For those anglers who love to fish in cold and harsh wintery conditions, an ice auger will come very handy. It will be an indispensable tool as you will need to drill a hole into the frozen wintery lake before you can start angling. There is no doubt that ice fishing has its appeals, although you do need some tools like ice augers.
If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what is the Best Ice Augers (Manual, Electrical or Gas Powered), then I recommend below As the best ones.
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What is an Ice Auger?
An ice auger is a drilling device that will help you drill a hole into a frozen lake in order to start fishing. Depending on your fishing needs and how big a hole you need, there are many different choices when it comes to best ice augers.
Some are designed to make larger holes, which is better for fishing for larger fish; however, there are also many ice augers that will make smaller holes but are rather inexpensive and easier to operate. You’ll have to know what exactly you will need in order to make your pick.
Ice fishing is a popular way of fishing for many fishermen – it gives them a good excuse to go out and enjoy the fresh air, spend some quality time with the family, and the fish also taste better. And ice fishing is also beginner-friendly, especially if you have a good ice auger at your disposal.
However, that’s what we’re here to help you with. This article will tell you everything you need to know about ice augers and how you can choose one for your ice fishing needs.
What Types of Ice Augers are There?
There are three main types of ice augers you should know about:
- Manual ice augers
- Electric ice augers
- Gas-powered ice augers
Manual ice augers are operated by hand by spinning the augers around its axle in order to create a hole in the ice. These augers will normally require more force from your part in order to drill a hole; however, these also tend to be more inexpensive and many fishermen prefer them as they can be more satisfying to use, too.
Electric ice augers are powered, well, by electricity. Even though these augers can be very powerful and effective, the problem arises when you don’t have an electricity source such as a portable generator near you. However, these augers can be very powerful and are often the preferred option for seasons anglers as well as for beginners, and many are battery-powered.
Gas-powered augers can be either propane-powered or gas-powered, so they will need refilling more often. These machines are very powerful and are perhaps the most common type of ice augers out there. They do come with slightly more recoil as you start them up, and they can also be loud. However, they provide you with portability and power at the same time.
How to Choose an Ice Auger?
As ice augers come in different shapes and sizes nowadays, it might be difficult for you to choose an ice auger, especially if you are a beginner in this field. But worry not, because we will tell you everything you need to know when choosing the best ice auger for you.
Here are the factors you should consider when choosing an ice auger:
- Type of ice auger
- Where and how you will use the auger
- Blade size and quality
- The direction of spin
Let’s take a closer look at each factor, shall we?
1. Type of Ice Auger
Firstly, you will have to consider which type of ice auger you will opt for. As we’ve already noted, there are three main types of ice augers:
- Manual ice augers
- Electrical ice augers
- Gas-powered ice augers
Each one has its own pros and cons. To begin with manual ice augers, these are very lightweight and won’t require much maintenance at all. They are also quiet, which is preferable for some anglers, and they are also more fun to use for some. However, if you have thick ice to drill, manual augers are not the most effective. They will also require more force from your part.
Electric ice augers are becoming increasingly popular, although they will require you to have an electricity outlet nearby. You would need a portable generator (see the best ones here) if there are no other sources of electricity, which can provide another problem. Many of these are battery-powered, too, so they have a limited duration.
Gas-powered ice augers are the most common type of augers, and they are a popular choice because they are powerful and won’t break down quickly. However, they can be heavier and also noisier, so you’ll have to decide what it is that you really need from your auger.
2. Where and How You Will Use the Auger
This factor is perhaps the most important one to consider. Where do you intend to use your ice auger? Is the ice thick in those parts, or is the ice relatively thin? If the ice is thick, then manual ice augers are out of the question.
Can you imagine yourself using the manual ice auger? You will need to know what the conditions are before you pick an auger. Also, you’ll want to know how large the holes will need to be in order to fish. Manual augers don’t make the largest holes.
3. Blade Size and Quality
There are two main types of blades: shaving blades and chipping blades. Shaving blades tend to be more precise and are great for cutting many fresh holes. Chipping blades are tough and resistant, but they are not the best if you’re after precision.
Blade sizes will vary between 6, 8, and 10”. Depending on how large holes you need, it’s wiser to pick an ice auger with a larger blade. It also depends on which type of fish you are targeting; for example, Lake Trouts are larger fish species that will need larger holes. You want to pick an auger with a quality blade that will allow you to cut holes easily and will last for longer.
The weight of an ice auger matters quite a lot. If the ice auger is lightweight, you’ll be able to carry it around anywhere you go and the portability is much better. However, there is some truth to the fact that more powerful ice augers tend to also be more substantial.
A heavier ice auger might contribute to injury risk – traumas are especially common for ice fishermen, so you’ll want something as lightweight as possible in order to avoid that.
5. The Direction of Spin
If you are looking to replace your blade after some time, you will need to consider the direction of spin. Not every blade is suitable for every ice auger specifically for this reason – the direction of the spin.
How to Use an Ice Auger?
Using an ice auger does take some learning, although it is not as complicated as you might think.
Gas-Powered and Electrical Augers
Here’s how to use gas-powered and electrical augers.
Here’s how to use a manual ice auger.
Best Manual Ice Auger: Eskimo Hand Auger
Firstly, we have the Eskimo hand auger, which we believe to be the best manual ice auger that is currently available. It’s affordable, easy to use, lightweight, strong, and very ergonomic, too.
Why is this the best manual ice auger?
Because this product is very lightweight, which allows you to use it almost anywhere you might be. The portability is a very important feature if you’re after a good ice auger, and you want something lightweight. Not only does that decrease the likelihood of injury, but it also brings you a higher level of portability.
This ice auger will allow you to cut through thick ice very easily, as it has a very sharp blade made from stainless steel. This makes them durable over the long-term, but they are also more powerful and bring you a high level of performance. With the 6” blade, you’ll be able to cut relatively large holes, although it might not be the best for very thick ice.
What you will be pleased to know about this product is that it is very easy to use and reliable, too. It has an adjustable handle so you can adjust it to your height. But it’s also very ergonomic so it will help you out a lot, even if you have to exert slightly more power.
Best Electrical Ice Auger: ION 29250 40V Ice Auger
The ION ice auger is perhaps the best electric ice auger that we encountered through our research. We like it’s powerful and effective performance, and relatively lightweight nature. It’s made for drilling big holes effortlessly – no gas, no fumes.
Why this is the best electric ice auger?
There are not many electric ice augers on the market, so it’s not challenging for this one to rank higher. However, we still have to praise its performance and effectiveness. It’s used for drilling even the larger holes because it provides enough power for the average ice angler.
What is more, you’ll undoubtedly like the lightweight nature of this ice auger. You’ll be able to take it with you anywhere, as it only weighs around 22lbs. And the best thing of all is that the usage is very easy – to start it up, you only need to flick a switch and the engine will be running. It’s also ergonomic, allowing you to use it for longer.
Another important feature that made us like this product a lot is its reverse function. This will allow you to switch the blades when you need to, clean the blades easily from the slush that might collect, and it is just better to use.
Overall, we believe that this electric ice auger is a fantastic choice for any ice angler out there – be it professional or beginner. You’re getting a lot for the asking price, and it’s completely worth it in our opinion.
Best Gas-Powered Ice Auger: Eskimo Quantum Auger Series
If you’re after a more powerful ice auger that will be able to cut even through the thickest of ices, then this Eskimo auger is definitely the right choice for you. We consider it to be the best gas-powered ice auger currently available.
Why this is the best gas-powered ice auger?
This product is made for a powerful performance and for longevity, too. It’s all about the performance with this ice auger. If you’re looking to drill through very thick ice, or if you want to re-drill several holes later on, then you will like this ice auger very much.
It has an 8” blade, allowing you to cut through thick ice and create larger holes. However, you can also attach a 10” blade, which is great for large holes for bigger fish. There’s a blade protector that will protect your blades, and it will extend the lifetime of your blades very effectively.
Despite this being a gas-powered ice auger, it is still relatively lightweight, at least when we compare it to some other augers that are gas-powered. What makes this one stand out from the crowd of gas-powered gas augers is its low recoil nature. The foam-covered steel handlebars will absorb the vibration, and the muffler guards will protect you from hot areas.
You’ll also get a 5-year warranty with this ice auger. Overall, we believe that this ice auger represents a great package and one that you should certainly not miss.
StrikeMaster MD-8 Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger
Now, if you’re after manual ice augers and you want a more affordable option, then the StrikeMaster hand auger is certainly one you should consider. It’s very lightweight and portable to use almost anywhere you go. At the same time, you’re getting a very quality performance thanks to the high alloy steel blades.
Some build upon an ice auger is completely normal. However, this ice auger features such a design that it prevents too much build up on the ice auger blades, making your cleaning process much easier and painless. It also has an ergonomic handle, so you can use this auger for much longer and easier, too.
This ice auger is suitable for a wide variety of tastes out there. What many users liked about this manual ice auger is its adjustability. You can adjust it to almost any height – from 48” to 57”. That makes it a great, versatile option for many users out there.
It’s also a very ergonomic product, which is mainly thanks to its lightweight build, but also thanks to the soft rubber grips that makes the handle easy to manage. At the same time, you’re getting all of the quality that we have just written for a very affordable price. It would’ve been our number one manual ice auger pick if only it was able to cut larger holes into the ice.
Best Propane Ice Auger: Eskimo Propane Auger
If gas-powered ice augers are not for you, then you might want to consider a propane-powered ice auger. They are very similar in terms of capabilities, size, and performance – the only difference is that they use propane to power the ice auger.
This means they are slightly better suited for longer drilling sessions, as the propane is likely to last slightly longer than gas. It’s also more environmentally friendly, as there will be no harmful gases – this one is made for clean performance.
Another reason to pick this product over a gas-powered ice auger is its powerful performance. It will be able to cut through even the thickest of ices thanks to its 40cc engine and a 10” blade. This will create larger holes, which is great for fishing larger fish species, and the whole fishing experience will just be much better.
At the same time, you will avoid the chunky recoil that some gas-powered ice augers have. You won’t need to prime this device in order to start it; instead, all you will have to do is to switch the engine to the “on” position and pull the cord. After that, you will start drilling in no time.
Changing the fuel is also very easy – all you need to do is to swap the fuel tank with the propane and start using the ice auger again – no mixing of gases, no pre-filling. Overall, we highly recommend this product if you’re after the ultimate mixture of performance, ease of use, and durability.
ION 19150 40V Electric Ice Auger
Here’s a worthy contender for the top spot in the electric ice auger category – this product is more lightweight and easier to use than its larger cousin, the ION 29250 electric ice auger. It provides us with a high level of performance, although not as powerful as the ION 29250.
This electric auger, too, features the reverse blade function. This eliminates the need for an ice skimmer, as it flushes the ice down the hole. At the same time, the ION 19150 is a very lightweight ice auger, is will only weight about 22lbs. This will allow you to carry this auger anywhere you might go, increasing its portability and ease of use.
Although the battery might last you only for several hours, you will still see great results with this ice auger. Even though you will not be able to cut several holes successively and for longer periods, you will still have the ability to cut even through the thickest of ices.
8” Cutting Blade
Thanks to the 8” cutting blade, you’ll be able to generate relatively larger holes, and these holes will also be cut very easily. Another great function of this device is the reserve functionality, which will allow you to clear the blade of the ice auger of slush, which some other ice augers don’t allow you to do.
Overall, we really believe that you should take a closer look at this ice auger if you’re after an affordable, lightweight, and powerful electric ice auger.
Eskimo F1 Rocket 33cc Viper Gas Engine Ice Auger
There are two main types of F1 Rocket ice augers: one with an 8” blade, and one with a 10” blade. Whatever the size of the ice auger you are choosing, you are surely getting a very high-quality product that will serve you very well in your pursuit of the finest fish.
It has a redesigned and revamped power head, which is more powerful and lightweight than the older model. And with the aluminum handlebars, the usage of this auger is easy and relatively lightweight, too. This device is gas-powered, so you’ll need to change the gas from time to time.
It has quantum blades installed on the ice auger, which are known for durability and extremely high performance. And thanks to the powerful engine, you’ll be able to cut even through the deepest of ices out there. This ice auger is a great choice if you’re looking for a performance ice auger that will help you cut even through the thicker ices.
You’ll get a blade protector in the package, which will allow you to extend the lifetime of the blades and make the auger itself more durable. The 2-cycle engine is certified for colder weather and will last you much longer, even if you use it in extreme cold.
RAZR 6” Hand Ice Auger
For those who are after a manual ice auger, here is another great consideration for you: the RAZR 6” ice auger presents a fantastic choice if you’re after a reliable and lightweight ice auger. Although you will need to use some force to drill holes with this ice auger, the performance is very high-end, despite it being a manual ice auger.
It offers very comfortable usage, which will allow you to use the device longer and easier. It has a comfortable grip knob at the top which you have to press down as you drill. Then, there’s the ergonomic handle that will let you drill holes easier and much more effectively while also staying comfortable.
Another great aspect of this product is its adjustability. You will be able to adjust the handle of the ice auger, making the whole experience suitable for almost anyone out there, no matter your height.
Overall, we believe that this product offers a lot for its price tag, and you will do very well to find a better ice auger for this price.
Nordic Legend 33cc Power Ice Auger with Shelter
And now, for something completely different. This product package offers you a very nice Nordic Legend ice auger, and you’re also getting a shelter included in the package! This is a great option for anyone out there who’s looking to get started with ice fishing and want a complete package to get started.
33cc 8” Ice Auger
First, let’s focus on the ice auger, though. It has a 33cc engine with an 8” blade, which will allow you to cut it through even the thicker ice. This is great news for anyone who’s looking for a great ice auger primarily. It’s a gas-powered ice auger, so you can expect some recoil and a slightly noisier performance.
But, if you’re after a good performance for cutting through thick ice, then this ice auger is the one to go with.
But what about the shelter?
You’re getting a nice shelter that will keep you comfortable when you’re fishing. This shelter is also a great option if you’re looking to stay there overnight. It’s made from 300D fabric, which is resistant to adverse weather conditions and will last you for quite some time.
Overall, you’re getting a lot in this package and it is one you should consider if you’re serious about getting started with ice fishing.
What size of auger do I need?
The size of the ice auger that you need will mainly depend on your fishing plans. If you’re looking to fish for larger fish, such as Lake Trouts, then it might make sense to opt for an 8” auger or even a 10” auger. However, for those who need smaller holes and are only looking to test their fishing rod in the icy conditions every once in a while, then it makes sense to purchase a smaller one – 6” or even smaller, for example.
How do you make an ice fishing hole without an auger?
You can still make holes in the ice even without an auger, although your work will be much harder. It gets even harder if the ice is thick. However, you can use a spud bar or a digging iron to cut out the holes in the ice. Some people will even use knives, although it’s doubtful whether knives can cut through thick ice. In addition, there is also the danger of damaging the knife beyond repair if you put too much force into it.
Are propane ice augers any good?
Propane ice augers are perhaps the most powerful type of ice auger out there. They are just as powerful, if not even more powerful, than gas augers. Propane augers are ideal for drilling larger holes into thicker ice, and they normally come with an 8” drill or even a 10” drill. If you are a professional and are looking for larger holes, then propane or gas augers are the best choice for you.
Ice augers can become an essential part of an ice fisherman’s equipment. You will use an ice auger for drilling holes into thick ice. Ideally, an ice auger should be powerful enough to cut through any ice thickness, and should be relatively lightweight and portable.
That said, we believe you have three choices to make: you can go for a manual ice auger, electrical ice auger, or gas-powered ice auger.
We believe the best manual ice auger is the Eskimo hand auger (check on Amazon), as it is powerful and lightweight, and very easy to use. If you’re after an electrical auger, we suggest you go for ION 29250 ice auger (check on Amazon). It’s lightweight but very powerful.
As for propane or gas-powered augers, there are two options: the Eskimo propane auger (check on Amazon) or the Eskimo Quantum auger series (check on Amazon). Both are great as they are powerful and offer many great capabilities.