When winter freezes up bodies of water like lakes burying the fish underneath, it is time to go ice fishing armed with an ice auger to bore through the thick layers of ice, expose the water beneath, and access the fish. Every time you want to try out a fishing spot, you will be reaching for your drill. For productive and enjoyable ice fishing sessions, it is important to have the best ice auger for fishing that is reliable, easy to use, and can drill holes quickly and efficiently.
Below, we’ve reviewed our top picks of the best ice fishing augers on the market. They include gas powered, hand powered and electric battery powered types and are all high quality, equipped with strong and sharp blades, and have demonstrated their ability to perform in the extremely cold ice angling environment. We also have a buying guide to help you figure out which auger is best for you.
Ready to get started? Let’s go.
How To Choose The Best Ice Auger For Fishing – Buying Guide
So how do you determine the best ice auger for ice fishing for you? Here are the factors to consider so you can make the right choice that you will happily use for a long time and enjoy the best value for your money.
The first decision you will have to make is what type of ice auger to choose. Here are the different types available:
Hand Ice Auger
Hand ice augers are powered manually by turning the handle and exerting some downward pressure. They are easy to use, reliable, inexpensive, lightweight, portable, and relatively quiet in operation. They are ideal if you’re looking for your first auger, ice fish only occasionally, or only need to drill 4.5” to 6” wide holes where the ice isn’t at its thickest. The best hand powered augers are designed to work with minimal effort from you.
Gas Powered Auger
Gas powered augers are equipped with powerful engines and longer and stronger drill bits so they are able to cut through extremely thick ice like a hot knife through butter. They are ideal for avid ice anglers who need to drill many large diameter holes quickly and effortlessly.
The downside to gas ice augers is that they are usually heavy and bulky thus a challenge to transport, are noisy during operation, emit smoke and fumes, require a great deal of maintenance, and are expensive.
Those powered by two-stroke engines use a mixture of gas and oil to run. They are extremely powerful and fast but messy since you have to mix oil and gas which can result in spills. Those powered by four-stroke engines burn cleaner and are easier to use than 2-stroke models but are more expensive.
Propane Ice Auger
Propane ice augers usually have four-stroke engines and utilize propane to run. Compared to gas augers, they are lighter in weight, burn cleaner, operate quietly, and are also fast.
Battery Powered Electric Ice Auger
Electric ice augers rely on lithium-ion batteries to operate. They are less powerful than gas-powered types but also fast and efficient and ideal for smaller and fewer holes. The best battery powered ice augers bore down through the ice quickly and easily and have a high battery capacity. They start instantly and drill quietly with no emissions so you can use them safely inside an ice fishing shelter. They tend to be lighter than gas augers and easier to transport. Batteries need to be kept warm when not in use.
You will come across 4.5”, 6”, 8” and 10” blade sizes or cutting diameters. Which size will suit you will depend on the fish species you’re targeting or are likely to land. A medium 8” blade is the most versatile size. For panfish, 4.5 or 6-inch size is adequate. 10-inch blades drill holes large enough to drag out giants like lake trout. The length of your auger should be sufficient to drill through the layers of ice. An adjustable size is ideal as it allows you to adjust the ice to suit the ice thickness and your personal height.
The weight of an ice auger is an important factor to consider. A lightweight auger is crucial if you will be trekking a long distance to get to your fishing spot or will be moving across the ice a lot bringing your auger along. Hand augers are the lightest, followed by electric augers. Gas powered augers are the heaviest and require dragging on a sled or using a vehicle where the ice thickness makes it safe to do so. A lightweight auger is also easier to use and easy on your wrists.
When buying an auger, it is important to pay attention to the blade quality and durability. The blades should be tough enough to withstand the wear and tear of cutting through ice repeatedly. Shaving blades have a smooth, razor-sharp cutting edge that melts through the ice quickly and precisely. Chipper blades feature sharp, serrated teeth, which chew through ice very quickly. The more the blades, the faster the drilling speed.
You want an auger with drill bits long enough to cut through the ice layers and one that suits your height so you can drill holes without struggling. The best ice fishing augers have adjustable height knobs or come with an extension that let you adjust the height to suit the ice thickness and your personal height.
Ease Of Use
The best ice auger for ice fishing should be easy to start and operate. The length should be adjustable to suit different heights. It should be designed to remain stable on the surface during operation. It should have ergonomic handles that make it easier to control the auger. It should be lightweight to prevent fatigue.
Drilling through ice efficiently requires super-sharp blades. The best ice augers for fishing will come with blades that are super sharp right off the box, capable of holding their sharp edge well, and easy to sharpen and replace. Have the blades sharpened or replaced every 2-3 years or more often if you’re an avid ice angler.
The best ice augers come with essential accessories such as a blade guard for safety, an extension for adjusting the height for ice thickness and personal height, and a cover for the power head if you’re using a powered auger.
Finally, ensure you get an ice auger that is easy and safe to carry depending on your mode of transportation, the ice thickness, and how often you will be moving. Hand and electric augers are lightweight and easy to carry when hopping from ice hole to ice hole and also safe to have when the ice isn’t too thick. Gas powered augers are the heaviest and require a sled or vehicle and thick ice to transport them easily and safely.
Q: What is an Auger?
An auger is a hand-held drilling device designed to bore through a variety of materials such as earth and ice. Hard water anglers use an ice auger to quickly and effectively create fishing holes in frozen lakes and rivers
Q: Why Do I Need An Auger For Ice Fishing?
During winter, bodies of water become completely frozen burying the fish underneath. You can’t ice fish if you can’t access the water. You need an ice auger to drill holes through the ice, giving you access to the pike, walleye, trout and other species suspended in the frigid waters.
Q: How Many Holes can an Electric Auger Drill Before the Battery Runs Out?
The average electric drill will drill 20-25 holes through 12 inches of ice on a single battery charge. The output could be higher or lower depending on the ice thickness and battery capacity.
Q: Are Ice Augers Safe For Use?
Ice augers are safe for use on frozen ice as long as you follow the ice fishing safety guidelines and the manufacturer’s safety recommendations. First of all, only go out there and use your ice auger when the ice thickness is safe to do so. It is also important to ensure that the weight of the auger is safe to transport and use given the ice thickness.
Globo Surf Overview
A reliable and efficient auger that is reliable and cuts through thick ice quickly and efficiently is a must have for successful and enjoyable ice fishing adventures. With gas, propane, and electric ice auger options, you have plenty of options to choose from to find your personal best ice auger for fishing. It is also smart to have a hand powered auger as a backup. Have fun on the ice and remember to keep warm and stay safe!
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Which of the ice augers on our list is your top choice? We would love to read your thoughts or experience with the ice fishing augers we’ve reviewed! Let us know in the comment box below!