Fishing & Hunting Tips

What is an ice auger

Ice fishing is one of the most thrilling activities in the world when the fish under thickest Ice bites the lure that moment is unearthly. But to get down to the water, you need to drill the ice and make a smooth hole! And that’s certainly is the toughest part, folks!

The only solution is a nice and sharp ice auger. Here in this blog we’re gonna discuss about the ice auger, how many types are available and how they work. Beside that, we are going to show you two of the best Hand Ice Augers and Electric Ice Augers. Let’s get started!

What's an ice auger

What is an ice auger?

Gone to hard water fishing or ice fishing. Now there’s a blockade between you and the fish and that’s the thick layer of ice. You need to drill a hole through the ice and then you can reach the fish under the ice. And that’s when you need an Ice Auger, folks!

So an ice auger is a gear which allows you to cut a hole through the ice as smoothly as possible and with a very minimal effort. Ice fishing is almost impossible without an ice auger. Cause reaching the water is the hardest part of hard water fishing, but with a good ice auger, you can make endless holes all day long.

Types of ice auger- key types

  • Hand ice auger (my all-time favorite)
  • Electric ice auger
  • Gas auger
  • Propane auger

Folks, we are not gonna talk about all the types of ice fishing auger here in this blog. We’re gonna discuss only hand ice augers and electric ice augers. Let’s know how they work, what you can expect from these augers, how much they are worth and what is the best of the type.

Hand ice auger

The most used auger in the ice fishing industry is the old-school Hand ice auger. Basically, you have to spin the handle and apply some force downwards to make a pocket through the ice. It’s that simple folk!

Tip: don’t hold the auger in any angle while cutting the hole, hold it straight and steady! That will cut a perfect pocket through the ice.

So if you wanna start ice fishing and this is your very first ice auger, go for a Hand ice auger, folks! Once you mastered on ice fishing, then invest in expensive options.

Electric ice auger

If you’re an environment lover, these are the ice augers for you. With the technology evolves, electric ice auger is the gift of these modern ages. With a very little effort, you can dig a hole into the thickest ice in no minutes. However, they are less powerful than gas-powered types but also we can’t avoid the fact that these augers are…..

  • Fast
  • Reliable
  • Efficient and silent
  • Perfect for smaller and fewer holes
  • Environment-friendly

The power source of an electric ice auger is the lithium-ion batteries. These portable power supply has become the lifeline of the modern world. These batteries are both powerful and reliable, a gift of science to ice auger industry.

Best Hand Ice Auger

Here in this section, we’re going to review two of the best hand ice augers in the market. Let’s find out today’s best picks.

1. Strike Master Lazer Hand Ice Auger (best hand ice auger)

Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger, 8-Inch



  • Diameter: 4″, 5″, 6″, 7″, and 8″
  • Length: 48″ – 57″
  • Blade type: Shaver
  • Weight:5 – 8.5 lbs.

Description: After using several hand ice augers, I gotta admit that the Strike Master Lazer Hand Ice Auger is the best hand ice auger I have ever seen”- said by savvy angler buddy Nick Jones and folks he’s not the only one! This hand auger is truly the champion in this section.

In terms of lightness, sharpness, smoothness, reliability, comfort, and affordability the StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger is still unparalleled and unbeatable. The Twin Chrome-alloy Stainless Steel Blades allow you to drill the thickest layers of ice in insanely less effort and cuts so precisely in record time. Even a teenager can drill with it super smoothly! One more awesome thing about the blade is it’s Powder Coated Paint which Reduces Ice Build-up greatly.

Coming to comfort, it offers Soft Rubber Grip in both of their handles. While it gives good grip, holding it will feel comfy. After a long hole making day, the ergonomically designed handle will barely let you feel any fatigue.

What any ice fishing enthusiast will love about this hand auger is the adjustable handle/ height. Yup folks, you can adjust the height from 48” to 57” depending on your comfort level. You can unscrew the handle too and break the auger into two pieces. This feature offers easy portability which is pretty great from Strike Master.

You will find this hand ice auger in 5 different sizes, from 4”- 8” diameter. I do a lot of walleye, pike and largemouth bass fishing with my 6” sized auger. If you wanna do some pan fishing, the 4” or 5” size will be perfect for that.

If you’re looking for the best hand ice auger at an affordable price with zero performance compromise, this the auger you’re looking for. Weighing only 5.5 lbs. It’s a power-packed ice auger in a lightweight package. Don’t think twice about this one and thank me later!

  • Extremely sharp blades
  • Ultra-durable
  • Adjustable handles
  • Comes in 5 different diameters/ sizes
  • Comfortable and quiet
  • So lightweight
  • Easily portable
  • Comes with a blade protector
  • Fitness matters here and can be tiring if you’re unfit
  • The blade can be dull after cutting many holes
  • Not suitable for the ice at it’s thickest

2. Eskimo Hand Ice Auger (best budget option)

Eskimo HD06 Hand Auger with 6-Inch Dual Flat Blades



  • Diameter: 6”, 7” or 8”
  • Length: 49” – 58”
  • Blade type: shaver
  • Weight: 5- 7.5 lbs.

Description: If you’re looking for a much wallet-friendly option, the Eskimo Hand Ice Auger can be your cup of tea. Let’s find out more about this versatile hand ice auger.

The Eskimo Hand Ice Auger gave a tough fight with the previous one in our list and all we can say that these two augers are pretty much same. However, the Strike Master is a bit faster than this one but in terms of affordability, it’s the undisputed champion.

Eskimo hand ice auger offers Dual-Flat stainless steel blades that hold it’s sharpness for a longer period of time. The razor-sharp blade drills hole precisely and smoothly in less than 1 minute. It includes a blade protector which will help to extend the life of the blade and gives you the best value for the money.

Like the Strike Master Lazer, this blade also features an adjustable handle. You can extend the height from 49” to 54”. Besides the handle can be torn down into two pieces for better portability.

The handles are pretty comfortable. The 3 positions telescopic handle is comfy enough that after a whole day ice fishing session, I barely found any arm fatigue. Of course, the credit also goes to the extremely sharp blades of the auger.

This one’s a 6” diameter auger, not that wider or big hole but definitely get the job done for panfish or walleye. If you want to go for bigger fish, you will find the 7” and 8” too. Here’s the link for Eskimo Hand Ice Auger- 7” and 8” diameter.

For a novice angler, Eskimo Hand Ice Auger is possibly the best choice in the market. Not only it’s Razor-sharp, Fast and affordable but also it’s ultra-durable and long-lasting. With a little maintenance, I’m telling you, my friends, it’s going to last for a very long time.

  • Razor-sharp blade
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Adjustable height
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Comfortable handle
  • Replaceable blades
  • Comes with a blade protector
  • Gives the best value for the money
  • Create stress if you’re unfit
  • Not suitable for the ice at it’s thickest
  • The blade can be dull after cutting many holes and you have to change it then



1. Why do I need an ice auger?

Ans: Ice Augers are the key to the gate of ice fishing or hard water fishing. When the winter freezes the water and buried the fish under ice layers, it’s so thick and seems impossible to reach an ice auger can cut the ice layers like a hot knife cutting the butter in less than a minute! Thanks to the mechanism and the sharp blades which made this almost impossible task possible.

2. How many holes can an Electric Ice auger make before the battery runs out?

Ans: depends on the thickness of the ice and capacity of the battery. Usually, a battery can drill 20-25 holes through 12 inches of ice on a single battery charge.

As an example, the ION Skimo Standard ice auger drills 40 holes through 22″ ice on a single charge.

3. Which type of ice auger is best for a beginner?

Ans: the hand Ice auger or manual auger is the best choice for a beginner. Nowadays the electric Augers are really dominating the market, however, they are expensive but if you’re ready to spin some more bucks, an electric auger can be a good choice too.


Final words

No wonder Ice fishing is fun. You can really feel the exquisite beauty of winter while being in the ice fishing with an ice fishing rod. But it also trues that with great beauty comes great danger!

All I wanna say is, be safe out there. Maintain all the ice safety precautions and must carry ice picks, rope, and PFD. If you found that it’s less thick than 5 inches, get the hell out of that space asap.

Hope this blog helps. Happy ice fishing folks!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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