10 Best Ice Augers for Ice Fishing – Manual and Power
The boat is winterized and freezing temperatures are here! For those of us in the North we look forward to this transition by equipping ourselves with new gear like a manual or powered ice auger.
Depending on your budget and portability we have selected a range of augers that can suit your needs.
Best Hand and Powered Augers for Ice Fishing
Our Top 3 Picks
|1||Eskimo HD08 Hand Auger with 8-Inch Dual Flat Blades||from $39.95||Amazon|
|2||Eskimo HC40Q10 High Compression 40cc Propane with 10-Inch Quantum Ice Auger||$454.97||Amazon|
|3||ION 19150 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger, with Reverse||from $19.99||Amazon|
After checking our top 3 auger picks lets take a look at some of the critical choices that go into choosing the best ice auger for you.
How to Choose an Ice Auger:
The above characteristics should determine the best selection for your ice fishing needs. One of the most important elements to consider is weight. You’ll be lugging the thing around, and if it’s too heavy, you might find yourself ditching it later for a lighter option.
- Ice Auger Blade Size
- Weight of the Ice Auger
- Type of Fuel
Propane and gas augers are the heaviest in general, but even these vary in weight. If you don’t sacrifice durability, get the lightest option you can. This factor is dependent on how far you have to travel, but generally, a lighter selection is preferred in most cases. Another factor you’ll want to consider is the size of the blade. Catching larger fish requires larger holes, so if you’re in a location with massive fish, you’ll want a blade that can handle the hole you need. Ten-inch blades are ideal for typical use. This size covers most of the needs of regular ice fishers. Eight-inch blades are also common, but it’s usually better to opt for the bigger hole than the smaller one. Those two inches are essential and can result in a hole that is nearly 50% larger than holes made with 8-inch blades. The ability to keep an edge is crucial as well. You won’t want an auger that will require sharpening after a few uses. Below we’ve considered all of these factors, and it’s usually best to avoid options that user ice auger reviews deem too dull. Find an auger that keeps its edge to prevent fruitless attempts at digging a hole.
Recommended Augers For Portability
Out of the four options, the best for portability is the hand auger. It’s the lightest of the bunch by far, and if you have to walk a far distance, it’s not going to tire you out. These are the best for thinner ice because they’re quiet and won’t scare any of the fish out of the area. Of course, the hand augers require manual labor once you get out to your spot. If the ice is too thick, it can be a drag, but some people like the extra exercise they get before fishing. It keeps you warm and gives you a sense of accomplishment once you finish the hole. If you want portability without the hand crank, electric augers will be the best option. They aren’t as reliable, but they’re lighter than propane and gas augers, so you won’t have trouble lugging them across frozen lakes. It’s up to you, but if you want a portable option, you’re looking for electric or hand augers.
Gas Ice Augers For Deep Digging
The best selection for digging deeper, wider holes is the gas auger. Propane augers are a close second here, and if you’re drilling in an ice fishing shelter, they’re the better choice. Still, gas augers are the most reliable and versatile of the bunch. As you can guess, deeper, wider holes mean less portability, but sometimes there is no other choice. If the fish are too large for electric or hand augers, you need to upgrade to an auger that uses gas or propane.
Types of Ice Augers
There weren’t always a wide variety of selections in ice augers. When they first hit the market, manual augers were all there were. These were still easier than most ways of creating a hole but still weren’t the most efficient. Now, there are a few different kinds of ice augers from which to choose. The best selection will depend on your needs. Not everyone will need the top-of-the-line, high-powered auger for their ice fishing expedition. If you can, it’s always nice to save some money – but not if ice fishing is a regular activity for you.
Manual Ice Auger
Choosing the right auger depends on what you’re doing. A manual auger is the toughest auger to use, but it will usually be a lot cheaper than the other options. If you’re drilling a lot of holes, you won’t want to use a manual auger.
Drilling all of those holes will take far too long, and you’ll find yourself spending most of your day digging instead of fishing. Most people prefer an electric, gas, or propane ice auger as opposed to a manual auger for most applications. There are, however, a few benefits to choosing a manual auger over the other options.
Manual augers are much lighter, so you won’t have to carry around a bulky piece of equipment from location to location. Additionally, manual augers are much quieter than electric, gas, or propane augers. If you’re digging through thinner ice, the best option is probably a manual auger.
Manual augers make far less sound than the other kinds of augers. Carrying the auger is easy, so most of the work comes in the drilling portion. If you’re drilling through thick patches of ice, though, it’s probably worth it to buy another kind of auger. These are much faster and more efficient for most ice fishers. Everyone hits the age where they eventually need assistance digging through the ice. At this point, there’s no choice but to pick up a gas, electric, or propane auger.
Gas Ice Auger
Gas augers are best for better for bigger jobs than electric or manual augers. They’re far louder, and you run the risk of spooking some of your fish, but overall they’re much more efficient and reliable than the competition. Gas augers are the most well-rounded option of the bunch. Both the Strikemaster Ice Auger and the Eskimo Mako 43cc quantum augers were the best. You can’t go wrong with either one.
They can dig deeper and faster than electric augers, and don’t have the same environmental constraints. If you’re cutting a big hole without an enclosure, gas augers are among the best choices in the category. In fact, you can’t operate a gas-powered auger inside an enclosure. For obvious reasons, this is unsafe and could lead to death.
If you’re using an enclosure and a gas auger, make your hole before you set up the tent. These augers make it possible for you to dig deeper into the ice than you otherwise could. If you’re fishing in the dead of winter, a gas or propane auger are your only options. Electrical augers might break down in the cold weather, and even if they’re working correctly they won’t go as deep as gas augers. It’s fairly easy to ensure your gas auger will work when you get out to the ice. As long as you take care of the engine and keep some gas on hand, you should be good to go.
Every piece of machinery will break down at some point, but gas augers a far easier to regulate when compared to electric augers. The drawback with gas augers is that they’re usually the heaviest of the bunch. If you choose a gas auger, it’s a good idea to pick up a carrying case as well. This will limit the extra strain on your body, but it’s still a chore to transport these augers. If you’re making smaller holes in the ice, it’s probably not worth the hassle of carrying around a gas auger. This is also true if you have to travel a long distance on foot. These machines are heavy, and even though they make digging easier, they’re no walk in the park to transport.
Electric Ice Auger
Electric ice augers are a step up from manual ice augers. They’re quicker, easier, and more efficient than manual augers, but don’t have many benefits other than that. They’re not much heavier than their manual counterpart, so if you’re carrying the auger a long distance, it won’t be too tiring. Electric augers don’t make too much of a sound either.
Cutting through ice is always pretty loud, but electric, battery-powered augers won’t create the same sound as gas or propane augers.There are several drawbacks to using electric augers. First of all, they are the least reliable form of an auger.
Manual augers are the most reliable because they don’t rely on anything other than the user’s endurance and force.
Electric augers, which many turn to after manual drilling gets too hard, provide many more opportunities to break-down and leave you stranded. With gas and propane augers, you only have to worry about fuel and engine capabilities.
There’s a lot more that can go wrong with electric augers. You need to charge the battery, which means if it loses charge you’re stuck on the ice with the holes you’ve already made. When the battery starts dying, cutting through ice can be troublesome as well. With gas and propane augers, there isn’t any fall-off until you thoroughly drain the fuel. With electric, you’ll be able to tell when you’re running low, but that also means cutting holes will be near impossible until you get back to base and charge-up again. If it’s too cold outside, there’s a high chance the battery will get too cold and won’t be able to function. The same is true for propane augers, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong for all circumstances. If you fish in an enclosure, electric augers may be your best choice. You don’t have to worry about fumes, and the heat of the enclosure should keep your battery warm enough to function. If, however, you fish on warmer days or already have holes prepared, an electric auger will do just fine. More can go wrong with these augers, but if you keep an extra battery on hand, you should be fine.
Propane Ice Auger
A propane ice auger has many of the same benefits and disadvantages of a gas auger. It’s the heaviest of the bunch, which means you’ll have to consider how far you need to carry the auger before committing to a propane-powered option. Like the gas auger, there isn’t much other than a fuel source with which to concern yourself.
You need to make sure you have enough propane, but after that, you’re good to go. Like the electrical auger, propane augers don’t perform well when it’s too cold outside. If you’re fishing during the coldest days of the year, you may need to let your auger warm in an enclosure before you drill your hole.
Like gas augers, propane augers are fairly loud and can scare fish away. That said, it’s also adept at digging larger and deeper holes. If you need to break through thick ice or prefer a larger surface for fishing, propane is an excellent choice.
Unlike gas, you can use a propane auger in the comfort of a tent. If you don’t like sitting in the cold wind but need an auger that can cut deep, wide, holes, a propane-fueled auger is probably the best option. Keep the weight in mind, though, because sometimes it’s better to go lighter if the ice isn’t too thick.
Best Hand Augers (Top 2 Picks)
|1||Eskimo HD08 Hand Auger with 8-Inch Dual Flat Blades||from $39.95||Amazon|
|2||Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger, 6-Inch||$86.99||Amazon|