How to Use an Earth Auger

What You'll Need
Safety goggles
Ear protection
Earth auger

An earth auger is a tool that is used to dig holes in the earth, often for installing posts, fences and sometimes for soil research. Most earth augers are powerful machines that run on gas, fuel or electricity. To operate one, you must be familiar with the safety precautions and also the method of use.

Step 1 – For Fuel-Powered Machines, Ensure that the Tank is Filled

Before you begin running the tool, wear proper clothing that will cover your body. Long, flowing clothes, hair and jewelry can get in the way of the tool, so it is necessary to avoid them. Read the instruction manual and familiarize yourself with the directions therein. You must also wear safety goggles, ear protection, gloves and sturdy boots. Maintain a steady footing on a level surface. If you are operating a fuel-powered earth auger, ensure that the required amount of fuel is present in the tank. Some machines require a mixture of oil and gasoline. Mix the fuel away from the tool and fill the tank when it is turned off and has cooled down after operation.

Step 2 – Attach Auger to Powerhead

Check all the parts of the earth auger and the powerhead and rule out any broken parts or loose connections. Select the correct auger for the operation you intend to perform. Never use an earth auger for drilling ice or vice versa. To connect the auger to the powerhead, you must first keep the powerhead on a safe, steady surface. Align the auger to the drive shaft on the powerhead. Use pins or nails to attach the auger to the powerhead.

Step 3 – Select the Area

Before you use an earth auger to dig up earth, you must ensure that the ground underneath is safe. Avoid digging in areas that may contain electric wires, plumbing, gas pipes or other dangerous items. Never use an earth auger on rocky terrain, as it can damage the tool. You must also remember to never force the tool with your body weight. Before starting the tool, check to see if the muffler is properly in place.

Step 4 – Start Drilling

Hold the earth auger firmly with both hands on the handles. If the earth auger is a tool that is to be operated by two people, ensure that the other operator is also following the same steps as you. Position the auger right over the spot you want to dig. Start the engine and let the earth auger dig down. If the surface is too dense, move the earth auger up and down to ease the motion. If you feel any obstructions or noise, immediately turn off the engine and pull out the earth auger. Inspect the tool for any blockages. Never force the earth auger if you experience any blocks. After you have completed digging to the desired depth, you can turn off the engine and slowly withdraw the earth auger once it has stopped running.