What is a hole auger?

Hole augers are a tool for digging holes without disturbing the surrounding soil - the ideal tool for planting seeds and bulbs or even digging fence posts.

What is a hole auger?

A hole auger is a handheld garden drilling tool resembling a large helical corkscrew designed to bore holes in the ground.

What does a hole auger look like?

A hole auger resembles a long metal bar averaging 6 feet in length, helical corkscrew shaped blade at the base and a handle at the top. The diameter of the auger blade as well as the auger blade length will change depending on the application, the handle at the top is typically a T shape although some might use a mechanical crank handle.

How does a hole auger work?

A hole auger goes into the ground and is manually turned in one direction using the handle, as the screw turns it lifts the soil below it upwards until it escapes the ground leaving a circular hole.

Auger uses

What is a hole auger used for?

A hole auger is used for drilling deep holes into the ground without disturbing the neighbouring soil which is ideal for gardeners wishing to plant bulbs, mixed seeds, vegetables, naked root trees and deep rooted shrubs such as roses.

Not only a popular choice for creating holes for fence posts and gates, an auger helps prepare for any structure requiring a deep sturdy foundation in your back yard – from bird feeders, decking and stakes to washing lines, electric fences and goal posts.

Augers can be used when preparing landscaping, setting out foundations for borders or creating areas for drainage and pipework. When deciding which plants are suitable for a specific area an auger can be used to extract a deep cross section of soil for testing soil samples.

If you are planning to do any of these jobs in the garden an auger is the ideal tool to have at your disposal.

What types of soil do augers work in?

Augers will work dig most types of soil including silty, peaty, sandy, chalky, loamy and clay, but augers won’t work in frozen soil.

How deep can a hole auger dig?

Most hole augers can typically dig to a maximum of around 3 feet deep, slightly less than 1 meter into the ground. Some types of hole augers can be extended to dig even deeper.

Do augers work in rocky soil?

An auger should work in soil containing smaller gravel sized rocks, stones, and pebbles providing that adequate preparation is made to the ground first. This involves soaking the area with water first then breaking up the soil with a digging bar.

Do augers cut through roots in the ground?

This depending on the size and density of the roots, an auger should be able to cut through thinner single roots however do not expect an auger to cut through clusters or thicker roots without getting the auger getting stuck in the ground or tangled.

Will an auger cut through rock?

An auger cannot cut through rock alone, however using a digging bar or pickaxe first will help break up rock which can then be extracted with an auger. Larger solid rocks might require a heavy-duty powered solution such as an SDS hammer drill breaker, jack hammer or breaking demolition hammer.

Is a hole auger easy to use?

A hole auger is easy to learn to use, but may require some physical effort to actually use depending on how well you prepare to use the auger, the auger size, sharpness of the blades, the weight of the auger, the type of soil and width of the auger handles.

What does auger boring mean?

Auger boring is how you refer to the method that you bore into soil using an auger. In the same way that you might dig holes into the ground using a shovel, auger boring refers to boring holes into the ground using an auger.

Hole auger alternatives

Is a post hole cutter the same as a hole auger?

Post hole cutters are manual gardening tools that dig similar sized holes to hole augers. Whereas an auger works by turning a helical corkscrew blade to extract soil, a post hole cutter operates very differently by throwing the tool directly into the ground then tweezering to pinch small sections of soil out repeatedly.

Can I use a garden spade instead of an auger?

For the types of tasks suited to augers such as bulb planting a spade is not suitable as it disrupts a larger surrounding area. The deeper you dig with a garden spade, the wider the hole needs to be so you can angle the blade level enough to shovel out excess soil.

An auger can bore a narrow hole 3 feet deep directly down without disturbing any adjacent soil or plants, whereas using a spade to dig a similar depth could create an unnecessary 3 feet wide hole.

Can I use an ice auger in soil?

If you want to use your ice auger for digging ice afterwards then don’t use it in dirt, the blade is specifically sculpted, angled and sharpened to chip away at ice but isn’t suited for cutting through tough rocky soil. If you do attempt to dig into soil with an ice auger then you will need to sharpen the blunt blade afterwards or replace the auger blade completely if it hits a stone.

What is a hole auger also called?

The hole auger tool is referred to in several different ways according to regional variations and how shops and garden centres label them. Alternative names include a combination of augers, manual, post hole, borers, planting, fence, ground and earth:

Hand auger
Post-hole borers
Manual augers
Planting augers
Fence borers
Earth augers
Post hole augers

Post hole augers and fence borers are the larger augers focused on the task of the digging larger holes suitable for fence posts, but all tools will accomplish the same task.