How to dig through rock

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you are excavating your yard or just making room for some plants, it may be necessary to dig through a solid patch of rock. Digging through rock is much more difficult than digging through sod or grass. If you are going to be digging through a lot of rock, one option is to use a jackhammer. A jackhammer is often used in construction for digging through concrete; and it is the best option when you need to go through rock.

Mark off the area where you will be digging into the rock. Outline the area with white chalk, so it is clearly visible when you are using the jackhammer.

Position the jackhammer at the centre of the rocks and press it down firmly in place with the blade pressing into the rocks. Hold the jackhammer with one hand on each side and press the power button.

Press down firmly and let the jackhammer do the work. Drill into the rock pressing straight down, until your are through and into the dirt underneath. Press down on the jackhammer at an angle and use it as a crow bar to pull up the rock.

Move on to another section of the rock and repeat the same process. Continue around the entire area and loosen the rocks up with the jackhammer. Turn off the jackhammer and set it aside.

Dig up the loose pieces of rock with a shovel and pick axe. Hammer the axe into the loose pieces of rock and scoop them up with a shovel. Drill the jackhammer into any remaining pieces of rock that are still intact and not loose and continue this process, until all of the rock inside the white chalk line has been removed.


Always wear safety goggles, gloves and steel toed boots when you are working with a jackhammer for added protection.

Things You'll Need

  • White chalk
  • Jackhammer
  • Shovel
  • Pick axe
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Steel toed boots
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About the Author

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.