Home
Fact-checked

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Posthole?

A posthole is a specific type of excavation used primarily for setting fence posts or foundations. It's a deep, narrow hole dug into the ground, creating a secure space for a post to be placed and then filled, ensuring stability. Intrigued by the nuances of proper posthole digging? Discover how this fundamental technique underpins sturdy structures and lasting installations.
A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn

A post hole is a hole dug for the purposes of installing a vertical post or similar structure into the ground. A worker uses a posthole digger or posthole auger to create a post hole. Post hole diggers can be manual or powered tools.

A post hole digger is a tool with variable designs and capabilities. More sophisticated variants were engineered based on the simpler designs of past models. A powered post hole digger can be a large machine, where a manual post hole digger is often a portable tool.

Postholes are used to install mailboxes.
Postholes are used to install mailboxes.

Two fundamentally different types of post hole diggers include a serrated edge post hole digger, and an auger tool. The post hole auger is often powered. It has a drill type end that rotates through the earth to displace it and create a post hole. The serrated edge post hole digger is generally a manual tool with two wooden handles.

The user carries it to the point of the intended post hole, and pushes the bottom serrated edges into the ground. The serrated edge post hole digger is made with a “clamshell” design, and the user works the two handles, and a claw shaped tool picks up the earth in small loads. When the earth is relatively soft, home and garden workers can often get good results with these kinds of simple tools.

Augers may be used for boring into the ground to create holes for fence posts.
Augers may be used for boring into the ground to create holes for fence posts.

Manual and powered post hole diggers have their own pros and cons. One of the biggest factors, besides the hardness of the earth, is how many postholes need to be dug. For a small number of garden post holes, a manual digger may be fine. For dozens of postholes, even if the earth is soft, a project manager may want to elect to use a powered post hole digger to avoid intensive labor and to save time.

The larger powered post hole digger machines used on more extensive jobs vary quite a bit. Some have a complex hydraulic apparatus. Others have simple gas or electric motors. Rental stores can explain more about a particular posthole digger model for those who need this kind of machine to complete home and garden tasks. Along with the above issues for posthole digging, project managers can decide whether to rent or buy a posthole digger, whether to outsource a posthole digging project, or whether to enlist a large number of in-house staff in using manual posthole digger tools to facilitate the installation of nearly any kind of fence, or other post-based installation such as a mailbox.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Postholes are used to install mailboxes.
      By: petert2
      Postholes are used to install mailboxes.
    • Augers may be used for boring into the ground to create holes for fence posts.
      By: Doin Oakenhelm
      Augers may be used for boring into the ground to create holes for fence posts.