Power drills are multi-functional tools. With the right bit, you can do anything from drilling through concrete or wood, mixing cake batter, or digging holes into the ground. In this guide, we’re going to explain how you can find the best drill bits to dig deep pockets into the ground with very little effort.
Buying Guide: Drill Bits for Digging
In this guide, we’ll explain which drill bits are ideal for digging and how you can find the best drill bit available.
What is an Auger Bit?
Auger bits come in a wide variety of shapes and lengths. Different designs are made for different applications—most of which is for large holes into wood—so if you need a bit for digging into the earth, make sure you find the appropriate bit shape and diameter.
An auger bit, also known as a garden auger spiral, consists of a spiral that starts from the end of the bit. The spiral loosens the material, soil or otherwise, while also pulling it out of the newly bored hole. This quickens the digging process and produces a cleaner hole for landscaping or planting purposes.
Why You Need an Auger Bit
Why indeed should you invest in an inexpensive auger bit for your drill when there are muscle-dependent tools like shovels, digging bars, and so on? We pretty much just answered our own question here—if you don’t want to spend all day under the scorching sun digging holes, then an auger bit connected to the chuck of a power drill can save you a lot of time and effort.
Plus, imagine having to dig numerous holes to plant numerous plants or drive numerous stakes into large plots of land. This isn’t something that sounds attractive in any way, unless you have a power tool with a bit specifically designed to dig into compacted soil.
Choosing the Best Drill Bit for Digging
There are only two real factors that determine which auger bit you need, namely the size of the bit and the power drill you have on hand.
Bit Size (Length and Diameter)
Auger bits come in various sizes. They typically range from just a couple of inches all the way up to more than a foot. For driving stakes, you’ll need a longer, wider drill bit to add stability to the stake and produce a wide enough hole to pour concrete in. As for the diameter of the bit, don’t for a second think that a thin, ½-inch of material will give enough structural integrity to 1-plus-foot bits. Longer bits should be wider so the drill’s chuck doesn’t snap the metal piece while digging in compacted soil.
As for the power drill, you’ll want to ensure that its chuck can support the drill bit. Chuck sizes range from ¼ of an inch to 1 inch, though larger chucks are available but a lot more uncommon. A larger chuck generally means the drill has a larger motor to drive the bit into harder materials.
1. How to use an auger bit?
Using an auger bit for digging into soil is super-easy, even without a power drill. Manually digging through your soil can be done by attaching the bit to a piece of wood and manually spinning it into the soil. There are augers with long handles made specifically for manually digging which would probably be the better option, but if you have a power drill on hand and plan on digging several feet into the ground, the right bit for your drill can mean bypassing hours of backbreaking labor.
2. How deep can an auger bit drill?
Ultimately, the depth at which you can dig using the drill bit depends on two things: the length of the but and the strength of your power drill. The power drill should produce enough torque to spin the auger not only at high speeds but to also break compacted soil beneath the surface of the earth. An impact driver would be ideal since it delivers torque for these exact purposes.
3. What type of drill should I get?
Once again, an impact driver would be the better tool, but since drills are arguably more versatile, we’ll focus on this specifically. When digging into the ground, any modern power drill, cordless or not, should produce enough power to break the ground. Take a look at the motor size measured in amps or HP; a more powerful motor will push dirt to the side and allow the auger to reach its maximum depth much more easily.
Using a drill bit made for digging can mean the difference between getting sunburned and hardly breaking a sweat when tending to your garden. In this guide, we’ve explained what an auger bit is, why you need it, and the few factors that should affect your purchase decision.