How To Use A Digging Bar [Step By Step Guide]

Gardening entails a lot of work, and specific tools are best for different situations. If you're looking to dig holes in your garden, you've probably come across a digging bar, but you're unsure how to use it.

We know how confusing it can get, so we researched the best way to use a digging bar to answer your questions. With that said, let's dive right in!

Here is how to use a digging bar:

  1. Measure the digging area and check to see if there are wires or pipes you might hit.
  2. Mark the space that needs to be dug out.
  3. Begin digging by using the chisel end of the digging bar. Dig the outline of the area you need to remove by chiseling out the ground in parts.
  4. Once you have outlined the area, remove the turf using a spade.
  5. Start digging deeper into the soil by driving the chisel end of the digging bar into the ground. Twist the digging bar to break up the compacted soil and loosen them. 
  6. Remove the soil with a spade as you go deeper into the ground. Use the digging bar until you have reached the preferred depth for your hole.
  7. If you have dug the hole deep enough, tamp the soil down by using the opposite end of the tamper of the digging bar. Push the flat end of the tamper repeatedly on the ground to compact and flatten the base.

Knowing how to use a digging bar will help you dig holes in your garden quickly and efficiently. In this post, we will talk about the easiest way to use a digging bar for your garden. We'll also talk about the types you might need in your toolshed. Let's begin!

How To Use A Digging Bar

Digging holes for your plants is probably one of the more challenging parts of gardening. Typically, you can get garden machines to help you dig plots for the garden you are creating, but it can be too much for smaller ones.

In that case, manual digging is still the best, and there are a couple of garden tools you can use instead.

The digging bar is one of the best garden tools for making holes. This garden tool is generally a large metal bar used to dig holes.

Typically, the end of the digging bar has a chisel-like blade that you can push through the ground to start digging. However, there are other types of digging bars with different ends that you can use to dig holes.

If you see a digging bar, you're probably going to think, "how do I dig a hole with this?"

Most people unfamiliar with the tool often wonder what the best way is to use the digging bar. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to use, even for beginners.

A Guide To Using A Digging Bar

A worker uses a post-hole digging bar with chisel edge to cut unwanted roots

Items Needed:

  • Digging bar
  • Shovel
  • Measuring tape
  • Rope or marking paint


1. Measure the area you need to dig

Begin the digging process by measuring the area you need to work on. Use a tape measure to mark the site for the hole you will dig.

Check the surrounding area to see if there are any pipes or electrical wiring that you may damage during the digging. Avoid these areas if you find them.

2. Mark the area

Using a rope or marking paint, mark the area you need to dig. Outline the shape of the hole that needs to be dug and mark the area where you can start digging.

3. Dig the outline of the area

Start digging by pushing down the chiseled end of the digging bar into the ground. Use this end to "slice" your way through the outline of the area.

4. Remove the turf

Once you have loosened the outline of the hole, remove the turf using a shovel. You can also use the shovel to loosen the soil underneath the turf.

5. Begin digging

After removing the turf, begin digging deeper by driving the chiseled end of the digging bar into the soil. Use a twisting motion to allow the flat chiseled end to loosen the compacted soil.

If you find some roots, use the chiseled end of the digging bar to break them up.

6. Shovel the soil out of the hole

When the soil in the hole is loose enough, remove them with a shovel. Dig out the area as deeply as possible by removing the dirt and other debris.

If shoveling the loose soil out of the hole is challenging, you can use a post-hole digger to help remove them.

7. Flatten the base

After clearing the hole of loose soil and debris, flatten the base of the hole by tamping down the ground. Most digging bars have a tamper on the opposite of the chiseled end.

Gently press down the rounded tamper on the ground to tamp down and compact the bottom of the hole.

shovels, pry bar, digging bar, tamper. digging tools leaning on a wall. How To Use A Digging Bar [Step By Step Guide]

Types Of Digging Bar

While digging bars are generally just long metal bars used for digging, several types serve different purposes.

Of course, they can be interchangeably used, but some digging bars are more valuable than others. It depends on the work you will be doing, as well as the area you will be working on.

Pinch Point Bar/Pry Bar

Check out this pinch-point bar on Amazon.

A pinch point bar or pry bar is the most common digging bar you'll find in most homes. These bars are usually about 5 or 5 1/2 feet long and are made of solid metal.

Usually, these digging bars pinch and pry large objects on the ground. The end of these bars is typically wedge-shaped so that you can use them to leverage an object when prying them out.

Post Hole Digger

Get this post-hole digger on Amazon.

Post-hole diggers don't exactly look like the other digging bars, but they do the same purpose. These post-hole diggers have jaws that allow the user to scoop out the soil in its jaws for easy removal.

They are usually used to dig post holes or footings necessary when building fences in the garden.

San Angelo Bar

Grab this San Angelo digging bar on Amazon.

A San Angelo digging bar is a heavy metal bar with a pointed end to aid in digging difficult soil. These bars were specifically designed to cut through roots, loosen heavily compacted soil, and destroy other objects in the hole.

San Angelo bars are great if you dig a deep hole with roots buried underneath the ground.

Tamper Bar

See this tamper bar on Amazon.

The tamper bar is one of the most useful types of digging bars available on the market. It has a chiseled end on one side and a flat, rounded tamper on the other.

These digging bars are usually used alongside other tools like a post-hole digger or a shovel to complete the job.

How Else Can You Use A Digging Bar?

Proper tools such as a posthole digger and a rock bar are being used to dig a fence post hole.

Aside from digging holes, digging bars are also useful for various purposes. These tools are very versatile, so it's a great addition to any garden shed.

Digging bars are great if you need a tool to break up roots in the garden. This is especially useful around tree stumps and other plants in the garden. You can also use digging bars to loosen the soil in the garden to help air the roots of the plants.

During winter, you can also use the digging bar to break the ice on the ground.

They are also helpful as levers if you move heavy objects on the ground. These digging bars can also remove items from the house's exterior during construction.

volunteer putting a digging bar in a planting hole in order to plant a tree. How To Use A Digging Bar [Step By Step Guide]

Our Final Thoughts

They might be basic, but a digging bar is an essential tool that you should have in your garden shed.

This tool not only helps you plot holes in the ground, but you can also use them to pry objects out of places in the garden. They don't take up much space and are very affordable, so don't forget to get one for your garden.

Made it to the end? Check out these related posts below!

How To Use A Ratchet Garden Cultivator

How To Use A Spading Fork [Step By Step Guide]

How To Use A Digging Bar [Step By Step Guide]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *