Horticulture Magazine

The Best Petrol Augers For Drilling Post Holes

man holding an auger upright on a field

If you want to put in fence posts or plant a row of saplings, you can’t do without a Petrol Auger. Leave aside shovels, what you can do laboriously over two days with a post hole digger you can do easily in a few hours with an Auger.

A good old electric drill is for all of us ‘ordinary’ DIYers who need to make a hole in a countertop. An earth auger, however, is for the hard-core DIYer who wants to do it all himself and who wants to ‘drill holes’ in the ground. 

For the most part you bore holes into the ground to put in fence posts but such boring is also required when you need to put down masonry supports and deck posts, or when you want to plant saplings or bushes.

If the earth you will be boring into is loose dust or soil, or is a chalky ground, you’re in luck. Drill away however you wish. But if it is stony, rocky ground or a heavy clay soil that you’ll be drilling into, be careful. 

In the first type of ground you will experience kickbacks from time to time so be prepared for them. A bad kickback can knock you down or injure your arms. Consider two-person operation and do not run the auger at full speed. If you manually remove visible stones, rocks, and thicker roots, things will go easier.

In the second type of ground you may run the risk of the drill slowing down and getting stuck. Most DIY augers cannot be reversed so go slow in heavy clay and keep pulling up the auger – and clay alongwith it – from time to time.

In general, but especially when boring into difficult ground, start with the narrowest drill and work your way up. Try going wider as you go deeper instead of using the largest drill straightaway.

Using an earth auger requires a bit of homework. You need to ascertain that you won’t be boring into ground where you could hit an underground cable or water pipe.

So how to choose a DIY auger? We feel that – unlike many a power tool – in choosing one of these pieces of machinery you need to find your own compromise between raw power versus comfort and handleability. In our reviews, underneath, we sift and sort through these competing or conflicting desirable attributes. 

Where specifications are concerned, while all but one of the reviewed augers have 3 horsepower engines, they vary in their engine displacements which is what (besides horsepower) governs power. Each machine’s RPM and particular length of drill bit, or drill bit plus extension bar, have an impact on torque. (However, torque is mainly dictated by the design of the engine, its gears, and RPMs.)

Then you need to look into features. The most common – in fact a customary – feature is that the fuel tank is translucent so that you can monitor the petrol level. Other features include the handles’ grip, smooth start, and centrifugal clutch. Most DIY augers lack a clutch so look for any other automatic cut-out feature as it can save you from a bad fall or a sprained wrist. 

Finally there are subjective pros and cons, including build quality, ease of use, roughness, and proneness to kickbacks. 

Our #1 Top Pick
Professional Earth Auger Post Pole Borer 82...
Value Pick
BU-KO 52CC 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger Fence...
Also Consider...
Dealourus 65cc 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger...
Engine Power
82CC
52CC
65CC
Max Speed
9,500RPM
9,000RPM
9,000RPM
Drill Bits
3
3
3
Tank Capacity
1.2L
1.2L
1.2L
Warranty
24 Months
12 Months
12 Months
Safety Gear
Carbide Tips
Price
Price not available
£169.99
Price not available
Our #1 Top Pick
Professional Earth Auger Post Pole Borer 82...
Engine Power
82CC
Max Speed
9,500RPM
Drill Bits
3
Tank Capacity
1.2L
Warranty
24 Months
Safety Gear
Carbide Tips
Price
Price not available
Value Pick
BU-KO 52CC 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger Fence...
Engine Power
52CC
Max Speed
9,000RPM
Drill Bits
3
Tank Capacity
1.2L
Warranty
12 Months
Safety Gear
Carbide Tips
Price
£169.99
Also Consider...
Dealourus 65cc 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger...
Engine Power
65CC
Max Speed
9,000RPM
Drill Bits
3
Tank Capacity
1.2L
Warranty
12 Months
Safety Gear
Carbide Tips
Price
Price not available

Last update on 2021-10-20 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API

We delve into all these considerations, plus price, underneath so that you can make an informed purchase decision.

Best Pick: Horti Power Post Borer

Admittedly very expensive, Horti’s auger is packed with raw power; though its build quality is not the best, in boring it’s the undisputed champ.

Cost: Price not available

Horti’s earth auger boasts a ‘gorilla power’ 4.3 horsepower 82 cc engine that has a maximum speed of 9500 RPM. It has a 2-stroke engine and a 1.2-litre tank. It weighs 28 kilogrammes.

This is the most powerful and torquey auger in this set of reviews. It really should be operated by two persons, and with care at that. However, this powerhouse is well damped and therefore is not uncomfortable.

It bores through difficult, hard ground, and drills out or through stones and roots. The engine starts easily and it is also strong and reliable.

A top feature is the centrifugal clutch which works very well, as does the ‘impact absorbing recoil spring’ which protects the operator from injury if a rock or similar object is hit.

The same cannot be said about the body or the supplied drills. The body is of dodgy build quality. If you’re unlucky the metal at the auger mount will bend, the air filter will break, or you may get some other unpleasant surprise. Neither the drills nor the extension bar can cope with the raw power of Horti’s engine and if the machine is operated at high speed in hard ground, they will get bent alongwith their bolts.

Special features include a full size right-angle drive and double-ringed high compression piston.

It is supplied with 3 drill bits of 100-, 200-, and 300-millimetre sizes, each of which is 1 metre in length.  A 600-millimetre extension bar is also included.

It is extremely expensive which is the price premium to be paid for such a powerful engine. In spite of its cost it does not come with any accessories or freebies whatsoever. It must be said that this auger is not a very good value for money.

The seller does not provide acceptable after-sales service.

Despite this auger’s drawbacks, its sheer muscle and earth-moving capacities allow it to edge Dealourus’s exceptional machine as our Best Pick.

Horti provides a 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • The gorilla among DIY Augers, it has superlative boring and digging capability.
  • For a DIY auger, it is a powerhouse.
  • Centrifugal clutch.

Cons

  • Very expensive; perhaps over-expensive.
  • Build quality does not match up with the engine.
  • Seller’s after-sales service is unacceptable.

Value Pick: BU-KO 52cc Petrol Earth Auger

Modest in both price and in power, BU-KO’s auger may not be able to handle hard ground but it runs smoothly, is well accessorised, and is top value.

Cost: £169.99

BU-KO’s earth auger has a 3 horsepower 52 cc engine that has a maximum speed of 9000 RPM. It has a 2-stroke engine and a 1.2-litre tank. Though 9000 RPMs is a high speed, the 3 hp 52 cc engine cannot impart much torque.

It is a relatively new product.

Like four of the six augers reviewed here, this one has a 52 cc engine but it has more than enough power for DIYers. Also, it is a very reliable and easy starter. The choke lever helps in this regard.

The foam grip handles are a plus point; these reduce transmission of vibrations to your hands. In fact, all said this auger is one of the more manageable and handleable ones.

It has a very well-positioned throttle. It also has a brake but we are not convinced of its usefulness or reliability.

As good as BU-KO’s affordable kit is, it cannot bore through stony ground, nor can it be expected to. However, it is a dependable borer in ’normal’ ground. It is also less rough and easier on the arms than most other augers.

Build quality is very good.

It is supplied with 3 drill bits of 100-, 150-, and 200-millimetre sizes, each of which is 800 millimetres in length. A 600-millimetre extension bar is also included. Rounding off this very complete kit are gloves, goggles, ear protectors, a fuel mixing bottle and funnel. The included multi-axial level is a very useful item, and one that is quite unusual to get as a bundled accessory.

This solid and reliable borer is available at an irresistible and unbeatable price; as a result, it gets the nod as our Value Pick edging Dealourus’s affordable kit.

Pros

  • In its specs, features, and strengths, it is remarkably well balanced.
  • Overall, one of the less rough and more comfortable machines.
  • Irresistably priced and loaded with accessories, it is a fantastic value.

Cons

  • Not very powerful nor very torquey.
  • Cannot handle stony or difficult ground.

Dealourus 65cc Borer Digger

If you don’t mind some fumes in your face you’ll get huge power, excellent control, and top performance as Dealourus’s auger is as good as the best.

Cost: Price not available

Dealourus’s earth auger has a 3 horsepower 65 cc engine that has a maximum speed of 9000 RPM. It has a 2-stroke air-cooled engine and a 1.2-litre tank.

Rated to dig 80 holes per hour, this auger fully lives up to its rating. Moreover, it can bore through rough, densely-packed earth. The motor is seriously powerful but the same cannot be said about the supplied drills. When trying to bore through hard ground the motor’s power can bend or even shear the drills.

One of the best features of this DIY auger is that the throttle and brake are so positioned that if the drill tip hits a rock or other hard object, power will effectively be cut out. It is also equipped with a choke to head off flooding.

On the other hand, the position of the exhaust releases smoke at your face, which is not a helpful ‘feature.’

Choke or no choke, Dealourus’s borer is a very reliable starter and starts are quick and easy. Build quality is very good.

It is supplied with 3 drill bits of 100-, 150-, and 200-millimetre sizes, each of which is 800 millimetres in length. A 600-millimetre extension bar is also included. Rounding off this very complete kit are a tool kit, gloves, goggles, ear protectors, a fuel mixing bottle and funnel.

Dealourus’s auger also benefits from admirable quality control. Not only is the overall quality impressive, quality control lapses are virtually non-existent. Adding to its attractions, though not exactly inexpensive, it is quite reasonably priced. 

All said, this powerful auger is tough and rugged, and, above all, is among the most reliable and dependable. It is because of these unquantifiable and qualitative strengths that it could just as well have been either our Best Pick or Value Pick. Consider it a close runner-up for both those slots.

Pros

  • Packs some serious power under its 65 cc ‘hood.’
  • Well-positioned throttle and effective brake.
  • Excellent quality control and excellent design mean flawless performance time and time again.

Cons

  • A little too powerful for its own drills which may bend or break.
  • Poorly positioned exhaust releases smoke in the operator’s face.

Todeco Petrol Auger

Todeco’s auger is not too powerful but its specs are harmonious and it has good torque but sub-par handles; it’s a workhorse that just keeps going.

Cost: Price not available

Todeco’s earth auger has a 3 horsepower 52 cc engine that has a maximum speed of 7500 RPM. It has a 2-stroke engine and a 1.2-litre tank. Unlike a few other augers, on this kit the maximum speed is very well matched to the engine displacement; this contributes to higher torque than on other machines.  It weighs 18.7 kilogrammes.

For its size and rating, this is an unexpectedly powerful borer, at the same time and for the same reason one person can operate it by himself, though with care and caution. That said, the handles are not as well-cushioned or -damped as those of other DIY augers. 

This machine displays its unexpected power by not letting hard, semi-stony soil deter it. Though its maximum RPMs are certainly on the low side and it comes with only a 600-millimetre extension, it is very much up to the job.

On a down note, the vibrations cause bolts, including the one attaching the drill to the auger mount, to loosen. Furthermore, these bolts may not even be fully tight in the first place. They will need to be tightened regularly. The low-quality reducer oil should also be replaced.

On the plus side, Todeco’s quick and smooth starting machine is a rough and tough workhorse that is a reliable tool that keeps going and going akin to a marathon runner. 

It is supplied with 3 drill bits of 100-, 150-, and 200-millimetre sizes, and a 600-millimetre extension bar. A set of assembly tools in a pouch, a fuel mixing bottle, and gloves are also included. 

Pros

  • Designed to keep maximum speed in harmony with engine displacement, and maximise torque.
  • For it specs, it proves itself to be unexpectedly powerful.
  • Part workhorse and part marathon runner.

Cons

  • Handles are not well-padded or -cushioned and are below average.
  • Not a very powerful motor.
  • Various bolts keep coming loose and may not be fully tight to begin with.

T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill

While fumes in the face and kickbacks drag down T-Mech’s kit, it shows a bit more power than spec’d, is smooth-starting, and is fully accessorised.

Cost: £199.99

T-Mech’s earth auger has a 3 horsepower 52 cc engine that has a maximum speed of 9000 RPM. It has a 2-stroke engine and a 1.2-litre tank. It weighs 21 kilogrammes. The high speed is not well matched to the engine size.

Rated to ‘drill up to 1.5 metres into the earth,’ quite unexpectedly this auger goes through hard, tough earth quicker and easier than its specs would suggest. In ‘apparent power’ this kit’s way up there. 

Starts are among the easiest and smoothest. However, it is prone to sudden stoppages and kickbacks, which are particularly abrupt and harsh. For this reason it is advisable for two persons to operate this auger.

Another negative is the direction of the exhaust as it emits fumes in the operator’s face.

Build quality is acceptable but the vibrations can cause bolts, including the one attaching the drill to the auger mount, to come loose. These need to be checked regularly.

T-Mech’s auger is a very reliable and ‘hard working’ machine, so to speak, and its specs and performance single it out as a good choice for soft ground in which many holes need to be bored very fast.

Though certainly not costly, this auger’s list price does not match its specs or performance but on sale or on deal pricing it may be a very smart purchase.

Be wary of the recommended fuel-oil mix of 25:1 (or anything close). Go for a mix approaching the standard 40:1.

It is supplied with 3 drill bits of 100-, 150-, and 200-millimetre sizes, each of which is 800 millimetres in length. A 580-millimetre extension bar is also included. Rounding off this very complete kit are a tool set, gloves, goggles, ear protectors, a fuel mixing bottle and funnel.

Pros

  • Belying its modest specs, somehow it exhibits a fair amount of power.
  • One of the easiest and smoothest starting machines.
  • Really complete kit includes a very nice bundle of accessories.

Cons

  • More prone than other augers to jarring stoppages and kickbacks.
  • Ill-positioned exhaust can spew smoke in operator’s face.
  • Rather costly.

Dirty Pro Tools Post Hole Borer

Rough rides and bad kickbacks go hand-in-hand with apparent power, very good build quality, and durability on Dirty Pro Tools’s affordable auger.

Cost: Price not available

Dirty Pro Tools’s earth auger has a 3 horsepower 52 cc engine that has a maximum speed of 8500 RPM. It has a 2-stroke air-cooled engine and a 1.2-litre tank. 

Features include an easy start system, a bit lock, and a ‘centrifugal clutch.’ It may start easily but the jury’s out on the vaunted clutch because it does not seem to work at all as this borer can and does kick like a mule when it encounters a rock.

The throttle’s positioning, gap, and curvature may work well if you have large hands but if your hands are small to medium-sized, you may find the throttle rather less convenient to operate than those on other augers.

The handles have some padding but ‘anti-vibration’ they are not because – on an amusing note – as befits this auger’s brand name it gives a rougher, ‘dirtier’ ride than some other earth augers.

The positive flip side is that Dirty Pro Tools’s auger is robust and sturdy, and where it stands out is that it is one of those machines that seem to have, and actually somehow do have, a little more power than the specs say. Build quality is quite good, definitely above par. For this reason it is also more durable than other augers.

It is supplied with 3 drill bits of 100-, 150-, and 200-millimetre sizes, each of which is 760 millimetres in length. It comes with a shortish extension bar, set of tools, and a fuel mixing bottle.

Priced to please and to sell, this very affordable no-frills auger is a very good value and should appeal to DIYers who like a high ‘Power-to-Money’ ratio.

Pros

  • Not very powerful yet somehow seems to ‘put out’ more power than it should.
  • Robust, sturdy, and of above-average build quality.
  • Surprisingly low price marks it out as a very good value buy.

Cons

  • Not comfortable in operation and gives a ‘dirty,’ rough ride.
  • Very bad kickbacks.
  • Throttle design not suitable for those with small-to-medium hands.

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