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Best Post Hole Diggers for the Money 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

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a powerful post hole digging machineWhen you don’t have the right tools to dig a hole, it can leave you frustrated. Investing in a post hole digger can be the answer to all your prayers as they’re practical and make your life a lot easier, especially if you’re working with a hole that could encounter clay. There are so many different post hole diggers on the market right now and when considering which one you should purchase it can be confusing. We’re here to make everything seem easier and give you some advice on which post hole digger is right for you. We’ve created a list of in-depth post hole digger reviews which will help to narrow down your options. Hopefully, this list also allows you to find a post hold digger that suits all your needs!

Our Favorite Models Compared:

ModelPriceLengthEditor Rating
Southland SEA438
Southland SEA438 Electric
Best Overall

Check Price
XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC
XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC 2 Stroke

Check Price
Seymour Structron Hercules PD48
Seymour Structron Hercules PD48 Manual
Best Value

Check Price
The AMES Companies 1715100
The AMES Companies 1715100

Check Price
Bully Tools 92384 14-Gauge
Bully Tools 92384 14-Gauge

Check Price

5 Best Post Hole Diggers – Reviews 2020:

1. Southland Electric Post Hole Digger – Best Overall

Southland SEA438 Electric

Featuring butterfly handles allowing control and balance of the post hole digger, the Southland SEA438 Electric is our top pick for multiple reasons. It has a manual recoil system that is easy start as well as a direct gear with a solid steel drive shaft. This model is perfect for those looking to get their first auger and anyone who has never had experience with one before. This is because it is not only easy to set up and read the manual, but it is an affordable price too. What makes this model even better when compared to others is that the handles are wide and detachable allowing for easy storage that is convenient. A full tank of fuel and energy unit allows this Southland SEA483 model to run for many hours when in use, in some cases it even lasts days. It performs extremely well for the price and only shows minor starting issues with users across the board.

  • Wide, Detachable Handles
  • Easy to Store
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for Beginners
  • Energy Effective
  • Fragile

2. XtremepowerUS Post-Hole Digger – Best Gas Model

XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC 2 Stroke

For anyone looking at a post hole digger that is good value for money and takes very little time to prepare, the XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC 2 Stroke is a great option to consider. It is fast and gets the job done effectively while not causing too much hassle. This model is just so straightforward, from the set up to actually digging holes – everything runs smoothly with this pick. The air-cooled engine is a feature we love as it allows the engine to run for longer. However, it does have some disadvantages and many users explain they have problems with models, and they are typically minor. The XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC 2 Stroke does not feature a clutch. The clutch is normally released when the digger hits a rock or root to help prevent injury. This is something that many users want in a post hole digger but the Xtreme model lacks. Since there isn’t a clutch when you’re digging, you will have to watch out for the bigger rocks as these can prevent the digger from creating a hole completely.

  • Performs Well
  • Value for Money
  • Fast and Efficient
  • Compact and Lightweight
  • Minimal Instructions
  • Not Easy to Start Up

3. Seymour PD48 Manual Posthole Digger – Best Value

Seymour Structron Hercules PD48 Manual

Everyone loves to save some money every now and then. This is why the Seymour Structron Hercules PD48 Manual model is an ideal candidate for anyone looking at buying a post hole digger. It is affordable and still very good quality. For the price you pay, you’re getting a highly professional grade digger. It is manual though which means it is more suitably designed for heavy use and anyone who is looking for something quick and easy to use may want to stay away from this model. Despite being a little slower than electric designs, it is still effective and performs perfectly. However, if you have a lot of holes to dig then this shouldn’t be your first choice, the Seymour Structron Hercules PD48 is more ideal for anyone who simply wants a well-made tool for lasting use in your backyard. A note that is important about this model is that reviewers have stated it cuts through clay soil with ease which is a huge bonus!

  • Ideal for Professionals
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Slower than Electric Models
  • More Suitable for Heavy Use
  • Hard to be Precise

4. AMES Post Hole Digger Tool

The AMES Companies 1715100

While first impressions of this AMES Companies 1715100 model seem good and it looks well-made, the reality is a little different. The model is very stiff and can be difficult to open and close the handles so for anyone who struggles with their hands, it isn’t the best option to choose. Sometimes the nuts and bolts on the handles start to loosen too as the manufacturer hasn’t properly fixed them, users have reported that it’s typically the center nut and bolt that connects the handles that is an issue. It is also quite heavy for a post hole digger, normally these types of diggers are lightweight and compact, but the AMES models seem to be a lot heavier than other models available. However, it is still a great model that is very ergonomic. It will allow you to dig large, deep holes in a relatively quick time meaning those who need to get the job done fast will find use in this model. Another thing we like about this AMES Companies 1715100 is that it is affordable and cheap, anyone who wants to try out having a digger may want to opt for this.

  • Affordable
  • Performs Well
  • Stiff and Hard to Use
  • Heavy
  • Loose Nuts and Bolts
  • Difficult to Store

5. Bully Tools 14-Gauge Post-Hole Digger

Bully Tools 92384 14-Gauge

What’s better; Flushing your hard-earned cash down the toilet or buying this post hole digger? We aren’t quite sure but what we do know is that this Bully Tools 92384 model is a waste of money. The model claims to be commercial grade but we wouldn’t even suggest a beginner buys this! Since first impressions count, a beginner may never want to purchase a tool again if they decide to go with this model. One of the only advantages it has is that it has a limited lifetime warranty and it is quick at digging holes, but that’s when the pros stop. It won’t make your digging experience any easier or better than it would be with another model. There are similarly priced models (and some even cheaper!) that are a lot better quality and are worth your time. This Bully Tools model is hard to use and struggles to dig holes past roots and stones.

  • Fast
  • Not Effective
  • Hard to Use
  • Not Ideal for Beginners
  • Stiff
  • Bad Quality

Buyer’s Guide

What is a post hole digger, and how do they work?

Also known as augers, post hole diggers are designed to create holes in soil or other earth materials. They’re a great tool if you have a lot of holes to dig and they’re a must-have for any DIY person who likes to maintain their garden. There are all different types you can purchase, some of them will produce bigger and wider holes than others. Many models you can buy will come with a standard attachment to dig the holes effectively. You can always buy bigger or smaller ones to suit the holes you’re wanting to dig. Some blades are faster and better than others too.

The augers work by drilling into the ground. They can do this because they have a helical screw blade that rotates at the end of the tool. The material is moved out of the way, producing a hole, then the blades screw through the ground. They can either be manually turned by the user or there are more modern models that are powered by an engine. Those that are engine-powered are faster but the manual models are more appropriate for anyone who likes to do some chores around their backyard but isn’t in any hurry to get stuff done. Professionals tend to use electric ones when they’re performing jobs on the go.

Choosing the Right One for Your Needs

There are different types of post hole diggers to choose from and if you’ve had no previous experience using on then deciding which one to go for might be a difficult decision. As we stated above, there are two categories of post hole diggers you can choose from, one if human-powered (manual) and the other is motor-powered (electric or gas). While it may not be surprising, electric ones are typically the more popular type that users go for, but they’re often more expensive than their manual counterparts. Out of the two categories, there are variations of both categories and it’s important to know all your options before you make any decisions. If it is all down to money and your budget, we still suggest considering different options as manual diggers can end up costing more in the long-term anyway.


These types are easy to use and tend to be very quiet when you’re using them (unlike the gas versions!) there is a wide selection available to choose from and they’re all very quick at digging large, deep holes. For anyone who is impatient or likes to get the job done as quickly as possible, any electric post hole digger will be your best friend. However, you must consider the circumstances of using the electric models as they need a power source, if you’re out in the depths of your garden or on a job somewhere that doesn’t have plugs on demand then you might find it difficult to use the digger. In terms of weight, they’re pretty much the same as the weight on the gas models but they’re always heavier than the manual. They’re also up there in price too being one of the most expensive types you can choose to purchase. We recommend considering how much you will use the item and whether it will be more efficient in terms of time and money to get the electric, gas or manual model.


For those of you looking to dig larger holes in places with rocky soil then the gas models are more ideal. They’re handheld and will bore out round holes in no time whilst running on fuel and gas. They can cut through various materials very easily including packed clay and stones, while they also don’t need to use a power source. However, they can start to smell when you have been using them for a long period. Then there is also the price of the gas to consider as well, the initial price for the post hole digger won’t be too expensive if you’re looking at gas models but the price will start to soar when you have to purchase gas. Many gas augers don’t tend to bore deeper than 3 feet but for work that isn’t professional, this is plenty. You can purchase other blades too if you’re struggling to deep holes deep enough. When compared to electric and manual diggers, gas models tend to be the loudest too which is something essential to consider before buying.


The manual models are old-school and are always the most affordable option to go for. They work on a scooping mechanism that requires quite a bit of muscle strength, remember, there is no motor behind you when you’re working with a manual model. They’re most suited to light/medium digging and shouldn’t be used for anything too large as this will be very straining. Perhaps you can use a manual model to dig a hole to plant a tree or bush, but you won’t be able to start installing a fence while only using a manual. They always feature two long handles which allow for easier digging and also don’t put too much strain on whoever is using the digger.

Features to Consider Before Purchasing

Whatever post hole digger you choose, you will have to consider its features before you actually purchase it. You will also have to ensure it does what you want it too as this can be the make or break of your experience. Manual, gas, and electric models all have different features that are exclusive to their specific versions and these must be researched whilst you’re considering which one to opt for.

  • Handle material – this is especially important if you’re purchasing a manual post hole digger. You want something that will stay sturdy and last a long time, through all weather conditions. We recommend you stay away from wood as it tends to get weaker with ages and can break easier. Try out steel or fiberglass as these have been shown to last long periods and be comfortable to use too.
  • Motor size – for all those considering gas diggers, you will need to know the size of the motor which comes with the digger before purchasing it. The bigger the motor, the better. The best options are between 2 to 2.5 horsepower motors as they have enough power to get the task done, whereas low-powered motors won’t be able to do what you want them too.
  • Power cord length – this is a feature to look out for when considering an electric digger. The cord length of electric models is often very short, and this can limit you to how far you can go in your garden or on a certain piece of land. While no power cord will be extremely long, there are certain models that are better than others. We also suggest investing in a long extension cable if you’re going to purchase an electric model as they will be very handy.


It is clear to see the winner of our in-depth reviews is the Southland SEA438 Electric model as it affordable, energy-efficient and can provide you with all the hole digging solutions you need. Having said that, the Seymour Structron Hercules PD48 model is more ideal if you’re looking to save money and want to try out a manual model. The reviews of post hole diggers do vary a lot but for those at the top of our list, they’re relatively positive with only minor issues. It is essentially your decision about which auger you opt for, and whether it is a manual, gas, or electric is also another decision you have to make too.

We hope this list of reviews has allowed you find your way through the jungle of products available on the market right now and have successfully enabled you to narrow down your choice. Shopping for a post hole digger is a lot of fun when you know what to look for and what makes a great choice. For all those of you who have never had experience with a post hole digger before then be prepared for your life to change forever.

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About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!