How to Dig Through Solid Rock Without a Blast

July 16, 2023
David Sunnyside

If your property has a lot of rock, it may be difficult to dig a hole for a fence post or to plant anything. In some cases, blasting is necessary to break solid rock and this can be very expensive. If you want to avoid the cost of a blast, there are some other unusual techniques that sometimes work. For example, you can drill small holes into the rock with a hammer drill and then fill them with expansive cement (Google expansive rock breaking). This will loosen the rocks for digging.

Another option is to use an excavator. This is a machine that can break through concrete and hard dirt quickly. If you choose this option, mark off the area with chalk so that you can see the outline of your hole when digging. Before renting a piece of equipment, make sure to call 811 to find out the location of any utility lines that could be underground.

If you don't have a jackhammer, try using a shovel that has a sharp pointed end. This tool cuts through roots easier than other types of shovels. You can also use a pinch bar, which is basically an extra-long crowbar that is built for heavy-duty levering and prying.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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