For those times when you need to tackle thick, stubborn ice for fishing, you need the proper tools, and no tool is more capable of drilling through the ice than the best ice fishing augers. These useful, screw-shaped drills make it possible to penetrate ice in even the most extreme, sub-zero conditions and makes it easy for you to catch your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while also making sure you keep warm.
From electric to gas-powered to hand-operated augers, we’ve selected a wide range of cool products for you to use on your next fishing expedition. They are tough, powerful, and reliable, and no one serious about ice fishing should venture out into the white without one.
If you use them correctly, which is easy enough when you understand the dos and the don’ts of ice augers, you’re guaranteed an easy and successful time on the ice so you can retreat home (or into your igloo) and rest peacefully, and totally chilled.
The Best Ice Fishing Auger
The Eskimo Sting Ray Quantum Gas Auger is a big, bold option and is our number one pick for the best ice fishing augers you’ll find online. It boasts a lightweight but powerful design that’s easy to handle with the large mitten handle grip ideal for thick tactical gloves or – if you’re trying to prove how badass you are – your bare hands.
The 8-inch diameter blades create perfect drill holes with controlled, easy operation that’s fast and efficient. These blades come with a blade protector, so you don’t need to worry about potential scratching and damage in-transit. For first timers, you can get going straight away, and there’s little to no learning curve, making it straightforward to put together and simple to get started.
Lightweight and powerful design
Easy starting with mitten grip handle
8-inch diameter blades with blade protector included
5 year warranty
- Weight28 pounds
While big, beefy machines are appealing, sometimes you just need a simple, handheld option to fulfill your needs for your ice-capades, and the Eskimo Dual-Flat Blade Hand Auger the best of the ice fishing augers if you’re looking for simplicity combined with great value. Though it’s not motor operated, it’s still sharp enough to cut through ice through ease, regardless of your size and strength by doing the hard work for you.
This is made possible with the handle and pommel knob, which ensures simple, comfortable drilling even in stubborn environments, while the Cross-Bolt Takedown system keeps the auger in top condition by preventing tightening, which can lead to damage. It’s lightweight, but still solidly constructed for easy use, and offers versatile drilling options with its adjustable length which can range from 49 to 58 inches.
Cross-Bolt Takedown system prevents over-tightening
Handle and pommel knob ensures easy drilling
Adjustable 49 – 58-inch length
7-inch blade with protector
- Weight8.8 pounds
Strike, Master, and Lazer are perhaps 3 words that conjure up images of battles, adventure, and generally cool stuff, and the Strike Master Lazer Hand Auger lives up to these expectations by delivering an awesome, reliable manual ice drilling solution. Even without a motor, it’s still fast and powerful and can cut through ice in less than a minute.
Like all handheld augers should be: it’s comfortable, with an ergonomic soft grip handle to provide support during intense activities, and the chrome-allow stainless steel blades slice through the ice with utmost ease, and to prevent ice sticking to these blades, they are finished with a powder-coated paint that encourages the ice to slide off. This prevents blockages and ice refreezing as you drill further down.
Powder coated paint reduces ice buildup
Ergonomic handle system for comfortable grip
Chrome-alloy stainless steel blades
Adjust length from 48 to 57 inches
- BrandStrike Master
- Weight7 pounds
Bright and bold, the ION Eskimo Standard Series Ice Auger is a quality mid-range choice for those who are a little more than casual ice fishers but haven’t reached peak professionalism just yet. It boasts widely spaced handlebars and a large trigger that ensures easy control and ensures comfort. This is assisted by its lightweight construction, which you may feel could cause the auger to get away from you, but instead gives you confidence when working with more difficult ice surfaces
The reverse function allows you to clean up parts of the drill hole which may have been missed along the way, giving a cleaner cut for more clear and successful fishing, and you’ll also have the chance to drill deeper than you may have done before. The standard length is 34 inches, but with the 12-inch extension capacity, you can dig deep, revolutionizing your fishing trips and giving you the chance to explore further below the ice.
Widely spaced handlebars and large trigger for comfort and easy operations
Lightweight and easy to handle 8-inch blades
Adjustable length from 34 to 46 inches
Battery charger included
- Weight26 pounds
Boasting huge power with a 5 amp battery, the ION Eskimo X Series Ice Auger is a step up from the Standard Series, and it shows. This isn’t a criticism on the Standard, far from it, but if you need something with a little (okay a lot) more juice, this is the ION product to buy.
On top of power, it also brings fantastic performance to the ice unseen since Brian Boitano (of South Park: Uncut and we suppose Olympic fame). The aluminum cast bottom provides smoother, more even cuts that make drilling into the ice feel like you’re cutting through butter. When you hit the water, the reverse function helps you clean up the hole and eliminates the need for an ice skimmer. Not only does this make the whole more easily accessible, but it also helps to maintain the auger and ensures longevity.
ION X aluminum cast bottom results in smoother, more even cuts
Reverse function eliminates need for ice skimmer
Bright LEDs under powerhead make nighttime drilling easy
Five amp-hour battery provides 60% more storage capacity
- Weight34.6 pounds
Another battery-powered machine, the Landworks Eco-Friendly Electric Cordless Ice Auger is smog-free, fuel-odor free, and noise-free, or at least mostly noise-free. Despite this, it’s still powerful, and will easily drill as many holes as you’ll need (within reason), even through ice as thick as 16 inches.
The 3-Planetary Gear Mechanism is part of what makes it so effective, producing excellent results in a variety of different arctic environments. It’s also because of the brushless motor which aside from being better for the environment, is better for the auger itself. The lack of friction inside the mechanism makes maintenance easier than ever before and ensures longevity to provide excellent performance throughout the years.
Battery powered operation produces no smog and is quieter
3-Planetary Gear Mechanism for higher transmission efficiency
Overload protector prevents overheating and parts damage
Brushless motor provides smooth, comfortable drilling
- Weight34.5 pounds
As our premium choice for the best ice fishing augers, the Jiffy XT Propane Auger is a top quality, heavy duty, and massively robust option for those who find themselves on the ice more often than in their own homes. The motor is reliable, using E-Z start technology to get going in cold weather all without choking or flooding or even needing priming like other motors sometimes requires.
When in operation, the 4-stroke engine is quiet, so as not to disturb the pristine calmness of your surroundings, but it’s also powerful, tearing through thick, stubborn parts of the ice in seconds with ease. The propane power means you won’t get fuel smell all over your hands and it works without emitting hazardous smoke, which is good for you and your surroundings while also making it ideal for indoor use when under a snowstorm.
No smoke or gas for clean, healthy operation
The 4-stroke engine is quiet but powerful
E-Z start motor without priming, flooding, or choking
Ripper blade with 2-year limited warranty
- Weight9.6 ounces
Finally, it’s time to get out the cold and somewhere a little toastier, but first let us introduce you to the Trophy Strike Cordless Ice Auger, which is our final pick of the best options. This beast of a machine can drill a whopping 86 holes in 20-inch thick ice all on a single battery charge, making it ideal for long, intensive jobs in freezing conditions, but at least you’ll be warmed by the knowledge this is getting the job done.
Even with this power, it’s still lightweight and easy to carry, and the brushless motor is designed to make operation comfortable and straightforward. It works in perfect tandem with the 5-Gear planetary transmission to deliver reliable performance in even the harshest, most bitter conditions, and it works so well you may not even notice.
Drills up to 86 holes in 20-inch thick ice on a single battery charge
Convenient and lightweight for easy transport
Brushless motor and 5-Gear planetary transmission provides reliable performance in harsh conditions
Reversible drive allows you to re-open frozen over holes
- BrandTrophy Strike
- Weight34 pounds
Ice Fishing Auger Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Ice Fishing Augers
Brand - Those of you who know ice auger brands really know them, and so we searched hard to find only the very best brands to keep you company out on the ice. These brands develop their products with excellent and careful quality, which means you can rely on them every single time.
Price - You probably noticed ice fishing augers aren’t the cheapest products out there, but with this price, you get the utmost quality, which when working in such harsh conditions is the only thing you need. Still, we searched for as wide of a price range as we could to ensure that both inexperienced and veteran ice fishermen found something they’d love
Reviews - Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to get out onto the ice to test these out for ourselves. Instead, we used reviews from those who did have the chance to get out there to get an idea of what we need to look for in the best ice augers. These reviews taught us about the wonders of reversibility, environmental aspects, and ease of drilling, among many other necessary factors.
Features To Look For In Ice Fishing Augers
Blade size - The blade size determines the diameter of the hole you need, which is dictated by the size of the fish you’re hoping to catch. The most versatile size is 8 inches, but you may not need one this large, in which case 4 - 6 inches is fine for smaller fish. For large fish like trout, you’ll need a 10-inch diameter blade.
Blade extensions - You need to make sure your auger is long enough to drill through the thickness of the ice, otherwise, you’ll end up wasting a lot of energy, battery power or fuel for nothing, and we don’t recommend trying to stamp the hole through. Some ice augers come designed with blade extensions, which gives you an extra 12 inches (on average) of length to tackle the remaining layer of ice.
Weight - Your ice auger’s weight will determine how easy it is to transport and control. If you need to trek to your destination, a lightweight auger is a must, and hand augers are the most lightweight, with gas-powered ones being the heaviest. However, in seeking a lightweight solution, you are sacrificing power, so if you require power more than you do weight, it may be smart to go with heavier models.
Blade Type - There is a variety of blades you’re likely to encounter when searching for your new ice fishing auger. To find the best, you need to focus on sharpness and durability to withstand the demands of repeatedly cutting through ice.
Shaving blade - A shaving blade has smooth edges that work quickly and accurately to melt through the ice. They are easy to control and often feel you’re not doing any work at all.
Chipper blade - Chipper blades feature sharp, jagged teeth which instead of moving gracefully and smoothly cut and chop into the ice.
Remember, the more blades your ice auger has, the faster you will drill through the ice, so if you want speed and efficiency, we recommend looking for a product that has multiple blades to make your life easier.
Types Of Ice Fishing Augers
Picking the right ice fishing auger will depend on the environment you’re using it in. those of you who need power should consider options with more oomph, like a motor or engine powered auger, but if you need an easy, casual option (and what to work on your muscles), then manual augers are an excellent, easy option.
Manual - A manual ice fishing auger is one you operate purely by hand. They are smaller than other augers and more lightweight, but they take more effort to use. Still, they are the most common auger you’re likely to find and are ideal for thinner ice.
Gas - Loud and proud, gas augers offer fast and effective drilling that is guaranteed to work through the ice no matter how thick it is. However, the fuel could freeze in low temperatures and the engine may not handle such conditions. They are also not great for the environment.
Electric - These are ice fishing augers you’re likely to see more and more of in the coming years. They are quieter than gas operated models while still providing excellent performance. The only issue is if the battery runs down and you’re nowhere near a power source.
Ice Fishing Auger FAQ
Q: What is an ice auger?
A: Ice augers are tools used by ice fishermen (and women) to drill into the ice without getting tired. It works much like a regular drill would, with blades that spiral around a central pole and twist into the ice’s surface to create a hole.
Q: Can you sharpen ice auger blades?
A: You can! It’s important you keep your ice auger blades sharp, as dull blades make it more challenging to drill through the ice. It’s possible to sharpen these blades yourself, but only if you know what you’re doing. If you’re new to ice fishing and need your blades sharpened, we suggest seeking a professional to do it for you.
Q: Which way do ice auger blades go?
A: It’s imperative you assemble your ice auger the correct way as it won’t otherwise drill into the ice. When putting it together, make sure the flat edge of the blade is facing you and not the beveled edge. If you’re unsure of how to tell when assembling them, look for the company name and blade size, which indicates the top of the blade.
- Ice fishing auger dos and don’ts - Outdoor Canada
- Choosing an Ice Fishing Auger Plus 10 Tips for Improved Performance - Bass Pro Shops
- How to Install Ice Auger Blades - Trails