How to get an auger unstuck out of the ground

In too deep, the handle won’t turn - how do you unstick an auger? Here are 8 tips to remove an auger which is stuck in the ground before it breaks.

How do I remove an auger which is stuck in the ground?

Unlike their powered counterparts a hole auger is much easier to loosen because it can easily turn in the opposite direction. Here are several tips you can try if your auger is jammed in the ground.

Wiggle the auger

Try a combination of small clockwise and anticlockwise motions whilst applying a wiggling motion in order to gradually get past the obstacle.

Dampen the soil

Using an auger in rocky soil or dry dirt is not ideal, if the ground feels too hard then applying some water around the base should soften the soil and shift any rocks.

Remove surface soil

Digging away near the surface with spade should give the entire auger some room to wiggle, digging further down should expose the entire bit meaning it can easily be slid out.

Use a crow bar

If the auger is stuck shallow to the surface it could be prised out of the ground with a crow bar.

Avoid force

Should the auger resist too much then avoid applying too much force as you risk placing stress on the joints and could snap the handle away from the bit.

Use a wider handle

A wide handle on an auger will give you more leverage by turning the longer handle in a wider arc without having to exert as much effect. You could try extending the length of the T handle by tightly binding a strong pole to the existing handle or checking if wider handles are available. Always check with the manufacturer’s instructions to see if this technique is recommended first.

Using two people

Be careful when using two people to rotate each side of the handle, if one person slips this could jolt the auger causing injury to either operator.

Check for damage

After removing the auger check signs of damage around the blade and tighten any joints that might have come loose.

How do I prevent hole augers getting stuck?

Before you use a hole auger ensure that the area has been prepared for an auger as they tend to get stuck in the ground because the soil is not ready.