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What are post hole diggers made of?

What are post hole diggers made of?

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What is a post hole digger made of A post hole digger’s design can be separated into two sections: the blades and the handles. The blades are commonly made from steel, while the material of the handles can vary depending on each type and model of digger.


Blades of a digger are made from steel

Hardened steel

A post hole digger’s blades are made from hardened steel. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, and it is a material widely used in construction due to its tensile strength and high corrosion resistance. A material’s tensile strength signifies its resistance to breakage while under tension, thus indicating that steel is not likely to snap while under pressure.

A digger's steel blades are heat treated The term ‘hardened steel’ means that it has a medium to high carbon content and has been given the heat treatments of quenching and tempering.
Steel blades heat treatment Quenching is the rapid cooling of a steel object which aims to increase its durability by hardening the metal’s structure. This is followed by tempering, a process of heat treating that increases the strength of the metal.
Steel blades are strong and durable This process means that the blades of the digger are strong and durable.


Post hole digger handles A post hole digger’s handles can be made from wood, steel or fibreglass, depending on the make and model.
Post hole digger with wooden handles


Wooden handles are used as they are often lightweight, while providing the user with a comfortable grip when digging holes.

Wooden handles may not be as strong as steel handles On the negative side, as wood is not as strong as metal, handles made of this material can be less durable than those made of steel.
Post hole digger with steel handles


Some post hole diggers have handles which are made out of steel, similarly to its blades.

Man using a steel handled post hole digger Steel handles are often used, as the material has a high tensile strength, meaning it can withstand the shock that is imposed on the handles when the tool is thrust into the ground.
Steel handles can be heavy However, there is a disadvantage to steel handles: they are often heavier than wooden or fibreglass handles, meaning the user may get tired faster during the digging process.
Post hole digger with fibreglass handles


Another material which may be used to make the handles is fibreglass. The advantage of fibreglass, apart from its light weight, is that it protects the user against electric shock, so if the digger accidentally comes into contact with underground wires the user will not be harmed.

Fibreglass handles should not be flexible An important factor to consider when purchasing a digger with fibreglass handles is that the fibreglass should be stiff and not flexible, otherwise when the digger is driven into the ground the material will absorb the impact and spring too much in the user’s hands.
Powder coating protects the material against rot and damage

Powder coating

Handles made of steel or fibreglass are often finished with a powder coating to protect the material against rot and damage which is likely to occur in a tool that is used outside.

Powder coating to protect and decorate the digger A powder coating is a dry finishing process which, as well as giving a decorative appearance, increases durability by protecting the handles.

Hand grip

Rubber hand grips


Some post hole diggers have hand grips on the end of their handles to provide the user with a better grip. These grips are often made from rubber as it is easy to hold onto and adds extra comfort to the palms of the hands when digging.

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