Shovel VS post hole digger?

Discussion in 'Decks & Patios' started by Jungle, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Aug 12, 2014 #1

    Jungle

    Jungle

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    Is a PHD really better? I think it is only not to disturb the grass?
     
  2. Aug 12, 2014 #2

    Blue Jay

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    You get a better shaped hole with the digger, using a shouvle you will have a lot bigger hole and reversed bell shape.
     
  3. Aug 12, 2014 #3

    Chris

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    What are you digging?
     
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  4. Aug 12, 2014 #4

    slownsteady

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    If you have a lot of large-ish rocks the PHD can be a little frustrating.

    (you can get a PHD from the college of hard-knocks)
     
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  5. Aug 12, 2014 #5

    nealtw

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    If you are planting fence posts, the digger will save how much concrete you will buy, It is tricky to dig a hole with a shovel if you are getting close to 2 ft deep. Either way you will likely need a 5ft digging bar too.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2014 #6

    kok328

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    rent a power auger, you'll be happy you did. My post hole digging days are long gone, only augers from now on.
     
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  7. Aug 12, 2014 #7

    inspectorD

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    YES... What he said....so much faster and easier, and you can rent one with a bobcat if you dont have a machine.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2014 #8

    Jungle

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    Nah, a machine would be more troubs than it would be worth. I have about 15 x 4ft deep holes to dig, the 'new fence.'
    The neighbors had their own survey now, once again confirmed, so it is a tactical fence to over take new lands. It involves concrete breakage, precision shed di-sections. It is better to do in sections i figure. So about 5 holes a day and set the concrete footer. 5 holes dug a day will keep the doctor away.
     
  9. Aug 14, 2014 #9

    nealtw

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    Dig a hole and then say nah
     
  10. Aug 15, 2014 #10

    slownsteady

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    At least pick a nice, cool day to start.
     
  11. Aug 15, 2014 #11

    bud16415

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    Age and enthusiasm play a big part in how many holes a person is willing to do with a PHD. There was a time when I would have dug 15 fence posts by hand. Now one mailbox post is pushing the limits. I went out and got my PHD out of the shed the other day and one side of the scoop had rusted half off. Seems it was up against a bag of lime and ten years of sitting there did it in.

    The mail box move will have to wait.
     
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  12. Aug 15, 2014 #12

    Fireguy5674

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    You know what they say: "Old and crafty will defeat young and strong every time." or the ever popular "Work smarter not harder."

    It took me a long time to learn these truths.
     
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  13. Aug 16, 2014 #13

    mako1

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    To dig a post hole with a shovel to a depth of 4' you would have a huge diameter hole.
     
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  14. Aug 17, 2014 #14

    nealtw

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    There is something called a spoon shovel. Years ago I saw two guys dig a hole 8 ft deep for a telephone pole.
     
  15. Aug 17, 2014 #15

    bud16415

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    Grape farmers around here all have one for posts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair
     
  16. Feb 3, 2015 #16

    susan-j

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    My back aches from just reading this discussion! I attempted to go shovel-only years ago, with disastrous results. I go power auger all the way now. Not only is it faster, the results are much cleaner as well.
     
  17. Feb 3, 2015 #17

    frodo

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    I use my PHD to plant veggie plants, how do you pour your concrete in each hole?

    I figure 1 bag per hole, fill hole with water, pour concrete in hole, jewg it with a stick,

    cover with dirt, go to the next hole
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  18. Feb 3, 2015 #18

    Sparky617

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  19. Feb 3, 2015 #19

    Big Red

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    I like using a spade for this. Once you get down so far, you can sit down and chip away a couple inches of dirt at a time and use your hands, and a post-hole digger to remove the dirt. It seems like a hard job, but it's really easy digging when you can sit down!! I dug numerous holes this way down to 40" inches deep--even underneath an existing deck that was poorly constructed in order to get more supporting posts under it. A spade is my favorite digging shovel.
     
  20. Feb 21, 2015 #20

    mmb617

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    Digging post holes is on my list of not favorite things to do, but over the years I've dug a fair number of them. The proper tool depends largely on the type of soil you're digging in. Our ground is full of rocks, some fairly large. I've always used a post hole digger and a digging bar for when I encounter a rock. Ever notice how the big rocks are usually pretty far down in the hole? In those cases the hole gets a good bit oversized but I don't know how you'd avoid that happening.

    As I'm getting on in years I thought it was time to rent a gas powered auger the last time I had some holes to dig. It didn't work out at all because it kept hitting rocks which would throw it off course and move the hole out of line. A Bobcat with auger attachment does work, but that's way overkill for a few post holes.

    The best way of all I found to dig post holes is to lay out where I want them, then hire a much younger man to do them. I have the equipment, they supply the muscle. This works so well it's my go-to method from now on.
     
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