What To Do When Your Auger Gets Stuck In The Ground

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Augers are incredibly useful tools for digging holes in the ground quickly and efficiently. Whether you’re a professional landscaper or a DIY enthusiast, chances are you’ve used an auger at some point. However, even the best augers can get stuck in the ground, causing frustration and potentially delaying your project. In this article, we will discuss some steps you can take to free a stuck auger and get back to work.

Common Causes of Auger Stuck

There are several reasons why an auger may become stuck in the ground. One of the most common causes is encountering a large rock or tree root while digging. The auger’s blades can get caught on these obstacles, preventing it from moving forward. Additionally, if the ground is compacted or contains a high amount of clay, the auger may struggle to penetrate and become stuck. It’s important to understand these common causes to prevent the auger from getting stuck in the first place.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

When you realize that your auger is stuck, it’s essential to stay calm and assess the situation. Take a step back and evaluate the angle at which the auger is stuck and the depth it has reached. Understanding these factors will help you determine the best course of action to free the auger.

Step 2: Try Reverse Rotation

In some cases, simply reversing the rotation of the auger may be enough to dislodge it from the ground. Most augers have a reverse gear that allows you to spin the blades in the opposite direction. This change in rotation can sometimes help release any obstructions and free the auger.

Step 3: Release Tension

If reversing the rotation doesn’t work, you may need to release the tension on the auger blades. This can be done by loosening the bolts or adjusting the tension settings on your auger. By reducing the pressure on the blades, you may be able to wiggle the auger free from the ground.

Step 4: Clear the Surrounding Area

Before attempting any further steps, it’s crucial to clear the area around the stuck auger. Remove any debris, rocks, or roots that may be obstructing its movement. This will create more space for the auger to maneuver and increase your chances of freeing it.

Step 5: Apply Lubrication

If the auger is still stuck, applying a lubricant to the blades and the surrounding area can help loosen the ground and reduce friction. Use a penetrating oil or a mixture of soap and water to lubricate the stuck parts. Let the lubricant sit for a few minutes before attempting to free the auger again.

Step 6: Rock the Auger

If all else fails, try rocking the auger gently back and forth while applying slight downward pressure. This motion can help break up any compacted soil or loosen any obstructions, making it easier to remove the auger from the ground. Be careful not to exert too much force, as this may damage the auger or cause injury.

Step 7: Seek Professional Help

If you have tried all the above steps and the auger is still stuck, it might be time to seek professional assistance. Contact a local equipment rental company or a professional landscaper who can provide the necessary expertise and tools to free the auger safely and efficiently.


Getting your auger stuck in the ground can be a frustrating experience, but with the right steps, it can usually be resolved. By assessing the situation, trying reverse rotation, releasing tension, clearing the area, applying lubrication, and gently rocking the auger, you can increase your chances of freeing it. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Remember to always prioritize safety and take precautions while working with an auger.