The 9 Best Ice Augers

Updated February 21, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

9 Best Ice Augers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you're hardy enough to brave the bitter cold during your next fishing expedition, then one of these ice augers should be an essential part of your tackle. Our selection includes a combination of manual, electric, and propane-powered models equipped with comfortable handles and strong blades that are designed to help bore through those thick layers of frozen H2O with ease. 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. Eskimo HC40Q10

Save time during fishing trips using the high-compression, clean-running Eskimo HC40Q10. An auto-prime fueling system eliminates the need to prep its 4-cycle engine prior to activation, allowing you to simply switch the unit on and begin drilling immediately.
  • holds a 1-pound propane cylinder
  • compact and powerful
  • blade cover is flimsy
Brand Eskimo
Model HC40Q10
Weight 42.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. XtremepowerUS X1096

In addition to being used to plant trees and shrubs or to install fence posts and decks, the XtremepowerUS X1096 includes 3 different sizes of bits for drilling through the toughest of ice surfaces. Unfortunately, its power and weight require a lot of manual control.
  • digs up to 3 feet deep
  • 2-stroke air-cooled motor
  • causes some wrist fatigue
Brand XtremepowerUS
Model X1096
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Nordic Legend Combo

The Nordic Legend Combo includes a 76-inch shelter constructed with solid fiberglass rods and built to withstand extreme weather conditions, regardless of your chosen fishing spot. The machine's carbon steel cutting blades can tear through ice sheets in mere seconds.
  • comes with a carrying bag
  • heat-treated powerhead gears
  • front door on the tent is very small
Brand Nordic Legend
Model pending
Weight 55 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. StrikeMaster Electra Lazer

With an operating speed of 90 revolutions per minute, the StrikeMaster Electra Lazer makes fast work of the most stubborn ice layers. It can draw a charge from any one of three power sources, including a vehicle's battery, its cigarette lighter, or a standard power outlet.
  • 12-foot external battery cables
  • also comes with a blade guard
  • it's very heavy
Brand Strike Master
Model ELL-8
Weight 38.9 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Eskimo Sting Ray

Built with practicality in mind, the Eskimo Sting Ray features foam-padded handles designed to absorb the vibrations associated with extended drilling sessions. The oversized mitten grip makes it easy to start the engine without having to remove your gloves.
  • price is affordable
  • 5-year warranty
  • blades get dull rather quickly
Brand Eskimo
Model S33Q8
Weight 36 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Razr Lithium

The Razr Lithium leverages a combination of a die-cast aluminum transmission and twin stainless steel curved blades to ensure the highest degree of cutting precision possible. A convenient power switch allows the integrated LED to stay on, even when it isn't in use.
  • good for drilling multiple holes
  • comes with a rapid recharger
  • a bit on the bulky side
Brand RAZR
Model pending
Weight 28 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. StrikeMaster Mora

The StrikeMaster Mora boasts an ergonomically-designed, telescoping handle with an adjustable length of between 48 and 57 inches, making it easy to plow through the cold stuff at a variety of thicknesses. A powder-coated exterior resists excess ice buildup.
  • cushioned top knob
  • high-alloy carbon steel blades
  • breaks down for convenient storage
Brand Strike Master
Model MD-7
Weight 8.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Ion 29250

The Ion 29250 is equipped with a long-lasting 40-volt battery capable of plowing through up to 1,600 inches of ice on a single charge. A cast aluminum bottom and centering ring allow its blade to produce smooth and even cuts when reopening previously-drilled holes.
  • integrated reverse function
  • 2 leds for nighttime use
  • handles are comfortable
Brand Ion
Model 29250
Weight 28.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. StrikeMaster Honda Lite

Weighing less than 30 pounds, the StrikeMaster Honda Lite is powered by a 35cc, four-stroke, OHC engine that delivers both high boring speeds and torque. The high-impact synthetic handles provide plenty of stability when drilling through tough layers of ice.
  • 10-inch blade diameter
  • holds nearly 23 ounces of fuel
  • environmentally friendly design
Brand Strike Master
Model HL-10
Weight 35.5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 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 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, a 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, they 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 February 21, 2018 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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