3 Best Ice Fishing Augers

Hey there ice fishers and welcome to my post where we will check out my 3 best ice fishing augers to drill that hole with this year. Now, this is probably well-known but for the newbies amongst us ice fishing is generally the practice of fishing through a little hole that is drilled into frozen sheet of water above a lake or river.

This hole is often dug by hand however in times when the ice is particularly thick then an auger is the tool to help us drill into the ice and expose the waters underneath.

However, as usual when it comes to fishing, there can be quite a variation in options available so to help you out, I have had a look around and come up with three options below. Let’s check them out…

My three recommended ice fishing augers

I will review these in more detail below however if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

 Ice Fishing AugerPriceGet it
best ice fishing augers - Eskimo Hand Auger with Dual Flat BladesEskimo Hand Auger with Dual Flat Blades$CURRENT PRICE
best ice fishing augers - THUNDERBAY 33cc 8 Power Ice AugerTHUNDERBAY Power Ice Auger$$CURRENT PRICE
best ice fishing augers - ION 39300 10 R1 Ice AugerION R1 Ice Auger$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are ice fishing augers?

An ice fishing auger is essentially a massive drill bit that creates holes in the ice large enough to fish out of. This hole generally needs to be both large enough for a line and potential other accessories such as an ice fishing camera and of course to be able to pull your catch out if it as well.

There are several types of augers for ice fishing with some operated by hand, while others are powered by gas or battery with blades sharp enough to shave and chip away ice.

best ice fishing augers - manual auger

What should you be looking for?

The following factors can influence the type of auger you may purchase:

  1. Type
  2. Blade type
  3. Portability
  4. Blade Height
  5. Additions

Type

Ice fishing augers can be categorized as either manual or powered.

  • Manual augers are powered by hand and although these are the oldest kind, they still offer certain advantages. Firstly, they operate without the noise of machines and secondly, they are usually a little lighter than powered options hence have excellent mobility on the ice.
  • Power augers have machines that do the drilling for you – much like a power saw or brush cutter. They operate via batteries or gas and are efficient in doing drill work and require not much effort from you. However on the downside they can be noisy when in operation and can also be weighty due to the extra machine parts. They are also a little more expensive as well.

If you plan on drilling a few holes during your session, the general rule of thumb is to use a manual auger. It should only take you a few minutes to produce a hole hence there is no need to bring a heavy motor with you. However, if you intend to drill three or more holes while angling, or are working with particularly thick ice, then a motor-driven auger will suffice.

Blade size

The blade size determines the size or diameter of the ice holes you will be drilling. Blades are available in a variety of sizes, including 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″. Ice anglers’ most common blade size tends to be around 8′′ however as above, the larger the fish you catch, the larger the hole you may need.

Here is a table that you could use as a guide in choosing the proper blade size:

Fish speciesRecommended blade size
Panfish, Crappies, and Bluegill6-inch blade
Trout, Bass, and Walleye8-inch blade
Large Pike and Lake Trout10 to 12-inch blade

Also, note that larger holes can lead to the ice around it being a little less stable as well.

best ice fishing augers - guys with auger

Portability

The auger’s weight dictates this factor. Of course, the weightier the equipment, the more difficult for you to move it. Manual augers are the lightest, while gasoline-powered ones are the heaviest meaning you may need to invest in a good ice fishing sled as well.

Blade Height

Another essential consideration is the auger’s height. The height of the equipment depends heavily on how thick is the ice you are drilling into. This is probably logical but the thicker the ice, the longer the blade you will need.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. LED lights: These come in handy when you are ice fishing in the dark since the lights illuminate the area.
  2. Reverse option: This feature helps in making perfectly round holes because the blades move in the opposite direction and slush any ice debris.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Eskimo Hand Auger with Dual Flat Blades

The first on my list is a manual ice auger which is lightweight, noiseless and very affordable. If you plan to make small holes only, then this is a good buy for you. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Eskimo
  • Type: Manual auger
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Blade width: 6, 7 or 8″
  • Weight: 7. 45 pounds
  • Dimension: ‎33.2 x 8.8 x 6.8 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Handle knob
  • Blade protector
  • Will work with a cordless drill

Why have I chosen it?

Manual augers are pretty straightforward to use however what sets this first recommendation apart is that it is equipped with a handle and pommel knob for ease of drilling. The manufacturers also integrated this product with a cross-bolt take down system which addresses over-tightening as you bore holes through the ice. As above, this is a great option for intermittent use for a few small holes.


2. THUNDERBAY Power Ice Auger

My second option is able to drill through thick ice. It is built for tough situations and can assist you in many ice fishing seasons with a standard 8-inch blades help you puncture the ice with perfectly round holes. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Thunderbay
  • Type: 33cc Gas-powered auger
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Blade width: 8″
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Dimension: ‎42.6 x 16.2 x 13.1 inches

Other inclusions:

  • Quick start engine
  • Blade protector
  • 32-cc two-cycle engine

Why have I chosen it?

Even though this auger is a bit more weighty compared to the first option above, it can bore holes through 14-inch thick ice. It is fitted with an efficient engine with “Cold-Shot” technology for easy starts and durable blades with a blade protector which is for the protection of the equipment itself. This is a great option for those looking to drill smaller holes on a regular basis.


3. ION R1 Ice Auger

My final recommended ice fishing auger utilises lithium-battery power with an innovative design and features that can cut through up to 800″ on a single charge. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Ion
  • Type: Lithium-battery-powered
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Blade width: 10″
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Dimension: ‎‎41.4 x 14 x 11.2 inches

Other inclusions:

  • LED lights
  • Quiet operation
  • Reverse oscillation
  • Slush down reverse system

Why have I chosen it?

This machine has an 10-inch cutting diameter, which is ideal for ice fishing drills with integrated LED lights for fishing at night or within dark shelters. There is a slush flushing reverse system that removes the ice, saving you time and energy with a

high-strength composite polymer cutting head to make cutting simple as well. This is a great option for those who like to spend a lot of time out on the ice or need to cut more than a few holes.

Conclusion

And there they are, three best ice fishing augers to get to the fish with this year. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul