Best Ice Augers for Fishing Reviewed in 2022

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If you fish the ice, you need an auger to get to the water easily. Without one, getting through the ice becomes a very serious challenge.

These days, with the advance of lithium batteries and lightweight materials, ice anglers have a huge selection of ice augers from which to choose.

Let’s have a look at the selection of augers, and identify the leading brands in each fuel category, from elbow grease to gas.

Keep in mind that while “best” is contained in the title, best is usually subjective, and therefore a little arbitrary.

What I can say for certain is that the augers listed below are standouts in their category. 

Whether or not they are the best for you and your ice fishing setup is something you will need to determine.

The Top 5 Ice Augers for Fishing

StrikeMaster MD-8 Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger, 8-Inch (Four Pack)
StrikeMaster MD-8 Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger, 8-Inch (Four Pack)
High Alloy Carbon Steel Blades; Powder Coated Paint to Reduce Ice Build-up; Soft Rubber Grips
Honda-Lite Power Auger 10'
Honda-Lite Power Auger 10"
Honda 35cc 4-Stroke OHC Engine; VANDAR Long Filament High Impact Handles; Signature StrikeMaster Steel Drill with Mora Lazer Blades
StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit 8'
StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit 8"
Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit 8"
Eskimo High Compression HC40Q10 40cc Propane with 10-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
Eskimo High Compression HC40Q10 40cc Propane with 10-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
QUANTUM AUGER: Ideal for re-drilling holes with its unique centering ring; LOW MAINTENANCE: No gummed up carburetors

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Ice Augers for Fishing in 2022 Reviewed

1. StrikeMaster MD-8inch – Best Hand Auger & Budget Auger

I’m a big fan of a well-constructed, lightweight hand auger. However, you will certainly exert some energy using a hand auger to drill through 4 feet of ice.

And should you wish to sink a few holes, this is going to be time-consuming and pretty exhausting, depending on your strength and fitness levels.

StrikeMaster MD-8 Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger, 8-Inch (Four Pack)

Nonetheless, there’s something very primitive about a device that will allow you to drill through the ice without any form of advanced fuelling.

In a pros and cons sense, the hand auger is seen as an inherent con, owing to the physical energy required to make them work.

While difficult at times, hard work, and time-consuming, you can be assured that you will get the job done, and there’s little if anything that will go wrong with such a simple device.

They’re lightweight, easily transported, and they don’t require anything other than the labor of which we are all capable.

If ice fishing for survival, a hand auger would be orders of magnitude better than any other auger. 

They are 100% reliable, and you’ll never run out of the energy required to fuel them – you.

The StrikeMaster MD-8 Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger, 8-InchAdjusts from 48″ – 57″. 

The soft rubber grips and ergonomically designed handle reduce the effort required to bore holes.

The high alloy carbon steel blades provide excellent cutting power with the powder coating ensuring ice falls away easily.

Adjustment is easy, and the large adjustment wing nut is easy to operate with cold weather gloves on, allowing for a good purchase.

Importantly, pricing is particularly accessible. 

A touch over the 100 dollars range (depending on the date) gets you a premium hand auger that has the durability to see it through countless seasons.

Features

  • High Alloy Carbon Steel Blades
  • Powder Coated Paint to Reduce Ice Build-up
  • Soft Rubber Grips
  • Ergonomic Designed Handle System
  • Adjustable Handle: Adjusts from 48″ – 57″

2. StrikeMaster Honda-Lite, 10-Inch – Best Gas Auger

A four-stroke engine has plenty of benefits over the old 2 stroke. Firstly, there’s no messing about with oil ratios and the issues caused by getting ratios incorrect.

Secondly, they’re far quieter, which has fishing benefits as well as environmental benefits, with environmental benefits including a cleaner exhaust.

Honda-Lite Power Auger 10"
  • Honda 35cc 4-Stroke OHC Engine
  • VANDAR Long Filament High Impact Handles
  • Signature StrikeMaster Steel Drill with Mora Lazer Blades
  • Polymer Gear Casting Yields Lightweight Power

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There are certainly more powerful engines than the Honda 35cc 4-Stroke OHC engine, however, this is more than enough for drilling 10” holes very quickly, with little effort.

At 23lb total weight, the StrikeMaster is very lightweight considering its power, speed, and the access it delivers.

Many will be aware that StrikeMaster is a product of fishing legends Rapala. 

In many respects, even though Rapala is under the corporate pure Fishing Inc. banner, one can rely on Rapala’s reputation alone.

The Honda-Lite is backed by a two-year warranty, demonstrating Rapala’s commitment to quality.

This gas auger is ‘light’ so anglers should be aware that lighter components might not stand up to the rigors of ice travel without securing it properly.

My thoughts are that this isn’t an auger you should throw about in the back of a truck. Building light is usually a compromise with durability.

While the auger can handle tough ice I’d be very cautious about treating it roughly.

Features

  • Honda 35cc 4-Stroke OHC Engine
  • VANDAR Long Filament High Impact Handles
  • Signature StrikeMaster Steel Drill with Mora Lazer Blades
  • Polymer Gear Casting Yields Lightweight Power
  • Environmentally Conscious, Emission Certified
  • 2-Year Warranty on Honda Engine
  • 23lb Total Weight

3. ION High-Performance Ice Auger – Best Electric Auger

The latest ION High-Performance Ice Auger has taken lessons from the last model and applied them to the latest edition.

The result is a fantastic auger that will get you through 1600 inches of good ice on a single charge – that’s a lot of ice holes.

ION X 29250 40V 5 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger, with Reverse
  • The new ION X bolsters all of the quality, reliability and ease of the original ION with the latest cutting edge ice auger technology
  • 5 amp-hour 40V battery: offers 60% higher storage capacity than the original ION battery. Allows up to 1600 inches of ice in ideal ice conditions on a single charge
  • Aluminum cast bottom: ION X's new cast bottom results in a smoother, more even cut when drilling or Redrilling holes. We've taken the legendary smooth cut of the ION and made it even more precise
  • Re-designed handlebars: by bringing the handles closer to the powerhead, drilling next to walls of your shack and shelters is easier than ever

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ultimately, the key feature of any battery-charged tool is battery life. The 5 amp-hour 40V battery in the new model offers 60% greater storage than the previous battery.

Other design improvements include reducing the spread of the handles. This makes drilling indoors far more convenient and enhances ergonomics and storage.

Even drilling through tough ice, anglers will marvel at the speed and power of the ION. 

It’s augers such as this that make a strong argument for the eventual extinction of aspirated augers.

It’s probably worth noting that battery life and power will only increase as R&D continues into battery development.

Anglers will notice the quality of the ice hole when drilled by the ION.  Smooth, even, and predictable, even when you’re smashing through the ice quickly, to get fishing.

The reverse feature is particularly handy when drilling deeper in sticky ice. No need to stop and remove the dross, just smash reverse and the ice flies off.

Battery management on the extra-cold days will become necessary. 

Stored in an ice shelter, in your fishing bag, or placed in a jacket pocket is all that’s needed to keep the temps just right for reliable battery performance.

At only 22 pounds, this is a lightweight legend delivering excellent ice convenience, durability, and reliability. Yes, you’ll pay more for it, but it will earn its price tag.

Some might see the LED lights as a bit of a gimmick. So many battery tools have lights these days. 

However, I guarantee, if you fish the dark, you’ll find them surprisingly helpful.

Features

  • Latest cutting edge ice auger technology
  • 5 amp-hour 40V battery
  • 60% higher storage capacity than the original ION battery
  • 1600 inches of ice in ideal ice conditions on a single charge
  • Aluminum cast bottom
  • New cast bottom
  • Re-designed handlebars
  • Two LED lights positioned under the powerhead

4.StrikeMaster Lite-Flite, 8′ – Best Cordless Drill Ice Auger

The StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit 8” is lightweight, delivers a smooth even cut, and gets holes drilled fast.

Often, people will say it’s all about the drill. While this is true, only strong sharp blades with a great connection to your drill provide the best combination for drilling deep and fast.

StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit 8'' /LFLD-8

Everybody will have their preferred drills, and drill brands. However, what matters most when selecting a drill is power and torque.

What I like about this auger is that its efficiency ensures your drill isn’t required to stress. 

Even underpowered drills will still get great performance from the Lite-Flite. (Keep in mind, underpowered battery drills are not recommended).

At only 5.3 pounds, the Lite-Flite is no load to carry. It will perform to spec with any quality 18v (or higher) brushless hand-held half-inch cordless.

The twin chrome-alloy stainless steel Lazer blades are particularly sharp and cut through tough ice like a hot knife through butter.

The reinforced “T” connection to carriage with heavy-duty steel hex shaft provides a solid connection. 

However, depending on your drill, you may wish to customize it to reduce any wobble or make the connection more secure.

With so many of us having a suitable bat drill at home, this is the most cost-effective method for cutting deep fast holes come ice season.

Features

  • Proprietary Synthetic Resin Molded Flighting
  • Full-Length Segmented Flighting
  • Carriage Formed from Exclusive Engineered Compounds
  • Reinforced “T” Connection to Carriage with Heavy-Duty Steel Hex Shaft
  • Twin Chrome-Alloy Stainless Steel Lazer Blades
  • Includes: Blade Guard, NDA-3 Two-Stage Drill Adapter & Protection Flange
  • 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

The Lite-Flite Lazer Drill can be paired with the following:

  • Lithium 24V Powerhead
  • Lithium 40V Powerhead
  • Any professional quality 18v (or higher) brushless hand-held cordless electric 1/2″ chuck drill

5. Eskimo Auger Series, 8-10 Inch – Best Propane Auger

Many of us still prefer propane due to the fact that we carry other gear that also requires propane, such as heaters and propane BBQs.

We also like the reliability, power, and quiet nature of our propane augers. The Eskimo Propane Auger Series, 8-10 Inch, provides anglers with the tech they know and rely on, with plenty of drilling speed and capability.

Eskimo High Compression HC40Q10 40cc Propane with 10-Inch Quantum Ice Auger

Stainless blades and a stainless centering point deliver smooth even holes, working especially well on hard, uneven ice, and for stability when redrilling.

While ice auger blades can be sharpened, replacement blades are probably the better option, although a little expensive. Sharp blades are a must as they take the load off the engine and gearbox.

The 40cc, high-compression 4-cycle engine is fuelled by a 1 lb. propane cylinder which is child’s play to remove and insert with the quick release system.

The power generated is more than enough to sink 10-inch holes through hard, late winter deep ice.

The no-prime fuel system adds another level of convenience and reliability as you only have to open the valve and pull the recoil to start drilling. 

The recoil has a convenient grip designed for gripping with gloves on – ideal in the colder weather. Keep in mind that propane can freeze when the mercury plummets. 

Keeping tins stashed in the center of your bag or gear, or stored in the vehicle or shelter helps mitigate propane freeze.

The Eskimo weighs in at an easy 28 pounds, which (apparently) is the lightest in its class – however, I’ve not confirmed this claim.

Nonetheless, anything close to this weight is light for a 10 inch with this sort of durability, speed, and power.

Having foam grips absorbs plenty of vibration, making it easy to hold on without feeling the ice-cold vibration of a thrashing machine.

The Eskimo is by no means cheap, you’ll get little to no change from 500 bucks. 

However, for serious ice fishing anglers looking to sink a countless number of deep holes over an extended session, the Eskimo will certainly earn its hefty price tag.

Features

  • Rocket™ auger
  • Redesigned powerhead
  • High-compression 40cc viper® 4-cycle engine
  • High-speed, all-metal transmission.
  • Blade protector
  • Mitten-grip recoil
  • Quick-release bottle holder
  • No prime fuel system
  • Low maintenance
  • 5-year warranty

What Should I Look for When Buying an Ice Auger?

Types of Auger

There are 5 common types of ice augers as listed above, and generally speaking, you should select one based on your transport, transport storage, fishing application, time, and location.

For example, if you wish to fish light, then a hand auger is great. However, if you’re fishing in deep winter when the ice is thickest, perhaps a hand auger is too much to bear.

In which case, a battery or cordless drill auger is better, as they take out the manual labor, yet still keep things light.

For those looking to drill many 10 inch+ holes in deep, dirty ice, then gas or propane is likely the best option, even though it will add weight and volume to your kit.

Should you be driving your pickup or riding your snowmobile to your favorite ice location, this is generally irrelevant.

All powered augers will cost significantly more than handheld augers. A good cost compromise is a cordless drill auger. 

However, only a good professional tradesperson drill is suitable for ice augers. Nonetheless, you’ll still get plenty of ice holes drilled for a lot less money.

I like the hand auger for 100% reliability at a very accessible price. I like a battery auger for reliability, convenience, and lightweight transport.

For the most cost-effective, lightweight, and effortless setup, the cordless drill option is great for most ice anglers.

For deep, dirty ice, where you want effortless speed, my preference is for propane. 

While gas augers are fantastic, powerful, and sturdy, the need to carry gas leads to my preference for propane.

Also Read: The Best Ice Fishing Rods Reviewed

Gas vs Electric Augers

Providing your charging routines are organized, electric augers are taking over the heavy old gas models.

Good electric augers are powerful enough for thick ice, weigh less, are more environmentally friendly on a number of levels, and are far easier to transport.

Portability

For the ultimate in portable, folding hand augers are brilliant. For effortless drilling with easy portability, the cordless drill auger is the best, followed by the electric auger.

Propane and gas are heavier and therefore less portable. It will come down to the mode of transport you need to get to your favorite spot on the ice.

Chipper Blades vs Laser Blades

It’s a compromise. Chipper blades are far more durable than laser blades and will last longer when drilling hard, dirty ice over a season.

However, if you want speed and precision, with smooth even holes, nothing beats good laser blades.

What Size Auger is Best?

There is no “best”, only what is best for your application and setup. It’s pretty simple, if you want big fish, go with a 10 inch.

If you’re chasing panfish, a 6 inch will do, however, I tend not to go lower than an 8 inch for convenience. 

The bigger the hole, the easier it is to pull fish, and the longer it takes to ice up again.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is subjective, and also relative to conditions. In my experience, the easiest augers to use are the late model electric augers. 

No effort, no fuss, and you only have to think about charged batteries and sharp blades.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an 8 Inch Ice Auger Big Enough?

An 8-inch ice auger is the minimum for convenience, fish care, and hole management. 

If you are hunting a larger class of fish, I think holes should start at 10 inch.

Can You Ice Fish Without an Ice Auger?

It is possible, but it will be a heck of a frustrating day as you wait for fellow anglers to abandon their holes.

You have to get through the ice to reach the fish, so, by and large, if you don’t have an auger, your chances of catching fish are extremely limited.

You could employ ancient methods such as chopping through the ice. 

In any case, you shouldn’t be fishing for survival like the ancients, and a standard hand auger should suffice.

Are Hand Ice Augers Hard to Use?

Technique is required, but it’s not hard to learn. The thicker the ice, the more energy you will need to use to get the hole drilled.

It depends on your strength and fitness levels, but drilling through the ice with a hand auger, while effective, does require some stamina, strength, and patience. 

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Sean Ward

Sean Ward

Hey there, my name is Sean – OnTrack Fishing is my site. I’m based in the UK yet I’ve been fortunate enough to catch bass in the States, barramundi in Australia, trout here at home and carp on the Danube delta. If I’m not fishing, or talking about fishing, then….I’m probably asleep.

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