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How To Properly Use a Power Auger

If you're planning an outdoor project such as building a deck or installing a fence, you'll need to dig a lot of holes. But you can save yourself quite a bit of labor by using a gas-powered auger.

Commonly available for rent (or for purchase if you plan on using it often), power augers are easy-to-operate machines. But a basic understanding of them is necessary not only to get the best digging results but to stay safe in the process. You can also buy auger accessories by navigating to

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Understanding the Auger

Available as a small one-man unit, a larger two-person type, and an even larger tow-behind model, a power auger is basically a gasoline engine that spins a large earth-digging bit. The most common bit sizes are 4, 6, 8 and 12 in. diameters and they usually come in 3 ft. lengths, but bit extensions are available that will allow the auger to bore down to 4 ft.

The auger's controls are fairly straightforward. A choke primes the carburetor, and a pull rope starts the engine. A hand lever or twist throttle engages and accelerates the bit, and handles on either side of the engine (also referred to as the "powerhead") give you control of the auger as it runs.