Garden & Lawn

6 Best Petrol Augers For Drilling Post and planting Holes

Last updated on September 16th, 2021

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If you have a number of post holes to dig in your garden – for fence posts, decking supports or planting trees – please seriously consider purchasing a petrol auger for the job. These petrol powered digging tools save you time and effort as well as do away with most aching muscles and blisters.

All the models in our review come with three drill bits that create different size holes. We list each earth auger’s pros, cons and features and give our recommendation as to where it’s best used. Our Buyer’s Guide discusses what to look for in the best petrol earth auger.

BEST PICK

T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill
Purchase the T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill and you receive an auger powerful enough for most domestic hole drilling plus all the protective gear and accessories you need to start drilling straight away. The 52cc engine is a standard size for non-professional work as are the 9000rpm. This is plenty of power for any of the three auger drill bits (100mm, 150mm and 200mm in diameter) included, even at the furthest reach of the 60cm extension pole. The fuel tank is 1.5L, even larger than that on our Best Professional Pick. The downside of the uncomfortable placement of the exhaust pipe is easily solved. The T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill is a solid choice of petrol garden auger, especially if you have someone to help you use it.

Professionals Pick

Horti Power Professional Earth Auger
The Horti Power Professional Earth Auger has a more powerful engine (82cc vs 52cc) than the other augers in our review. It also replaces the standard 150mm diameter auger with a 300mm diameter one for larger fence posts. This ground driller is made to the high-quality standards needed from earth augers that work big jobs for long sessions, say in and day out. In particular, the Ultra Blade System lets you change out the blades on the drill bits and you can either sharpen or replace them. You also have the ability to use non-brand drill bits as the auger mount is the standard size. The Horti Power Professional Earth Auger is designed for meeting many different job requirements.

Best Petrol Augers For Drilling Post Holes reviews

1. T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill

Best Pick

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T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill Garden Earth Borer Post Hole Digger Borer, 52cc, 3HP, Petrol, 1.2 L | Pole and Accessories included | 9000 RPM

Within the T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill package you have everything that you need to start drilling post holes in your garden. Along with the earth auger drill itself you receive safety gear including eye and ear protection, leg guards and gloves. The accessory kit has all the tools you need to assemble the auger and to change the drills, as well as a fuel mixing bottle so that you always use the correct ratio of petrol to two-stroke oil.

This T-Mech garden drill has a 52cc engine that works on a recoil start with the pull of a cord. Some online reviewers complain that the exhaust from this engine vents into their faces and is very unpleasant. One inventive reviewer, however, remarks that he just added a small piece of metal hose pipe to the outlet vent and directed the fumes away. Problem solved!

You receive the standard three drill bits with this auger. They’re each 80cm long and have diameters of 100mm, 150mm and 200mm. This range covers most of the post hole sizes needed on domestic properties. With the (included) 60cm extension pole, the auger can drill down to a depth of 1.5m. That’s deep enough to put a fence post or deck support in.

There’s no reverse gear on this or any of the petrol augers we review, so it’s sometimes a bit difficult to lift the auger out of the hole, especially when it becomes deep. In addition, even petrol garden drills have problems with rocks, stones and hard surface. This T-Mech model has a reported strong kickback when it comes across these obstacles and doesn’t have an automatic clutch or brake to stop the unit. Stay alert when using this and be ready for the auger to twist and turn unexpectedly.

Pros

  • Petrol auger with a 52cc engine providing 3HP of power and 9000 rpm.
  • Three drills included (100mm, 150mm and 200mm diameters) with a 60cm extension pole for a combined drilling depth of 1.5m.
  • Fuel tank holds 1.5L of petrol.
  • Free safety package of eyewear, ear protectors, leg guards and gloves included.
  • Accessories package (free) contains all assembly tools, funnel and fuel mixing bottle.
  • Easier to handle if two people handle the auger together.
  • One-year warranty included.

Cons

  • Not designed for heavy dry ground (e.g. heavy clay).
  • Strong kickback when hits stones and rocks.
  • Operator is in exhaust fumes.

Our recommendation

The T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill comes with all the tools and protective gear that you need to get started drilling holes in your garden. Make sure that the safety gear is up to your standards, though. You can drill holes to the three standard holes sizes to a depth of 1.5m in soil that’s loosely compacted, sandy or dry. Take extra care on stony ground or clay in case the auger can’t handle it and suddenly comes to a halt.

The T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill is our choice for best Pick of petrol augers for drilling holes. We like its power, it’s large fuel tank and that it comes with everything that you need to start out.

Looking for a manual or electric post hole diggers? Check out my review of the best post hole and planters diggers here


2. Horti Power Professional Earth Auger

Best Professional Pick

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Professional Earth Auger Post Pole Borer 82 CC 3 Drills Bits 100 200 300 Ultrasharp with Extensions

The Horti Power Professional Earth Auger is designed especially to cut down on the operator’s fatigue in using it and to be very manoeuvrable. All the parts to this machine are of professional build and quality making it a good choice for commercial use or for those who have many, many holes to dig.

Everything about this earth auger screams heavy and long use. There’s an easy start feature, dual-balanced crank and a dual-ring high compression piston. All this adds up to a good balance of weight vs power which in turn leads to an efficient use of fuel. The 82cc engine that generates 9500rpm is the most powerful one in our review.

Designed and engineered specifically for low fatigue and great manoeuvrability, this earth auger has dual-ring high compression piston, dual-balanced crank, and an easy start feature. The 1.2L fuel tank means you can drill plenty of holes before having to stop, remix fuel and refill the tank. The ergonomic handles add to your comfort and there’s a “heavy duty sprung anti shock device” that reduces the vibrations that cause muscle aches.

Although you receive three auger drill bits, the ones with this heavy-duty auger have a different range of diameters than with domestic machines. You get 100mm, 200mm and 300mm widths. This lets you drill larger holes for bigger and sturdier posts. Using the extension pole (60cm) added to the length of the drill bits (1m) gives you a good 1.6m of hole depth.

This professional earth auger has the two-year warranty that we love to see.

Pros

  • Two handle auger for professional and long-term use.
  • Engine is a powerful 82cc, 4.3HP with 9500rpm.
  • Crank is dual weighted with double ringed piston.
  • Commercial drive gearbox is full size and set at right angles.
  • All three drill bits (100mm, 200mm and 300mm in diameter) are 1m long in their own right.
  • The Ultra Blade System lets you change and sharpen or replace the blade.
  • Extension pole is 60cm.
  • Mount for the auger is a standard 20mm.
  • Fuel tank holds 1.2L.
  • Drills down to 1.6m.
  • Operates with one or two people.
  • Ergonomic hand grips for comfort.
  • Two-year warranty.

Cons

  • Safety equipment and accessories not included.
  • Doesn’t stop when encounters a hard surface.

Our recommendation

The Horti Power Professional Earth Auger is indeed a post hole driller for those who dig a lot of holes. It’s built with an eye on professional quality and ergonomic features. The drill bits are wider than usual so letting you dig the bigger holes needed for larger and longer fences. The mount for the auger drill bit is a standard size so you can buy other bits for different size holes.


3. Dealourus 65cc 2-Stroke Petrol Earth Auger

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Dealourus 65cc 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger Fence Post Ground Hole Borrer Digger 3HP V-Type | 3 Drill Bits Diameter (100,150,200mm), Safety Gear & Extension | 1 Year Warranty

The Dealourus 65cc 2-Stroke Petrol Earth Auger is another post hole driller that comes with everything you need to dig fence post holes. Be safe and use the provided eye glasses, ear protectors and gloves. And you don’t have to look for your Allen key and other small tools when you’re setting up the auger as these are included, along with a funnel and a fuel mixing bottle.

This twin-handled auger has a 65cc engine (larger than most other domestic petrol augers) that produces 9000rpm of rotational power. If you use the fuel mixing bottle to mix the petrol and oil, you always have the right ratios of these two liquids to put into the 1.2L fuel tank to provide this power. Start this machine with the easy pull recoil starter and you’re good to go.

You control this Dealourus garden drill by using the choke and the throttle. Opening the choke on a cold day enables you to easily start the engine without flooding it. The throttle comes in useful if you need to suddenly cut the power. Although the sales blurb states that this auger stops automatically if it hits a large stone or a rock, online reviews say that this doesn’t always happen and that you need to stop the auger yourself instead. So be ready for kickback for when this happens.

You receive the usual three auger drill bits of 100mm, 150mm and 200mm diameter. Plus a 600mm extension pole for when you need to drill deeper. There’s no reverse option to help you lift the auger out of a deep hole and there’s the usual exhaust in your face problem.

Pros

  • Two-stroke twin-handle petrol auger with a 65cc, 3HP engine that produces 9000rpm of rotational power.
  • Easy pull recoil starter cord.
  • Petrol tank holds 1.2L of fuel/oil mix.
  • Ergonomic twin handles have anti-vibration foam grip.
  • Control the auger via the throttle control system and the choke lever.
  • Brake system stops the auger bit if it hits a hard obstacle or surface.
  • Three drill bits of diameters 100mm, 150mm and 200mm are included as is a 600mm extension pole.
  • Safety gear included are eye wear, ear protectors and gloves.
  • Accessories are a fuel mixing plastic bottle and a funnel to fill it up, along with a tool kit for assembly.

Cons

  • Kickback when hits stones or rocks.
  • Exhaust fumes waft over the operator.

Our recommendation

The Dealourus 65cc 2-Stroke Petrol Earth Auger has the most powerful engine (65cc vs 52cc) of the domestic augers in our review. Although it may not brake automatically when you hit rocks, the choke and the throttle do give you some control over the speed of the auger. The included PPE kit saves you from having to supply your own. The large (1.2L) fuel tank lets you drill more holes without having to stop and refuel.


4. BU-KO 52CC 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger

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BU-KO 52CC 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger Fence Post Ground Hole Borrer Digger 3HP V-Type | 3 Drill Bits Diameter (100,150,200mm), Safety Gear, Post Level & Extension

The BU-KO 52CC 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger is another two handle garden drill that lets you and an assistant operate the auger at the same time. This gives you more control over the placement and direction that the auger’s going in plus adds to the weight applied to the machine. The BU-KO auger comes with a full safety gear kit and an assembly tool kit plus the necessary fuel mixing bottle. Plus, in this case, a three-dimensional fence post level that helps you get your posts all lined up squarely.

The engine has the popular 52cc, 3HP of power that produces 9000rpm. The throttle control system and the choke help the machine to start easily, especially in cold weather. Unlike some other models in our review, the BU-KO version has an automatic brake that stops the auger bit from turning when it hits a hard surface. You don’t have to worry about kickback if this happens, and that’s a lot safer and easier on your muscles.

The three drill bits you receive with your auger are the usual 100mm, 150mm and 200mm in diameter. As they’re 800mm long, if you use the 600mm extension pole, you can drill down to about 1.5m. That suits most lengths of fence posts or tree saplings that you need to secure into the ground.

Pros

  • Fuel/oil mix 2-stroke engine is 52cc and 3HP and gives 9000rpm of turning power.
  • Fuel tank holds 1.2L of 2-stroke oil mix
  • Twin handles are ergonomically designed with a foam grip to reduce vibration.
  • Recoil pull starter cord is practically effortless to use.
  • Has throttle control system and a choke to use for starting when it’s cold out.
  • Brake stops auger drill bit turning if it encounters a hard surface.
  • Comes with three drill bits – 100mm, 150mm and 200mm in diameter.
  • Drill length is 800mm plus there’s a 600mm extension pole.
  • Comes with a safety gear package, an assembly tools kit, a three-dimensional post level and a plastic fuel mixing bottle.
  • One-year warranty provided.

Cons

  • None really.

Our recommendation

The BU-KO 52CC 2Stroke Petrol Earth Auger has many of the same features as some of our other recommended augers in this review. But this one comes with an automatic brake that stops the auger bit, and the auger, from turning when it hits an obstacle underground. This saves you from kickback and a potentially painful jolt to your wrists, arms and back. Plus, you also receive a three-dimensional level.


5. ParkerBrand 52cc Petrol Earth Auger

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52cc Petrol Earth Auger / Fence Post Hole Borer + 3 Auger Bits + Extension Bit + More

Although the ParkerBrand 52cc Petrol Earth Auger has a similar size engine to other augers we review, its maximum rotation is lower at 7500rpm instead of 9000rpm. This makes the ParkerBrand model more accessible to those who feel that our other models may be too powerful for them to handle.

Two people can operate this auger at the same time as it has two handles. Instead of wrap-around handles though, these are bar handles, one of which has the controls placed close at hand on it. The grips on the bar handles are for your comfort.

The three auger bits are each 76cm long and come in the usual diameters of 100mm, 150mm and 200mm. However, the extension bar is only 30cm long, so this limits the maximum depth of the holes you can drill to around 1m.

You also receive a tool kit for assembly and changing over the auger bits; it’s in a handy pouch to keep things all together. Along with your fuel mixing bottle, you receive a bottle of the brand’s oil, but no funnel. And you’re also on your own for your safety gear – don’t skimp on that. You need it as this auger doesn’t have a brake so kickback may occur when it reaches rocks or stones in the hole.

Pros

  • Twin handle 52cc, two-stroke air-cooled ParkerBrand engine.
  • Generates 7500rpm to power each of the three drill bits: 100mm, 150mm and 200mm in diameter.
  • Extension bar is 300mm of extra depth for your drilled holes.
  • Includes tool kit for assembly, a fuel mixing bottle and a bottle of the brand oil.
  • Warranty is for two years.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a brake.
  • Strong kickback when hits something solid.
  • Safety gear not included.

Our recommendation

The ParkerBrand 52cc Petrol Earth Auger produces fewer rpm than the other models in our review and drills down to a shallower maximum depth. That said, it’s a good choice if you know that that’s all you need from an earth auger. We do like that it has a two-year warranty when the standard seems to be a one-year warranty.


6. VidaXL Auger Ground Drill

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vidaXL Auger Ground Drill Orange 52 cc Gasoline Engine Post Hole Borer Ground

The vidaXL Auger Ground Drill is a one handle auger but there’s a place to put your other hand on the other side of the unit. The handle it does have is ergonomically designed and sticks out at right angles from the body of the auger. It has a soft grip that acts as an anti-vibration barrier, so making it more comfortable to direct and use the auger.

The 52cc engine produces a respectable 8000rpm of turning power for a smaller auger. The motor has a recoil start, so you just pull the cord as usual. This seems to be designed as an earth auger that you can use on your own without having to wrangle a friend or family member in to help.

The best use of this auger is for standard size holes in light soil. There’s no brake so expect some kickback if rocks and stones get in the way underground. The three drill bits are the standard 100mm, 150mm and 200m in diameter, and the drill bit length is 72cm. And 72cm is the deepest that the vidaXL garden drill can reach as it doesn’t come with an extension pole. Make sure that you won’t want to sink deep fence posts before you purchase this model.

You do receive two sets of tools with your purchase – one for assembling the unit and the other for changing the auger drill bits. Although a fuel mixing bottle is included, there’s no handy funnel or PPE equipment.

For small holes in light soil – no extension so not deep holes – want something you can use yourself without help

Pros

  • One-handle earth auger with a 52cc two-stroke engine and 8000rpm of rotational power.
  • Three drill bits included of the standard diameters – 100mm, 150mm and 200mm.
  • Drill length is 72cm.
  • Tanks holds 0.9L of fuel.
  • Comes with tool kit for assembly and to fix the drill bit, and a plastic fuel mixing bottle.
  • Anti-vibration handle reduces the strain on your arms.

Cons

  • No extension pole.
  • No safety equipment or funnel.

Our recommendation

The vidaXL Auger Ground Drill is a one handle auger that does the job well. As it comes without an extension pole it can only dig down to the depth of the auger drill bit (72cm), but online reviewers report that it does this well in light and only slightly compacted soil. You do need to provide your own safety equipment and funnel, but you get a lot of tools with this vidaXL auger.


Buyer’s Guide

Petrol augers to make post holes in your garden are powerful tools and should be treated with respect. They’re not for the faint of heart. Here’s what to look out for when choosing your earth auger.

Power

The power of a petrol earth auger is a combination of the size of the engine (cc and HP) and the revolutions per minute (rpm) it generates.

All the motors in our review are two-stroke and so use a fuel/two-stroke oil mix. There may be some confusion in the written and advertising material about the correct ratio of these liquids to use. If you always use the markings on the (usually) included mixing bottle to make up the fuel mix, you’ll be alright.

Petrol earth auger being used to dog fence post holes for new paddock

All the engines in the post hole drillers we write about are recoil start; just pull the cord and the engine should startup. Some of the models have an Easy Start function to make starting them up more efficient. Remember that you usually have a throttle and a choke to use on cold days to help the start.

Use time

This comes down to the size of the fuel tank and how efficiently the motor burns the fuel. Most of the petrol augers have a semi-opaque fuel tank that allows you to see at least a shadow of the current fuel level so you know when it’s running low. We didn’t find much information in the sales blurb, product specifications or the user guides about the running time of any of the models in this report.

Hole size

The size of the holes you can drill out depends mainly on the size of the drill bits that come with the unit. Except for our professional pick, the Horti Power model, all the other models come with 100mm, 150, and 200mm diameter drills. Experts recommend starting with the smallest diameter drill bit and progressively using larger ones until you reach the size hole you need.

using powered auger to drill holes for planting trees

The professional Horti Power auger also comes with three drill bits but these have 100mm, 200m and 300mm diameters for larger holes.

The maximum depth of the hole you can drill depends very much on your auger. The length of the drill bits varies with each model, from around 60cm to 1m. In addition, many units come with an extension pole to increase the depth possible; the longest of these we found is 1m.

Types of soil

Earth auger being used on gritty soil to dog holes

A petrol garden auger removes soil, it doesn’t drill through things. These augers work best with loose, dry soil. Some can handle more compacted soil or wet clay as well. But none, except for perhaps our Best Professional Pick, are made to work through rocks, stones or other hard materials.

Safety features

Look for an earth auger that will stop the blade when it hits stones, rocks or even a hidden level of concrete. If you choose one without this feature, be very careful when using it and be prepared for a strong kickback from the machine in this circumstance. In addition, the post and handles might start revolving as the auger stops going down. This can spin you around or the machine can even knock into you.

Online reviewers report that you can often feel the moment that the drill bits meets a hard object, so then ease back on the throttle or pull the auger completely out of the hole and investigate. You may need to manually remove the rocks or cut through the tree root at the bottom of the hole.

Comfort and safety

Petrol earth augers are powerful machines and you need to exercise the usual care around them. Some of our reviewed units come with a package of safety wear including safety glasses, ear protectors, leg protectors and gloves. Please make sure that these are of an adequate standard before you start drilling in your garden. If your purchase doesn’t include this feature, please provide your own PPE.

Garden centre using petrol auger to dog holes for planting

As for comfort, petrol post hole drillers put out significant vibrations. Some models have ergonomic handles with special grips or foam padding to reduce the vibrations which would otherwise cause stress and strain on many muscles in your body.

For most of the models we look at, except for the one handle vidaXL Auger Ground Drill, some reviewers report that it’s best to have two people using the drill, one on each of the two handles. This helps to add enough weight to really control the drill, especially in the case of kickback.

And please make a habit of checking over the auger before each use. Some of the bolts may have come loose and need to be tightened up again.


Final Conclusion

If you’re faced with having to make a long chain of post holes or some in difficult terrain, do yourself a favour, put down your shovel and purchase a petrol earth auger. You, and maybe a helper, can make tight, deep holes in a fraction of the time and with much less effort with a petrol post hole driller than with any manual driller. The mobility of this auger means you can transport it to where you need it and use it for as long as you want, provided you take extra fuel with you.

Our Best Pick is the is the T-Mech Petrol Earth Auger Drill. This auger comes with all the power, protective gear and tools you need for successful and safe post hole drilling.

We have a Best Professional Pick which is the Horti Power Professional Earth Auger. With a powerful 82cc, 4.3HP motor and a 1.2L fuel tank, this post hole driller provide time and power for the larger hole drilling jobs you have to do.


Last update on 2021-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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