You’ve likely either seen or used the best post hole auger before. These are one of the most popular types of augers around.
Designed not only for creating space for fence posts, these highly versatile tools are great for general yard work and landscaping as well. Digging post holes is easiest with a dirt auger.
With the perfect post hole auger, you can save time and effort while working outside with few disadvantages.
Best Post Hole Auger Comparison Chart
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Best Post Hole Augers
This 2 man powerhead from Earthquake can really get the job done. During testing we paired it with a 6 inch auger bit and it crushed holes like nobody's business. We really like the earthquake powerhead and recommend it as the best post hole digger.
Super powerful motor that definitely needs two people to handle. When it grabbed bottom, it kicked back pretty good.
Make sure that its completely upright and starting will be no problem. The quality build is obvious and this unit can get through 100's of holes without any issues.
During testing we dug through hard clay, gravel and some 1 inch roots. We are happy to report that it went through everything like a champ. We recommend it as the best post hole digger for clay soil.
This unit does lack a reverse feature, which would come in handy instead of having to pull it out of the ground when digging deeper holes.
Landworks is among the most reputable manufacturers of earth augers, so when it comes to quality, design, and functionality, you will never go wrong.
The best thing about this earth auger is you don’t need to buy gasoline to use it. This is an electric, cordless earth auger that runs through a rechargeable battery.
Since it doesn’t use gasoline, it won’t produce smog and produces less noise compared with a gas-powered auger. It also comes with a battery life indicator to help you check the battery life of your auger.
When it comes to efficiency, Landworks earth auger is one of the best as it includes a 48V 2Ah lithium-ion battery.
During testing we found that we could create at least 30 holes in a single charge. It's very efficient if you are planning to finish a specific project in one session.
If you want to create more holes on a single charge, you can change the battery and buy a 4Ah li-ion battery.
This would allow you to drill about 60 holes in a single charge. This Landworks post hole digger can be used for a wide range of tasks such as bedding plants, digging post holes, bulbs, fertilizing shrubs, seedlings, and water aeration.
You may also use it for weed and root removal. You can also use it for ice fishing because you can change the blades! We love augers that pull double duty! This is only the powerhead, buy an 8" bit here.
Landworks has equipped this post hole auger with an overload protector, which is meant to prevent the powerhead from overheating while you're using it.
It also has a reverse torque control button which would allow you to reverse the spin of the auger and remove dirt.
All in all, if you're looking to step away from gas powered augers, this is a great choice.
During testing, we dug a ton of holes with the XtremepowerUS Auger. Around 20 3 foot deep holes to be exact and it only took about 30 mins.
This 2 stroke model has a fuel mixing ratio of 50:1 2 cycle pre-blended fuel and a capacity of 1.45 gallons. It also comes with a 4 or 6 inch attachment.
Larger sized bits, and ice bits are available here.
If your soil is sandy or easy to dig through, you might be able to get away with only having 1 person use it. But it does weigh 40lbs so if it hits something in the ground and kicks back, be ready.
The off switch seems a bit flimsy, be careful not to break it. If it breaks, just flood the engine until it shuts off. We recommend getting the extension bar if you have some deep holes to dig.
This post hole auger also doesn't come with reverse. Drilling in 12-16 inch increments is the best solution to keep your auger from getting stuck.
If you need extensions to dig deeper holes, you can get them here.
WARNING: do not attempt to start this thing with the throttle locked in the on position. I mean, that's pretty obvious but check it twice.
Our basic impression of the Southland Post Hole Digger is that it is a high-quality tool and is easy to use too.
When we went online, all of its spare parts are easily available on its website or online shipping sites.
Additionally, this post hole digger comes with an impressive two-year warranty, which gives a decent length of time to ensure that your product is working right after buying it.
The Southland SEA438 One Man Earth Auger is a brilliantly constructed tool that has heavy-duty metal cast components and we found it super easy to use for 1 person.
We also love the competitive pricing on this model.
The Southland Post Hole Digger comes with a MAT Engine Technologies manufactured 43cc 2-stroke engine, which is good to start most of the times. Other times it was a hassle during testing. Once started, it runs with perfection.
This engine is CARB-certified and comes with a massive 40.6-ounce gas tank. It is important to note that you need to mix the oil and gas at a 1:50 ratio to give it a longer working time before fueling in again.
Since the gas tank is translucent, you can keep an eye on the gas tank level while you are working.
There is a choke lever as well for cold starting. Its speed of 316 RPM is highly impressive and works faster than several other gas-powered post hole diggers.
This powerhead from Earthquake is super easy for 1 person to use and a beast in the dirt! Weighing in at only 24.5 lbs, you won't get tired moving it around, especially if you have a ton of holes to dig.
Make sure that you grab yourself an auger bit that it the right diameter for the shaft as each manufacturer has their own size. This auger can pull double duty for you if you're planning on ice fishing.
When it's cold out we found that you might not be able to get this rig started. Open up the gas cap and equalize the pressure and you'll be good to go.
As with most augers, it doesn't like rocks bigger than golf balls and may need 2 people to handle it as it chews up roots.
Dirt tends to get into the kill switch after awhile so clean it after each use and read the manual about taking it apart to give it a thorough clean if dirt gets in there.
This unit doesn't have a reverse function, so after drilling down about a foot or so, you should pull it up and remove the excess dirt and debris from your hole to keep the auger from jamming.
Post Hole Auger Demo
Check out this short video below on how to use your new earth auger.
What Is an Earth Auger?
A post hole auger is also commonly known as an earth auger because it works with dirt and earth when inserted into the ground.
There are a wide variety of tasks they are recommended for, ranging from putting fence posts into the ground to creating your own vegetable garden.
Overall, their main purpose is to dig holes while preventing you from doing all of the work. If there are things that can be agreed on with yard work, it’s that it’s tiring, time-consuming, and tedious.
Instead of having to mark spots to dig, and then use a shovel to do it all on your own, your earth auger will handle the load for you.
Powered vs. Manual Post Hole Augers
More often than not, you’ll find powered augers used for landscaping projects because they take the time and effort out of digging holes.
This is particularly true if the holes need to be relatively perfect in shape and at very deep depths. An alternative to a powered auger is a manual post hole auger, which may be preferable.
Benefits of a Manual Post Hole Auger
Manual post hole augers are undoubtedly cheaper than powered ones. That’s because there are far fewer pieces that go into them.
Not only does it make them cheaper to manufacture but to maintain over the years as well. If you’re working on a tight budget, choosing a manual auger is still the better alternative than using a shovel.
#2. Low Maintenance
There aren’t many moving pieces in manual augers, which means that you won’t have to worry about replacing parts as much as you would with a powered model.
Also, manual augers are built rather simply, which makes them more user-friendly. If you’re just getting into the world of landscaping, a manual one can teach you how an auger should be used.
#3. Zero Emissions
Unless you’re opting for an electric post hole auger, you’re going to be faced with putting emissions into the atmosphere as you run the equipment.
With a manual auger, which doesn’t require gas or propane to run, you won’t be exposed to toxic chemicals and fuels that burn poorly.
If you know you’re going to need a portable auger, a manual post hole auger is your best bet. It’s more lightweight than any other variation.
Without the need for an engine, carburetor, fuel tank, and wiring, it’s substantially lighter and better for travel.
2 Types of Post Hole Augers
Depending on the intensity of the project, you can choose from either one- or two-man auger bits.
One-Man Post Hole Augers
A one-man post hole auger features two handles on either side of the motor. It also has a long shaft, which is known as the threaded auger bit.
When you power the device on, the auger will start to turn into the ground, digging a hole as it goes deeper into the earth. You can then switch from forward to reverse in order to pull the auger back out of the hole.
How deep can a one man auger dig? That depends on the length of your bit. Some post hole augers also come with extensions shafts. Typically post diggers can drill anywhere from 30 inches to 46 with an extension shaft. If you have to dig deep, make sure you get an auger with a long bit and extensions.
The alternative to a single-person auger is one that is used by two people at the same time. This is typically the best option if you’re installing a deck or putting load-bearing posts into the ground. Designed with two sets of handles instead of just one, there are a few other differences as well.
Two-man earth augers typically have a far heavier weight because they are being used for more heavy-duty projects.
They also have powerful engines, which makes them larger in size; most weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds. Compared to a one-man auger, the two-man models have an engine that is two to three times stronger.
Accessories for Your Earth Auger: Dirt Auger Attachments
No matter if you choose a manual or powered dirt auger, you’ll have the ability to select an assortment of accessories that make it easier to use.
Extra attachments also give you the ability to use one tool for a variety of tasks. Some of the most common dirt auger attachments include:
Are post hole augers interchangeable? You bet they are. You can find several different types of auger bits at different diameters, depending on the hole size you need to drill.
If you’re planting a tree, you might need a larger bit than if you were inserting a fence post. For people who know they’ll be using their augers for more than one project, investing in a few smaller and larger bits is a good idea.
Make sure you maintain your auger bits by periodically sharpening the bits, or drilling holes will become a huge chore.
Likely, you’ll also need to reach different depths depending on what you’re doing around the yard. For example, digging a hole for load-bearing posts will take you deeper than if you’re planting a tree.
To help make it easier to reach better depths, you’re going to need extension shafts, which can easily be attached to your existing dirt auger bits.
Some augers come with these already built-in, but if you can’t find a model with one, we recommend that you add one yourself. Hip pads let you throw your body weight into the auger without hurting yourself.
These attachments can be just as important as ergonomic handles that help to prevent cramping and injury.
How to Buy the Perfect Post Hole Auger
The perfect post hole auger should give you the ability to easily dig holes, regardless if you choose a powered or manual version. It’s important to look for the features listed below before buying an auger.
Post Hole Auger Buying Tips
#1. Quality Blades
The blades of your auger are important because they give you the ability to dig holes. With badly constructed blades, or blades made of low grade steel, they will break immediately after coming in contact with anything under the surface other than soil.
They are also prone to chipping and cracking the more you use them. Some of the highest-quality blades are made from carbon steel or stainless steel, which makes them tough enough to chew through packed dirt without any damage.
You’ll also find that they’ll last longer when maintained for example wiping them down after use to prevent rust.
#2. Heat-Treated Gears
As augers rely on torque to pry away at the dirt, their gears are put under intense stress by making the bit turn consistently.
With heat-treated gears, you won’t have to worry about them burning out and deteriorating quickly when you’re working with heavily packed earth.
#3. Anti-Vibration Handles
This is more of a convenience than a necessity. However, anti-vibration handles make it much more comfortable to operate your auger for an extended period.
You aren’t as likely to experience hand numbness and discomfort. Also, you’ll notice the fatigue in your arms will be substantially less when using a powered auger.
#4. Reverse Gear
Not all post hole augers come with reversing gears, which means you’ll have to pry the auger out of the ground once you’ve finished digging.
If you’re caught in a root system, it can be much simpler to have a reverse gear, instead of having to manually get the bit loose from any debris.
#5. Finger Controls
Having access to all of the buttons and switches to operate your auger at your fingertips is essential. This gives you the ability to easily start the machine as well as to quickly stop it, if necessary.
Most of the top-tier hand post hole auger designs feature easily accessible controls. You’ll want to be able to manage the throttle as well as the power buttons with ease.
#6. Versatile Attachments
It’s likely you’re going to want to use your post hole auger for more than one task, especially if you enjoy ice fishing as well.
You also won’t want to have to buy two separate augers when you can easily find a motor that is designed to handle both earth and ice digging.
Ensure the model you choose enables you to use various attachments that cover all of your favorite activities. Another important part of versatility is the ability to attach third-party bits to the auger instead of sticking to the same brand.
This allows you to shop around the best deal for attachments, even if they’re from another manufacturer.
#7. Extreme Weather Protection
You never know what type of weather you’ll be working in, as you might need an auger on the hottest days of summer or in the middle of winter.
Ideally, the auger you choose should be prepared to be used in extreme cold and heat with minimal effort. You shouldn’t have to spend an excessive amount of time trying to start the motor in cold weather or keeping it cool in the summer.
Electric vs. Gas and Propane
If you’ve decided you want to purchase a post hole auger, you’ll need to make the decision between electric, gas, and propane.
Gas augers are known to have the most power, but they also require the most fuel and are messy to work with. Propane is far less of a hassle to work with, as you only have to switch out canisters, but they are heavier than gas.
Finally, you can choose electric models, which has far more advantages than gas and propane. With electric augers, all you have to do is recharge batteries for power.
What’s more, they are rated as the most lightweight option. Though they likely won’t have as much power as gas, they still carry enough to drill multiple holes in one sitting.
Can you Rent a Post Hole Digger?
You bet, you can rent one down at the local hardware store usually. Renting is a good way of saving some cash if you just need to drill a few holes. If you will need your auger more than once or twice, think about buying one instead. Then you know the auger is in tip top shape every time you use it.
Where to Find a One Man Post Hole Auger
Equally as important as knowing what to look for in a one man post hole auger, you’ll need to know where to find one.
The best resource you have at your disposal is the internet, as you can browse through numerous products in one place. Not to mention, you’ll be able to browse from the comfort of your own home.
You’ll have access to all of their specifications as well as customer reviews, which will be invaluable in helping you to make the perfect decision.
Knowing the pros, cons, and features of the best post hole auger will give you a tool that you’ll reach for and use more than anything else in your shed. With the ability to easily dig holes with limited labor, installing fences or decks will become substantially easier.