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How Do You Use a Post Hole Digger in the Hard Ground??

how do you use a post hole digger
Written by Randall Glenn
Last Update: August 23, 2021

For fencing and posting sturdy posts, you need to dig holes that are straight and deep. For digging these kinds of holes, a post hole digger is an amazing tool. Using a post hole digger is not that difficult. However, by following some very easy steps, you can easily maximize the use of a post hole digger. Let’s see the steps:

How Do You Use a Post Hole Digger ?

Step 1: Checking the Soil

Your first step for using a post hole digger is to check the consistency of the soil where you want to insert your post or fence. So, analyze the soil for choosing the suitable post hole digger. This checking will help you decide if you need a gas powered post hole digger, post hole digger harbor freight, Lowes post hole digger, or a power post hole digger. Do this analysis a few days before you want to dig the holes because it might take some time to get the rental post hole digger.

Step 1: Checking the Soil

Step 2: Marking the Spots for the Holes

After analyzing the soil, you have to mark and measure the location of the holes. The location of each of the fence post hole must be precise. Use a fabric marker to ensure the alignment you want to create for the entire fence.

Step 3: Moistening the Soil

After marking and measuring, you should moist the soil. It will ease your effort of using the post hole digger. If it rains heavily, you don’t need to do anything. However, you do not need to wait for rain if you can dampen the soil by providing water. You can use a garden hose for dampening the soil. If the surface does not get soft, you might need a gas-powered post hole digger or a post hole digger harbor freight.

Step 4: Doing the Actual Job

Now is the time to work with the post hole digger. Make an initial hole in the marked location of the ground using the weight of the post hole digger. Open the jaws of the post hole digger and drop it into the soil to start the digging.

Step 5: Working on the Ground

Lift and hit the ground with the post hole digger several times to set the outer edge of the hole. Set the outer edge of the hole with a diameter of 9 inches to 1 foot.

Step 6: Digging Deeper

Dig the post hole digger’s jaws deeper and lift it out to pinch a large clump of soil. Throw the dirt clumps at least 2 feet away from the outer edge of the hole. This throwing will help you not fill the hole accidentally by the soil you just have withdrawn from the hole.

Step 7: Adjusting the Depth

Plunge the post hole digger’s jaws into the hole and pull out more clumps to deepen the hole. The ratio of the depth of the hole to the height of the post is 1:4. For instance, if you want to dig a hole for an 8-foot post, the depth of the hole has to be 2 feet.

Step 8: Preparations to Place a Post

After digging the needed depth of the hole, use a post with a flat bottom to flatten the soil at the bottom of the hole. Then measure the exact depth of the hole. If you need to deepen the hole more, do it before putting a post into it.

Step 9: Using a Gas-Powered Post Hole Digger

You will need a gas-powered post hole digger or post hole digger harbor freight to dig post holes that have heavy clay soils just like you need a gas powered pole saw to cut a grainy wood. The Harbor Freight is like a giant screw; it will gouge the soil out of the hole. But do not dig with the harbor freight for more than 5 minutes at a time. It works better if you give it a rest.

Step 9: Using a Gas-Powered Post Hole Digger

Note: If you see that your post hole digger does not cut the soil as effortlessly as it did the last time, you probably need to sharpen the blades. Sharpening the blades will maximize the benefits of your post hole digger and it will last longer than you thought.

So, we have learned the use of a post hole digger. If you follow all the above-mentioned steps, it will be very easy for you to dig holes more effectively using your post hole digger.

About the author

Randall Glenn

A Certified Hand and Power Tools Technician

“Hey Glenn, can you help me with my cordless saw that won’t start?” “Hi Glenn, are you okay? I was wondering if you can put your hands on my inverter generator; its engine failed!” These are just some of the talks I usually hear 7-10 times a week. So, who am I? A hand and power tool expert; that’s what I do for a living. It’s my passion too as I love to see my neighbors working peacefully with their ‘noisy’ appliances and tools. Want to see what I’ve got to let you know? Read my articles on this website!

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