Hand Auger Tools

Written by trish jackson
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Hand Auger Tools
Hand augers use metal bits of varying sizes to drill holes. (drill image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

An auger is a type of giant corkscrew that uses a metal bit to drill holes. Hand augers have been around for centuries; they are used to drill holes in soil, wood, ice and other materials. Prior to mechanisation, workers used hand-operated posthole augers to bore holes in the ground for the miles of telegraph poles that criss-cross the U.S., reports Home Improvement and Financing. Augers are useful because they are light, do not vibrate and are easy to control.

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Posthole Hand Auger

A posthole auger typically has a T-shaped handle, and its bits come in diameters of 5 to 8 inches. They are used to drill holes in the ground for a variety of purposes, including fences and signs. Using the handle for leverage, you simply screw the auger into the ground. When the tube is filled with soil, pull the auger out and empty the soil and reinsert it until your hole is the required depth. For deeper holes, add sections of metal tubing to the handle.

Brace and Bit Auger

A brace is a hand auger into which interchangeable bits can be inserted. The operator turns the bow-shaped handle to turn the bit and bore a hole, usually in wood. The corkscrew-shaped metal bits come in a wide range of sizes, from 1/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch diameter. The "tang" is the part that is inserted into the chuck, which is like an adjustable jaw that holds the bit in place. The brace has a ratchet mechanism that allows the bit to be turned in one direction only.

Ice Auger

A hand ice auger is a tool used by ice fishermen to make a hole in the ice. The large corkscrew-shaped metal bits come in diameters of 5 to 8 inches, and the operator turns a T-shaped or bow-shaped handle similar to a brace to drill a hole. Hand augers are used for fishing in early winter when the ice is not too thick and speed is important to keep up with moving shoals of fish. They are also lighter and easier to transport than mechanised augers.

Soil Sampling Auger

Soil sampling augers are similar to posthole diggers, but they use specialised hollow-tubed bits that collect the soil. When the auger is removed, the soil sample can be placed in a collection vessel and categorised. This type of tool is used by geologists, soil scientists, field engineers and others who collect soil in remote areas with rough terrain. The tool is lighter and smaller than a power auger, and therefore easier to carry. Bits are made of hardened steel or titanium.

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