Best Post Hole Digger for Rocky Soil of 2020: Top 5 Picks

Last update: Sep 24, 2020

When you dig a post hole in rocky soil, you need a good digger. But there are different types of diggers available.

· How can you know which type of digger you should buy?

· What motor power should you choose?

· Are there any other things to consider when shopping for a digger?

In this post, we will answer all of these questions for you and helo you find the best post hole digger for rocky soil.

Here are the best post hole diggers for rocky soil you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall: Southland SEA438
  • Powerful: XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC
  • Best for Fence Installation: XtremepowerUS 81094 2365
  • Best for Planting: ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP
  • Best for Professionals: PROYAMA 51.7CC 2 Stroke Gas Post Hole Digger
5 Best Post Hole Diggers for Rocky Soil
Best Overall
Southland SEA438
    Powerful
    XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC
      Best for Fence Installation
      XtremepowerUS 81094 2365
        Best for Planting
        ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP
          Best for Professionals
          PROYAMA 51.7CC 2 Stroke Gas Post Hole Digger

            Best Overall: Southland SEA438

            Southland SEA438
            Southland SEA438
            9Outstanding
            Pros
            • Offer extra convenient storage and good balance - ultra-wide handle design
            • Easy to direct the gear and operate smoothly - solid steel drive shaft & easy start fuel delivery system
            Cons
            • Not for big rocks and roots

            Southland SEA438 is one of the most inexpensive post hole diggers that you can find on Amazon.

            It has a 32-gallon fuel tank, removable butterfly handles, and a solid steel drive shaft.

            Therein, we really like its ultra-wide handle design for extra convenient storage and good balance.

            As being built with a sharp blade, it can reach a max depth of up to 2.5 feet, possibly another inch or two if you push it all the way to the ground. You can use an extension if you want to go down 4 feet.

            Talking about its performance over rocky soil, we would say it’s best to handle small rocks or roots. With medium-sized to large ones, you might need another one.

            Southland SEA438 Specifications

            Weight

            40 pounds

            Dimension

            26 x 11 x 48 inches

            Horsepower

            3HP

            Highlight Features

            Ultra-wide handle design
            Solid steel drive shaft & easy start fuel delivery system

            Verdict

            For the price, quality, and performance, the Southland SEA438 earns the highest scoring from us, making it the Best Buy Award Winner here.

            Powerful: XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC

            XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC
            XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC
            8.6Great
            Pros
            • The most inexpensive in this review list - under $230
            • Multifunctional & powerful - a 55cc 2.3HP gas powerhead auger motor
            • Allow for speed control and power-enhancing - switch control and finger throttle
            Cons
            • No handle lever to operate the choke
            • Slightly finicky to start
            • Poor instructions

            Our testers love the XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC because it is the cheapest and also the most powerful post hole digger out of a bunch – something that’s really hard to find.

            We find nearly nothing else out there that features a 55cc 2.3HP gas powerhead auger motor but is priced under $230. Not to say that it even includes a 6” auger bit kit in the package.

            Giving such decent power, it’s quite multifunctional to dig and bore efficiently through holes for tree planting, fence posts, decks, and so on.

            It also allows you to control the speeds or enhance the power as wanted through the switch control and finger throttle. Plus, this unit is compatible with any standard auger bit featuring ¾” shaft size.

            XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC Specifications

            Weight

            30 pounds

            Dimension

            20 x 20 x 20 inches

            Horsepower

            2.3

            Highlight Features

            A 55cc 2.3HP gas powerhead auger motor
            Switch control and finger throttle

            Verdict

            If being asked about the most powerful post hole digger for rocky soil, we, with no hesitation, will recommend the XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC.

            Best for Fence Installation: XtremepowerUS 81094 2365

            XtremepowerUS 81094 2365
            XtremepowerUS 81094 2365
            8.8Great
            Pros
            • Versatile – able to fit augers from 6” to 10” diameter
            • Dig up to 24” deep holes for fence posts - solid blades and 2-Cycle, 43cc engine
            • Good vibration absorption capabilities - foam grip handles
            Cons
            • The driveshaft is prone to be bent
            • Not include a bottle of oil

            The XtremepowerUS 81094 2365 is an impressively versatile post hole digger due to the built-in Earth auger that makes fence digging work a breeze.

            Its 8” bit combined with solid blades and 2-Cycle, 43cc engine does a great job in digging up to 24" deep holes, through tough rocky dirt, to capably get fence 4” x 4” posts into the ground.

            It is also able to work well with augers from 6” to 10” diameter to handle other lots of projects if wanted.

            What we like the most about this post hole digger is its anti-vibration foam grip handles as it eliminates pain and fatigue effectively, which is perfect for weak-armed people.

            XtremepowerUS 81094 2365 Specifications

            Weight

            27.5 lbs (including a 8" x 28" auger bit)

            Dimension

            30.5" x 21" x 16"

            Horsepower

            2.7

            Highlight Features

            Able to fit augers from 6” to 10” diameter
            Solid blades and 2-Cycle, 43cc engine
            Foam grip handles

            Verdict

            The XtremepowerUS 81094 2365 is an excellent investment for fence installation.

            Best for Planting: ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP

            ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP
            ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP
            8Good
            Pros
            • Decently powerful performance - 2 auger bits and One-Man 52CC gasoline auger
            • Offer extra ease of use and accuracy while drilling holes - extension rod
            • Dig through tree roots and rocky soils like a breeze
            Cons
            • The handles aren’t zip-tied
            • The plastic trigger feels cheap

            If you’re a serious gardener, we greatly suggest the ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP based on its decently powerful performance.

            Featuring 2 auger bits and One-Man 52CC gasoline auger, the gear is able to dig and bore efficiently through up to 30” deep holes.

            A big plus is while other similar counterparts might slow down its excavating process once hitting tree roots and rocky soils, this isn’t a thing. It’s even able to dig through them with little effort.

            We also like the added extension rod for extra ease of use and accuracy while drilling different sizes of holes.

            ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP Specifications

            Weight

            51.5 pounds

            Dimension

            49.25 x 16.25 x 12.25 inches

            Horsepower

            2.4HP

            Highlight Features

            2 auger bits and One-Man 52CC gasoline auger
            Extension rod

            Verdict

            The ECO LLC 52cc 2.4HP is an excellent all-around post hole digger, especially well-suited to planting.

            Best for Professionals: PROYAMA 51.7CC 2 Stroke Gas Post Hole Digger

            PROYAMA 51.7CC 2 Stroke Gas Post Hole Digger
            PROYAMA 51.7CC 2 Stroke Gas Post Hole Digger
            8.6Great
            Pros
            • Reliable, environment-friendly, and safe for human’s health - 1-year manufacturer warranty, caring customer service, and EPA certified engine
            • Powerful – a 2.4HP 1300W 51.7cc engine
            • Bang for bucks – include free glasses, gloves, and ear defenders
            Cons
            • The manual is not as comprehensive

            We test tons of post hole digger options, and it's easy to get critical and cynical; after all, that's our job. But when it comes to the PROYAMA 51.7CC, our tester team is completely excited.

            Brand’s fame aside, it earns us the highest trust due to the 1-year manufacturer warranty, caring customer service, and EPA certified engine.

            What’s worth talking about this engine design is it doesn’t cause harm to either human’s health or pollution by discharging less amount of gas in use. Want to know the secret? It all lies in the special 2-cycle gas mixing ratio of 1: 25.

            Besides, it is super-powerful yet easy to start, all thanks to the 2.4HP 1300W 51.7cc engine and easy starter.

            Although the price tag is a bit high, as including free glasses, gloves, and ear defenders plus featuring a shock-absorbent handle design, it’s definitely well-worth.

            PROYAMA 51.7CC 2 Stroke Gas Post Hole Digger Specifications

            Weight

            43 pounds

            Dimension

            33 x 23.5 x 14.6 inches

            Horsepower

            2.4HP

            Highlight Features

            1-year manufacturer warranty, caring customer service, and EPA certified engine
            A 2.4HP 1300W 51.7cc engine
            Including free glasses, gloves, and ear defenders

            Verdict

            For professional use, we find nothing that can beat the PROYAMA 51.7CC.

            How To Choose The Best Post Hole Digger for Rocky Soil?

            When shopping for a hole digger for rocky solid, you will first have to choose between manual, gas, and electric diggers.


            Manual

            Gas

            Electric

            Highlight features

            Feature a pair of curved blades on the two handles

            Steel augers

            Run by gas

            Steel augers

            Run by electricity

            Pros

            Create perfect holes

            Very powerful

            Powerful

            Quieter

            Cons

            Require a lot of muscular strength

            Dig only three feet deep

            Require a power source nearby

            Can’t work on a large area

            Best for

            Repairing small fence, dig small holes in soft, loose soil

            Rocky soil

            Rocky soil

            A small area with a nearby power source

            Now that you have decided on the type of diggers you want, there are a few more things you should look into when choosing a model.

            Manual Digger

            • Handle: wooden handles tear over time and will break down eventually. You should pick reinforced fiberglass handles. They are stronger, offering more leverage when you dig. Also, look for handles that can be modified so you can bring them closer together without the knuckles bashing to each other.

            • Handle length: choose longer handles because they give you better leverage and help you dig deeper. Sixty inches can be a good choice.

            • Joint: make sure your new digger has a strong joint or it will break easily.

            Gas

            • Motor: look for a motor with at least 2-2.5 horsepower. Lower power will be useless.

            • Auger: you should opt for high-carbon steel. Augers made of other materials tend to snap when hitting solid soil. Besides, consider buying interchangeable augers with the size ranging from 2 inches to 10-12 inches.

            • Handles: definitely opt for extremely sturdy handles. Anti-vibration padding is a plus and will come in handy when you have to work for long hours.

            • Weight: most automatic diggers are light enough for you to hold on your own, but still keep this factor in mind when choosing a gas digger.

            Electric

            • Motor: the lowest power acceptable is 1200W, you should only look for this level or higher.

            • Power cords: electric diggers need plugging, so find the longest cord possible. Or you can buy an extension cord to expand the working area.

            • Augers: similar to gas differs, you should look for high-carbon steel, interchangeable augers.

            • Handles: also opt for sturdy handles with anti-vibration padding, which will help you work for long hours with more comfort.

            • Weight: make sure your new electric digger is light enough you can hold on your own.

            Which Brands Make The Best Post Hole Digger for Rocky Soil?

            Southland

            Being in the business for over a century, this brand will offer you the best outdoor tools. If you’re looking for a gas digger, this is your go-to brand.

            XtremepowerUS

            Founded in 2006, this brand comes with a wide selection of products, including diggers of good quality so you can freely choose the perfect tool.

            FAQs

            Do augers work in rocky soil?

            Yes, they can. But for rocky soil, you will need powerful gas or electric augers.

            How do you dig holes in rocky soil?

            1. String a line and pound the stakes

            2. Use a spade to carve out a soil divot

            3. Use a tile shovel to loosen the soil

            4. Use a clamshell to remove loose soil

            5. If you encounter large roots, use a reciprocating saw

            6. Use a digging bar to dislodge rocks

            7. Tamp the soil

            How do you put fence posts in the rocky ground?

            1. First, you have to dig a post hole, either manually for using an automatic digger.

            2. Then, mark the locations of the post edge.

            3. Next, position and plumb the post into the hole.

            4. Backfill the hole with dirt and add concrete.

            How sturdy is the drill?

            The drill is sturdy enough to cut different materials, even strong ones like steel, iron, stainless steel, brass, and copper.

            Conclusion

            Through this comprehensive guide, we hope that you now know what to do before buying the best post hole digger for rocky soil. Digging into a rocky solid is hard and irritating, but once you’ve got the perfect tool, you will find it much easier.


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