Augers – don’t ignore the usefulness of these simple hand tools

February 23, 2012

Looking for minerals – then do not underestimate the usefulness of hand augers. It is easy to be seduced by mechanical devices but often the job will be done more quickly and with far less effort with a hand auger or non-mechanical sampling device, particularly in inaccessible areas.

An auger is a simple and extremely efficient tool for extracting soil samples and it may seem incredible but it’s nonetheless true that the manufacture of the “Edelman” type of hand auger is still finished by hand. Two highly trained craftsmen stand at the forge and bash away at the metal to give it the perfect shape. No machine has yet been able to replicate the skill of the craftsman.

For a disturbed soil profile the “Edelman” type of hand auger is a good choice of tool. It is easy to use, surprisingly effective, quick, light and cheap. If an undisturbed sample is essential then the gouge or window type of sampler is preferred. In harder soils insertion is usually carried out with a percussive mechanical hammer, either with a mechanical breaker or with a (micro) drilling rig.

If you are sampling to depths below the water table then remember the hole created by the sampler will collapse. In these circumstances, the hole will need to be cased. This is usually done with either an ABS or steel casing. Samples are then taken from within the casing which is lowered into the soil. Where sand is present this will be removed with a bailer.

If your samples need to be transported from site for further laboratory investigations and need to be retained in their original form and profile, liner samplers are useful. Liners are usually made of polythene, acrylic or transparent PVC but can also be (stainless) steel.

Wherever you are sampling for minerals and whatever the soil type: clay, sand, combination or course sand we have a range of augers and equipment. Details can be found on our main website .


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