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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to install and maintain a fence line of about 100 posts in somewhat challenging terrain. I need an auger but trying to decide between a 3 point option or a hand held unit like the Stihl BT131. I’ve never used either, the terrain is challenging but 90% is accessible by tractor. Curious what people think and about personal experiences.

cheers!
 

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What will you use on the other 10% not accessible to the tractor? The tractor unit will be easier to use as the machine does all the heavy lifting once attached to the tractor. Rocks and roots will be the only real issue with either machine.
 

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Tractor digger all day long. I've been thrown by power hand auger too many times. It's not worth the potential injury or the recovery time on the couch to get over it.
 

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Research towable post hole augers. When we built our backyard fence we first rented a 2 man auger. It SUCKED trying to get thru our rocky rooted NC red clay. After a few holes, I returned it to the rental center. They then suggested the towable, it worked great even on some steep slopes.

If you can get the tractor to 90% this will work great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What will you use on the other 10% not accessible to the tractor? The tractor unit will be easier to use as the machine does all the heavy lifting once attached to the tractor. Rocks and roots will be the only real issue with either machine.
Remaining 10% will be manually done with a shovel, pry bar, and scissor style digger! It’s what I’ve done for years, but not this many…
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Research towable post hole augers. When we built our backyard fence we first rented a 2 man auger. It SUCKED trying to get thru our rocky rooted NC red clay. After a few holes, I returned it to the rental center. They then suggested the towable, it worked great even on some steep slopes.

If you can get the tractor to 90% this will work great.
Why is this better than the 3 point option? Lols more expensive and similarly awkward? I’ll do some more reading…
 

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I have the stihl.works great in soil &ice,not so much where roots and rocks are involved.it beats you up, if you hit something, making it impossible without being able to fracture the matrix.there is a super cool tool to use in the worst areas,it's called a cobra,by atlas/copco
 

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A hand unit will do 100%
A 3pt unit will do 90%
Depends if you want to hand dig 10 post holes or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A hand unit will do 100%
A 3pt unit will do 90%
Depends if you want to hand dig 10 post holes or not.
I just don’t know what I’ll get into, a lot of glacial till here but the property was an old farm historically so I hope most of the big stones are in walls now. Would a 3 point auger be any safer or better dealing with stones?
 

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3 pt will retain its value..while it does cost more.

Ever use a hand held one???...I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Rent whatever .....when your fence is done you won't have a use for any digger.

I'd venture to guess most post hole diggers are used once and parked for life unless on a real ranch.

Biggest money wasted on an implement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
3 pt will retain its value..while it does cost more.

Ever use a hand held one???...I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Rent whatever .....when your fence is done you won't have a use for any digger.

I'd venture to guess most post hole diggers are used once and parked for life unless on a real ranch.

Biggest money wasted on an implement.
Thanks for sharing! Renting seems like a logistical PITA here, I’d probably buy and resell if not keeping it. Seems that augers could be useful for plantings and other digging too? Again, I’m green here so Looking for any/all perspectives.
 

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Don't see what tractor you have.

Carefull with a 3 pt. ......things can go wrong just hooking it up or unhooking and you can bust an ear off the Rockshft cover.

Lots of info here on repairing those.......
 

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I don't know what tractor you have but there is a loader mounted hydraulic post hole digger that you might look into.
 

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Rent tow-behind one. I own a hand unit and with rocky soil or roots (which I have) it is a constant source of injuries. It sits unused. Tow behind one is also easier to position and feels safer.
I still remember the last time my big-a$$ got spun on the hand unit. No thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Don't see what tractor you have.

Carefull with a 3 pt. ......things can go wrong just hooking it up or unhooking and you can bust an ear off the Rockshft cover.

Lots of info here on repairing those.......
Haven’t figured out how to add tractor details to signature yet… 3033R
 

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3 pt will retain its value..while it does cost more.

Ever use a hand held one???...I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Rent whatever .....when your fence is done you won't have a use for any digger.

I'd venture to guess most post hole diggers are used once and parked for life unless on a real ranch.

Biggest money wasted on an implement.
LOL, guilty of that one. We have both a 3ph digger and a post driver and neither get used often unless we are totally rebuilding a long stretch of fence. 5-10 holes get hand dug as by the time we hook up the machinery, dig the holes with the auger and take care of putting machinery away we could have dug them by hand. The driver is a little bit of a chore to hook up but I will say when you drive a post, it's rock solid right now. Of course if you hit a big rock or root, the post is probably splintered, lol.

I agree on renting unless you are going to have an ongoing need for either one. If I was going to buy, I'd probably get a 3ph because I don't want another small engine to keep up- especially one that doesn't get used often.
 

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In our dry soil it was such a hard and tedious work to dig even one hole with 2person digger. Now with 3ph it takes just around a minute to dig the hole. Many struggle with attaching the machine we dod as well the first time. But if you get one with legs or make a stand for it becomes very easy to attach. I think I can connect it faster now than many other implements that need more fiddling.
 

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I need to install and maintain a fence line of about 100 posts in somewhat challenging terrain. I need an auger but trying to decide between a 3 point option or a hand held unit like the Stihl BT131. I’ve never used either, the terrain is challenging but 90% is accessible by tractor. Curious what people think and about personal experiences.

cheers!
We rented a 2 man one once to do the fence around our backyard pool in NJ. Was in the Big Brother program, and my little brother was a big kid. So the 2 of us would dig a hole and usually hit a rock which stopped us. We'd go to the next hole while the wife made with a crowbar and hammer to get the rock out. Then we went back and finished the hole.

Not sure how one keeps a 3ph auger completely vertical in challenging terrain. Maybe others who've done it can comment.
 
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