Tools for Digging Hard Ground

In some parts of the country, you have to deal with hard soil, like clay.  You can work so hard and barely make a dent. 

We outline the top tools for digging hard ground below.  Get started on your hole digging project! 

Tools for digging hard ground
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Best Tools for Digging Hard Ground 

You might ask yourself: What is the best tool for digging hard ground?  Well, you can use 2 types of tools for digging hard ground: hand digging tools or power tools.  We talk about both types and the pros and cons of using them below. 

Tools for Digging Hard Ground Quick List 

Hand Digging Tools for Digging Hard Ground

To help you out, below are some digging tools names with pictures so you can easily plan how you’re going to drill those holes for your next DIY project.

Digging Bar 

A digging bar is an essential tool here. You can use your digging bar to start holes for your auger, chisel through roots, and remove large and small rocks that might be in your way. 

It’s an all round excellent tool to have in your tool shed.

Hand Auger

Hand augers are the old school way to dig holes in the ground.

As you can see from the image here, they are fully manual powered. You will have to put in some hard work to even get a few inches down in hard soil.

If you are digging multiple holes in hard ground, I would pass by this and choose one of the powered options.

Shovel and/or Clam Digger

You can also use a plain old shovel or clamshell digger, to dig in hard soil.

It’s going to take you a long time to dig through hard soil by hand, but if you are determined, you can get it done.


Picks are manually operated and you can use elbow grease to dig in hard ground.

Digging in any sort of ground with a pick is going to be super hard work.

I would use one to start a hole, or maybe if the going gets really tough. But I have no plans to dig an entire hole with a pick.

Power Tools for Digging Hard Ground

Gas Augers

Gas Augers are known for having the most power. You need a good amount of torque to power through hard ground gas augers provide plenty.

Some augers are built/geared to handle both ice and dirt; you just have to switch auger bits.

Get more bang for your buck with an auger head that can do both.

2 Man Auger

2 man augers are also packed with a ton of power to handle tough soil situations. The only con to this type of auger is you do need 2 people to operate it as they have a ton of torque.  

3 Point Post Auger

Another kind of auger to use is a 3 point post auger that you attach to a tractor or backhoe. Sometimes they are called tractor augers.

These are common in rural areas, or for jobs where you need to drill a ton of holes, or the soil is very tough to get through.


Using a jack hammer to break up hard ground can save wear and tear on your body and save a ton of time.


Now that you know all of the tools for digging hard ground out there on the market, you can pick the perfect one for your next project.