What is the best auger for ice fishing?

Whether you’re a veteran or novice ice fisher, picking up the best propane, electric, or hand ice auger will help you spend more time fishing than drilling holes.

This specialty tool makes life a lot easier, as moving to a new hole is a regular occurrence and can be tedious when you don’t have the best ice fishing auger.

But what makes the best auger for ice fishing? We’ll outline a buyers guide and provide three reviews to get you in the right direction for finding it.


Buyers guide

With as many styles of powered and manual ice augers there are on the market, it can get a bit overwhelming on deciding which is gonna work best for you.

First, deciding on how many holes and how long you’ll be fishing, and how often, will need to be determined.

If you’re going to be drilling many holes throughout the day, or very often, you’ll want to look at a motor-power auger.

This will save your energy and not fatigue you like using a hand ice auger. And, the depth of the ice where you’ll be fishing will be important as well.

Digging through 36 inches of ice, several times a day, with just elbow-grease and a hand auger will drain you.

Hand ice augers are excellent if you’re fishing for short amounts of time, or do it occasionally, as they are less expensive and weigh less than motor-powered units. They work best for thinner ice depths, as well.

Next, the size of the hole you wish to fish out of, and the size of the fish, will narrow your search.

Many ice fisherman utilize an 8 inch hole, but some prefer 10 inches or even 5 or 6 inches.

Blade design is important as well, as units that offer serrated blades will help break the ice apart easier versus traditional blades.

1. Strike Master Lazer Hand Ice Auger

Strike Master Lazer Hand Ice Auger
The 5 inch Strike Master Lazer manual ice auger is perfect for the occasional ice fisher and someone who wants a lightweight, sturdy design.

The blades are made of a chrome-alloy stainless steel and have a black shine. They are also powder-coated to prevent ice build-up.

Strike Master notes the handle is adjustable for a range of 48” to 57”, and has rubber grips and an ergonomic handle design.

The whole unit only weighs 7 pounds, so it won’t break your back to carry.

Many Amazon reviewers note how sharp the blades remain after drilling many holes.

Strike Master provides a blade guard for the Lazer, which is a nice addition.

One Amazon reviewer notes cutting through at least 15 inches of ice with no problems.

There is also an adapter kit available to hook the shaft and blades up to an electric drill, so that you can use this as a back-up or if you get too fatigued.

2. Eskimo Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger

 Eskimo Sting Ray 33cc with 8-Inch Quantum Ice Auger
The Eskimo Sting Ray ice auger offers a 2-cycle 33cc gas engine and has a strong red paint job.

Only having a 42 inch length, this ice auger is shorter than Strike Master, and there isn’t an included extension.

The Eskimo has foam covered grips, and finger throttles with mitten-grip recoil so you don’t have to remove your gloves in the freezing cold.

The gas tank is see-through, so you can easily gauge the amount of gas that is left.

One Amazon reviewer remarked how it was capable of chewing through more than a foot and a half of ice without issues.

This ice auger weights a hefty 32 pounds.

The blades are removable, and come with a blade protector to ensure their safety when not in use.

Another Amazon reviewer remarked how they’ve drilled around 100 holes with the unit and haven’t had any issues so far.

3. ION 40V Max Electric Ice Auger, 8 Inch, with Reverse

ION 40V Max Electric Ice Auger, 8 Inch, with Reverse
Unlike the Eskimo and the Strike Master, the ION 8 inch electric ice auger is rocking a 40V electric motor and a flashy paintjob.

This model weighs about a third as much as the Eskimo, at 21 pounds, so it’s significantly lighter.

The auger length is 34 inches and comes with an optional 12 inch extension to bump it to 46 inches.

It is shorter than the Strike Master and is longer than the Eskimo.

As with many electric devices, cold will drain the charge depleting the battery, but one Amazon reviewer noted kept the battery in their pocket to prevent this and it significantly helped.

This motor powered auger offers a reverse speed as well.

Many Amazon reviewers remark how long the battery life is, commenting about drilling as many as 30 to 40 holes in moderate depth ice with still having close to full charge.

The ION is a great tool for someone who doesn’t want to mess with trying to start a gas powered auger on the ice or can’t handle the loud sounds of it starting.