Looking for the best ice auger? Can’t decide between a propane, gas or electric auger? Well then, you have come to the right place!
In this post, we are going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each category as well as a few of our favorite models on the market. We hope to highlight some of our favorite features and show you what makes them stand out from the rest of the competition so that you can make the best decision for you fishing game.
Ready? Alright, let’s begin…
What is the best ice auger?
Here is a quick preview of our top 5 options:
- Eskimo Hand Auger
- StrikeMaster Lazer Synthetic Hand Auger
- Eskimo High Compression 40cc Quantum Ice Auger
- XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC 2 Stroke Gas Auger
- ION 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger
Ice augers can be divided into 3 different categories: manual, gas and electric. So before we can look at some models, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you choose the best one for your fishing needs…
Manual vs Gas vs Propane vs Electric ….Which is the best ice auger?
Manual Powered Ice Auger. In my opinion, there are three factors to consider when choosing between a hand auger and a powered one. The first factor to consider is the price. Manual augers can cost much less than power. So if you are the kind of person that likes to go ice fishing once in a blue moon, the manual auger may be your best option. It is also important to consider the maintenance costs. Since manual augers have no motor, they obviously would require very little, to no maintenance.
The next factor to consider is portability and means of transportation. Sure powered ice augers make breaking the ice a breeze, but getting them to the ice might be a challenge. So some good questions to ask yourself are; Where do I plan to go fishing? What kind of transportation do I have available when out on the ice? (If you have motorized means of transportation, then the weight of a powered auger may not factor in much.).
The third factor and perhaps the most important is: How will it affect my fishing? Many people say that powered augers scare the fish, while others say it makes no difference. So depending on which side of the argument you’re on, the biggest disadvantage of the manual auger is that you have to do all of the work. While many people look at this as a disadvantage, I look at it as a great way to warm up while on the water.
One neat thing you can do with a hand auger to turn it into a powered one is to attach a cordless drill to it. Simply use an adapter such as the one found here: Ice Auger Cordless Drill Adapter. Attach the adapter to your drill and then screw it into your auger and you have yourself a super lightweight, battery-powered ice auger. To learn more about exactly how this can be done make sure to check out our post here.
To see exactly how it works, check out the following video:
Gas Powered. One of the biggest advantages of a gas-powered auger is how easy it can drill a hole through the ice. However, with that being said, let’s talk about a few things to consider when shopping for the best gas-powered auger. Gas powered ice augers can be divided into 3 categories: two-stroke engines, four-stroke engines, and propane powered.
Two Stroke Auger. Because the engine is a little bit smaller than a four-stroke engine, they tend to be a little bit lighter. This can make them easy to transport and easy to move around while on the ice. Depending on the make and the model, two-stroke engines tend to be a bit more powerful than a 4 stroke as well. It is important to note though that two-stroke engines run on a mixture of gas and oil. This may require a little more maintenance than a four-stroke, but the up-side is that you won’t have problems cold-starting it.
Four Stroke Auger. Four stroke augers are really designed to make things easier. Yes, they can be a little bit on the heavy side, but they are easy to use and easy to maintain. No need to remember to mix gas and oil every year. Just check the oil. Fill the gas tank and you are ready to go.
Propane. Lastly, we have the propane-powered auger. Many have said that propane ice augers are much faster than gas ones. Some have even claimed they are twice as fast. This is definitely a factor to consider when shopping for the best ice auger. Another factor to consider is the noise. Propane powered augers are much quieter than gas. So if you are worried about startling the fish, I would go propane. Lastly, propane is better for the environment. If you are concerned about making a smaller impact on the environment, propane may be a good option for you as well. The one downside to propane ice augers is the potential for very cold weather. If the temperature drops too much, you may have difficulties starting the engine.
Electric/Battery Powered. The last category of ice augers, but certainly not the least, is electric or battery powered ice augers. The biggest advantages of an electric auger are weight and the little-to-low maintenance involved. The weight of an ice auger is very important especially when you plan on moving around on the ice a lot in order to see where the fish are holding up in. For this reason, electric augers work great. They are super lightweight. Much lighter than propane and gas powered ones. Another big advantage is low maintenance. No gas, no oil, no propane canisters needed, just plug it in the night before and the next morning you are ready to go. The biggest concerns many people have when considering an electric ice auger is: How long will the battery last? Do they have enough power to drill several holes quickly? That really depends on the make and the model. Below we will consider a few of the best electric ice augers on the market specifically designed so that you don’t have to worry about drilling holes, but more importantly, you can focus on fishing.
Choosing the best ice auger blade
One last factor to consider before shopping for an ice auger is the size of the blade. Ice augers blades are available in a number of different sizes ranging from 4 inches to 10 inches. The important thing here to consider is the species of fish you are looking for and then drill a hole accordingly. The last thing you want to happen is to have a big fish on the line only to realize that your hole is not big enough. Do remember though that after you drill the hole, and ice begins to form on the sides, your hole will begin to shrink. So you might start with a 6-inch hole, but after only a few hours, you may be down to 4 inches.
Another thing to consider is that the bigger the hole, the more energy to make the hole. For example, you will notice a big difference drilling a 6-inch hole manually than a 10-inch hole. Generally I would recommend for most species such as panfish, a blade size between 6 to 8 inches, however if you are planning on fishing for bigger game fish such as pike or trout, I would opt for the 10-inch auger.
(Don’t forget you are going to need space to drop down your favorite underwater ice fishing camera or an ice fishing flasher as well.)
Caution: Always be cautious when working around blades. They are very sharp and thus should always be treated with care. Always cover them when not in use.
Now that we have briefly talked about some factors to consider before shopping for an ice auger, let’s talk about the most important question: What is the best ice auger? Let’s take a look at a few models on the market today.
- Power: Hand Auger
- Blade Size: Available in 6 to 8 inches
- Weight: 6lbs
- Adjustable Length
- Replaceable Steel Blades
Let’s begin our list by taking a closer look at what I consider to be the best hand ice auger Eskimo Hand Auger. This auger is available in blade sizes between 6 to 8 inches. The handle is adjustable, making it both easy and comfortable to drill through the thickest of ice.
It is also super lightweight- weighing in at 6 pounds- making it a breeze to transport around the ice. Lastly, the blades are 100 % replaceable. No need to worry about sharpening the blades, with a few easy steps you can change out the blades and have yourself a brand new blade within minutes. Best of all, if you want to add a little power you can attach your favorite cordless drill as well as the adapter and you have yourself an affordable, easy to move around powered auger.
- Power: Hand Auger
- Blade Size: Available in 6 inches
- Weight: 5lbs
- Synthetic Tip
- Adjustable Length
- Replaceable Blades
How important is the weight of the auger to you? For some ice fishermen, it is essential. The lighter the better. After all, we would much rather spend our energy fishing rather than lugging around an auger. For that reason, we are going to take a closer look at another great option in the hand ice auger category the StrikeMaster Lazer Synthetic Hand Auger.
What is it that makes this auger different from others on the market? Well, as you can see from the picture, instead of a metal tip we have a synthetic tip. This small modification makes it 25% lighter than other augers like it. This particular model (the 6-inch blade) weighs in at 5 pounds, but the 4-inch blade is even lighter as it weighs in at 4.5 pounds.
However, just because it is light, doesn’t mean it wasn’t built to last. The durable metal shaft was designed in a way to last for many ice fishing seasons to come. Lastly, the cushioned and adjustable handle makes it both easy and comfortable to use.
So if you are looking for the best hand auger that is not going to weigh you down, I would definitely recommend giving the StrikeMaster Lazer Synthetic Hand Auger a try.
Learn more about this auger in the following video:
- Power: Propane Powered Auger 4 Cycle Engine
- Blade Size: 8 inches
- Weight: 32lbs
- Auger Length: 42 inches
- Auto Prime Fuel System
- Steel Quantum Blades
As we mentioned earlier there are a lot of benefits to having a propane auger. They are much quieter, they require very little maintenance in comparison to a gas-powered one, and there is no exhaust. With that being said, does the Eskimo High Compression 40cc Quantum Ice Auger have what it takes to be considered the best propane ice auger? We think it does. Let’s take a closer look at some of the great features it has to offer.
This auger is 42 inches in length and the blades are able to cut a hole 8 inches in diameter. It is equipped with a very powerful 4-cycle engine that will cut holes efficiently and most important, quietly. One of the best features is the quick release propane canister holder along with the auto prime fuel system. This makes it extremely easy to use. Simply attach your propane bottle to the engine, hit the on a switch, pull the handle and you are ready to drill. It is that easy!
This 4 cycle auger weighs in at 32 pounds. I know that sounds like a lot when you compare it to the hand augers we just looked at that weighed in around 5 pounds, but overall it is a good weight for a 4-stroke engine. To make it even easier to transport, you always have the option of buying the Eskimo Power Ice Auger Carrying Bag. This durable bag not only makes it easy to transport but also protects your investment from the elements.
So, what do you think? Is this the best propane ice auger? Well, I will say if you are using a gas-powered ice auger now and you buy the Eskimo High Compression 40cc Quantum Ice Auger, you may never go back to gas again. In fact, you may never need to!
Learn more about this auger in the following video:
- Power: Gas Powered 2 Stroke
- Engine: 55cc
- Blade Size: 8 inches
- Weight: 28 lbs
- Not limited to just ice fishing
What do you do with your ice auger after ice fishing season ends? Normally, it just takes up extra space in the garage. If only there was an ice auger that had more functions outside of ice fishing…. Well, now there is! Check out the XtremepowerUS V-Type 55CC 2 Stroke Gas Auger.
This is a powerful 55cc 2 stroke gas-powered engine that is not limited to cutting holes in the ice. You can also use it to drill holes in wooden posts, decks, or for gardening. The versatility this auger provides really makes it stand out from its competition. Now that we know what it can do off the ice, let’s talk about what it can do on the ice.
This auger has an 8-inch blade with an auger length that will allow it to cut holes up to 3 feet deep. The powerful engine makes cutting holes very easy.
- Power: Electric
- Blade Size: 8 inches
- Weight: 21 lbs
- Auger Length: 34 inches or 46 inches with the extension
- Reverse Feature
- 1,000 inches of ice on a single charge
So far in the post, we have looked at manual, propane and gas-powered augers. Now it is time to look at electric or battery-powered ice augers. One such example is the ION 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger.
Not only does this auger have what it takes to be on this list, but we also think it has what it takes to be considered the best electric auger. Why do we make such a bold statement? Let’s take a look at a few of the many features it offers.
The most obvious feature that makes this auger different from the rest is that it is 100% powered by a battery. This means no more fumes, no mixing oil, no gas and best of all it purrs like a kitten. However, the biggest question now is how many holes can I get out of a single charge? Does it have the same power as a gas or propane auger?
Well, according to their website this auger can do some major damage on the ice. For example, their website claims it can cut up to 40 holes in 24 inches of ice on a single charge. That is a lot of ice. The official video claims that this device can cut 1,000 inches of ice on a single charge. That is much more ice than any fishermen would go through in a single day. The point that we can derive from this is that this auger can drill a lot of holes on just one single charge.
A quick note about batteries and cold weather: As we all know, cold weather can drain your battery. In order to get the most out of your battery, it is essential to keep it warm. By bringing it in the shelter with you or by putting it in a side pocket in one of your bibs you can keep the battery warm and get the most use out of it.
Another cool feature to this particular electric ice auger is the reverse feature. After you have broken the ice, a simple push of the button puts the motor in reverse mode. This helps to push the ice and slush back into the water. What does this mean for you and me? No more scooping! Finally, an auger that doesn’t require scooping!
Let’s talk about another great feature to electric augers, the weight. For the amount of power this device can put out, it is super lightweight weighing in at only 21 pounds.
Still not convinced this is the best auger on the market? Think about this. Imagine your friend with his gas or propane auger trying to get it started or trying to get it to running temperature. On the other hand, you own the ION 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger and with one push of the button is ready to drill. It is that easy!
Learn more about this ice eating machine in the following video:
Gas, Propane, Electric or Hand Auger? Which one is the best? Well, that really depends on you and your ice fishing needs. In this post, we have discussed 5 great options that can get the job down and last you many years to come.