What is an Electric Auger?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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An electric auger is a tool used to dig holes, often for fence posts or other large posts, as well as for digging holes in ice for ice fishing. Unlike motorized augers, an electric auger runs off an electric current either from an electrical outlet in the home, off a car battery, or off a generator. They are much quieter than motorized augers, and they are more reliable in cold temperatures, but the electrical requirements for running an electric auger for any extended period of time is quite significant. They are not as strong as motorized augers either, meaning a hole will take longer to drill with an electric model.

Augers use a long, spiral-shaped drill bit that is usually several inches wide to drill holes. The bit spins when the auger is engaged, digging deeper into the ground and simultaneously pulling earth upward above the surface of the hole. They are capable of drilling holes through a variety of materials, but they are most commonly used to drill holes in dirt or in ice for ice fishing. An electric auger is a good choice for smaller jobs such as fence post hole digging, since the power output is significantly less than that of a motorized auger.


Ice fishermen may choose to use an electric auger if a power source is available. The electric auger is much quieter than motorized versions, meaning fish will not be frightened away by the sound of the hole being drilled. No exhaust shoots out from the auger either, meaning the auger can be used inside confined spaces such as ice fishing huts. While it may take a long time to drill a new hole or several holes in the ice using an electric auger, electric versions are handy for reopening old holes that may have frozen over. They are also commonly used if only two to five holes need to be drilled, as opposed to 10 or 20.

One major drawback to the electric auger is its reliance on an electrical power source. Motorized versions run on gas, which means they can be easily transported to different locations without a need for a power source. Electric augers will always need some sort of external power source. Smaller augers may run off a car battery, but sustained use will drain the car battery and render the car powerless. A generator can be used to run the auger, but carrying a generator around can be cumbersome and limiting.


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