Choosing a post hole digger
After you get your new tool home and know the exact spot you're doing to dig in, start by driving it into the ground.
"Then you'll want to open up the handles, which will cause the blades to close together," Fisher says. "And then with the handles open, you pick it up and whatever dirt is held within the blades you can dump in a pile off to the side. Keep doing that until you get the size and the depth of hole that you're looking for."
I'm going to tell you right now that if you're wimpy on manual labor, this tool isn't for you. Your arms will feel like you've dug a thousand holes the next day even if it was just a few. Your knuckles will also take a beating from closing the handles. Fisher says they have what they call a "fiberglass innovative post hole digger" that spares the knuckles.
"We call them knuckle protectors," Fisher says. "There's actually extra material at the tip of the handles. It will clash before your knuckles hit each other."
Of course, the whole process will go easier if you're digging in loose, moist soil. Try to make even one hole in hard clay or dirt with lots of rocks and you'll be wishing you'd rented that auger for the day.
Erecting posts: Follow these step-by-step instructions for setting posts that will last.
Sources for manual post hole diggers: Here are links to a number of retailers that offer this handy tool.
Choosing a power auger: If you have many holes to dig, a power auger can save time and aching muscles.
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