Would you buy a used post hole augur

There’s a PTO post hole digger listed on CL for a decent price. Says he bought it for one fencing project and doesn’t need it anymore (and it does look brand new). These things don’t seem to be particularly maintenance prone, so I’m thinking it’s low risk as long as I have him run it to demonstrate it’s operational. Am I crazy–are there any hidden time bombs in these things I should be looking for?

It’s not much discounted off the new price, but there is the huge advantage that it’s already assembled and he can deliver it. That’s a couple of hours I would be happy to keep.

I know there are folks here who hate the the PTO augurs, but I’m committed to getting that type. Our soil is very easy digging, no rocks an our compact utility tractor doesn’t have the hydraulic ooomph to run a hydraulic augur, much less a post pounder)

A PTO auger is definitely something I’d buy used. It’s a simple machine and easy to check out and fix. Take a good look at the point to see if it’s worn/needs replacement.

The price not being discounted a lot would really make me look at new and see if the farm equipment store could assemble/deliver it reasonably. It might be worth the extra cost just for the full warranty.

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We’re it me, knowing only the info you offered on this post, I’d go for it. In general, PTO equipment it pretty tough. As long as one adds gear oil where/if needed they tend to chug right along for years (and years and years). I have a lot of PTO attachments, including an auger I bought new at TS. I’m not thrilled with TS tractor equipment (ironically), but I needed one and it was an easy purchase. If the one you’re considering runs ok in a demo it’s very likely GTG. Bonus that it’s assembled and can be delivered to you. Ensure it has gear oil in the gearbox, and anything damp or glistening below may indicate a leak (not necessarily a bad thing if it’s not too slimy but a point for bringing the price down a little more). Have the seller show you (or Google) the location of the shear pin and ensure it’s intact before you start using it. If you hit something hard while auguring that could damage the augur, the SP will shear off and the augur will stop spinning (ask me how I know :sweat_smile:… I did exactly that and thought I’d broken it… DH was my all-things-mechanical knight in shining armor and replaced the SP and voila, I was back in business).

Augers come in different circumferences so make sure the one on offer is wide enough for your needs, and/or that it’s not a monster that would be very hard and possibly dangerous to wrangle on and off your tractor. I think I got a mid-size(?)… had no idea at the time what I needed and just got what “looked” right.

A word of caution - an auger, even a small one, is heavy as frick and extremely awkward to handle, and therefore potentially dangerous if you try to hook up/unhook by yourself. I’ve done it, but hated every minute. DH rigged a tripod that supports it as while attaching to the tractor, and that supports it when not in use. That makes it a little easier but I’m still very much on guard when getting onto my tractor. I usually ask DH to help.

Hope this helps, good luck!


Does your compact tractor have the PTO horsepower and the vertical 3-point lift to operate this PHD ? Some of these little tractors have the HP to spin the auger but the lift limits the length of the auger that can be used, usually to 36 inches.

If your compact has a 3 point quick hitch or iMatch keep in mind that it needs to be removed in order to connect any PHD. Also make sure the PTO shaft is long enough to use with your particular tractor. PTO shafts for PHDs are not inexpensive. What diameter auger does this PHD come with? Will it dig the diameter holes you require, or will you need to buy an additional auger?

Not much to go wrong if the gearbox is good and nothing is bent and the PTO shaft looks good. If those look OK and you have sufficient tractor to run it, and the price is fair, go for it.


Do you understand WHY so many people “hate” these things? Do you understand the risks involved in operating one? And how to stay relatively SAFE and ALIVE when operating one? They are considered one of THE MOST DANGEROUS tractor mounted implements available. Yes, you can dig a post hole with one, if your tractor is up to the job. And apparently, you can kill yourself with one pretty easily too. So, investigate how these implements kill people who operate them, so that you can hope to not become a statistic yourself. (Hint- don’t wear baggy clothing). Good luck.

This is a really good point, I will check the vertical lift. I did check the horsepower specs and we’re fine. It’s a 35 horsepower tractor, not tiny, but I hadn’t thought of the vertical lift, so thanks.

He said it does, will dbl chk. Also coming with Xtra shear pins
The augur bit is a 12" which will work well for gate/ corner posts. Might be a bit much for line posts, we usually use 5" posts for those.
If I have to immediately go out and buy a second bit, I think the wisdom of this particular purchase is maybe less.
Will have to give this a little thought

I do plan on building a frame from which it"ll be suspended.

A 35 HP tractor should be in the physical size range to not worry about vertical lift, and not worry about a standard length post hole auger dragging on the ground during transport. Sounds like you’ll be fine.

The vast majority of implement gearboxes these days are manufactured in Asia, so don’t be put off if it’s labeled made in China. As a general rule, if the gearbox doesn’t fail in the first year (and few do) it has a long life ahead of it. Many Frontier implements, the Deere dealer brand, use China manufactured gearboxes.

Using a PHD has its learning curve. Go slow and clear the hole often until you get a feel for the soil. It is no fun to have to unscrew an auger by hand with a big pipe wrench because the tractor isn’t able to lift it out. Remember that (most) tractor PTOs are not reversible. They can screw the auger in, but can’t unscrew it.


We have several pre- owned post hole augers. Never had an issue. My husband and sons know what to look for as far as mechanical faults / soundness of equipment though.

Have the person dig a hole with it and if it holds up I would say you are good to go.

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