Digging Bars


Digging Bars



Whether you need to plant a tree or dig a hole for a backyard barbeque pit, there are special tools you can use to make the job easier. Digging bars are designed specifically to help you clear dirt, rocks and other items out of the way. Although there is a range of available products to choose from, most are steel bars in different shapes and sizes that are designated for specific uses. Digging bars often work better than shovels, which can bend or break in rocky soil. Whether you are doing landscaping in your yard, digging holes to lay pipes, or digging postholes for a deck or fence, a digging bar can help you get the job done more quickly than other tools. 


Before you purchase one, consider the following:


        • What type and size of a hole do you need to dig?
        • Do you know the proper techniques for digging a hole?
        • Is the soil you are digging in rocky?
        • Do you need a digging bar to lift or move heavy objects?
        • Do you need to dig a hole for a post?


Digging, Safety Tips and Tool Selection

Before using a digging bar to create a hole, you must first do some background including a check into local zoning laws in the area you plan to dig. You will also want to check on common items that could be buried where you are digging; the most important of which are utility wires, cable lines, sewer systems, and pipes.
Call “811” or request information through www.call811.combefore you dig to identify any underground concerns. Choose the location for the hole based upon the reason for digging.  If you know for a fact that a certain part of your yard has extensive tree roots or gravel, select another location if possible. Familiarizing yourself with safety tips is also a good idea to avoid some of the accidents that can happen when using heavy, steel digging bars.  
Digging a Hole: After carefully selecting the location for your hole, plan the dimensions of the hole. Next, mark off the shape of your hole with rope. Always remember, it is better to dig a bit more than necessary since you can backfill later. Start your hole by digging out the entire shape first, beginning at the edge of the rope and working around. After the shape is dug, remove the rope and begin making the hole deeper.
        • To dig through grass roots, try to get underneath the roots first, then set them aside
        • After removing the grass, you will have a hole that is approximately 6-inches deep
        • After removing topsoil, dig vertically downwards with a digging bar
        • After you have a 1-1/2-foot hole, use a square point shovel to straighten the walls
        • Use a post hole digger to pick up loose dirt at the bottom of the hole
Safety Tips: Using digging bars can cause accidents, so it is important to practice basic safety measures when using these tools around the house or garden. The most common accident happens when the bar slips, either from your hand (because you lose your grip) or from the object that you are digging or removing. You can also be injured from the strain exerted on your back, shoulders, or arms when using the bar to pry. When a rock or object that you are trying to dislodge breaks free, there is a danger of falling backwards or tumbling into another piece of equipment. Avoid cuts, broken bones, concussions, and a host of other maladies by following a few basic safety tips.
        • Make sure you are using the proper tool for the job to avoid accidents
        • If the object you are prying is heavy, ask another person to help to avoid back strain
        • Before you begin digging, plant your feet squarely and establish a strong foothold
        • Always be prepared for rocks and other materials that could quickly loosen
        • Use gloves for a better grip and make sure they are free of water or grease    
Selection: When it comes to choosing the right tool for the job, consult this handy chart to learn about the different types of digging bars and their common uses.

Type of Digging Bar

Best Used For

Pinch Point Bar • Pinching and prying large objects
Post Hole Digger • Removing soil from holes for footings or posts
Pry Bar • Leveraging tool for moving large objects
San Angelo Bar • Digging in difficult soil
Tamper Bar • Loosening tightly packed, rocky dirt and tamping it down
• Digging post holes and then tamping down the soil around
  a post once it has been set


Tamper Bar: These heavy steel bars are approximately 5 to 6-feet long with a flattened 2 to 2-1/2-foot end for tamping down the soil and a pointed chiseled end for loosening dirt or rocks. They are typically used before switching to another tool such as a post digger.
San Angelo Bar: A San Angelo bar is a steel digging bar, approximately 6-feet long, which adds leverage for clearing rocks and roots from post holes and ditches.  The wedge end can also cut roots.
Pinch Point Bar: Used for levering and demolition jobs, these 5 to 5-1/2-foot long steel bars add leverage to pry large objects out of the ground.
Post Hole Digger: A posthole digger is a 5 to 5-1/2-foot long tool that resembles a large pair of pliers with clam-like scoops attached to long handles that removes soil from holes for footings or posts. These tools dig holes that are approximately 3 to 4-feet deep and 9-inches or larger in diameter.
Pry Bar: A pry bar is a 5 to 5-1/2-foot long tool made of steel and is used for loosening or levering rocks or other heavy objects.