The 9 Best Ice Augers

Updated December 10, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

9 Best Ice Augers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 36 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. For those of you who are hardy enough to brave the freezing cold on your fishing expeditions, one of these ice augers should be an essential part of your tackle. We've included powered models and manual ones, but all of them will let you drill a hole down which you can drop a line. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ice auger on Amazon.

9. XtremepowerUS Post Digger

Although this XtremepowerUS Post Digger can be used to plant trees and shrubs or to install fence posts and decks, it also includes 3 different sizes of auger bits for drilling through the toughest of ice surfaces. However, its power and weight require a lot of control.
  • digs up to 3 feet deep
  • 2-stroke air-cooled engine
  • may cause some wrist fatigue
Brand XtremepowerUS
Model X1096+X1107
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. StrikeMaster Mora

The StrikeMaster Mora delivers an ergonomically-designed handle system that allows for 9 inches of vertical adjustment from 48 to 57 inches to cut through a variety of different ice thicknesses. Its powder-coated exterior also resists excess ice buildup when in operation.
  • wing bolt secures the handle
  • breaks down quickly for easy storage
  • blades need replacing often
Brand Strike Master
Model MD-7
Weight 8.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. ThunderBay B43

The ThunderBay B43 features a cold-start supercharger that allows the unit to power up seamlessly in virtually any outdoor environment. This 8-inch auger is also equipped with razor-sharp, high-carbon steel blades that are crafted to cut through ice like butter.
  • oversized recoil handle
  • auger is extremely durable
  • it's a bit pricey
Brand ThunderBay
Model pending
Weight 29 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Arksen Earth Auge

Experience balanced power, reliable startups in cold weather, and impressive cutting speed with the Arksen Earth Auge. This ice auger comes complete with anti-vibration handles and an anti-slip coating for extra stability when cutting through thick ice in rough conditions.
  • heat-treated alloy gears
  • built-in sound reduction system
  • it's a bit on the heavy side
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Jiffy 60-08

Ideal for the re-drilling of holes, the Jiffy 60-08 has an enlarged power point that is connected to a 2-horsepower, 45 cc engine for superior ice grabbing and drilling speeds. Its high-torque transmission action will allow you to attack even the thickest of ice sheets.
  • see-through fuel tank
  • heavy-duty clutch
  • it's very bulky
Brand Jiffy
Model 60-08-ALL
Weight 35.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Eskimo HC40Q10

The Eskimo HC40Q10 is a high-compression, propane-powered ice auger with a 4-cycle engine. Its auto-prime fueling system prevents the need to prep the engine before activation, letting you simply switch the unit on to begin immediate drilling.
  • holds a 1-pound propane cylinder
  • compact and powerful
  • all-metal ball bearing transmission
Brand Eskimo
Model HC40Q10
Weight 42.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. StrikeMaster Electra Lazer

With its 90 rpm cutting speed, the StrikeMaster Electra Lazer can make fast work of the most stubborn of ice layers. You'll also have 3 different ways to charge the unit using your car's battery charger, cigarette lighter, or a power outlet.
  • 12-volt battery included
  • diecast aluminum gear case
  • specially-designed handle system
Brand Strike Master
Model ELL-6-Parent
Weight 25 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Eskimo 16500 Silvertip

Make easy work of your ice fishing trip using the Eskimo 16500 Silvertip. With a simple turn of its large and rounded handle, the ground-curved stainless-steel blades will quickly tunnel through the ice with minimal downward operating force.
  • height adjustable from 49-58 inches
  • blade protector is also included
  • cross bolt fastener system
Brand Eskimo
Model 16500
Weight 10.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Ion 19150

Cutting-edge innovation and efficiency describe the Ion 19150, one of the first high-performance electric ice augers available. This device is capable of drilling up to 40 holes through 2 feet of ice on a single charge of its lithium ion battery.
  • drills 8-inch diameter holes
  • lightweight and easy to carry
  • big trigger button for fast startups
Brand Ion
Model 19150
Weight 27.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Drilling For Piscatorial Success

Whether you depend on ice fishing for your livelihood or you consider it a recreational pastime, don't let the extreme seasons get in the way of a big catch. While you need to depend on your boat, instincts, and maybe a fish finder during the warmer months out on the lake, the winter adds sheets of ice as an obstacle to overcome on your path to victory. An ice auger will help you quickly bore into the cold stuff and make a hole large enough to achieve your goals.

An auger is a corkscrew-shaped drilling device designed to bore through a variety of materials that include wood, earth, and ice. The ice auger is particularly useful for ice fishermen who need a quick and effective way to create a hole large enough to insert a line or fish hook into the water below. While the size of the hole you drill depends on the type of fish you're after, most holes are around eight to twelve inches in diameter. Not only is the ability to drill into the ice an important feature, but so is the ability to drill multiple holes in short periods of time and without the need for extra manpower or the expense of user fatigue.

The concept of the ice auger is also beneficial for use in scientific research when using ice cores to study things like the climate record. However, the distinction here is that drill barrels used for mechanical or thermal ice coring are typically much larger, given their need to power through multiple layers of glacial ice, compared to consumer-oriented augers that cut through thinner sheets of ice on a lake.

The four types of ice augers available include manual, gas-powered, propane-powered, and electric. Manual ice augers are operated by hand, are available at low costs, are lightweight, relatively quiet, and generally easy to transport. They also have fewer mechanical parts with the potential to malfunction. On the flip side, they require the greatest amount of physical effort to get the job done. This makes them less useful when drilling multiple holes to find that sweet spot over a body of water, or if the ice is particularly thick and deeper than, say, twelve to eighteen inches.

Gas-powered augers speed up the process of drilling through thick sheets of ice at the expense of being heavier and noisier than their manual counterparts. Gas-powered models come with either two- or four-stroke engines. Augers with two-stroke engines require the mixing of both gas and oil, so they are less fuel efficient than four-stroke models. Four-stroke models also tend to burn cleaner, as they require no such mixing. For that reason. they start up easily, but they are more expensive and are the heaviest of options.

Propane-fueled ice augers are the newest addition to the group. They typically have four-stroke engines, operate quietly, and won't give off any harmful fumes. Electric models offer the same level of power as an auger with a four-stroke engine, but they are somewhat limited by their use of a rechargeable battery.

How To Choose The Perfect Ice Auger

A major decision you must make when investing in an ice auger is whether the use of a manual, electric, or gas-powered model will be best. In order to make this determination, you must first consider when and where you'll use the tool. For example, if you find yourself living up north where the ice tends to be thick, then a gas or propane-powered unit may work best, as you won't be limited by the unit's battery power, nor will you be forced to operate it by hand. You'll also be able to drill multiple holes into the ice without straining yourself. This will definitely come in handy during the winter months and even into early spring when the ice is at its thickest. However, if you're looking for something lightweight to travel with during the warmer months where ice sheets are thinner, a manual auger may do just fine, as well.

Will you be fishing in an ice shanty? Weather is an important factor to keep in mind, as people tend to use such shelters to stay warm when waiting for the fish to bite. One must be aware that a gas ice auger could pose additional dangers, considering the fumes it would generate indoors from within an ice shelter. For that reason, a propane or electric option is the better choice in such a circumstance.

Choosing the right blades for the auger is an integral part of the decision. Blades vary in size and length between six, eight, and ten inches. The largest blades are ideal for catching big species, such as Lake Trout. Depending on your needs, ice augers come with anywhere from one to four blades in a combination of standard or serrated styles. Serrated blades chew away at the ice more easily than their standard counterparts. Some auger blades are also pivot-tipped, giving you the advantage of starting a hole faster while gripping the surface of the ice without excess wobbling.

A Brief History Of The Ice Auger

The very first patent for ice-drilling technology was registered by William A. Clark in 1873. Clark's auger was originally designed to bore holes through ice and resembled a large screw with tips for cutting holes of a certain size.

The Minnesota-based StrikeMaster Corporation was the first to introduce their Mora manual hand auger to the United States in 1946. This manual auger featured a circular, corkscrew-shaped blade and greatly improved the efficiency of cutting through ice. Following this invention, the corporation became one of the leading suppliers of a variety of gas and electric-powered models through the 1970s.

Today, propane, gas, and electric-powered augers all dominate the ice fishing industry along with several different brands, including Eskimo, Jiffy, and StrikeMaster with varying weights and engine sizes.

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Last updated on December 10, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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