They are also called post knockers, fence drivers, and most commonly, post drivers. How do they work and what are they used for? A post driver is similar to many other power tools, it has a powered equivalent that makes use of clever engineering instead of your muscles.
A post driver is a tool used to drive fence posts into the ground. Although planting fence posts may seem like an easy task, they require more than just digging a hole in the ground. A fence that falls over because the posts were planted too shallowly in the ground is the last thing you want. You want your posts to be firmly rooted in the ground so they stand tall even against adverse weather conditions. With a post driver, you can drive the post uniformly downward, ensuring that it is driven deeply into the ground with the least amount of damage to the post. There are different types of post drivers:
- Manual Post Drivers – Post drivers of this type rely on the lifting force of people. Its design allows it to operate with much less energy than a hammering tool such as a sledgehammer. Manual posts are designed to be simple yet impactful. They work by lifting and dropping the “pounder” over top of the post. A hollow pounder has an open end that is more-or-less the diameter of a post, which fits within the hollow pounder. There is a closed end to the pounder, and the post strikes against it. Since the pounder is fed through a hollow tube with little wiggle room, the striking force is retained, resulting in a very hard, consistent hit that relies more on the weight of the pounder and consequent striking force than the strength of the operator.
- Pneumatic Post Drivers – They aren’t very common outside of construction sites. Pneumatic post drivers use the power of external air compressors. While its principles are the same as those of manual post drivers, it uses air pressure to elevate the pounder, which is then shut off by the operator, driving it to the center of the post with its full weight. Although bulky, pneumatic drivers can lift a lot of weight with little effort, allowing them to reduce manual labor by a considerable amount.
- Gas Post Drivers – These post drivers use a combustion motor to drive posts into the ground. The motion of a gas-powered post driver is similar to that of a jackhammer as it taps extremely fast. Rather than smashing a weight against a post, gas post drivers vibrate it into the ground. Gas-powered post drivers are as portable as the manual version, yet much more powerful.
Which Post Driver Is Right for The Job?
The choice of a post driver is based on your situation, which is why it is a difficult question to answer. It is possible to rent both manual and gas-powered post drivers from a local equipment rental company, so you may want to consider both. Despite its power, a pneumatic driver may not be available in your area and it may require a complex setup. It is important to gauge your job’s size whether it is manual or gas. You may decide to use a gas powered post driver depending on the season, where you live, and how much work needs to be done.