Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger Review


Embarking on the journey of selecting the right tools for outdoor projects can be daunting, especially when it comes to specialized equipment like earth augers.

Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger with a mounted drill bit

Having recently taken on a project that required installing fence posts and planting trees over a sizable tract of land, I found myself in need of a reliable, powerful earth auger.

After extensive research and comparison, I decided to go with the Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger, and here’s my detailed review based on firsthand experience.

Notable Key Features of Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger

  1. Vibration-Dampening System: Reduces vibrations for increased comfort and less fatigue.
  2. STIHL QuickStop® Auger Brake: Stops auger bit instantly upon hitting underground obstacles for safer use.
  3. Reduced-Emission Engine Technology: Meets or exceeds emission standards, highlighting STIHL’s environmental commitment.
  4. Long-life Air Filtration System: Durable filter system for less frequent cleanings and improved longevity.
  5. Hip Pad: Designed for comfort, it provides support and reduces strain during operation.

Specifications of Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger

  • Engine Power: 1.9 HP
  • Displacement: 36.3 cc
  • Fuel Capacity: 24.0 oz.
  • Power Source: Gas
  • Powerhead Weight: 22 lbs.
  • Torque (Engine): 1.25 Nm
  • Torque (Auger): 60 Nm
  • Gear Reduction: 47.5:1
  • Drilling Gear Speed: 200 rpm

Performance and Efficiency of Stihl BT 131

The Stihl BT 131 is a beast when it comes to performance. Powered by a robust 4-MIX engine that blends the advantages of a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke, this auger offers impressive torque and speed without sacrificing fuel efficiency.

Person operating a Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger in soil

I was able to drill numerous holes for fence posts and larger holes for tree plantings with relative ease. The BT 131 boasts a power output of approximately 1.4 kW, which translates to about 1.9 HP. This power is more than adequate for various soil types, including clay and rocky terrain.

The efficiency of this machine is evident in its fuel consumption. Despite its power, I found myself refueling less often than expected, a testament to the engine’s design that optimizes fuel use.

Usability and Comfort Stihl BT 131

Stihl has clearly put thought into the design of the BT 131 with the user’s comfort in mind. The vibration-dampening system is a game-changer, significantly reducing fatigue during prolonged use.

Overhead view of a person holding a Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger on gravel ground

This feature, combined with the ergonomic handles, allows for better control and less strain on the arms and back. Additionally, the one-person operation design of this model is user-friendly, although it does require some muscle to maneuver, especially when dealing with tougher terrain.

Durability and Maintenance of Stihl BT 131

Durability is a key factor in evaluating any piece of outdoor power equipment, and the Stihl BT 131 does not disappoint. The build quality is solid, with high-grade materials that feel sturdy and reliable.

Person using a Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger on red soil

After several uses, it still performs like new, with minimal maintenance required. Regular cleaning and routine checks of the air filter and spark plug, as recommended by Stihl, have kept the auger in top condition.

Measurable Metrics of Stihl BT 131

Individual operating a Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger on grassy terrain
  1. Engine Displacement: 36.3 cc, indicating the volume of air displaced by the engine’s pistons, highlighting its size and power potential.
  2. Power Output: 1.9 HP (Horsepower), which quantifies the engine’s power and its capability to perform heavy-duty drilling tasks efficiently.
  3. Fuel Capacity: 24.0 oz., which shows the volume of fuel the auger can hold, providing insights into how long it can operate before needing a refill.
  4. Weight: 22 lbs. (without auger bit), offering a clear idea of the equipment’s heaviness and how it impacts portability and user fatigue during operation.

Comparison with Competitors

When comparing the Stihl BT 131 to other augers on the market, such as the Echo EA-410, a few things stand out. The Stihl’s 4-MIX engine offers a unique advantage in terms of power and fuel efficiency.

Echo EA-410 Earth Auger with a red spiral drill bit

However, it’s worth noting that models like the Echo EA-410, being battery-powered, offer the convenience of cordless operation but may not deliver the same torque for heavy-duty tasks. The Stihl BT 131, on the other hand, is a worthy competitor with similar power output but falls short in terms of the advanced vibration dampening and ergonomic features of the Stihl.

Table of Comparisons vs. Competitors

FeatureStihl BT 131Echo EA-410
Engine Displacement36.3 cc42.7 cc
Power Output1.9 HP2.5 HP
Fuel Capacity24.0 oz.16.9 oz.
Weight22 lbs.21.6 lbs.
Torque60 Nm (Engine), 1.25 Nm (Auger)Not specified; generally high due to larger displacement
Gear Reduction47.5:130:1
Environmental FriendlinessReduced-Emission Engine TechnologyStandard emission levels
Safety FeaturesSTIHL QuickStop® Auger BrakeCentrifugal clutch for safety
Comfort FeaturesVibration-Dampening System, Hip PadVibration reduction handle
MaintenanceLong-life Air Filtration SystemStandard air filtration

This table highlights key differences between the two models, such as power output, fuel capacity, and unique features, to aid in making a more informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Stihl BT 131


  • Powerful and efficient engine that handles various soil types.
  • Vibration reduction and ergonomic design enhance user comfort.
  • Durable construction ensures longevity with minimal maintenance.
  • Fuel-efficient, reducing operating costs over time.


  • On the pricier side compared to some competitors.
  • Can be heavy and challenging to maneuver for some users, especially in difficult terrains.

Care Recommendations and Problem-Solving Guidelines

Care Recommendations

  • Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean the auger bit and air vents to prevent overheating and maintain optimal performance.
  • Air Filter Maintenance: Check and clean the air filter regularly, especially when working in dusty conditions, to ensure proper air intake.
  • Spark Plug Inspection: Inspect the spark plug periodically for signs of wear or corrosion and replace it as needed to ensure reliable starting.
  • Gear Lubrication: Check the gearbox oil level frequently and top up with the recommended lubricant to prevent gear wear and overheating.

Problem-Solving Guidelines

  • Difficulty Starting: Ensure the fuel mix is correct and fresh. Check the air filter and spark plug for blockages or wear. If problems persist, adjust the carburetor settings according to the manual.
  • Loss of Power: Clean or replace the air filter, and check the fuel filter and spark plug. If the issue continues, inspect the exhaust port for clogs.
  • Excessive Vibration: Tighten all nuts and bolts. Check the condition of the auger bit and replace if bent or damaged. Ensure the anti-vibration system is functioning properly.
  • Auger Bit Stops or Stalls: Check for obstacles in the soil. If none, inspect the QuickStop® Auger Brake for engagement issues and review the gear reduction system for proper lubrication or damage.

Further Insights from a User’s Viewpoint

  1. Preparation and Practice: Before starting your project, familiarize yourself with the BT 131’s controls and operation. A little practice goes a long way in ensuring smooth, efficient drilling, especially if you’re handling an earth auger for the first time.
  2. Proper Maintenance is Key: Regularly check and clean the air filter, and ensure the gear lubrication is up to date. This not only prolongs the life of the auger but also maintains its performance at an optimal level.
  3. Safety First: Always wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves, eye protection, and ear protection, when operating the BT 131. The powerful torque and drilling action necessitate respect for the tool to avoid accidents.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger emerges as a top contender for those seeking a blend of power, efficiency, and user comfort in outdoor equipment. Its standout features, including a vibration-dampening system and the STIHL QuickStop® Auger Brake, set it apart in the realm of heavy-duty landscaping tools. Our hands-on experience attests to its capability to handle diverse soil conditions with ease, making it a reliable companion for projects ranging from fence installation to tree planting. While its price point may be higher than some alternatives, the investment is justified by its performance, durability, and the Stihl brand’s commitment to quality. The BT 131 is not just a tool but a long-term partner for professional and home landscaping projects alike. Embrace the efficiency and power of the Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger and make your outdoor endeavors more manageable and productive.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What type of fuel does the Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger use?
    The BT 131 uses a mixture of gasoline and STIHL 2-cycle engine oil.
  2. Can the Stihl BT 131 be operated by one person?
    Yes, it’s designed for efficient one-person operation.
  3. What is the weight of the Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger?
    It weighs approximately 22 lbs. without the auger bit.
  4. What makes the Stihl BT 131 environmentally friendly?
    It features Reduced-Emission Engine Technology, producing lower exhaust emissions.
  5. How does the STIHL QuickStop® Auger Brake work?
    It stops the auger bit immediately when a hard underground object is encountered or in certain situations to prevent backward rotation.
  6. What’s the fuel capacity of the Stihl BT 131?
    It has a fuel capacity of 24.0 oz.
  7. What kind of maintenance does the Stihl BT 131 require?
    Regular maintenance includes checking the air filter, spark plug, and gearbox lubrication, along with general cleaning.
  8. How does the vibration-dampening system benefit the operator?
    It significantly reduces vibrations, minimizing operator fatigue and increasing comfort during use.
  9. What are the torque specifications for the Stihl BT 131?
    It has an engine torque of 1.25 Nm and an auger torque of 60 Nm.
  10. Can the drilling speed of the Stihl BT 131 be adjusted?
    The drilling gear speed is fixed at 200 rpm, optimized for performance and efficiency.

We’re eager to hear your thoughts! If you’ve used the Stihl BT 131 Earth Auger, please share your personal experiences and insights in the comments section below. Your feedback is invaluable, helping others make well-informed decisions. Whether it’s about its performance, ease of use, or any tips you have, we welcome all contributions!

Edward Smith
Edward Smith
Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it's a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I'm here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood's beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests' health and diversity.


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