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What Is a Gas Powered Auger?

An ice fisherman can use a gas powered augur to cut through ice.
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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 26 June 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A gas powered auger is a device meant to dig holes, and which is powered by a gasoline engine. The engines on this type of auger typically range from two horsepower to five horsepower. Larger engines can get through solid ground more easily, but can also be harder to handle, making use by one person problematic. These augers are mainly used to dig holes in earth, or bore holes through ice, which is useful when ice fishing.

The engine of a gas powered auger must be powerful enough to make it useful, yet small enough to be handled easily by hand. Therefore, a gas powered auger is usually designated as either a one-man auger or a two-man auger depending on size of the engine. Some larger Augers are made with the motor separated from the bit, and connected via cables and tubes, similar to the way some pull-behind vacuum cleaner units work. This allows the user to have less weight to deal with while digging.

One of the primary considerations when considering a gas powered auger is whether to get a two stroke or four stroke engine. The four stroke engine is the more advanced piece of machinery, but will also cost a little more. In return for that added cost, the user will get an engine that produces less noise than a two stroke, and one that does not require mixing oil in with the gasoline. The only advantage to the two stroke engine is the cost.

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No matter which gas powered auger is chosen, there are usually many choices for bit attachments. Diameters for gas powered auger bits range in size from 2 inches (5 cm) or less, to 10 inches (25 cm) or more. Depths of the bits generally run 30 inches (76 cm) or less for a handheld gas auger. Bits are interchangeable and usually cost extra, though one is often included with the unit. Some bits are specifically for earth, while others are made for ice.

The main use of a gas powered auger is to dig holes for building, fence and sign posts, or to create holes for ice fishing. As such, earth augers are often called post hole diggers. For those who feel they cannot afford to the expense of a gas powered auger, hand cranked models are also available, especially for smaller holes and ice fishing. Many home rental shops also rent the units for those who only need them for an occasional project.

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