An auger is a device for moving material or liquid by means of a rotating helical flighting. The material is moved along the axis of rotation. A drill bit uses this mechanism to remove shavings from a hole being drilled. For some uses the helical flighting is enclosed in a tube, for other uses the flighting is not encased.

An Archimedes screw is essentially an auger that lifts water from a lake or river.

Snowblowers use an auger to move snow towards an impeller where it is thrown into the discharge chute. Combines use both enclosed and non enclosed augers to move the unthreshed crop into the threshing mechanism and to move the grain into and out of the machine's hopper. A Zamboni uses an auger to remove loose ice particles from the surface of the ice.

Plumbers use a plumber's snake, a flexible auger, to remove obstructions from pipes.


Albrecht Dürer's 

pen-and-ink drawing

 of a man using an auger,

 ca 1496 (Musée Bonnat, 

Bayonne, France)

The grain auger is used in agriculture to move grain from trucks and grain carts into grain storage bins. A grain auger may be powered by an electric motor, a tractor through the power take-off, or sometimes an internal combustion engine mounted on the auger. The helical flighting rotates inside a long metal tube moving the grain upwards. On the lower end, a hopper receives grain from the truck or grain cart. A chute on the upper end guides the grain into the destination location.

Solid state physics

Auger (pronounced oh-jhay) recombination is a process for electron-hole pair recombination in semiconductor crystals. This process dissipates energy in the form of heat rather than by photon emmission. Two electrons in the conduction band collide with one of them losing energy and falling to the valence band and combining with a hole. The energy transferred to the second electron is gradually lost in a series of small steps, dissipating thermal energy to the crystal lattice