The Key Differences Between Hydraulic Vs. PTO Auger

When it comes to drilling holes in the ground generally two types of augers are used: Hydraulic and PTO.

Despite their differences, both auger systems have been employed in agricultural and industrial applications for many decades due to their benefits in particular situations. It’s difficult to choose between them. If you must pick between the two, this article will assist you in making your decision.

Hydraulic and PTO Augers are different in many respects from one another. Their distinguishing characteristics include their power source, power output, efficiency, operability, compatibility, uses, safety, and, most importantly, their pricing.

In this article, I will compare and contrast the distinct characteristics of Hydraulic vs PTO augers. So, be patient and study the full article to determine which one best suit your requirements.

Hydraulic Vs. PTO Auger: Quick Comparison Table

The table below compares and contrasts the various Hydraulic and PTO Auger features. Have a glance at the table that compares the features.

Hydraulic Vs. PTO Auger

Power sourceHydraulic MotorTractor’s engine
Power outputRelatively lowHigh
EfficiencyHighRelatively low
CompatibilityEasy Universal Quick-AttachSpecific to engine type
SafetySafeRelatively unsafe
Maintenance costHighLow

What are the Differences Between Hydraulic Vs. PTO Augers on Features?

As previously stated, there are several distinctions between hydraulic and PTO augers. The power source, power output, efficiency, operability, compatibility, safety, and price of these augers are briefly discussed below.

1. Power Source:

Hydraulic and PTO Augers both rely on the rotating power of a hydraulic motor or a tractor’s engine respectively.

In hydraulic augers, a hydraulic motor is typically mounted to the front end of a tractor loader arm. The auger’s drilling power is provided by this motor.

PTO augers, on the other hand, are driven by the tractor’s engines. A shaft connects the auger to the tractor’s PTO drive. The shaft is used to direct rotational power to the auger.

2. Power Output:

In terms of power output, both products are pretty much comparable. As they both use different power sources, the output is also different.

Hydraulic augers are equipped with a hydraulic motor that has relatively less rotational power. This system is limited to the liquid pressure inside the hydraulic engine.

However, PTO augers use a powerful tractor engine to rotate the auger. This system is also limited to the power of the engine.

3. Efficiency:

The hydraulic augers are more efficient in terms of energy consumption to performance ratio.

Hydraulic system uses less energy to operate producing greater output. This system is independent of the tractor’s engine.

On the other hand, as the PTO augers use the tractor’s engine, it uses more power. 

The fuel consumption of the engine determines the energy consumption to performance ratio, which is generally low than the hydraulic system. 

4. Operability:

The hydraulic augers are comparatively heavy and need additional help to set up and mount to the tractor’s arm.

However, the set-up process of PTO augers is a one-man job and they are easy to transport.

5. Compatibility:

The hydraulic augers are compatible with any type of tractor as it only requires a mounting deck on which they can be attached by the Easy Universal Quick-Attach (EUQAL) hook.

In terms of compatibility, the PTO augers fall behind as the auger selection depends on the engine type and power of the tractor. Heavier augers can cause serious stress on the engine. 

6. Safety:

Hydraulic augers are safer to use. They can be reversed if they get stuck in the ground. Also, they stop when they hit a hard object such as a rock. 

In comparison, the PTO augers are attached to the tractor’s engine, hence reverse rotation is quite a difficult process. Also, it is hard to implement any safety mechanism to stop the auger from hitting any hard object.

7. Price:

Hydraulic augers are often more expensive compared to PTO augers. The price is between $1000 to $4000. A sophisticated hydraulic motor has an additional cost of maintenance and repair.

On the other hand, PTO augers relay on the tractor’s engine. So, the rest of the auger is a straightforward mechanical attachment that cost way less than hydraulic augers, around $500 to $2000. Maintenance and repair cost is also very low.

Hydraulic Vs. PTO Auger: Which One to Choose Finally?

There are several factors to consider when purchasing an auger. These factors include the types of operation, size of your operation area, your budget, drilling ground structure, and others. 

Both the Hydraulic and PTO augers are very durable and efficient and can be used in different circumstances.

Hydraulic augers can be used in versatile working conditions. They provide comfortable operation, easy attachment, greater efficiency, and safety. But they are expensive and their maintenance and repair cost is high.

On the other hand, PTO augers have a straightforward design. They are easy to handle and provide enough power for successful drilling in any condition. But they consume more energy.

In addition, PTO augers are far less expensive than Hydraulic augers.

If the operation area is small, such as small-scale fencing, gardening, etc., and the budget is limited it is wiser to go for PTO augers.

But for professional and industrial use Hydraulic augers provide greater opportunity and high throughput. The Hydraulic augers provide an additional downforce that facilitates the drilling process. 

According to a consumer review on a popular website, “Hydraulic augers are the greatest alternative for individuals wanting higher precision and efficiency. Alternatively, if one is concerned about cost and wants to save a few bucks, he should go with a PTO auger.”

When all aspects and situations are examined, PTO augers will have the edge over Hydraulic augers due to their cheaper price. However, if you have a huge budget and your job requires great efficiency, you can pick Hydraulic augers to improve performance in several ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Hydraulic Augers Provide More Efficiency?

Yes, Hydraulic augers consume less energy and provide greater control. They are used in sophisticated situations where high precision is demanded.

Do PTO Augers Have More Rotational Power?

Yes, PTO augers are attached to the tractor’s engine which helps to channel the raw power of the engine to the auger. This helps in quick and easy operation.

Can PTO Augers be Reversible?

No. Unfortunately, PTO runs in one direction only. So, it is not possible to reverse the auger when gets stuck. But the hydraulic augers can be driven forward and reverse.

Which One is Safer to Use between hydraulic augers vs PTO augers?

Because they are placed on a tractor’s hydraulic arm, hydraulic augers are safer to use than PTO augers. PTO augers, on the other hand, are powered by strong tractor engines, which poses a significant risk if the auger is adjusted manually during operation.


After reading this article, you should be able to make an informed decision between Hydraulic vs PTO auger systems. They can both supply you with satisfactory service and meet your needs.

PTO augers provide power, ease of operation, and lower costs when all factors and situations are considered. Hydraulic augers, on the other hand, are costly yet efficient.

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