combined with the user-friendly design will make this model a great choice for small home projects, for the homeowner on a tight budget.
Post Hole Diggers Buyer’s Guide
When you’re shopping online for a new post hole digger, the first factor you’ll want to consider is the size of the holes that you need to dig, in addition to the size of the project that you’re working on. As I mentioned earlier, there are a couple different styles of post hole diggers to choose from, including one-man and two-man models.
If you need to dig several holes for a landscaping or gardening project then the best choice is a one-man model. One-man models are perfect for solo projects because they’re affordable, have smaller engines, and they feature a lightweight design.
Typically, these models will weigh anywhere between twenty-five and forty pounds. If you’re working solo on a small to medium-sized project, then this style will offer just the right amount of power needed in order to get the job done. They’re also much easier to carry and lighter, so they will not cause user fatigue.
If you and your friend are working on a big project around the home and you need to dig several holes for a load-bearing post, then you’ll need a heavy-duty two-man model. In order to use one of these tools two men are needed for the job, however their features are what makes them the best choice for major projects.
These models are significantly heavier than one-man models, yet they come with more powerful engines and handles and grips that are designed for 2-person use. These models will weigh anywhere between fifty-five up
To seventy-five pounds. While a one-man style model has a 30cc to 50cc engine some two-man diggers will come equipped with engines offering 160 ccs of power. This is what makes them a much better choice for heavy-duty jobs, especially those that involve rocky soil or soil that’s clay based.
You will also find several attachments available for most models. You can choose larger or smaller diameters for holes of different sizes, which adds to the versatility of these tools. Additionally, the ability to switch out the attachments will allow you to take on specific jobs such as fence posts or tree potting.
In addition to finding different attachments, you’ll also come across extension shafts which can allow you to reach deeper in the ground.
Types of Post Hole Diggers
There are several different types of post hole diggers to choose from. The style of digger you choose will depend on the type of project you’re working on. Before you make a final choice, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions such as what type of terrain or soil are you working with? Is the task heavy duty or medium duty?
Aside from choosing a one or two-man model you will also need to choose from manual or automatic style diggers.
Manual models are basically designed for easy jobs around the yard. These models can handle going through even the toughest soil; however, these tools are usually only able to dig up to four feet deep. If you’re working on loose or soft soil, then a manual model will work fine. Some diggers will come equipped with fiberglass handles that will improve your comfort. This type of ergonomic handle design will protect the hands and knuckles when digging. Additionally, the size of the handle also has a lot to do with how much leverage you’ll get. With the right size, the user will easily be able to maneuver the tool into the soil. Taller users should find a handle that’s at least 55 inches long. Because these diggers are human-powered it’s going to require some physical effort to use, especially if you’re dealing with clay-like soil.
Automatic models are specifically designed for heavy-duty jobs. If you’re dealing with soil that’s very challenging, then an automatic model is the best choice. If you’ve decided to go with an automatic model, then you’ll need to choose between electric or gas-powered.
The best gas-powered tool will be operated by one person only. Considered extremely powerful, these durable tools can easily handle rocky or clay-based soil.
If you want to get the job done without smelling harmful fumes, or making a lot of noise, then an electric model is the perfect choice. Aside from comfort, it offers a very powerful performance. However, the only real drawback is that you’ll need to stay close to a power source or use an extension cord or two.
When shopping for a post hole digger you’ll also have to pay attention to the size of the blades. Basically, the bigger the blade the more efficient the tool will be at grabbing dirt.
A model that’s made out of steel is more durable than post hole diggers that are made out of wood. However, models that are made out of steel are significantly more expensive than wood models.
As I mentioned earlier, these tools can be pretty heavy, especially if you decide to go with an automatic style model. Choose a tool that you’ll be able to handle and carry to and from the work area.
Do I Need a Post Hole Digger?
Using just a shovel can be exhausting and time-consuming. It will not only tear up your hands, even if you’re wearing gloves, but you’ll spend hour after hour completing the job.
If you have a large garden or yard where you need to install fences or plant trees, then a post hole digger can make the job significantly easier and faster to complete. I will also save you money since you won’t have to rent any heavy equipment for bigger jobs.
The design of these tools has also come a long way in that they’re more user-friendly. Most models will feature a couple of sharp blades that are designed to easily slice through the ground. The blades will lift out dirt, allowing the user to control how deep the post digger goes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put Concrete in a Post Hole?
Yes. Fast-setting concrete is the best choice for setting posts since there’s no mixing involved, all you have to do is pour the dry concrete from the bag directly into the hole, then add the right amount of water.
How Deep can a Post Hole Digger go?
Most models will have a max depth of around ¾ of their handle length. So a model that’s five feet in length can dig about 3 ½ feet. When you’re dealing with hard soil, such as clay-based soil, it can be incredibly tricky to dig using a manual model. The difficulty of the soil can prevent you from digging as deep as the digger can go in softer soil.
Can I Pour Concrete in a Hole Full of Water?
Yes, concrete will be able to set fine under water. You can easily do this by using a sleeve to place the concrete in the bottom of the hole, then instead of pouring the water in, displace it. However, pouring the water in will also work.
Do Fence Posts Need Concrete?
This can depend on the soil. Concrete is considered the best, most secure material to use when setting a fence post, especially if you’re dealing with soil that’s very sandy, however, gravel can be a good choice if you’re dealing with clay-heavy soil. With looser soil, concrete will be the go-to choice and the only thing that will keep the fence post firmly in place.
The best post hole diggers will come equipped with all the features you need to get the job done, whether you’re working on a small project or a heavy-duty two-man job. The models that made it onto my top four list each have what it takes to handle terrain and soil of all types, however, the model you buy should depend on the application. If you’re looking for a post hole digger that you can use to install a birdhouse, then a manual model should be sufficient. However, if you have a large property and you need to put up a fence, then an automatic model is a much better choice. Using this guide, you should have no problem finding the perfect model for home or work use, and a tool that’s durable, designed to last, and one that can get the job done.