Best Manual Post Hole Diggers 2019 – Top Picks & Reviews

a manually operated post hole diggerIn the market for a manual post digger, but not so sure where to start? Understandable. While the tool itself is relatively simple, it also isn’t quite as common as say, a hand drill, which means there are plenty of considerations that you may not know to think about before making your decision.

Our bet is that you probably want to do the research necessary to make the best purchase possible, but you just don’t have the time in your schedule to make it happen.

If that describes your situation, we completely understand. Life can be pretty crazy sometimes, which can make it difficult to do the research that’s required when making a big purchase.

That’s why we did it for you. We performed the tests, studied the market, and identified the best options available.

Now all that’s left for you to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy these reviews for best manual posthole diggers.

Our Favorite Picks of 2019

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Fiskars 60 Inch Steel Posthole Digger
Fiskars 60 Inch Steel Posthole Digger
(Top Pick)

Check Price
13 lbs4.8/5
The AMES Companies 1715100
The AMES Companies 1715100

Check Price
13 lbs4.7/5
Seymour Structron Hercules PD48
Seymour Structron Hercules PD48 Manual
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
10 lbs4.5/5
AMES 78002
AMES 78002

Check Price
6 lbs4.3/5
Bully Tools 92384
Bully Tools 92384 14-Gauge

Check Price
9 lbs4.1/5

5 Best Manual Post Hole Diggers – Reviews

1. Fiskars 60 Inch Steel Manual Posthole Digger – Top Pick

Fiskars 60 Inch Steel Posthole Digger

In first place, we have the Fiskars 60 inch steel posthole digger. There’s a lot to like here. For one thing, the construction is lightweight stainless steel that’s been optimized both for maneuverability and durability.

While the traditional wood posthole digger is subject to rot and typical wear and tear, that won’t be much of an issue here.

The design is also clever. The handles are offset to deliver 12 extra inches of deepness as you dig your postholes.

The increased depth means that you’re going to be able to use this tool for a wider range of tasks.

Finally, it’s also lightweight which means that you won’t feel quite so fatigued as you work.

Of course, we aren’t trying to say that this unit is perfect. We did notice that it isn’t exactly optimal for constant rigorous use.

While the design of the tool is sturdy, we’ve had users report that it broke within a year of intense activity.

Aside from this issue, it’s a great option for the typical buyer.

Pros
  • Steel Construction
  • Lightweight
  • Deep Holes
  • Offset Handles
Cons
  • Not for constant vigorous use

2. The AMES Companies 1715100 Manual Post Hole Digger – The Runner-Up

The AMES Companies 1715100

In second place, we have the Ames Companies 1715100. One of the first things that we noticed about this product is that it features a nice, ergonomic design. In addition to the comfortable hand position, the grips have also been optimized to ensure that your knuckles won’t collide as you work.

This unit also features many elements that we appreciate in the Fiskars. It’s durable, it features an all-steel construction, and it even has the benefit of being relatively lightweight.

There’s also not much to complain about in the way of cons. The biggest flaw that this unit can claim is one of value. Though similar to the Fiskars, it’s significantly more expensive.  It’s also not capable of digging as deeply.

If you weren’t thrilled with the Fiskars, this may be an attractive option for you, but otherwise, you may find that our top choice boasts a little bit more value.

Pros
  • All Steel
  • Ergonomic
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Poor value relative to the Fiskars

3. Seymour Structron Hercules PD48 Post-Hole Digger – Best for the Money

Seymour Structron Hercules PD48

In third place, and in our “best for the money” slot, we have the Seymour Structron Hercules. If you’re a budget buyer looking to get the most bang for your buck as possible, this is going to be an option to consider.

Of course, there’s a whole lot more to like about this product than just the price. One of the things that we appreciated about the Seymour is its sheer rugged design.

In fact, some professionals actually use this digger as their tool of choice, which means that do-it-yourselfers should have no problem at all meeting their needs with it.

In addition to pure strength, it features an ergonomic padded handle that will keep you comfortable while you work. Like the other two options that we’ve seen today, it also has the benefit of being able to consistently dig deep, neat holes.

Of course, there are reasons that it didn’t make it into one of the top two slots. The biggest issue that we noticed with this unit is weight—it’s fairly heavy, which can make it difficult to use for extended periods of time.

This heft is most likely the product of all of the measures that have been taken to ensure that the tool is built to last. Regardless, if you’re looking for a lightweight tool, this isn’t it.

This aside, it’s a really good tool at a really good price.

Pros
  • Best for the Money
  • Very Durable
  • Ergonomic
Cons
  • Heavy

4. AMES 78002 Post Hole Digger Tool

AMES 78002

In the fourth slot, we have another Ames product. But while we were pretty crazy about that first tool that we looked at, the 78002 has a few kinks that keep it from topping our charts.

First, the good. The 78002 is actually one of the most affordable options on our list today, which means that if budget is your top priority this may be the right tool for you.

It also features a lighter design than some of the other tools that we’ve looked at, which means that it will be good for people who can’t handle heavier weight for extended periods of time.

The biggest problem with this unit is its design: it features all wood construction with a steel head.

The wood construction means that it’s vulnerable to the elements; it also won’t hold up very well over time.

If you’re looking for a sturdier, more long-term tool, you’re going to want to keep looking.

Pros
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Wood Design
  • Uncomfortable over extended periods of time

5. Bully Tools 92384 Manual Post-Hole Product

Bully Tools 92384

Last, we have the Bully Tools 92384. On the surface, this tool looks pretty good. It’s lightweight, steel, and advertises a resilient build and a lifetime warranty that will keep you protected in the event that something goes a little bit wrong.

This all sounds great, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, the tool doesn’t perform quite as well as one would hope.

The problem seems to lie with the hinge mechanism, which allows the two blades to operate the way that they’re supposed to.

This mechanism seems prone to bending and distortion, which means that you’ll likely find that the tool doesn’t operate the way that it’s supposed to.

This vulnerable spot is a shame because Bully Tools usually makes very good yard equipment, and this tool would likely fall into that category if not for this Achilles heel.

If you’re looking for a good durable posthole digger, you’ll probably be better served looking to our “best for the money” pick.

Pros
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Hinging mechanism vulnerable to wear and tear

Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve read the reviews but still aren’t sure that you’re ready to make a decision, that’s okay. Buying the right posthole digger can take some time and understanding. If you still aren’t sure exactly what you need to get out of your posthole digger, read on for some buying considerations that should help to simplify your decision.

Weight:

Digging postholes is pretty vigorous work in any situation. Still, there are factors that are exclusive to the equipment that you’re using that can make it either easier or more challenging.

Weight is one of these factors. While heavy weight is often evidence that the tool is well-built and designed to last for a long time, it can also lead to a lot of unnecessary fatigue.

If you’re an ordinary home user that will only be utilizing this product for sporadic use, then you should have no problem going with a digging tool that’s lighter (the 8-10 pound range should suit most people).

If you have to get a heavier unit, think about looking for one that has comfort features integrated into the design, such as padded grips and ergonomic handle placements.

These small features will make a big difference at the end of a long day of hard work.

Materials:

One of the most critical components of the manual posthole digger is the materials used in the construction.

Traditionally, this tool is pretty simple: a steel head and a wood handle.

However, as technology has improved, it has become much more possible to optimize the tool for vigorous use.

Almost all buyers will be best served by looking for a posthole digger that features a lightweight, steel build.

The steel handle is better suited for wear and tear. It also won’t be subject to rot and other weather-based threats that plague wooden handles.

This said, there are a couple of reasons that a buyer might look at a wood-handled digger.

For one thing, wood-handled diggers are usually more affordable than their steel alternatives (though this isn’t always the case).

They also tend to be a little bit lighter.

While affordability and weight are important, the majority of buyers will nevertheless find that the massive increase in durability that the steel handle provides makes it a more attractive option.

Price:

You probably noticed throughout the course of these reviews that price can vary pretty drastically from unit to unit. While there’s always merit to buying the best product you can get your hands on, keep in mind that this isn’t a tool that you necessarily need to spend a lot of money on.

While commercial users may benefit from the more rugged, and more feature-rich (a.k.a. more expensive) units, do-it-yourselfers can usually find a suitable and affordable option.

Depth:

Last but not least, it’s also important to take into consideration how deep you’re going to need your holes to be.

As you may have noticed, some of the units on this list are able to dig deeper than others. Tools like our number one pick, the Fiskars, are designed to dig very deep holes, while others are more moderate in their capabilities.

Ultimately, you should inventory your current needs—as well as any needs you may encounter for future products—as you try to figure out how deep you need your tool to be able to dig.

If you’re in doubt, you may find that it’s better to choose a tool that’s capable of digging deeper than you currently need. This option will enable you to tackle a wider range of projects.

Conclusion

And there it is. You’ve read the reviews of manual posthole diggers, benefitted from our buyer’s guide, and now all that’s left is the hard part: making a decision.

Which of these options fits best with your situation? While it isn’t our place to tell you what to buy, we do have a few recommendations that we can leave you with.

If you’re looking for the best option that you can get your hands on, we recommend going with our top choice, the Fiskars.

On the other hand, if finding a budget buy is more your priority, then you can’t go wrong with our “best for the money” pick, the Seymour Structron Hercules PD48.

Of course, these are only suggestions. Now that you’ve read our guide, you can decide for yourself which option is best for your needs!

Related content: