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SDS cutting and digging bits against tree roots?

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  • #713919
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I remember reading about those SDS Plus and Max bits that can be used for digging and shoveling.

    I typically just use my rotary hammer for drilling and chipping into concrete.

    Will a wide cutting blade or shovel bit be useful in digging a hole say 10″ in diameter and 2 feet deep? I normally do it with a post hole digger manually since we have Sandy soil, but when the hole is filled with roots (not big roots but many strands of smaller say 1/2, 3/4″ roots) can those bits cut through these roots easy?

    #713948
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I would thing that the spade bit or just a wide chisel would easily cut through the tree roots. We have cut through wire mesh and things like that with the chisels when breaking out concrete.

    #714000
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    We usually use a O`o bar on tree roots.

    #714017
    Doobie
    Moderator

    I used my SDS-Max with a wide chisel to cut thru tree roots on several occasions. It works quite well, but if the surrounding soil is loose or sandy it becomes trickier as the chisel may have a bouncy effect when applied to the root. Here, that’s rarely an issue as the soil is very clay laden here where I live.

    #714033
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    I used my SDS-Max with a wide chisel to cut thru tree roots

    There’s a handy idea, Thank you

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #714036
    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    I used my regular SDS flat chisel bits in a pinch, its a great option.

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #714064
    Doobie
    Moderator

    We usually use a O`o bar on tree roots.

    What’s an O’o bar Dirty?

    #714099
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    We usually use a O`o bar on tree roots.

    What’s an O’o bar Dirty?

    You buy them at the HomeDepot. About 5 foot long steel bar with a big chisel end. It’s a digging bar.

    #714118
    Doobie
    Moderator

    We usually use a O`o bar on tree roots.

    What’s an O’o bar Dirty?

    You buy them at the HomeDepot. About 5 foot long steel bar with a big chisel end. It’s a digging bar.

    I have a couple of those. Just never heard of them being called that. I think we just call them ‘pry-bars’ or ‘digger-bars’ here.

    So how is O’o pronounced? Just ‘Oh oh’ more or less, or is it like more an ‘Oh Yo’ way?

    #714129
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    You buy them at the HomeDepot. About 5 foot long steel bar with a big chisel end. It’s a digging bar.

    Looks handy as heck to loosen soil.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #714145
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    I have those bars but they don’t do so well in dealing with roots.

    Like I said the soil here is sandy and with a cluster of small roots all running in different directions the post hole digger goes down about 16″ you hit these roots. When the bar strikes down the roots yield. You won’t hit the same spot each time and the soil is loose as you raise and strike down.

    I think a rotary hammer with a chisel blade will work better. Dig with pole hole digger down 15″ or so. Then use the hammer to chisel all the way around another 4 to 5 inches without removing the soil. This will stop the roots from being pushed down and sideways. Once done then continue with the post hole digger with all the roots untangled.

    #714146
    Doobie
    Moderator

    You buy them at the HomeDepot. About 5 foot long steel bar with a big chisel end. It’s a digging bar.

    Looks handy as heck to loosen soil.

    Yes and no. They’re really heavy after a while and in my clay soil they get stuck into the clayquite easily.

    I have those bars but they don’t do so well in dealing with roots.

    Unless ypu have one with wide blade face on the end they are not the best for getting rid of roots imo. The ones with wide chisel ends are not commonly found in stores though.

    The SDS-Max with a wide chisel attachment is much easier. Just place the chisel on the root, turn on the motor and the root gets severed quite quickly.

    #714148
    Miamicuse
    Pro
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Unless ypu have one with wide blade face on the end they are not the best for getting rid of roots imo. The ones with wide chisel ends are not commonly found in stores though.

    The SDS-Max with a wide chisel attachment is much easier. Just place the chisel on the root, turn on the motor and the root gets severed quite quickly.

    I have a 6″ wide floor chisel that I use sometimes. Problem is once you loosened up the soil the roots are in, they don’t work well in breaking the roots anymore. You will be standing over the hole and striking at the dozens or so roots, and the roots just get “smashed” but not cut because you have already excavated out part of the soil.

    The hammer chisel can stay put with the soil in place I can pound all around blind and disconnect anything in there before loosening with the pole digger.

    #714153
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Unless ypu have one with wide blade face on the end they are not the best for getting rid of roots imo. The ones with wide chisel ends are not commonly found in stores though.

    The SDS-Max with a wide chisel attachment is much easier. Just place the chisel on the root, turn on the motor and the root gets severed quite quickly.

    I have a 6″ wide floor chisel that I use sometimes. Problem is once you loosened up the soil the roots are in, they don’t work well in breaking the roots anymore. You will be standing over the hole and striking at the dozens or so roots, and the roots just get “smashed” but not cut because you have already excavated out part of the soil.

    The hammer chisel can stay put with the soil in place I can pound all around blind and disconnect anything in there before loosening with the pole digger.

    I was mentioning that earlier on, with loose sandy soil, your experience using different tools for root cutting may be somewhat different than what I deal with mostly here in our clay soils.

    Root size is also a variable that can change what tool works best.

    #714155
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    We call those “O” bars, “spud” bars. They work well, but are heavy. While I have not tried the sds shovel bit for digging or root cutting, I know some that have (at least for digging) and they love it.

    #714158
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    ‘ō‘ōstick is pronounced oh oh bar.
    here’s the skinny on it.
    http://kms.kapalama.ksbe.edu/projects/ahupuaa/ahupuaa/poster47c/index.html
    as far as heavy goes,,,,, that’s what makes it work.

    #750566
    picone
    Pro

    I would appreciate some honest advice about removing tree roots using a demolition hammer drill. I need to clear out some roots that are 16″ x 12″ x 14″ deep. They are remnants of an oak tree, and something the landscaper couldn’t reach when they ground the stump. A picture is attached. The roots fill the front half of the hole adjacent to concrete.

    I have tried a lot of different things, but the wood is very hard and dulls blades quickly.

    Do you think this type of hammer drill could remove this by chipping away at it?

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/TR-Industrial-Original-Demolition-Jack-Hammer-with-Point-and-Flat-Chisel-Bit/1002617078

    I cannot get contractors to do the job – I have talked to many and they can’t get their machines in at the right angle. I can rent a portable stump grinder, but that only goes 6″ down. Rental shops claim they don’t have any good tools for this job.

    Please advise.

    Thanks.

    Attachments:
    #750581

    @doobie might be able to help you , I believe he’s tried it once or twice , maybe different hammer /demo rotary hammer though

    #750588
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    I would appreciate some honest advice about removing tree roots using a demolition hammer drill. I need to clear out some roots that are 16″ x 12″ x 14″ deep. They are remnants of an oak tree, and something the landscaper couldn’t reach when they ground the stump. A picture is attached. The roots fill the front half of the hole adjacent to concrete.

    I have tried a lot of different things, but the wood is very hard and dulls blades quickly.

    Do you think this type of hammer drill could remove this by chipping away at it?

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/TR-Industrial-Original-Demolition-Jack-Hammer-with-Point-and-Flat-Chisel-Bit/1002617078

    I cannot get contractors to do the job – I have talked to many and they can’t get their machines in at the right angle. I can rent a portable stump grinder, but that only goes 6″ down. Rental shops claim they don’t have any good tools for this job.

    Please advise.

    Thanks.

    I never had any experience removing a tree root with Demolition hammer drill before. It might be the answer to your problem. It should cut thru the root ok. Can you rent a Demolition Hammer drill at local rental place?

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #750592
    Doobie
    Moderator

    You could try using a wide chisel. I’ve done it, but not on a root that size. Might be a slow process

    I’d maybe look at clearing out all the dirt on the root with a power washer and clearing out enough underneath it to use a tree limb cutting recip blade.

    https://www.boschtools.com/ca/en/boschtools-ocs/edge-wood-and-all-purpose-reciprocating-saw-blades-rp125-30682-p/

    Just like a chain saw cut. cut one side in V notch. Do the same to the other end you want to cut, then cut thru from the backside of each V notches you previously cut.

    Just make sure you don’t grab any dirt, hence the washing of dirt of the limb/root and clearing of dirt below the cut advisory. Metal blades hit dirt, they get dull almost immediately.



    @picone

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