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What is a One Man Auger?

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  • Written By: Mike Howells
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A one man auger is a tool designed to allow a single individual to move material, typically dirt or clay, by leveraging a rotating bit, known as a helical flighting, by extracting it from the ground. Simply put this means the material to be moved is channeled along the auger's axis of rotation bringing it up and out of the ground. One man augers can be valuable for projects such as digging post holes for, planting trees and shrubs, ice fishing, and any other cases where narrow and relatively shallow holes are needed.

The smallest kind of auger is hand-powered, and the operator simply turns the auger to bring up soil. Generally, however, a one man auger is gas-powered, and utilizes a small two-stroke engine no more than several horsepower in strength. It is possible to buy auger bits of different diameters, allowing for use in different situations. Common diameters of auger bits range from 2 to 10 inches (5.08 to 25.4 cm). A gas-powered one man auger generally starts around 30 inches (76.2 cm) tall, and weighs roughly 30 pounds (13.6 kg) with a bit installed, though this can vary based on brand and options.

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For larger or more challenging applications, such as rocky terrain, it is possible to use a hydraulic one man auger, though the cost to purchase or rent one may be significantly higher than a gas model. Though it costs more, a hydraulic one man auger can feature motors with upwards of 10 horsepower, producing a much greater degree of torque. Unlike a gas-powered one man auger, the weight of a hydraulic model is generally not borne entirely by the user, as the motor apparatus sits on the ground and is attached via cable to the auger and bit themselves, which are simply guided by the user.

Both hydraulic and gas-powered one man augers can typically accept a number of accessories, including extended-length bits known as "extensions," and specialized teeth and blades for cutting into especially hard or impacted surfaces. A common specialized bit is the ice bit, which is a hardened design for drilling holes for ice fishing. Augers can be sold separately from bits, or as packages. Common and desirable features in augers include vibration reduction, rubber padding to improve comfort for the user, an easily reachable kill switch, and transmission lockouts to allow for easy insertion and removal of the bit in the ground.

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