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How to use an earth auger?


When it comes to efficient and precise digging, nothing quite matches the prowess of an earth auger. Whether you're a gardening enthusiast preparing for a new planting season or a professional contractor laying the foundation for a fence, understanding how to effectively use an earth auger is crucial. Let's delve into the intricacies of using an earth auger.


Understanding the earth auger

Before we jump into the 'how', let's briefly understand the 'what'. Earth auger is a commonly used drilling device consisting of a metal helical blade/auger blade that rotates when in use. With an earth auger, as the drill rotates, it carries material up and away from the hole it makes. These augers can be turned by hand, electric motor, or even attached to a drill or auger driver and driven by larger machinery such as excavators, tractors and skid steer loaders.

Augers can also be used on other materials, such as wood or ice, although earth augers are the most common. The basic design of the auger has not changed since it was initially conceived.

What are the common uses of earth auger?

Power augers were first used in assisted farming many years ago and still serve the same purpose. Some of these potential uses include:

  • Drilling a hole in the ice for ice fishing

  • Drill a clean, straight hole for a telephone pole or fence post

  • Drill into the earth to plant a tree

  • Drill into the maple tree to extract the syrup

  • Clear a clogged sink

  • Digging irrigation trenches

  • Tilling garden beds

Smaller handheld earth augers are used in gardening if one wants to make holes for planting, dig fence posts, or something similar. However, augers are also used in larger-scale agriculture such as earth moving and farming. Augers fitted to earth drills and auger drives can be attached to heavy equipment such as excavators, skid steer loaders and tractors for efficient digging over larger areas.

Earth auger safety tips

Earth augers are very useful but can be dangerous if you don't follow safety precautions. Follow the manufacturer's use and safety instructions. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Ensure no loose materials on the ground, such as landscape fabric or other permeable weed barriers, could become entangled in the shaft. Know what lies beneath the surface of the earth you are digging.

  • If the auger hits a rock, tree root, or other obstacle, its torque is sufficient to throw the operator off balance. If you anticipate hitting any challenges, lower the throttle to ensure a quicker clutch release. 

  • Be prepared for a kickback. Don't drill very close to a wall or other structure; the kickback could knock you over. It would help if you were ready to stop the machine immediately.

  • Hearing and eye protection are a must. As you clear the hole, the dirt will fly, so wear sturdy shoes and long pants.

  • Keep the earth auger upright when resting between holes. Please leave it in one of the completed holes to prevent liquid from flooding the motor.

  • If you're not setting up the post that day, cover the hole with something like a piece of wood to keep debris from getting in or people or pets from stepping in or falling over.

How to use the earth auger?

#1: Take protective measures

Wear appropriate clothing - cover your body and keep hair and clothing away from the machine. Wear eye protection and ear protection.

#2: Choose the right auger bit

Choose an auger bit that fits the task. The size and type of bit will depend on the nature of your project. Then, securely attach it to the auger machine. This ensures optimal performance and safety.

#3: Position the earth auger

Select the area you want to dig. Check that the ground below is safe. Avoid power lines, water pipes, gas pipes and rocky areas. Position the drill bit over where you want to dig.

#4: Operate the auger machine

Start the engine. Remember to maintain a firm grip on the handles at all times. Let the auger dig down without putting your weight on it. After reaching the desired depth, shut off the engine. Slowly withdraw the bit from the ground only when it stops spinning.

#5: Remove the dirt

After some time, stop the machine and clear out the dirt from the hole. This prevents the machine from becoming clogged and ensures a clean hole.

#6: Repeat as necessary

Continue this process until the hole reaches the desired depth.

If the auger seems stuck, repositioning it or changing the bit may help. To prevent fatigue and ensure safety, remember to take frequent breaks. Remember that practice makes perfect; don't be discouraged if operating an earth auger takes a few tries to master. With patience and persistence, you'll soon be digging with ease and precision.

Facing issues while using an earth auger?

If the auger isn't cutting through the soil, consider using a sharper bit or applying more pressure; If the auger keeps getting stuck, try changing its position or switching to a different bit; If the auger starts overheating, it's crucial to stop the operation immediately and let the machine cool down before proceeding.

How to mix gasoline for an earth auger?

Use only unleaded standard gasoline. Run the earth auger at a 50:1 ratio. Fuels must be mixed outdoors in well-ventilated areas.

Can one person use an auger?

One-man augers are less powerful and smaller than two-man augers, which require two strong people to use effectively. How hard is it to use one's auger? More challenging than you think, especially if the soil is rocky or made of heavy clay. The ergonomic handlebar design helps reduce vibration and fatigue.


Why should I purchase earth augers at BISON?

Earth augers are a versatile tool, indispensable for a range of tasks. By adhering to the safety guidelines and tips provided in this article, and addressing any issues promptly using the troubleshooting advice, you'll be able to utilize an earth auger safely and effectively.

BISON Augers now come in many shapes and sizes, and many have multiple attachments for different jobs. Explore our range of earth augers and find the perfect fit for your needs.

At BISON, we build our brand on reliability, value for money and information. We provide you with all the information you need to make an informed purchase, or if you still need clarification, our dedicated team is always happy to answer any questions you may have. Every product in stock at BISON has been personally tested by ourselves.

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I am a dedicated and enthusiastic salesperson from BISON, and I am here to share my vast experience. Enabling you to receive our expert advice and unparalleled customer service.

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