Updated: November 2017
Post Hole Digger Reviews:Ok, you have to dig post holes for a new fence you are putting in. Should you rent a post hole digging machine complete with auger and get through the job in a hurry or just go with the manual post hole diggers that cost $50. I have used both and really it's a matter of soil. Well, lets also include it's a matter of how many holes you need to dig. Say you have to dig 6 post holes, that's probably something you can handle with the hand held post hole diggers. If you are looking at 20 post holes for a larger fence, then definitely consider a hydraulic post hole digger as they will get through the work much faster saving you time for actually putting in the posts themselves. Back to the soil. If you are working with soil that breaks apart easily and allows you to "dig" in with the post hole digger without too much difficulty, you are in good shape for this type of project. I know that some areas have rocky soil or very, heavy clay based soil which is nearly impossible to get through with a manual digger and may require more powerful tools.
Choosing a Post Hole Digger - The basic design of a post hole digger (manual) is two handles that are roughly 4 to 5 feet in length attached to two blades at the bottom that are connected with a hinged system. You take the two handles, hold them together and then ram the blades into the ground as far as possible, then release the handles and scoop out as much dirt as possible. Repeat the process until you have a post hole that is roughly 2 feet deep. The Seymour Post Hole Digger is the most traditional on the market and sells for about $25. There are split handled posthole diggers (one is sold by Osh Kosh Tools) that are designed differently than the Seymour but reviews are less positive for this type. Also, you can find The Hole Deal with an adjustable pivot point so you can dig deeper holes with less effort although for basic post holes this is not necessary. We saw the "Boston Digger" listed on Thisoldhouse.com and the unique design is best for cutting through roots and removing stones. Lastly, you have the Fiskars 9653 Post Hole Digger which is slightly different than the rest in the way the handles are designed. At $50 it's not cheap, but reviews are overwhelmingly positive. When it comes to labor intensive projects, go with products that cost more but keep the "backaches" to a minimum. For more post hole digger reviews we suggest visiting Amazon.com or Mysears.com for dozens of owner opinions, comments and feedback on almost all the major brands. Learn which styles work best for certain types of soil and invest in a product that will last. Thisoldhouse.com has several videos you can watch on digging fence post holes.
The question that always arises from our users is - "Should we rent the equipment or just buy it?". A Two-Man Hand-Held Hole Digger from Home Depot is available for rent - some go for as little as $80/day with weekly rates available. I once used a two man hole digger from Lowe's and it was a wild ride to say the least. Sometimes the auger bit would bog down and the reverse thrust on the digger would almost through you off. We finished up 15 holes in just over 3 hours. Keep in mind that post hole diggers are meant just for fence posts. You can use them to dig holes for planting trees, shrubs, or bushes. You can browse the best selling post hole diggers here.