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What To Know Before Buying An Auger

Posted: Friday January 26, 2018

A power earth auger is a handy tool to have, particularly for professionals, people who do a lot of DIY landscaping, or those who are looking for an easier alternative to a shovel or post hole digger. These are tools that anyone can use — from homeowners to professional landscapers and maintenance crews. Anyone who needs a faster, more efficient way to plant gardens, add onto a landscape or dig post holes.

Let’s answer a few questions about these tools so that you know what to look for as you shop for an auger:

1. What Is an Auger?

An auger is essentially a drill. Augers come in many shapes and sizes, and there are lots of ways to use them. At Power Planter, we specialize in the handheld power auger used primarily for landscaping jobs. Smaller augers can be operated by a cordless drill, while the larger augers require a powerhead. Their purpose is to make digging easier, especially in harder soil.

2. Why Do You Need an Auger?

In order to understand why you might need an auger, it helps to learn how augers differ from other gardening tools. Most tools that one might use for digging — shovels, post hole diggers, digging bars and so on — require a lot of arm and hand strength. In addition, these tools all require that the user bends as he or she works, putting a great deal of strain on the back. An auger gets the job done quicker than a shovel while allowing the operator to stand upright. Because the auger is meant to be held stationary as the hole is bored, there is less stress placed on the hands and arms, as well.

For health reasons alone, augers are a worthwhile investment. However, for people who have a lot of digging to do, a power earth auger becomes a necessity. At-home gardeners facing dozens upon dozens of bulbs as well as annual and perennial plugs to plant will find that the job takes far less time with a flower-planting auger. On larger jobs — fencing or tree plantations, for instance — a powered auger minimizes the time spent digging and the manpower required, which offers cost savings to contractors and their customers.

3. What You Need to Know About Auger Sizes

Power Planter’s augers come in sizes ranging from two to nine inches in diameter. The 2- and 3-inch diameter augers can be powered by a regular power drill. They come in lengths ranging between 7 inches and 48 inches. Larger digging augers (4, 5, 7, 8 and 9-inch diameters) all require a gas power head or a minimum of 60V of power output to use. View our auger sizing page for more help deciding what size of auger is right for you.

4. What Can You Do With an Auger?

The things you can do with an earth auger vary depending on the auger’s size. Here is a quick guide to help you choose the tool best suited to your needs:

  • Two and three inch augers are ideal for gardeners, allowing you to quickly and easily plant bulbs, plugs and bedding plants. This is also a good size for root aeration, and for installing smaller plant stakes or poles. Three-inch augers can do the same jobs as 2-inch augers, but are also great for horizontal drilling if you need to run pipes or electrical lines under a sidewalk. This is also a good size for mixing paint, cement or soil.
  • Four and five inch augers drill a larger hole, ideal for setting smaller fence posts or planting annuals and perennials that come in quart-sized pots.
  • The seven inch diameter auger is large enough to plant annuals, perennials, trees or shrubs in gallon-sized pots. It also drills a large enough hole for 4×4 posts.
  • Eight and nine inch diameter augers are perfect for planting potted plants in 2-gallon containers. These sizes are large enough for bigger fence posts or 6×6 posts.

No matter what project you have in mind, Power Planter has an auger to match. If you have more questions about our augers, be sure to check out the FAQ page, which features additional information about choosing an auger, drive options, safety information, etc.

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