What is a Gas Auger?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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A gas auger is a device for drilling holes, usually in the ground or in ice, that is powered by gasoline. The fuel runs an engine responsible for rotating a threaded bit that burrows into the ground to make the hole. Most commonly, a gas auger refers to a machine that is operated by hand, with one or two people holding it. The term could also refer to larger augers that are powered by heavy equipment as well, but this is rare.

The two basic types of gas augers are those used for hole digging, and those used for ice penetration. A gas auger used to dig holes is also known as an earth auger. In most cases, it can also be used on ice, but it is always good to consult the user manual before doing so. An ice gas auger is typically designed only for ice, and may not function properly if trying to dig holes with it in dirt.

A gas auger has an engine typically ranging in size from two to five horsepower, and may come with other options. Those with larger engine sizes may be called two-man augers, because they may become so heavy they are impractical for one person to operate. The main choice a consumer will need to make is whether to get a two-stroke or four-stroke engine. Two-stroke engines are cheaper, but are usually louder, and require the gas and oil to be mixed together.


The most common shaft length for a gas auger is two feet (61 cm) or more. This brings the engine height and handles slightly above the waist of an average-sized person, making the unit very comfortable to operate. This shaft length is also the preferred depth for most sign and fence posts, though the actual depth may vary depending on the purpose, soil, and weather conditions.

The bit is typically a steel shaft with a spiral thread around the outside. It can be bought in varying lengths and widths for different types of jobs. Most will come with a standard bit, and some dealers may even be willing to offer an exchange for a different bit if another size would better suit the customer's needs. This is why determining the main use of the gas auger before purchase is so important.

Many of those who need a gas auger may find they only need it on a temporary basis. This is especially true of those doing home improvement projects, such as installing a fence. Home equipment rental stores will often have them available for rent on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Larger rental stores may even carry several sizes of engines and bits.



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