From a pro fencer
I'm a professional fencer, I've used several top brand machines over the past 17yrs but the only one I use and recommend is a Tanaka. Is worth it's weight in gold. The dig assist is a must if you want to save your back, wrists and shoulders. Tuned properly with the dig assist attached this machine will allow you to dig one handed. It's strong, well built and east to move around. Top machine that will out last any other machines.
Great post hole digger
I have bought 3 petrol post hole diggers in my life, the first 2 from eBay which broke within a couple of holes dug (the first one on its second hole, the second one on the 4th I think). Obviously I couldn't go through cheap machines that last an average of 3 holes per machine forever, so I decided to take the plunge and buy something that I know is good. I have had a Tanaka whipper snipper for years and it is excellent. Tanaka sell 2 post hole diggers and I bought the larger one, the JEA-50, which is a 1 or 2 person, which I got at a discount ...for around $1000. I also bought the optional Dig Assist which is pretty expensive for what it is - $339 for a metal pole with 2 pneumatic tyres and 2 auger bits which are also expensive - about $600 each. So I guess I'm all in for about $2500, which is A LOT of money. I have moved to a farm which needs a lot of fencing work done, so my future will be using this thing all the time. So this Tanaka is amazingly good, especially with the Dig Assist attached. If you have ever used a post hole digger you will know that you have to put a lot of muscle into it to keep it from twisting. That is just the nature of the beast - it is trying to twist one way into the ground and you have to twist the other way to stop it. If you haven't used one this takes a lot of force that can break your arm if you hit a root suddenly. Well anyway with the Dig Assist attached it doesn't try to twist anymore, because the pole is so long and the tyres just dig in. It's an amazing feeling to NOT have to put your muscle into the twist but just push down to speed it along. You can't use the Dig Assist in corners (because it is on the side opposite you) so I have first hand experience that holes go about twice as fast and much more precise with it than without it. Even without the Dig Assist the JEA-50 is a great machine that works really well. The auger bits bite great and you can tell the machine is very high quality. It says 'Made in Japan' in letters almost as big as 'Tanaka' and it shows - it is top quality with nothing plastic except the fuel tank and the throttle lever. Speaking of the fuel tank it is very big at a full litre and the machine is very fuel efficient - I have gone through 15 holes so far on about 2/3 of the tank. It is also easy to start and since the fuel tank is above the carby you don't need a priming bulb. So if you are a professional or a farmer and need something that can reliably dig a hole for you and will almost certainly outlive you and your children, I recommend this Tanaka wholeheartedly. I especially recommend shelling out $339 for the Dig Assist, as you will be amazed how well it works. I am giving it 4 stars only because it is so expensive. On quality alone it is a solid 5 star machine.
Questions & Answers
can you put a 300mm ir 400mm auger on the Tanaka JEA-50 Post hole digger?
I only used a 150 and 200 so I’m not sure but there is plenty of tork in the machine, but use a extension arm on the machine, saves your arms and shoulders
No you cannot - it tops out at 10 inch/250mm. Nor would you want to go higher. Even with the dig assist option (a big long arm on a pair of wheels), it still kicks like an army mule with the 250mm auger. Go any higher on the auger width and it would get flat out dangerous. ANY petrol hand held digger with a 400mm auger would either break the unit or break your arm(s) with its kicking. In my opinion, above 300mm you are in tractor territory for safety reasons.
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