By Mike Hale
A powerful earth drill may have plenty of torque to tackle even the toughest jobs, but performance can suffer without the correct cutting blade and auger. When contractors pair a drill with the right augers, points and blades, it’s like unlocking the door to faster digging and greater profits.
A less-than-perfect choice can leave crews struggling to power through clay, soft rock or compact soils. Using the wrong points or blades may also lead to faster wear and greater maintenance time and expenses.
Here’s a quick guide to choosing the best auger and blade for the next job.
Determine Auger Strength
Start by selecting from a standard, carbide or heavy-duty auger. Soil conditions dictate the best option. Consider a standard auger for projects in soft soils and a carbide auger for frozen or compacted soils. For jobs in rocky soils, turn to heavy-duty augers, which feature more durable flighting and heavy-duty teeth and side cutting blades.
Choose the Right Size
Next, review the job specs to determine the diameter and depth of the holes to be drilled. This is where it pays off to go with an auger line that is expandable and easily modified. Choose a manufacturer that provides a standard auger line that includes numerous diameters from as narrow as 1.5 inches to as wide as 16 inches and lengths of 36 and 42 inches long. This will provide a reliable base of options to easily take on numerous drilling tasks. Additionally, contractors can easily take on holes deeper than 5 feet by ensuring the auger line they choose also allows for snap-on extensions in 18- and 36-inch lengths. Getting a drill, auger and extensions all in one place ensures compatibility and future parts support.
Be sure to choose an earth drill model that matches the job, too. More power is needed from the drill as the auger diameter increases.
Select Points and Blades
As with auger type, the right point or blade depends on the soil. Standard points and blades should be made of cold-rolled steel and feature hard surfacing on the edges to quickly break up soil found in typical drilling jobs, like loamy soils or areas with few rocks.
For projects in hard clay, frozen ground or compact rock, carbide and chisel point blades are the ideal tip to quickly cut the materials into pieces. Plus, carbide blades stay sharp 10 to 20 times longer than steel tips.
Decide on Uptime
Connecting an auger and point or blade should be easy. Snap-on augers and extensions give contractors a convenient spring-loaded snap button that makes attaching fast and simple without the need for any additional tools. When it comes to points and blades, look for ones that are designed to connect to the auger with just a couple of easy-to-remove steel bolts. This ensures a secure connection that is also simple. Additionally, if blades may need to be paired with smaller-diameter augers, ensure they can be easily screwed or pinned on. These straightforward processes save valuable time on the job compared to alternative options on the market. For the best ROI, consider quality, as well. Points and blades should easily handle more than 100 holes before requiring maintenance. Some blades are even reversible and can be flipped over for a new edge.
Even the largest drills touting the most impressive specs on paper will prove disappointing at the jobsite without quality augers, points and blades to back them up.
About the Author
Mike Hale started his career in the fencing industry in 1974, and, in 1996, began working at Little Beaver Inc., a leading manufacturer of portable earth drills and accessories. He offers expertise on fencing and hole digging equipment as the sales manager. If you have questions or comments, contact Mike at email@example.com or call 800-227-7515.