Best Ice Auger on the Market 2018 – Catch Big Fish During Winter

A real man knows how to fish. Do you agree? Well, my dad used to take me out to nearby lakes frequently to catch some fish when I was a kid and now that I have a little man of my own, I teach him to fish too. It’s not only a skill but it’s a fun thing to do also.

Fishing is an indispensable survival skill. Primitive men used to hunt and fish back in the olden times; fishing is one way of securing food in an instant? no growing and production needed!

Fishing isn’t easy because you have to consider a lot of things such as equipment, location, and weather. Weather may not always permit you to go fishing, especially during the winter season. That’s where the useful ice augers come in.

What’s the purpose of an ice auger?

How do you fish when the lake or the sea?s surfaces are frozen? Would you just smash a rock into the ice until it breaks? What if I tell you the ice can be 8 inches thick?

It’s not impossible to fish when ice gets too thick, it just gets more challenging. Who’s up for a challenge? All you need is a reliable ice auger and your fishing equipment, and you’ll have a chance of catching a stout fish.


Ice augers are used to drill fishing holes

Ice augers are used to drill fishing holes

Basically, ice augers or “ice drillers” drill a fishing hole into the thick ice where you can place your fishing rod with bait and wait for fish to fall into the trap. For more than two decades of ice fishing, I can say that there’s no piece of equipment more useful for a fisherman than an ice auger.

Of course, you can’t just purchase any ice auger without knowing the basics of using it and most importantly, you’ll need a reliable one that won’t fail you in the middle of drilling.

Our top picks

There are manual augers, and there are powered ones. Manual augers are lighter than powered ones, so it’s more advantageous to bring on remote or isolated sites. If you’re only going to drill through thin ice, a manual auger will do just fine.

On the other hand, powered augers are heavier and bulkier, but they are more powerful and they drill hole faster. The augers will take care of most of the drilling work, so all you have to do is guide them so your hole goes in straight. No sweat!

Choosing between the two will really depend on your preference. That’s why we’ll review both manual and powered ice augers here in this article.

Eskimo HD07 Hand Auger with 7-Inch Dual Flat Blades
Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger
Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
ION 19150 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger, with Reverse
Eskimo HD07 Hand Auger with 7-Inch Dual Flat Blades
Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger
Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
ION 19150 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger, with Reverse
Eskimo HD07 Hand Auger with 7-Inch Dual Flat Blades
Eskimo HD07 Hand Auger with 7-Inch Dual Flat Blades
Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger
Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger
Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
ION 19150 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger, with Reverse
ION 19150 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger, with Reverse

Before we proceed to the reviews of the best ice augers in the market, I’m going to show you how to use it first.

 

How to use an ice auger

Ice augers are pretty easy to use. It works similarly to those handheld drillers used in constructions. The manual ice auger type is slower and harder to use because you’ll need to exert a lot of force and effort in manually turning the knob.

In contrast, powered ice augers have engines that run on gas, so all you have to do is punch the drill on the spot where you want to cut a hole and turn the engine on.

Some people prefer the manual type while some support the powered models. Choosing between the two boils down to the number of holes you want to drill, the drilling speed you wish to accomplish, and the greatest determining factor ? the thickness of the ice.

Below are the steps in using an ice auger.

Step 1. Remove the cover of the auger blade.

The blades are sharp and can easily cut through flesh, so remove it with care.

Photo from geteskimo.com

 

Step 2. Scout the area and find a spot you want to drill a hole into.

Put the blade?s tip on the spot and position your feet about 7 inches from the auger?s blades.



Step 3. Put both your arms on the auger’s handles (for powered augers).

or grip the knob with one hand and put the other on the side handles (for manual augers) and center your weight above the handles in such a way that your elbows are slightly angled and your back?s leaning in front.



Step 4. For manual augers.

If you’re using a powered auger, push the throttle, pull the recoil rope, and keep applying pressure to it while it goes down. For manual augers, keep applying pressure as you turn the auger’s knob while maintaining a straight line and never allowing the blades to tilt as it will produce an angled hole.

Step 5. Keep turning the knob.

Keep turning the knob and applying pressure downward until you finally break the thick ice. Next, practice drilling other holes with the same thickness as before and time yourself. This way, you?ll learn how hard you should apply pressure to consume as little time as possible.

 

Here’s an instructional video of using powered ice augers.


Now that you know how easy it is to use an ice auger, the next thing is to select the best ice auger in the market. So, let?s drill it down to the best!

The Best Ice Auger on the Market

#1 – Eskimo Hand Auger

Sale
Eskimo HD07 Hand Auger with 7-Inch Dual Flat Blades
  • Adjustable 49 - 58 inch length
  • 7 inch cutting diameter
  • Cross-Bolt Takedown System prevents over-tightening when you drill
  • Handle and pommel knob for easy drilling
  • Blade protector included

The Eskimo Hand Auger is a manual type that easily speeds through ice in a jiffy. It?s a great ice fishing companion whether early or late winter season. The lightweight auger features a pommel knob, a blade protector, and a 7-inch cutting diameter.

It cuts clean holes through its Silvertips flat blades made from knife blades, which has a very precise edge for a more effective carving and minimal pressure application.

You can also grip it easily ? through the pommel knob or through the rubberized side handle, whichever way you prefer. Also, it exhibits a Cross-Bolt Takedown System that prevents ?over-tightening? of the knob upon drilling, making the whole process smoother.

Lastly, you can adjust the auger?s length to match your height for convenience. The blades also don?t accumulate rust easily, making it last longer.

I?ve tried gifting this Eskimo Hand Auger for my in-laws when they bought a lake house so we could go fishing in the winter. It?s really easy to use, and it?s super sharp!

If I remember correctly, I drilled a 6? hole in less than 20 seconds that day. My son didn?t have a hard time drilling a hole with this friendly auger.

What We Like:

  • Good grip
  • Drills easily
  • Sharp blades
  • Durable
  • Drills quietly
  • Kids can use it with ease

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Since blades are thin, the auger?s likely to leave sharp edges on the drilled ice which may cut your fishing line (if you line?s not made of a good material)
  • It?ll be tiring to use if you plan to cut on 2-3 feet of ice
  • Ice might build up on the drill body

 

#2 – Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger

Sale
Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger
  • Chrome-alloy Stainless Steel Blades
  • Powder Coated Paint to Reduce Ice Build-up
  • Soft Rubber Grips
  • Ergonomic Designed Handle System
  • Adjustable Handle: Adjusts from 48" - 57"

A lot of ice fishers concede that the Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger is the premium brand of hand augers that possess blades as sharp as those blades that ninjas throw – the Shuriken, right? Ah, years of watching Naruto has taken up its toll on me.

So the Lazer Hand Auger features alloy stainless steel lazer blades and a drill body coated with powder paint to reduce the buildup of ice on the body, creating a drill that’s resistant to adhering ice and corrosion.

The Lazer blades claim to cut through ice faster than other conventional hand augers. My friend who has this specific brand tried it to verify their claim. He made a 15? hole in less than a minute of drilling with this auger. Apparently, the manufacturer doesn’t lie!

What We Like:

  • Good grip
  • Drills faster than other hand augers
  • Super sharp blades
  • Reduced build-up of ice on the drill body
  • Durable
  • Drills quietly
  • Kids can use it with ease

 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Since blades are thin, the augers likely to leave sharp edges on the drilled ice which may cut your fishing line (if you line is not made of a good material)
  • It’ll be tiring to use if you plan to cut on 2-3 feet of ice
  • Some have reported Lazer Hand Augers made of Chinese blades (instead of the original Swedish blades) as inferior and not as sharp

 

#3 – Eskimo Quantum Power Ice Fishing Auger (43 cc)

Sale
Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
  • 8 inch diameter auger
  • 42 inch auger length
  • 49: 1 gear ratio
  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Blade Protector included

After our manual auger reviews, let?s now proceed to our first powered type? The gas-fueled Eskimo Quantum Power Ice Fishing Auger.

This auger features a powerful cold-tested 43 cc 800 RPM Viper engine for drilling. By powerful, I mean that the Viper engine does 800 rotations per minute with the drill body together with the blades rotate 800 times per minute. It’s too much, isn’t it? The engine makes this powered auger faster and more dominant than its manual rivals. You?ll also drill more holes with this one.

Additionally, the auger has foam-gripped handlebars below the engine for reduced vibration as well as a fingertip throttle button control for an easy ignition.

Lastly, it has sharp blades that cut ice evenly and consistently. The blades can also be replaced when it gets dull. Check out the video of the actual use below.

  • Excellent grip
  • Drills faster than other manual augers
  • Super sharp blades
  • Faster drilling than manual ones – less force needed & more holes created
  • Cold-resistant engine ? starts instantaneously even in the cold
  • Durable

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Non-adjustable body (presents limitations for some people)
  • Possibility of running out on gas while in the middle (emits fumes too)
  • Noisy engine
  • Not kid-friendly
  • A bit heavy

 

#4 – Eskimo Sting Ray Quantum Ice Auger (33 cc)

Sale
Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
  • 8 inch diameter auger
  • 42 inch auger length
  • 49: 1 gear ratio
  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Blade Protector included

Another gas-fueled ice auger on or list is the lightweight Eskimo Sting Ray Quantum Ice Auger. It shares the same features with the Eskimo Power Ice Fishing Auger, but it differs with a few things ? a Fingertip throttle trigger for a precise power and control, and a 33 cc motor.

After pushing the trigger, you?ll still need to pull the recoil rope until the engine starts. It also possesses the powerful Viper engine and widely-spaced foam-gripped handle bars.

However, this auger runs relatively slower than its contender Eskimo brother because it has a 33 cc motor and the former has a 43 cc engine. BUT it doesn?t mean that this auger drills slower, its speed is only reduced A LITTLE.

The light weightiness of this auger compensates for its reduced speed. To prove that this auger drills fast too, see video below.

What We Like:

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent and easier grip
  • Drills fast (but not as fast as the Eskimo Power Ice)
  • Super sharp blades
  • Faster drilling than manual ones – less force needed & more holes created
  • Cold-resistant engine ? starts instantaneously even in the cold
  • Durable

 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Non-adjustable body (presents limitations for some people)
  • Possibility of running out on gas while in the middle (emits fumes too)
  • Noisy engine
  • Not kid-friendly

 

#5 – ION 40V Max Electric Ice Auger

Sale
ION 19150 40V 3 amp-hour Electric 8-Inch Ice Auger, with Reverse
  • Lightweight and easy to carry at only 21 pounds
  • Wide-spaced handlebar design and larger trigger button allow for comfort and ease of operation
  • The steel constructed auger will drill 8 inch diameter holes
  • Auger length is 34 inches, or 46 inches with included 12 inch extension
  • Battery charger included

The ION 40V Max Electric Ice Auger is a close competitor of the Eskimo Quantum Auger. It?s one of the first electric ice augers sold commercially, and it?s one of the top-rated auger beasts. Since it?s electrically powered, you won?t need to buy gas and keep pulling recoil ropes.

How convenient! So this lightweight electric auger runs on lithium-ion battery and lasts for hours. They claim that it can drill as much as 40 holes which are 2 feet thick in a single charge though I?ve never actually tried drilling that much because it?s awful to see so many holes in our beloved lake. I?ve tried drilling three or four, and it worked perfectly. Also, this auger has a reverse feature too.

Furthermore, this auger has a single power button located on one side of its wide-spaced foam-covered handlebars. The location of the power button is pretty advantageous because you?ll get to turn the engine on/off easily with just one finger while keeping your grip in the handlebar.

Lastly, the blades of this beast are very durable and sharp. Check out the complete review of this auger below.

What We Like:

  • Lighter than gas-powered augers
  • Excellent grip
  • Drills as fast as the gas-powered auger
  • No gas needed ? runs on battery
  • Very convenient power button
  • Sharp blades
  • Faster drilling than manual ones – less force needed & more holes created
  • Drills quietly (no noisy engines)
  • Durable

 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Non-adjustable body (presents limitations for some people)
  • Lithium-ion battery might freeze in cold weather
  • Not kid-friendly

Final thoughts

It?s hard to stay out in the cold for too long so if you wish to cut drilling time and spend more time catching fish, I say you go for the ION 40V Max Electric Auger.

It doesn’t come cheap but it’s an excellent ice fishing investment. So, what made them the clear winner of this round-up review?

  • They’re lightweight, easy to carry even in remote areas, power lasts long, and most importantly, easy to use
  • Drills fast, has sharp durable blades and doesn?t emit fumes (environment-friendly)

Save more time for fishing than drilling the ice with a reliable ice auger


Save more time for fishing than drilling the ice with a reliable ice auger

I hope this comprehensive review helped you made a wise decision regarding what ice auger to purchase.

I also have a question for you reader. Did you like this article? Did it really helped you? Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Please share this article for our ice fishing folks!

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