Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Ideal for my needs
on 14 August 2013
I've recently had to dig approximately 40 holes to install a pergola and the decking area around it. Most of the holes have thankfully only been about two feet deep, but the six for the pergola posts were well over three feet each (six of them).
This spade has been an absolute godsend for getting right down into the bottom of the holes whilst keeping the diameter reasonably close to the size of the posts (obviously the holes need to be a bit wider so that you can back-fill and concrete around the posts). It's a very well made tool which is still looking good even after the amount of work it's been put too. I'd say that the dimensions were very good too. The blade is long enough and slim enough and with just the right amount of rake/pitch on it. Any less you wouldn't be able to get any leverage on it, any more and you'd struggle to get it down the hole! I also like the fact that it's quite long. This means that even towards the bottom of the hole you've enough handle to be able to easily use it without too much back bending. I found it quite light to use, which had both pluses and minuses. The lightness meant that I could use it for long periods without too much fatigue. The minus side of this is that it's not too much use for breaking through anything too tough (see below).
I used the spade in conjunction with a Roughneck 68250 Post Hole digger and a Faithful Digbar60 Digging Bar, both also purchased from Amazon.co.uk. The digging bar was an indispensable tool, allowing me to break through the odd brick and lump of concrete without the need for jack-hammer. I'd have been completely stuck without it. The Roughneck digger is a scissor-like tool which is used for getting the loosened soil out of the hole. Having never done this sort of work before I was wondering whether I'd gone over the top with the tools, but using all three together made (reasonably) easy work of the job. OK, it was an investment of about £100 for all three, but I probably saved myself about £300 in labour, and I still have the tools (and a bit more muscle).
A quick tip if you're putting up pergola or fence posts, get yourself a post level. This guide has spirit levels on two sides enabling you to get a post perfectly vertical whilst using both hands, as opposed to struggling with a spirit level in one hand, juggling it from one side of the post to the other. Another £7 well spent!