What To Know Before Buying An Earth Auger

January 26, 2018

A drill-powered earth auger is a handy tool for professional landscapers, DIY enthusiasts, and anyone who would rather put down the shovel and spend less time and energy digging holes. These high-performance tools have been a game-changer for gardeners for decades, providing a fast and effortless way to dig holes in even the toughest soils, without the back-breaking labor. With Power Planter's augers for drills, planting trees, shrubs, and flowers, or any other digging job in your garden or yard, has never been easier. 

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 a tool that looks like a screw and cuts through soil to dig perfectly round holes in the ground with minimal effort. Power Planter augers are designed to be powered by cordless drills to rotate the bit into the soil, kicking out soil and stones up to 5 inches in size. Our augers are for landscaping and gardening tasks, such as planting trees, shrubs, flowers, and bulbs, and for other tasks like aerating soil and fertilizing trees. Smaller gardening augers are great for planting flowers, while larger heavy-duty augers make digging larger holes easier, even in stubborn, rocky soil. With Power Planter augers, you can get your gardening and landscaping jobs done efficiently and effortlessly, without the hassle and strain of digging with a shovel. 

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 significant arm and hand strength. In addition, these tools all require that the user bends while they work, putting a great deal of strain on the back. Augers with longer shafts get 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, an earth auger becomes a time-saving necessity. DIY gardeners planting dozens or hundreds of bulbs, as well as annual and perennial plugs, can turn an entire weekend’s worth of work into an afternoon with a Power Planter bulb auger. On larger jobs — fencing or tree planting, for instance — a powered auger minimizes the time spent digging and the effort required, which offers cost savings to professional 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 18V/20V cordless drill. They come in lengths ranging between 7 inches and 48 inches. These augers are designed for planting flowers and they dig perfectly uniform holes so your plants can thrive and set their roots. Larger augers (4, 5, 7, 8, and 9-inch diameters) are designed for digging larger holes and require a bit more power than the smaller diameter augers. Refer to this drill power guide to help you pair the right auger with the proper drill.  You can also view our auger sizing page for more help deciding what size 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.
  • 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-gallon pots.
  • The seven-inch diameter auger is large enough to plant annuals, perennials, trees, or shrubs in gallon-3 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 2-5 gallon containers. These sizes are large enough for bigger fence posts or 6×6 posts.

Be sure to take our product quiz to find which auger is right for you! No matter what project you have in mind, Power Planter has an auger to match your needs. 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.