Most gardeners know basic care and maintenance is the best way to help ensure tools not only work well but last for years. Consider the garden auger, an essential tool in any garden. Regular auger maintenance helps keep blades sharp, perfectly aligned, and properly attached to the auger shaft. Routine care also helps prevent long-term problems such as rust, chipping, fractures, and general deformation, which can lead to tool failure.
To optimize your auger’s longevity, follow these five tips:
1. Inspect your auger
First, examine your auger thoroughly. Look along the drill blades to make sure they’re not bent and are still properly fastened to the auger’s shafts. While bent blades can be repaired, broken ones need re-welding. If the damage is too severe, however, you may need to purchase a new auger.
2. Secure your auger’s fit to the drill chuck
For optimal results and safety, your auger needs to be properly attached to the drill. If you notice any rounding or wear on the hex drive, it might be time for a replacement. Rounded corners on the hex drive typically indicate improper use and lead to an unsecured fit with the drill chuck, making the auger less effective.
Most standard augers have no issues fitting standard drill chucks. When you buy a new auger, tighten the drill chuck on the auger’s hex drive to prevent fitting problems — using a chuck key if your drill came with one. (Note: Always follow your drill’s tightening instructions. For safety, make sure your drill has a clutch as well.)
3. Clean and store your auger properly
Good auger maintenance means thorough cleaning. To prevent unnecessary wear on your auger’s coating, wipe away soil and debris when you’re finished using it. Soak it in hot soapy water and dry it thoroughly. Store your auger in a dry place — like a garden shed.
4. Keep your auger oiled
One good way to prevent rust is to keep your auger oiled. Before storing it for the winter, apply a thin coat of mineral machine oil to the surface. If you live in a humid area, you may want to oil your auger after each use.
5. Replace auger parts when necessary
Small augers (such as our DIY Guru Auger) are built as one piece, so you never have to worry about replacing individual parts. For larger, heavy-duty augers with detachable parts, however, you may need to order replacement parts from time to time.
For example, if your auger has removable blades, inspect them for excessive wear and ensure its fasteners are still securely holding the blades. Order a new set of blades if there’s an issue.
The same goes for augers with a detachable digging tip. Purchase a new one when the digging tip becomes too worn or if its attached pin breaks or goes missing.
Replacing tools and tool parts can be expensive. But if you follow these simple auger maintenance tips, you’ll increase its lifespan and save some money, too. If you need more tips for your Power Planter auger, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service department.