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FARM SHOW Tests Battery-Powered Auger
“When Ryobi sent FARM SHOW their 18-volt and 40-volt battery-powered earth augers to try out, I was skeptical. How would they handle 2 to 2 1/2-ft. holes in different soils with rocks and other obstacles? I was quickly won over.
“I love the Ryobi 40-volt cordless earth auger. The 18-volt unit was less impressive, but definitely has its place. After years of digging postholes and holes for plants by hand, the battery-powered units are a real treat. There also is no comparison between them and heavy, noisy, smelly and dangerous, gas-powered, one-man augers that I’ve used in the past.
“The compact power heads let you get in closer than any gas-powered unit I’ve used when digging a hole next to an existing fence, between plants, or up against a wall. With forward and reverse, it is easy to pull them out of the holes. The 40-volt offers 2 speeds, but it is the anti-kickback functions on both that I really appreciate.
“Anyone who has ever operated a gas-powered auger knows how tricky it can be when encountering a rock or other buried item. I’ve taken more than a few blows to the ribs as the auger stops and the power unit spins.
“With the Ryobi cordless, kickback is not a problem. Hit a rock or buried metal and it stops and resets so you can reverse out of the hole.
“At about 35 lbs. with the battery in place and an 8-in. dirt bit, hauling the 40-volt around and lifting it out of holes is not a big problem. At about 16 lbs., the 18-volt is ideal for lighter excavation.
“In addition to fence postholes, I did some shallow excavation in less-than-ideal ground. I wanted to lay some 4-in. drain tile on the edge of our driveway, burying it under 4 in. of washed rock. I wasn’t looking forward to a lot of pickaxe work to dig up the driveway.
“The packed gravel was too much for the 18-volt with its 6-in. auger. However, the 40-volt with its 8-in. dirt bit proved ideal for the job. I drilled out a series of holes the length of the trench and about a foot deep. Removing the loose gravel with a narrow spade was easy.
“The quick connect augers make switching out different size bits easy. Ryobi offers 4, 6, 8 and 10-in. dirt bits. All are 24 in. long with another 6 in. or so of shaft. If installing wood stakes in hard packed dirt or clay, I could see the 18-volt power head and 4-in. dirt bit being a real help.
“Overall, I would give a hearty endorsement of the 40-volt powerhead versus the 18-volt. The 40V earth auger is priced at $299 with charger, 4Ah battery and an 8-in. dirt bit. The 18-volt is priced at $249 with charger, battery and 6-in. bit. The additional $50 for the larger unit would definitely be money well-spent.”
For more information visit www.homedepot.com and search for Ryobi earth auger.

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #5