How to Use a Hand Auger

How to use a hand auger for various projects around the house is explained below so you can get started on all of your projects right away.

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How to use a hand auger
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How to Use a Hand Auger

There are several different kinds of hand augers: drain augers, toilet augers, post hole digger, garden augers, and ice augers. Each one is used for different purposes and needs an explanation.

How to Use a Hand Auger Post Hole Digger

A hand auger post hole digger is a simple tool used for digging holes in the ground for a variety of purposes, such as installing fence posts, planting trees, or building decks.

How to use a hand auger in soil is relatively easy, its the actual digging that is the tough part. Here are the steps to use a manual hand auger for digging post holes or any hole you need in the dirt:

  1. Choose the right size auger: Hand auger post hole diggers come in different sizes, usually from 6 to 12 inches in diameter. Choose the size that is appropriate for the job you are doing. The diameter of the auger should be slightly larger than the post you are installing.
  2. Mark the spot: Use a marker, stake or spray paint to mark the spot where you want to dig the hole. Make sure the location is free from any obstacles that might interfere with the auger.
  3. Clear the area: Clear any debris, obstacles, rocks etc., from the area around the hole. This will make it easier to use the auger.
  4. Position the auger: Place the auger on the ground over the marked spot. Stand the auger upright on the ground with the blades facing the location you marked for the hole. Hold the handles firmly with both hands and brace your feet on either side of the blades.
  5. Start digging: Grasp the handles of the auger firmly and twist it clockwise to start digging. Use your body weight to help push the auger down into the ground. Keep twisting the auger until it reaches the desired depth.
  6. Removing dirt from the hole: You might have to stop occasionally to clear dirt from the hole with a shovel.
  7. Remove the auger: Once the hole is deep enough, remove the auger by twisting it counterclockwise. Be sure to clear any dirt or debris from the auger as you remove it.
  8. Repeat as necessary: If you need to dig more holes, repeat the process from step 2.
  9. Finish up: Once you have all the holes dug, you can begin installing your posts. Fill the holes with concrete or soil as needed.

Remember to use caution when using a hand auger post hole digger, as the blades are sharp. Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, and use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury

How to Use a Hand Ice Auger

If you’re planning on ice fishing or need to make a hole in the ice for any other reason, a hand ice auger is an essential tool to have. A hand ice auger is a manual tool used to create a circular hole in the ice. It’s an easy-to-use tool that requires minimal effort and can make quick work of creating a hole in the ice. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to use a hand ice auger.

Choosing the right hand ice auger

Before you start using a hand ice auger, it’s important to choose the right one for your needs. Hand ice augers come in different sizes and lengths, with blades ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches in diameter.

The size of the blade you choose will depend on the type of fish you’re targeting and the size of the lure or bait you’ll be using. A larger auger bit diameter will allow you to fish for bigger fish, while a smaller auger blade will work for smaller fish.

Preparing for the job

Before you start using the hand ice auger, make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment. This includes warm clothing, ice cleats for traction, gloves, and eye protection. You should also check the ice thickness to ensure it’s safe for drilling. The recommended thickness for safe drilling is at least 4 inches of solid ice.

Starting the drilling process

Step 1: Mark the spot

Use an ice chisel or ice spud to mark the spot where you want to drill the hole. Make sure the spot is level and clear of any snow or debris.

Step 2: Position the auger

Position the hand ice auger on the marked spot with the blade facing down. The auger should be perpendicular to the ice surface. Place one foot on the brace located at the base of the auger and use your other foot to step down on the handle.

Step 3: Start drilling

With your foot firmly planted on the handle, turn the auger clockwise with both hands. As you turn the auger, it will begin to cut into the ice. Apply steady pressure as you turn the auger. Make sure to keep the auger level and perpendicular to the ice surface.

Step 4: Clear the hole

Once the auger has cut through the ice, remove it from the hole and use an ice skimmer or scoop to clear any ice chips or slush from the hole. You can also dip your auger in the water in your ice hole to wash off the slush.

Step 5: Repeat the process

If you need to create additional holes, repeat the process for each hole. Ensure that the holes are far enough apart so that you don’t weaken the ice around you.

Tips for using a hand ice auger

  • Keep the blade sharp: A dull blade will make drilling more difficult and put more strain on your arms.
  • Use a lubricant: Applying a lubricant such as cooking oil or WD-40 to the blade will make it so the ice and slush doesn’t stick to your auger bit.
  • Take breaks: Drilling through ice with a hand auger can be physically demanding. Take breaks to avoid fatigue and prevent injury.
  • Check the ice thickness regularly: Ice thickness can vary depending on the location and weather conditions. Check the ice thickness regularly to ensure it’s safe for drilling.

How Hard is it to Use a Hand Auger 

Using a hand auger can vary in difficulty depending on the type of auger and the job at hand. In general, hand augers are relatively easy to use and require minimal effort, but there are some factors to consider.

Types of Soil or Ice

Thicker ice or dirty ice will be more difficult to drill through with a hand auger. If you’re using a hand auger post hole digger, you might encounter difficult soil conditions like roots, rocks, and clay. This will make your dirt drilling harder and more time consuming.

Size and weight

The size and weight of the hand auger can also impact how difficult it is to use. A heavier auger can be more difficult to hold and maneuver, especially if you need to use it for an extended period. A larger auger blade can also require more effort to turn, particularly if you are digging through tougher soils, rocky soils, or clay.

Physical ability

Your physical ability can also affect how hard it is to use a hand auger. If you have a medical condition that affects your strength or mobility, it may be more challenging to use a hand auger. Similarly, if you are not used to manual labor or have not used a hand auger before, you may find it more challenging to use.

Tips for using a hand auger

Regardless of the type of auger you’re using, there are some tips you can follow to make it easier and more efficient:

  1. Choose the right size and type of auger for the job.
  2. Ensure that the auger is sharp and well-maintained. A dull blade will require more effort to use and can cause injury.
  3. Use proper form when using the auger. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your back straight. Use your legs to provide the power when turning the auger, not your back.
  4. Take breaks if you start to feel fatigued. Using a hand auger can be physically demanding, so it’s essential to pace yourself.
  5. Use a lubricant such as oil or grease to reduce friction and make it easier to turn the blade.
  6. Use the right safety equipment, such as gloves, eye protection, and sturdy footwear.

How to Use a Hand Auger : Detailed Posts

We have written many posts with even more details on how to use a hand auger, please click on the links below to learn even more tips and tricks from the Pros.


How to use a hand auger, hand auger post hole digger, and other types of hand augers is simple once you know the tips and tricks and have to right auger for the jobs.


What is the best hand post hole digger for my project?

Check out our detailed post on the best hand augers for digging in soil.