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kruzrken, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 220
Experience:  California licensed contractor
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What is the best way to dig into clay soil. Id like to use

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What is the best way to dig into clay soil. I'd like to use an electrical tool and I'm a little confused on the difference between a jack hammer and a rotary hammer so please be as specific as you can. Anything elese that can help would also be appreciated.

Hi There, This is Ken, and I'll answer your question!

Your choice of tool depends somewhat how large a diameter hole you want. If you are thinking fence post holes or a 3 ft. diameter for a well, then these do not apply. However, the basic difference between roto-hammers and hammer drills and jack hammers is that the first two are used for drilling round holes (normally less than 12 in. deep), where as a jackhammer uses various types of chisel bits, and creates an irregular and much larger hole, and can go much deeper.. Here are two videos for you to watch:

If you have any further questions, please let me know.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm looking to create some flat areas (hill side property) and the soil is clay. It is a good size project and if I'm understanding you correct a jackhammer is the tool to use.

What are your thoughts about entry level electrical chinese made jackhammers (Neiko and generic) On a home owner budget which one would be a good buy.

Well, there are Chinese, and then there are Chinese :>) I'm not familiar with the brand you mentioned, although I have made many purchases from Harbor Freight tools (if not available locally, they also sell online) and I have never gotten a bad product, except for one, an impact wrench. The only reason I did not return it is I am currently in Mexico.


If you buy from a place with a written guarantee, why worry?

I know what you mean about clay.I used to live in Sacramento. I destroyed a rototiller there, and wound up using a pick axe.

What you want to look for is amperage. The higher the better. If you have 240V available and can purchase a 240V tool, even better, less line loss on the cord. If you are going electric, be certain to use the shortest cord which is practicable, and as big of a wire size as is possible. As a contractor, for heavy work, I use a 3 wire #12 cord (good for up to 20 amps). It also goes without saying, that you should connect to a ground-fault protected outlet when working outdoors.

Good luck on your project..


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