What is a 3 Point Post Auger?

what is a 3 point auger

Once you start shopping around for different augers, you’ll surely come across 3 point post auger attachments.

Designed to be used with tractors, 3 point augers are heavy-duty bits that are essential for large scale agricultural landscaping and farming.   

Let’s find out a bit more about 3 point post augers and what makes them the best tool for your next digging project.

what is a 3 point auger
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How is a 3 Point Post Auger Different than a Regular Post Hole Auger?

3 point augers offer far more power than any other type of handheld auger, even the gas powered versions. They come with a hefty price tag too. When installed, a 3 point post hole auger is mounted to the front of your tractor and is held out on an arm.  The best tractor auger is like a handheld post hole auger on steroids.

3 point post augers are perfect for larger scale agricultural or farming use because you can drill a ton of holes while minimizing your use of many power.  An auger attached to your tractor also speeds up the process, so you can complete your task faster than if you had to do it manually.

Benefits of a 3 Point Post Auger

Crush Rocks and Roots

If you’re going to be using a 3 point tractor auger, you’ll be happy to know that they are built to handle even the worst soil conditions.  A 3 point auger will conquer rocky soil filled with roots.  Regular post hole augers can have difficulty drilling in not so good soil. 


3 point post hole augers are heavier than regular post hole diggers and this helps you get through tough soil. You can buy a down pressure system that gives you even more hydraulic downwards pressure to truly crush through the worst soil conditions.

More Efficient

With the installed control/gear box, you will be able to dig deep holes then retract the arm and auger.  You also manage the speed of the bit from the control box.  This means that 3 point augers turn a two person job into a one person job that can be done anytime.

3 point augers are more efficient.  You can dig a ton more holes in the same amount of time it takes to dig a few with a handheld unit.

Less Risk, Easier on Your Body

Using a handheld digger means, if you hit a root or some rocks, your body is going to take the jarring.  With a 3 point auger, you won’t feel a thing.  You also eliminate the risk of your clothes or hands getting caught up in the auger blades when using a 3 point auger.

Benefits of a Handheld Post Hole Auger

More Compact

Handheld post hole augers are better at getting into tight spaces because they’re much smaller and lighter than a 3 point auger.  You can also easier to maneuver into position to drill your holes.

No Installation

Post hole augers can be used straight out of the box while 3 point augers need to be installed.  More time and effort is needed to get your 3 point digger installed than to prep your post hole auger for digging.  You could even end up paying someone to install your 3 point auger, adding to your overall cost.


3 point post augers cost at least twice as much as the handheld version and the higher the quality, the more expensive it’s going to be.

How to Video and your 3 Point Post Auger

We love this video that talks all about 3 point post auger details, check it out.

Can You Drill Deep Holes with a 3 Point Post Auger?

Most tractor auger bits let you drill down about 4 feet, which is the perfect depth to cement in a fence post. If you’re using your auger bits to drill footings for decks or other structures, you’ll be needing a bit that can drill down to 6 feet.  

Some tractor diggers will include an extension rod so you can drill down that low.  Otherwise, you should also purchase an extension rod.

The easier the soil conditions, the deeper your hole can be. If the soil is more difficult, you may end up with a hole of less than 4 feet.

Tractor augers can’t drill deep holes like for wells, you have to hire a company with a much longer, industrial length auger, to get a well drilled.

How Does a 3 Point Auger Work : Technical Details

If you want a super in depth explanation of how your PTO auger works, gearing, horsepower ratings, etc., check out this link.


3 point post hole augers are useful for farmers and folks that have a ton of holes to drill on large tracks of land.  Attach a 3 point auger to your tractor and you’ll have your holes completed in no time.

What Does PTO Stand For?

PTO stands for Power Take Off or Power Take Over systems for tractors, like a PTO auger (or tractor auger or 3 point post hole auger/digger).