Best Ice Fishing Auger of 2022 Reviewed (Buyer’s Guide)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

Share

Ice anglers all around the world will know how much easier it is to use an ice auger than anything else when you need to drill a hole into thick ice.

With the best ice fishing auger, you’ll have a hole drilled in through a few feet of ice in seconds or minutes, where it could take 20 minutes with an axe or ice saw.

Not all ice fishing augers are made equal though, there are a few to choose from.

Check out the best ice augers around along with our buying guide below, to make sure you get the best ice auger for you.

The Best Ice Augers From The Review

Here’s a quick summary of all the top ice augers from the lineup…

Best Drill for Ice augers

Ryobi P1813 One+ Hammer Drill For Ice Auger

A cordless high powered drill that you can connect a hand ice auger to for when you go ice fishing.

Ryobi P1813 One+ Hammer Drill For Ice Auger

The best drill for ice augers is the Ryobi P1813 One+ Hammer Drill. 

It’s light, portable, the battery lasts for at least 50 ice holes and it’s designed to work down to 14 Fahrenheit. It’ll get the job done on ice fishing trips.

Best Electric Ice Auger

Lithium 40v Ice Auger

Made from quality stainless and comes with sharp blades with a diameter of 8 inches. You can drill 100 holes into 16 inches of ice off one charge.

Lithium 40v Ice Auger

The best electric ice auger is the Lithium 40v Ice Auger. 

You can drill up to 100 holes off one charge, the engine starts up quickly without needing to warm up and it’s made from quality stainless for durability with sharp blades that make cutting holes in ice really easy. 

Best Hand Ice Auger

Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger

Exceptionally easy and efficient when being used as a hand auger, plus you can also connect it to a power drill to make it an electric auger too.

Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger

The best manual auger is the Strikemaster Lazer. 

It’s made from top-quality steel that’s powder-coated to prevent ice build-up while you’re drilling your fishing holes.

The handle is adjustable in length and very comfy to use thanks to the soft grips.

It’s also light for portability and connects to a cordless drill so you can make it electric if you want to.

Best Cordless Drill for Ice Auger

Milwaukee Tool 2704-22 Hammer Drill For Ice Auger

Designed for low temperatures down to 14 Fahrenheit. It can push up to 1200 in-lbs of torque and works at up to 2000 RPM to get through 24 inches of ice with ease.

Milwaukee Tool 2704-22 Hammer Drill For Ice Auger

The best cordless drill for an ice auger is the Milwaukee Hammer Drill. 

This drill has an immense amount of torque, up to 750-inch pounds, for drilling through ice quickly and easily plus it’s compact, portable, and designed for use in freezing temperatures.

Best Propane Ice Auger

Eskimo Propane Ice Auger

This propane auger comes with a 10-inch blade that’s ideal for all species, even big lake trout will slip through it. It has a lot of power and will cut a 10-inch hole with ease.

Eskimo Propane Ice Auger

The best propane ice auger is the Eskimo Propane Ice Auger. 

This unit comes with a 5-year warranty, has an awesome amount of power, starts quickly, and makes drilling through the ice as easy as can be.

The blades are super sharp, keep their edge, and the engine requires very little maintenance thanks to its propane build.

Best Gas-Powered Auger

Eskimo Quantum Ice Auger

It’s made with durable 10-inch stainless blades that make mincemeat of ice, especially when you’re using the max power.

Eskimo Quantum Ice Auger

The best gas auger is the Eskimo Quantum. 

It comes loaded with features that make it easy to use in freezing conditions. There are shock-absorbing handles, a mitten friendly starter for use with gloves, and the trigger throttle that makes controlling the power as simple as can be. 

It’ll drill through ice like butter too thanks to the quality stainless steel blades and the serious amount of power it has.

Best Overall Ice Auger

Nils Master UR600C Ice Auger

An ice auger made to be attached to any drill that can handle the freezing temperatures of ice fishing. You don’t have to buy an attachment, a normal drill will slot right in there.

Nils Master UR600C Ice Auger

The best ice auger overall is the Nils master UR600C Cordless drill auger.

It’s a manual auger with a fitting for any power drill out there, so you can switch between hand cranking and electric cranking as you need to.

The build is top-notch too, using the highest quality steel and sharp blades that cut through ice with ease.

Best Two-Stroke Ice Auger

ThunderBay 33cc Power Ice Auger

Runs on a two-cycle engine and when combined with the sharp stainless blades, cuts through ice quickly and easily.

ThunderBay 33cc Power Ice Auger

The best two stroke ice auger is ThunderBay 33cc. 

It’s not only one of the most affordable two strokes but is also still built to last in icy conditions.

The engine is made with cold shot technology for a quick start in the cold, and it has a great amount of power thanks to the 33c engine for drill holes super fast.

Best Budget Ice Auger

Eskimo Ice Auger

It’s sharp, durable, and lasts a season before it needs sharpening depending on the number of holes you drill.

Eskimo Ice Auger

If you’re on a budget your best bet is the Eskimo Hand Auger. 

It’s the most affordable auger in the review and it’s still extremely effective and made from durable stainless steel with sharp blades.

The ergonomic handle makes it easy to manually drill holes with and you can connect it to a power drill when you want to.

Best Ice Auger Combo

Nordic Legend 33cc Power Ice Auger Combo

This auger comes with an ice shelter. The auger has an awesome amount of power for drilling holes into the thickets of ice, even up to 3 ft deep.

Nordic Legend 33cc Power Ice Auger Combo

The best ice auger combo is the Nordic Legend. 

You get a gas auger along with an ice fishing shelter all in one.

The shelter is durable, easy to set up, and does a great job of protecting you from the wind while you wait for the fish to bite.

Power

The auger makes drilling super easy thanks to the powerful 33cc engine and super sharp durable blades.

Together they make it super fast to get to fishing and being warm in your shelter.

Our Best Ice Fishing Augers 

Here are the complete reviews of all the ice fishing augers from from the lineup…

Best Drill for Ice Augers

Ryobi P1813 One+ Hammer Drill For Ice Auger

A cordless high powered drill that you can connect a hand ice auger to for when you go ice fishing.

Ryobi P1813 One+ Hammer Drill For Ice Auger

The Ryobi P1813 One+ Hammer Drill is a type of electric ice auger, but you’ll have to buy the auger part separately.

It’s technically just a cordless high powered drill that you can connect a hand ice auger to for when you go ice fishing.

Drill

The difference between this drill and a regular drill you might have around the house is the fact it is designed to work at freezing temperatures, down to 14 Fahrenheit.

So you can happily take it along on fishing trips and use it in the cold.

This electric ice auger drill comes with 3-speed settings and is adjustable to up to 750 inches/lb of torque and will penetrate thick ice with ease.

Speed Setting and Battery

The 3-speed settings make it easy to use, so you can build up speed with your confidence. Another great thing is that the battery lasts for up to 10 hours, but it’s still wise to carry a spare.

The battery charges fast, in just over an hour, so even if you forget to charge it up, you won’t have to wait around too long.

Fuel Gauge

There is a fuel gauge on the side of the drill too so you can always check how much power you have left.

The only negative to this drill is that the ice auger is missing, but luckily most hand augers can connect to a drill with ease and you’ll find some hand augers below that’ll match this drill perfectly.

Specs

  • Type: Drill
  • Diameter: Depends on Auger
  • Length: Depends on Auger
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Powered: Battery

Pros

  • High powered drill for getting through thick ice
  • Adjustable up to 750-inch pounds of torque
  • 3-speed settings
  • Great battery life
  • Onboard fuel gauge
  • Quick charging
  • Works down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius)
  • Comes with a handy carry bag
  • Great for at home DIY too

Cons

  • No ice auger included

Best Cordless Drill for Ice Auger

Milwaukee Tool 2704-22 Hammer Drill

Designed for low temperatures down to 14 Fahrenheit. It can push up to 1200 in-lbs of torque and works at up to 2000 RPM to get through 24 inches of ice with ease

Milwaukee Tool 2704-22 Hammer Drill

The Milwaukee Tool 2704-22 Hammer Drill is another electric ice auger drill like the Ryobi above, so you’ll need to buy and connect one of many hand augers for it to be useful for ice fishing.

Like the Ryobi, this drill is also designed for low temperatures down to 14 Fahrenheit but it comes with quite a bit more power, and can push up to 1200 in-lbs of torque, and works at up to 2000 RPM to get through 24 inches of ice with ease.

Battery

It takes a lithium-ion battery that lasts a long time off one charge, you can easily drill 50 holes before it runs out.

This drill is also labeled as the most compact in its class and will be a breeze to carry to your fishing spot.

Safety Feature

It also features REDLINK PLUS Intelligence that protects it from breaking due to overheating or being overworked.

But, it doesn’t stop everything from happening and some ice fishermen have had the side handle snap off while drilling in the ice, making me question its overall durability.

Another negative to this electric ice auger drill is that it’s quite expensive compared to the Ryobi and you’ll have to buy a hand auger to attach to it.

Specs

  • Type: Drill
  • Diameter: Depends on Auger
  • Length: Depends on Auger
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs
  • Powered: Battery

Pros

  • 1,200 in-lbs of Peak Torque
  • Up to 2,000 RPM for fast drilling speeds
  • REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence stops any damage
  • Most compact drill in its class for portability
  • Good battery life
  • Works at low temperatures

Cons

  • No auger included
  • Quite expensive

Best Electric Ice Auger

Lithium 40v Ice Auger

Made from quality stainless and comes with sharp blades with a diameter of 8 inches. You can drill 100 holes into 16 inches of ice off one charge.

Lithium 40v Ice Auger

The Lithium 40v Electric Ice Auger comes with everything you need to start drilling.

It’s one of the best electric augers around and includes a large lithium-ion battery that connects to the drill unit below.

You can drill 100 holes into 16 inches of ice off one charge with this electric ice auger which is a testament to the longevity of the lithium-ion battery. You could get a two-day trip out of it without needing a spare battery.

Build

The drill unit is made from quality stainless and comes with sharp blades with a diameter of 8 inches.

It cuts through ice like butter and will make quick work of it no matter how thick the ice is.

It’s a 42-inch ice auger, meaning you can punch around 36 inches through the ice, more than enough to get through the deepest of ice layers.

The 8-inch diameter of the blade will make a good all-around hole size, but you might struggle to pull a pike or lake trout of 4lbs and up out of it.

Warranty

Another great thing about this electric ice auger is that it has a 2-year warranty against the battery, motor, and charger and it’s made to work in the cold.

Plus there are no emissions and unlike gas augers, electric augers start easily no matter the temperature.

Weight

One major drawback of electric augers is that they are heavy.

This one is 24lbs and dragging this to your fishing spot will be tiring.

That being said it is lighter than the best propane or the best gas-powered augers.

Specs

  • Type: Powered Auger
  • Diameter: 8 in.
  • Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Powered: Lithium-ion battery

Pros

  • Large diameter for cutting holes
  • Great battery life thanks to the lithium-ion
  • 100 holes off one charge
  • Durable stainless Laser blades
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty on motor, battery, and charger
  • Very effective and efficient
  • Made for freezing temperatures

Cons

  • Heavy for carrying around
  • Blade diameter is a little small for pike and lake trout

Best Hand Ice Auger

Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger

Exceptionally easy and efficient when being used as a hand auger, plus you can also connect it to a power drill to make it an electric auger too.

Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger

The Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger is one of the best ice augers around.

Made with chrome alloy stainless steel so it will last for a long time.

It’s exceptionally easy and efficient when being used as a hand auger, plus you can also connect it to a power drill to make it an electric auger too.

This is really handy, if your drill was to break, you can switch to using it as a hand ice auger and not have to miss out on a day of fishing. 

Handle

The handle of the Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger comes with soft rubber grips that are placed ergonomically making it easy to drill by hand.

You can also adjust the handle length to suit your height to ensure your back stays comfortable.

Drill

The drill unit on the Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger is made from durable chrome-alloy stainless steel blades that last a long time without much maintenance.

It’s a 33-inch auger for getting through thick ice and its blades also have powder-coated paint to reduce ice build-up for easier drilling.

Blade

It has a 7-inch diameter blade size making a 7-inch hole.

This is the perfect size hole for a hand-powered auger, as anything over 8 inches is hard work to do manually.

It’s a little small to pull large fish through like a lake trout, but ideal for fish like crappie and walleye.

The Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger is certainly one of, if not the best ice fishing auger around for its versatility, build, small price, and low weight of 9lbs makes it very portable.

Specs

  • Type: Manual
  • Diameter: 7 in.
  • Length: 33 in.
  • Weight: 9 lbs.
  • Powered: Hand powered

Pros

  • Connects to a power drill
  • Ergonomic handle for easy drilling
  • Ergonomic handle for easy drilling
  • Lazer Blades tunnel efficiently
  • Handle adjusts from 48 to 57 inches for comfort
  • Affordable, light, and portable
  • Durable chrome-alloy stainless steel blades

Cons

  • The 7-inch diameter is a little small for big fish like lake trout

Best Budget Ice Auger

Eskimo Ice Auger

It’s sharp, durable, and lasts a season before it needs sharpening depending on the number of holes you drill.

Eskimo Ice Auger

This ice auger Eskimo made is another multi-functional hand auger that can be hand-powered or be connected to a drill to make it electric.

It’s an ideal solution to your drill breaking or running out of battery life – you can just whip out the handle and drill manually if you need to.

Build

It’s a 38-inch auger with an 8-inch blade size that’s made from stainless.

It’s sharp, durable, and lasts a season before it needs sharpening depending on the number of holes you drill. The 8-inch blade size is ideal for most species but you might find it tricky to pull a 4lbs plus fish out of the hole.

Handle

The handle has rubber grips that make it comfortable to use manually, and it’s light and comes with a blade protector adding to the lightweight portability of just 10lbs. 

There are quite a few issues with this ice auger Eskimo made.

The blade protector breaks easily, the pommel knob on the handle falls off often, and when connected to a drill, it wobbles instead of being solid. Plus it ices up in temperatures below 15 F, making it hard to use.

Specs

  • Type: Manual
  • Diameter: 8 in.
  • Length: 38 in.
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Powered: Hand

Pros

  • Durable stainless blades
  • Cuts through ice like butter
  • Ergonomic handle and pommel knob for easy drilling
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a blade cover for portability
  • Light and portable

Cons

  • Ices up in temps below 15 Fahrenheit
  • The pommel knob falls off easily
  • Blade protector tends to break
  • Doesn’t work well with a power drill

StrikeMaster MD Mora

A hand auger that easily connects to a drill to become electric. It’s made from high-quality carbon steel that outlasts normal stainless.

StrikeMaster MD Mora

The Strikemaster MD More is another hand auger that easily connects to a drill to become electric.

Build

It’s made from high-quality carbon steel that outlasts normal stainless but it loses its sharp edge quite quickly and needs sharpening after 100 holes, not ideal if you’re drilling 20 holes a day. 

It’s powder-coated to prevent ice build-up so you can keep drilling and catch fish on cold weather days.

Handle and Blade

The handle has great grips and the length is adjustable to suit your height so your back doesn’t do too much hard work. 

It’s a 33-inch auger with an 8-inch diameter blade, perfect for most species until they get to over 4lbs, where an 8-inch hole will be a tight squeeze to pull them out of. 

Being a hand power auger, it’s exceptionally light at 9lbs for portability and super affordable too as you’re not paying for an engine.

Specs

  • Type: Manual
  • Diameter: 8 in.
  • Length: 33 in.
  • Weight: 9 lbs.
  • Powered: Hand

Pros

  • Durable high alloy carbon steel blades
  • Powder-coated to reduce ice build-up
  • Comfortable to use ergonomic handle
  • Adjustable handle to give you the best drill position
  • Lightweight for portability
  • Affordable
  • Cordless drill adaptor available

Cons

  • Needs sharpening after 100 holes

Best Overall Ice Auger

Nils Master UR600C Ice Auger

An ice auger made to be attached to any drill that can handle the freezing temperatures of ice fishing. You don’t have to buy an attachment, a normal drill will slot right in there.

Nils Master UR600C Ice Auger

The Nils Master UR600C Ice Auger is made to be attached to any drill that can handle the freezing temperatures of ice fishing.

You don’t have to buy an attachment, a normal drill will slot right in there.

Build

It’s made from high-quality stainless and the 6-inch blades stay sharp even after 300 holes, saving you a lot of maintenance time sharpening between fishing days.

The 6-inch diameter is a little small for anything but panfish like crappie, so if you’re looking to target larger species like walleye, maybe this isn’t one of the best ice augers for you. 

Handle

It’s simple to use thanks to the ergonomic handle and cuts through the ice with ease. It’s also light and portable, but a little more expensive compared to the other hand augers, due to the quality of steel and the fact it’s shipped in from Finland.

The one major downside to this auger is that the drill attachment can get worn out, and you’ll want to use it with care and not overwork it.

Specs

  • Type: Manual
  • Diameter: 6 in.
  • Length: 42 in
  • Weight: 9 lbs
  • Powered: Hand power

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Attach any drill to it
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • The blades are sharp and ready
  • Durable and sharp even after 300 holes
  • High-quality stainless steel
  • Cuts through the ice with ease

Cons

  • Drill attachment can get worn
  • Small diameter for panfish only

Best Propane Ice Auger

Eskimo Propane Ice Auger

This propane auger comes with a 10-inch blade that’s ideal for all species, even big lake trout will slip through it. It has a lot of power and will cut a 10-inch hole with ease.

Eskimo Propane Ice Auger

This is the only one of many propane ice augers out there that made it into the review. It’s an ice auger Eskimo made with a propane engine attached to their manual auger we looked at above.

Blade

This propane auger comes with a 10-inch blade that’s ideal for all species, even big lake trout will slip through it.

Being a propane auger it has a lot of power and will cut a 10-inch hole with ease, and it’s easy to start as long as you keep the propane warm in your car outside of the cold weather beforehand.

Power

It’s easy to fuel up a propane auger, just slot in a 1lb pound propane can that is readily available at a lot of stores.

This propane ice auger will cut through 35-45 holes with a 1lb propane tank, meaning you might need to carry a few extra just in case the fish are moving a lot.

Maintenance

Propane augers are also much easier to maintain than gas power augers, as there are fewer emissions that clog up the engine.

If you’re looking for something high-powered, maybe this propane ice auger is the way to go.

Weight

Propane augers are heavy like gas power augers and this propane-powered ice auger is no exception at 34 lbs. It’ll be hard work moving this without a vehicle to help you out. 

There are some more negatives to this propane-powered ice auger too, the plastic on it breaks easily, this doesn’t affect its functionality but it is annoying.

The fuel line on this propane ice auger can also freeze up on occasion and will need fixing out in the cold weather if you want to keep using it.

Specs

  • Type: Powered
  • Diameter: 10 in.
  • Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Power: Propane

Pros

  • Comes with a unique centering ring for re-drilling holes
  • Easy to use
  • Less maintenance than a two-stroke
  • High-quality stainless steel blades
  • 5-year warranty included
  • Cuts through ice very quickly without any effort
  • 35-45 holes per 1lb propane tank
  • Makes 10-inch holes for all species

Cons

  • Very heavy to move around
  • Requires carrying propane around too
  • Plastic outer parts break easily
  • Fuel line can freeze-up

Best Two-Stroke Ice Auger

ThunderBay 33cc Power Ice Auger

Runs on a two-cycle engine and when combined with the sharp stainless blades, cuts through ice quickly and easily.

ThunderBay 33cc Power Ice Auger

The ThunderBay Gas Power Auger runs on a two-cycle engine and when combined with the sharp stainless blades, cuts through ice quickly and easily.

The engine is made for the cold with Cold Shot technology that makes it easier to start than your average gas power auger.

Blade

It comes with an 8-inch blade that makes a hole big enough for most species bar 4/5lb plus pike and lake trout.

Being gas powered it has an immense amount of power and it’ll never run out of fuel as long as you take a jerry can with you.

This means you can drill 300 holes in a day if you need to.

Price

As far as gas augers go, this one is more affordable than most and average in weight, meaning it’s heavy to carry around.

It does come with a blade protector though to ensure it stays sharp during transport and no one gets cut.

The only other downside to this auger is that it still takes a while to warm up and start even with the Cold Shot tech inside it.

Overall it’s one of the best ice augers around if you’re looking for one that runs on gas, especially considering the lower price than usual.

Specs

  • Type: Two Stroke
  • Diameter: 8 in.
  • Length: 4 in.
  • Weight: 32 lbs.
  • Powered: Gas (petrol)

Pros

  • Durable, sharp, stainless steel blades
  • Includes a blade protector
  • Affordable for a powered ice auger
  • Quality engine for freezing temperatures
  • Cuts through ice quickly and easily

Cons

  • Heavy to transport around
  • Wait a while for it to heat up

Best Gas-Powered Auger

Eskimo Quantum Ice Auger

It’s made with durable 10-inch stainless blades that make mincemeat of ice, especially when you’re using the max power.

Eskimo Quantum Ice Auger

The Eskimo Quantum Ice Auger is another one that runs on gas.

Build

It’s made with durable 10-inch stainless blades that make mincemeat of ice, especially when you’re using the max power. 

A 10-inch hole is also ideal for all species so you can branch out from panfish like crappie and go for the big boys like walleye and pike.

Efficiency

You can make 10-inch holes with this auger very quickly and since the engine is made for cold weather it doesn’t take too long to start.

The pull start handle is also mitten friendly so you can keep your gloves on and not let your hands freeze.

Easy To Use

It’s also an easy auger to use thanks to the foam covered handlebars that absorb shock and the easily adjustable trigger throttle that gives you the right power when you want it. 

The downsides to this auger are that it’s heavy like all powered augers, even the best electric or best propane auger is tough to drag around.

The main negative is that the fuel tank on this unit seems to leak for a lot of fishermen using it, so be aware of this before buying.

Specs

  • Type: Two Stroke
  • Diameter: 10 in.
  • Length: 38 in.
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Powered: Gas (petrol)

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel blades
  • Cuts through ice quickly
  • Comes with a blade cover for portability
  • Foam covered handlebars for shock absorption
  • Fingertip precision throttle control
  • Start the engine with gloves thanks to the MITTEN-GRIP
  • The engine is made for cold weather

Cons

  • A little heavy to carry around
  • The fuel tank can leak

Best Ice Auger Combo

Nordic Legend 33cc Power Ice Auger Combo

This auger comes with an ice shelter. The auger has an awesome amount of power for drilling holes into the thickets of ice, even up to 3 ft deep.

Nordic Legend 33cc Power Ice Auger Combo

The Nordic Legend ice auger comes with a 33cc two-cycle gas-powered engine.

It has an awesome amount of power for drilling holes into the thickets of ice, even up to 3 ft deep. It does tend to bog down a bit though.

Blade and Engine

The blade is made from sharp stainless and makes an 8-inch hole that’s a great size for most species, but a little small for fish around 5lbs or over.

The engine starts easily even in freezing temperatures and is reliable in the toughest conditions.

Weight

The shelter is light, sturdy, and easy to put up.

It’s a little small inside and the zipper on the door could be better, but it does a great job of blocking out the wind and keeping you warm.

The combo is super heavy at 58lbs though, so you will need a car to get it to your fish spot easily.

Specs

  • Type: Gas
  • Diameter: 8 in.
  • Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 58 lbs.
  • Powered: Gasoline

Pros

  • Comes with an ice fishing tent
  • Works well in freezing temperatures
  • Reliable performance even during the toughest conditions
  • Durable and sharp stainless blades
  • The shelter is made from durable warm fabric
  • Comes with a solid fiberglass frame for handling the wind

Cons

  • Heavy to move around

What’s An Ice Fishing Auger?

Ice Fishing Gear Placed Around Fish Hole
Ice Fishing Gear Placed Around Fish Hole

An ice fishing auger is a kind of drill that is designed to cut through the ice covering an ice fishing lake or river.

It comes with a blade at the bottom that’s attached to a drill, and either a manual handle or a powered unit at the top. 

The best ice auger will make sharp work of cutting a large diameter hole, 6-10 inches wide, into up to 3ft plus of ice.

It’s the best tool around to create an ice fishing hole so that you can still put on your boots, go out fishing and catch some dinner during winter. 

Do You Need An Ice Auger?

If you want to go ice fishing, you have to be able to create a hole in the ice for you to fish through.

You can use several instruments for this including: an axe, pickaxe, chain saw, and more. So you don’t have to own an ice auger to go ice fishing.

Efficient

But, an ice auger is by far the most efficient way of piercing thick ice and making an ice fishing hole compared to all your other options.

Ice augers not only cut a perfect hole quickly and easily, but they also remove all the ice and snow that builds up in the hole while you’re cutting it so you end up with a slush free hole that’s way less likely to ice over than a hole full of slush you’d make with an axe or chainsaw.

Are Ice Augers Safe To Use?

Here is a video of a man drilling an ice hole with an auger.

Rigid octane and eskimo quantum 8″ auger

There is always some level of danger when it comes to using a piece of metal with a sharp end.

Ice augers are no different. If you slip and the blade catches you, it’s likely to do some damage.

But, using an ice auger properly poses very little risk.

NOTE

As long as you keep the pressure going down and your feet apart and away from the blade whilst you’re drilling, 99.99% of the time, you’re going to have no trouble.

Safest Ice Auger To Use

Manual ice augers are far safer than powered ones that run on electricity, propane, or gasoline.

Not only does the blade spin a lot slower, but there is no risk of a leaky gas tank or engineer safety issues, like a backfire.

Types Of Ice Auger

There are two main types of ice auger, manual and powered, and then you can split power into three categories depending on the fuel it uses; electric, propane, and gasoline. 

Manual Ice Augers 

Man Drilling with Manual Ice Auger

Hand powered augers come with a blade and drill attached to an ergonomic handle. You then pick your spot in the ice and begin turning the blade pushing down with a small amount of pressure in order to cut through the ice. 

Some manual ice augers can also be connected to a power drill to become powered ice augers, so you get the best of both

Advantages 

  • Much lighter than powered ice augers to carry around
  • Less to go wrong as there is no engine to worry about 
  • No battery or fuel to run out of 
  • Can be connected to a power drill to become powered 
  • Most affordable type of ice auger 
  • Quietest cutting to not scare fish away 

Disadvantages

  • Hard work manually cutting through ice 
  • Harder work when the ice is over 2 ft thick 

Electric Augers 

Electric ice augers are the same as a manual ice auger with a blade and drill except they have an engine at the top to turn the ice auger for you. 

You use them in the same way, but you have to start the engine first and make sure the battery is charged up.

They cut through the ice a lot faster than a manual one and are battery-powered. 

Advantages

  • Quick and effortless cutting 
  • Easier to get through thick ice that’s 2 ft or more 
  • Lighter than other types of powered augers 
  • Easier and safer to use with less torque
  • Zero emissions 
  • Less maintenance than other types of powered augers with a simpler engine
  • Much quieter than other powered augers for not scaring fish away 
  • Easy to start compared to a gas or propane-powered auger

Disadvantages

  • You can drill fewer holes with 1 battery than 1 tank of gas 
  • May need to buy an extra battery for overnight trips 
  • Not as much power as propane of gas augers 
  • More expensive than a manual auger 
Man Drilling with Powered Auger

Gas Powered Augers

A gas-powered auger is similar to an electric auger except it runs on gas instead of a battery. The engines used are either four-stroke or two-stroke engines and they give the most amount of torque out of all the auger types.

Power

You’ll be able to drill holes faster than ever.

Four-stroke engines are heavier than two strokes, so expect to carry some extra weight if you go for one of them.

Advantages 

  • A gas powered auger has the most power of all to drill a quick hole in the ice
  • Great for when fish are moving and you need to drill many holes
  • Excellent for 24 inches of ice plus
  • No batteries to worry about recharging
  • Four and two-stroke engines are much easier to fix and maintain than electric

Disadvantages

  • Emissions. Two-stroke engine and four-stroke engines are smokey 
  • A two-stroke engine requires mixing gas with oil for fuel
  • Heavier to transport than electric augers or a hand ice auger
  • Harder to use due to their high power
  • Take a while to start due to coldness

Propane Augers

Propane-powered augers are the exact same as electric or gas-powered augers in their look and design, it’s just the engine is propane powered instead of gas or a battery

Power Source

Propane-powered ice augers are exactly the same to use as the other powered units except with propane augers you can slot in a 1lb propane cylinder into the engine instead of pouring fuel or recharging.

Advantages

  • Quiet while in operation not scaring fish for ice anglers
  • Fewer emissions compared to a gas power auger
  • Easier to refuel a propane auger than a gas power auger
  • Propane is much lighter and more convenient to carry around than gas
  • Excellent power and torque, similar gas-powered augers
  • Engines on propane ice augers stay cleaner and last longer than on gas-powered augers
  • Easier to start that gas-powered augers

Disadvantages

  • The propane used must be warm to start the engine, like in your car
  • Heavier to carry than a hand auger or electric auger 
  • The extra hassle and environmental cost of disposing of propane cans 

Best Ice Auger Size For Fishing

Auger Drilling Through Ice
Auger Drilling Through Ice

The blade diameter of your ice auger determines how large a hole it’s going to make, and it can be either 6, 8, or 10 inches in diameter.

So what’s the best size hole for ice fishing?

The answer to this question depends on the type of ice auger and the species you’re after but, in the end, bigger is better.

Species

Smaller fish will fit through small holes and if you’re targeting panfish like crappie, a 6 or 8-inch hole is just fine.

If you’re trying to catch pike or lake trout, then you’ll need a 10-inch hole to be able to pull them out.

Type

A manual ice auger is a lot of hard work to use, and trying to cut a 10-inch hole with one is exceptionally tiring, and not recommended, but you can happily make a 6 or 8-inch hole quite easily.

If you have a powered ice auger then why settle for anything less than the biggest, go for 10 inches, as you’re not doing any of the hard work, and having a larger hole means you can go after the biggest fish

Icing Up

I hope we have helped you get a better understanding of your ice fishing auger options through this article.

It can be a little overwhelming but the choice comes down to picking the right powered option for you or sticking with a manual auger that you can always connect to a power drill down the line.

If you’re still standing in your ice fishing bib, wondering which one to go for, here’s some more advice.

Best Hand Ice Auger

If you’re after a manual auger, the Strikemaster Lazer is your best bet.

It’s durable, sharp, light, and built ergonomically for easy hand drilling.

Plus, you can always connect it to a drill when you need to. It’s a great way of keeping your options open with minimal expense.

Best Electric Auger

Electric augers are great.

A little lighter than gas or propane plus much quieter and the best one to go for is the Lithium 40v.

It’s easy to control, drills 100 holes off one charge with its lithium ion battery, and it’s durable and reliable.

Best Gas-Powered Auger

If you’re after the maximum amount of power you’ll need a gas ice auger.

The top one to go for is the Eskimo Quantum.

It’s made to be used comfortably and with ease thanks to the shock-absorbing handles, glove-friendly pull-start, and the easy trigger throttle.

With this auger, you have complete control over your drill and it makes light work of putting 150 plus holes through the ice in a day. 

Get Your Ideal Ice Auger

Thanks for reading and we hope you have found the best ice fishing auger for you through this article.

You can never do enough research about ice fishing gear, and that’s why we have so much content about everything you might need for ice fishing, spinning fishing, surf, and fly fishing.

Feel free to have a look at our other articles and please share them around with your fishing mates too.

Share

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
New Course: Casting Mastery Blueprint!
Longer, more accurate casting in just 10 days!