If you need to dig a hole to, say, plant a tree, there are a few different tools available to get the job done. Depending on the size and number of holes you need to make, here are some tools to consider.
SDS Plus Hammer
An SDS Plus rotary hammer uses an SDS Plus bit. It has 3 functions
- hammer drill
You can use the hammer function with an SDS spade bit to break up hard soil. I have the Bosch Bulldog xTreme which is a popular SDS Plus rotary hammer.
|Max speed||1300 rpm|
|Blow energy||2 ft lb|
|Blows per minute||5800 BPM|
|Chuck type||SDS Plus|
Some SDS Plus bits you can use are
If you need to longer bit, you can buy an SDS Plus bit extension. But, be careful as I believe it’s designed more for drilling rather than hammering.
SDS Max Hammer
The next step up from an SDS Plus hammer is the SDS Max hammer. This one is from Harbor Freight. It also has 3 functions.
|Max speed||515 rpm|
|Blow energy||6 ft lb|
|Blows per minute||2900 BPM|
|Chuck type||SDS Max|
This hammer is 4 lbs heavier than the previous one but has 3 times the blow power.
Some SDS Max bits you can use are
This bit is 18 inches long.
1-1/8″ Hex Jackhammer
Next up would be a full on 1-1/8″ Hex Shank Jackhammer. This is normally used for breaking concrete. This is only a hammer. It cannot drill. For example
|Blow energy||55 ft lb|
|Blows per minute||1800 BPM|
|Chuck type||1-1/8″ hex shank|
This hammer is MUCH heavier (by 30 lbs) than the previous one but has 9 times the blow power.
Some 1-1/8″ hex shank bits you can use are
You can rent a gas-powered auger from the Home Depot for $78 per day or buy one from Harbor Freight.
It comes with a 6 in. diameter x 31 in. long auger bit and offers 45 ft. lbs. of torque and fast drilling speeds up to 320 RPM.
There are different bit sizes as well as an bit extension available.
If you use an auger, or any digging method for that matter, it’s important to soak the ground with water first. You can create a small hole first and then fill it with water so the water will seep down to soften the ground you want to remove.
When using an auger, drill to your desired depth and then leave the auger in the ground until you remove the dirt that it brings to the surface. If you remove the auger right away, the dirt will fall into the hole you just made.
Also, for large holes, you’ll need to make multiple small holes. In the photo below, I made 4 holes in each corner and after making one hole, I’ll cover the hole with wood to prevent dirt from falling into them while drilling a new hole.
Once you’ve drilled 4 holes, you can use the auger or a jack hammer to break the remaining dirt and scoop it out using a shovel.
You can also rent this towable auger for $118 per day but I found it very heavy and difficult to use.
You can also rent a mini skid steer with auger attachment. They cost $300 per day from the Home Depot.
You can also rent a mini excavator from the Home Depot for $300 per day.