Last Updated on November 20, 2019 by woodcutter
A manual earth auger is an indispensable piece of landscaping equipment. The tool helps you drill holes for erecting your fence, planting shrubs, installing a basketball hoop, setting up a clothesline, or constructing a deck. It makes your job less tiresome, safe, and quick.
Despite its significance, finding an excellent manual post hole digger can be an uphill task. Why? The market offers several models to choose from. Some are sturdy, ergonomic, light, and less expensive. Others are flimsy, and they might wear out after a few uses.
Would you wish to pick the best auger from the variety sold in tool stores? We have handpicked some of the best manual augers that you would want to buy. Our recommendations are built from sturdy materials to serve you for a reasonable period.
Also, our picks offer excellent value for money, and they are ergonomically designed to keep you comfortable while drilling. They are light enough to let you use them for prolonged hole-drilling sessions.
Apart from the endorsed products, we have highlighted some of the reasons why you would want to invest in a manual post hole digger rather than a gasoline or electric-powered model.
Best manual post hole diggers to consider buying
If you need a low budget manual post hole digger, AMES 2701600 would be your perfect choice. It is constructed from hardwood handles to endure the wear resulting from regular twisting for a reasonable period. Each handle has rubberized grips to keep your hands comfortable while drilling holes.
One of AMES 2701600’s handles has a calibrated ruler to let you dig up holes with the exact depth you need. This feature saves you from guesswork, and it enables you to install your posts at a uniform depth.
- It has a 68-inch long handle
- One of the handles has calibrations for taking measurements
- Handles have rubber grips
- It is less expensive
- Has sturdy blades with sharp edges
Not so Good
- Wooden handle not as sturdy as metallic handles
- Not ideal for use in rocky and hard soils
While the hardwood handles are quite sturdy, they might not survive regular use and abuse for a reasonable period. Therefore, if you intend to use your manual post hole digger for heavy drilling tasks, we suggest that you get the AMES version with fiberglass handles.
Each hardwood handle has sturdy metallic blades with sharp edges to make hole drilling an easy task. The blades can drill holes on gardens with loose or compacted soils. In fact, you can use the manual post hole digger to drill through relatively rocky soils.
The blades have a black coating to protect them from corrosion and rusting, the primary causes of accelerated wear and tear.
AMES 2601700 weighs just 8.85 pounds. It is light enough to carry around when going camping, or whenever you are going to drill holes far away from home. As such, it would be an excellent alternative to the heavy metallic post hole diggers.
Seymour 21306 comes equipped with sharp steel blades that can drill through all types of soils. You can use it to drill holes in loose or compact soils with a few rocks and roots. The steel blades are resistant to corrosion and rusting. Hence, they will serve you for several years before they wear out.
The steel blades are intelligently spread out to let you dig holes with a diameter of 6 inches. As such, you can use this critical piece of equipment to drill holes for planting trees, erecting posts for your fence, or constructing a patio.
- Has a hardwood handle
- Uses steel blades
- Digs holes with a 6-inch diameter
- Drills holes in a variety of soils
- It is lightweight
Not so Good
- Wooden handles not as sturdy as metallic ones
- Handle lacks ruler
- Not strong enough to handle soils with rocks and roots
The blades are riveted on a sturdy steel shaft to survive rough and regular use. Its hardwood T-grip lacks rubber or plastic fittings that enhance comfort. As such, you would need to wear a good pair of gloves to protect your hands from blisters.
The T-style grip provides enough spinning force to drill through soft or hard soil. It saves you from using up a lot of effort, as well as wasting much of your time digging up one hole. It also shields you from muscle aches.
Weighing just 7.4 pounds, this best manual post hole digger saves your muscles from unnecessary strain while using it. You can use it to drill several holes without experiencing the fatigue associated with using heavy machines.
Apart from safeguarding your muscles from strain, the lightweight construction gives you the freedom to carry your tool when going camping, or when going to work far away from home.
Have you been looking for an affordable manual post hole digger that can serve you for decades? If yes, this post hole digger from a first-rate tool maker, would be your most ideal choice.
It uses 14-gauge steel blades to drill through grounds with compact soils and hardpans. In fact, Bully Tools 92384 is among the few inexpensive manual hole diggers that can manage such demanding tasks.
- Sturdy fiberglass handle
- Excellent warranty
- Sturdy steel blades
- Handles have rubber grips
Not so Good
- Fragile hinges
The steel blades have excellent resistance to corrosion, they retain their sharp edges for long, and they can endure wear for a reasonable period.
In addition to the sturdy blades, this manual earth auger has high strength fiberglass handles to endure heavy use. Each handle has large-sized rubber grips to give you a firm and comfortable grip while operating the pole hole digger. Fiberglass is stronger than hardwood.
Its 47-inch long handle gives you the freedom to dig up deep holes for your posts or plants without overly bending your back. However, it lacks a calibrated ruler to let you drill holes with an exact depth.
A lifetime warranty covers this manual auger. The generous warranty protects you against manufacturer defects that may arise any time you are using this best manual post hole digger. However, the warranty may not cover normal wear and tear.
On the downside, users who have tried this best manual post hole digger complain that the hinges which hold the steel shafts to the handles are quite flimsy. Therefore, the blades might detach if you use your tool to dig up holes in hardpans regularly.
Truper 32406 is another excellent manual post hole digger that you would want to add to your pieces of gardening equipment. The manual auger has sturdy, sharp steel blades that can drill through soft or hard soils effortlessly.
Each steel blade is clear coated to safeguard it from rust and corrosion. As such, you can use the manual hole digger to drill holes in wet soils without an issue. However, if you want the blades to last long, the manufacturer recommends that you clean them after each use and coat them with a silicone spray.
- Has fiberglass handles
- Uses sturdy steel blades
- Handles have cushioned grips
- Ten-year warranty
- Has coated blades to minimize corrosion
Not so Good
- Flimsy handles
- Quite expensive
The blades are pinned to the handles by sturdy bolts that remain intact even after several twists. The sturdy bolts keep your tool’s edges intact even when drilling the toughest soils with rocks and roots.
Its 40-inch long handle saves you from over bending your back while drilling holes. On that account, you would not complain of back pain or excessive fatigue even if you use the manual auger for prolonged drilling sessions.
Truper 32406’s professional-grade fiberglass handles can survive the abuse resulting from regular twisting for a sensible period. Though, gardeners who have tried the earth auger say that the handles are relatively flimsy.
Each handle has a cushioned grip to keep you comfortable while drilling holes, as well as give you greater control while operating the manual post hole digger. In fact, you can handle this piece of gardening equipment without gloves.
Truper 32406 comes with a ten-year free replacement warranty. Therefore, if the post hole digger breaks down within the one-decade period, the manufacturer will give you a free replacement.
Have you been looking for a versatile manual post hole digger for massive drilling projects? If yes, Fiskars steel post hole digger would be the most suitable tool for your large projects. It is constructed from 14 gauge steel blades that can penetrate through soft, hard, and rocky soils effortlessly.
Unlike the substandard post hole diggers, this Fiskars model can dig 12 inch deep holes with a 6.5-inch diameter. This feature makes it an ideal option for those who are looking to erect a fence or patio where posts need to go as deep as possible.
- Drills deep holes
- Utilizes 14-gauge steel blades
- Handles made of steel
- Blades can dig 6.5 inch wide holes
- Rust resistant
- Has a lifetime warranty
Not so Good
- Quite heavy
Apart from the sturdy blades, Fiskars’ post hole digger comes equipped with 16-gauge steel handles to endure the wear and tear that could result from regular twisting. The handles have cushioned grips to keep your hands comfortable.
The steel handles are sturdier than their wooden counterparts, and they do not flex like fiberglass.
A welded steel pivot joint holds Fiskars’ handles together instead of the less-sturdy nuts and bolts used in cheap post hole diggers. The welded pivot joint would keep the handles intact even after several years of regular drilling.
The blades and handles are powder-coated to resist corrosion and rust, the significant causes of non-reversible wear and tear.
This hole digger from Fiskars comes with a lifetime guarantee. Therefore, the manufacturer would help you fix or replace broken parts at no cost. The warranty may not cover you in cases of normal wear.
While this post hole digger seems like an excellent investment, you should be wary of its heavyweight. It might overwhelm your muscles and joints, more so if you intend to use the hole digger for a prolonged duration.
Union Tool’s post hole digger stands as the lightest manual auger in our best list. We would recommend it to highly mobile gardeners, as well as those suffering from joint pain, muscle fatigue, or any other medical condition that cannot allow them to use heavy equipment.
Despite the lightweight, this best manual post hole digger has almost every feature you would find in high-end competitors. Its sharp blades are made of carbon steel, a sturdy material that can drill through loose and compacted soils without trouble.
- Blades made of carbon steel
- Rust-resistant blades
Not so Good
- Wooden handles
- Handles lack cushioned grips
Into the bargain, the carbon steel blades retain their sharp edges for an extended period, and they are resistant to corrosion. Carbon steel is sturdier than the conventional steel used in competitor post hole diggers.
The post hole digger comes equipped with 58-inch long hardwood handles to let you drill deep holes without having to over bend your back. This makes it a suitable earth auger for gardeners living with back pain issues.
The handles lack cushioned grips to give you a secure grip, as well as safeguard your palms from developing blisters while drilling holes. You would need to get a pair of suitable gloves to protect your hands from blisters.
While the hardwood handles work effectively, they are not as sturdy as metallic or fiberglass handles. So, if you intend to use this manual auger to drill holes in hardpans, then it might not be the right fit for you.
The earth auger blades’ 5.5-inch point spread lets you drill wide holes to install your fence posts, a clothesline, or posts for your patio. Moreover, you can use this manual auger to drill holes for planting shrubs.
Why buy a manual post hole digger?
- They are less expensive than gas-powered and electric models
Are you on a budget, but you still need a best post hole digger? If yes, then a manual post hole digger would be your most appropriate choice. Many manual augers cost a fraction of what the gas-powered and electric models cost.
- It does not release harmful gases
While gas-powered post hole diggers work efficiently, they release toxic gases that can harm you and the environment. Manual post hole diggers do not release poisonous gases since they do not use gasoline.
- Manual post hole diggers require little maintenance
Gas-powered and or electric post hole diggers require regular maintenance. For instance, you need to refuel the tank regularly, tighten bolts loosened by vibrations, as well as repair the engine daily.
Unlike the gasoline earth augers, manual pole hole diggers need fewer repairs. They have no engine to maintain, and their parts last long since they are not subjected to intense vibrations.
- Manual post hole diggers are highly portable
Gas-powered pole hole diggers’ components like the fuel tank, engine, and auger drills make it quite bulky. The weight might overwhelm your hands, and it may discourage you from carrying your machine when going to work far away from home. Many manual post hole diggers are light.