Do electric post hole diggers work? [ Fully Answered]

Last Updated on November 3, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

Electric post hole diggers are great for digging holes quickly and easily. But do electric post hole diggers work? Can they make a difference in how long it takes to your work done?

There are many types of post hole diggers available, and each has its pros and cons. We will take a look at what a post hole digger is and what you should look for when looking to purchase an electric post hole digger

What is a Post Hole Digger?

A post hole digger is a machine used to make holes for planting trees or fencing posts. They are useful for gardeners because they save you time and energy.

There are different types of post hole diggers depending on how much power you want.  There are four types of post hole diggers:

  • Manual
  • Gas post hole diggers
  • Electric or corded post hole diggers
  • Battery powered post hole diggers

Another good thing about post hole diggers is that they are easy to operate. Just push down on the lever to start digging. When you’re done or reached the depth you need, turn off the machine.

You can buy a post-hole diggers online or at a local hardware store. However, you might want to consider buying one online since many brands exist.

electric post hole digger digging hole in dirt

Types of Post Hole Diggers

A post hole digger is one of the most useful tools around. Whether you are planting a tree or putting up a fence, it helps make things much easier. There are many different types of post hole diggers, some manual and others automatic.


The most basic type of post hole digger is the manual post hole digger.  These models you might have seen your granddad or dad use to dig a hole to plant a flower or set a mailbox post.  The old two handles with a little clam shaped digging head at the end.


It got a little more than a hand full of dirt at a time.  I have used these and dislike them tremendously.  I live in the southern United States and in the summer our clay soils become hard like concrete.  Getting a hole started with a manual “post” hole digger was a serious labor intensive task.


Post hole diggers aren’t just for gardeners anymore. Gas-powered models are much quicker and easier to use than manual ones, and they’re great for digging holes fast. But there’s a downside. They are heavy and it takes a good bit of physical strength to run one.

If you’ve ever used a gas-powered model, you know what I’m talking about. You turn the ignition switch on, put the auger into place, and start digging. Once you reach the bottom, you stop and flip off the ignition. Then you lift up the handle and pull out the auger. Repeat the process over and over again.



Electric post hole diggers work differently. You plug them in, press a button, and away you go. They look and operate like gas powered post hole diggers, except they have a power cord and an electric motor to handle the digging duties.

However, they’re a little slower and less powerful than gas-powered models. They are considerably lighter but you lose some maneuverability since you need to be near a power source like a standard wall outlet or a generator.

Battery Powered

Battery powered post hole diggers are the newest on the scene.  They take the maneuverability of gas with less noise and fuel costs of the electric post hole digger and combine them together.

These battery operated devices weigh less than half as much as their larger gas counterparts, making them easier to transport. And since they don’t require fuel, they’re a little easier on the environment as well.  They are well suited for digging and planting trees. Plus, since they’re lighter, they can handle deeper post holes.

electric post hole digging a whole with dirt spinning off the auger

What to Consider When Choosing an Electric Post Hole Hole Digger

There are many different types of electric post hole diggers out there, ranging from heavy duty machines to lightweight models that are all pretty affordable and portable. Here are some things to consider if you’re looking to buy one.

1. Weight

The heavier the machine, the easier it will be to use. A heavy-duty model might be able to handle larger holes, while a lighter-weight model might struggle to keep up with smaller ones.

2. Size

How big is the post hole digger? Do you want something small enough to fit into tight spaces or do you prefer a larger unit that can tackle bigger jobs?

3. Price

You don’t always have to spend a lot of money to get quality equipment. There are plenty of electric post hole digger models that are affordable and offer great features. Most range from $150 – $500

4. Multi Speeds

Many newer electric model power augers have multiple speeds which help you control the speed at which the hole is dug.

Battery or Corded Power

There are two main types of electric post hole digger power sources.  You have battery-powered and electric corded.

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs power battery-powered post-hole diggers.  Standard home power outlets power corded electric models.

Each type of power source has advantages and disadvantages. For example, electric corded post hole diggers are inexpensive and easy to use, but they aren’t very mobile.  On the other hand, battery-powered post-hole diggers are very efficient, but they cost a lot to a good bit more for the initial purchase..

The best choice depends on what you want to do, how often you plan to use it, and where you live.

Depth Capacity

Most one-person post hole augers can dig holes up to 3 feet deep. If you want to dig deeper holes, you will need two people or a larger machine such as an excavator. A three foot deep hole will usually be enough for most fence installations, depending on how tall the posts are.


Corded electric post hole diggers are a little lighter than their battery powered counterparts.  This is mainly due to the battery’s size required to run a post hole digger. They are generally pretty large.

Other than the battery weight there isn’t much difference between corded and battery powered models.



Augers come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common is the handle. A handle allows you to easily control the auger without holding it while operating it. Some augers even have vibration dampening handles.

These handles are usually rubberized grips, but there are some models out there that use foam. Foam does a better job of reducing vibrations than rubber because it doesn’t transfer heat like rubber does.

Rubber tends to warm up quickly, making it harder to work comfortably. So, if you plan to operate your auger for extended periods of time, look into buying an electric earth auger with foam handles.

Summing it Up: Do Electric Post Hole Diggers Work?

Yes, electric post hole diggers work, and they are quieter and less expensive than gas models.

They are more than capable of digging 3-foot-deep holes in the same soils as manual and gas-powered ones.

Electric post hole diggers can do all of this with less vibration and fatigue than you get when running a gas powered model.

They are a win-win situation if you want to easily dig holes with less effort and cost.



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