The 10 Best Ice Augers for 2021: Manual, Gas and Electric

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Photo: Eskimo

Lakes and rivers usually get covered in a thick layer of ice during winter. Well, what do you do if you want to fish during this season? You need to drill a hole to get to the liquid water where the fish are. This is where ice augers come in.

Ice augers are manual, electric, or engine-driven drilling tools that help you drill wide holes through the ice. As you can see, they are available in different types, and in this review, we look at the best ice augers to help you pick the one that suits you most. Read through!

10 Best Ice Augers – Review

1. Best Overall Ice Auger: Eskimo Mako

No products found.

  • Power: Gas
  • Cutting Diameter: 8-10 in.
  • Auger Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 32-34 lbs.

The Eskimo’s Mako is our best overall ice auger because it gives you superior drilling performance with a portability advantage. For performance, it has a 43CC 2-cycle viper engine that is tested for cold weather use.

This engine is mated to an all-metal transmission for optimal gearing, which is then connected to the quantum auger.

That said, there are 8 and 10-inch auger diameter options but regardless of the size, they have a centering ring that is ideal for re-drilling or drilling on uneven surfaces. It does so by keeping the auger stable.

The augers also have sturdy stainless-steel blades that don’t bend along the edges if you encounter dirty ice. Blade protectors are included to further extend the auger’s lifespan.

More often than not you will be wearing gloves or mittens in icy environments and this tool is equipped with oversized handles that allow you to start the engine while having them on.

Other features include tubular wide-wing steel handlebars with foam covers to reduce vibrations, a transparent gas tank for easy monitoring of the fuel level, a primer button for easy starting, and a muffler cover to protect you from the hot engine.

The only problem is that you don’t get a reverse for flushing and clearing the hole after drilling. Also, the tool is quite heavy.


  • Cold-weather tested 43CC 2-cycle viper engine
  • Durable all-metal transmission
  • Quantum auger with a centering ring
  • Oversized mitten-grip handles
  • Transparent gas tank


  • Lacks a reverse function
  • Heavy

2. Best Hand Ice Auger: StrikeMaster LD-8

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  • Power: Hand
  • Cutting Diameter: 8 in.
  • Weight: 8.5 lbs.

If you like taking matters into your own hands, we highly recommend this manual StrikeMaster LD-8. The product features cushioned handles that are ergonomically designed for comfortable use.

This handle is adjustable to extend the overall height of the auger from 48 to 57 inches. Ideally, the adjustment should be enough to suit short and tall people.

Another benefit of this design is that the handle can be split from the auger to leave two small pieces that are easily adjustable.

That said, the auger consists of chrome-alloy stainless-steel Lazer blades that have a powder-coated paint to reduce ice buildup.

On the downside, you don’t get a blade protector to extend the life and sharpness of the blades. Additionally, the auger lacks a centering ring for accurate re-drilling.


  • Cushioned, ergonomic handles
  • Height-adjustable (48 to 57 inches)
  • Modular and portable 2-piece design
  • Durable chrome-alloy stainless-steel Lazer blades
  • Powder-coated paint to reduce ice buildup


  • A blade protector is not included
  • No centering ring

3. Best Battery-Powered Ice Auger: StrikeMaster LFVL-8

No products found.

  • Power: Battery (Electric)
  • Cutting Diameter: 8 in.
  • Weight: 24 lbs.

The StrikeMaster’s LFVL-8 is designed to be highly energy-efficient, enabling you to drill 100 holes on a full charge.

This performance is made possible by a couple of features such as an internal battery management system that ensures the 40V lithium battery lasts for a long time. The unit also has an efficient brushless DC motor that delivers constant speed and torque.

This motor is mated to a lightweight planetary gear system, which increases speed or torque while transferring power to the 8-inch Lazer blades.

More features include impact-resistant long-filament handles, LED lights to illuminates the drilling spot, forward and reverse spinning to flush slush from the hole, LED battery status indicators, and a 2-amp charging station that fills up the battery in 2.5 hours.

The only issues are that the auger is very expensive and it does not come with a blade protector.


  • 100-hole drilling capacity on a full charge
  • Internal battery management system
  • Efficient brushless DC motor
  • Lightweight planetary gear system
  • LED work area lights


  • Expensive
  • No blade protector

4. Best Propane Ice Auger: Eskimo Hc40

No products found.

  • Power: Propane
  • Cutting Diameter: 8-10 in.
  • Auger Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 32-34 lbs.

Eskimo’s Hc40 is unique because it is propane-powered and has a quick-release bottle holder for easy replacement of the included 1-lb cylinder.

This fuel is fed to a 40CC high-compression 4-cycle engine, which does not need priming before startup. Simply pull the mitten-grip recoil handle to power it on.

The engine delivers its power to an all-metal transmission for optimal gearing, which then rotates a quantum auger that has a centering ring for precision drilling.

This auger is fitted with durable stainless-steel blades that don’t bend when they encounter dirty ice. You also get a blade protector to cover them after use. However, the tool is very heavy, which makes it a bit challenging to move.


  • Propane-powered with a quick-release bottle holder
  • Prime-free 40CC high-compression 4-cycle engine
  • Quantum auger with a centering ring
  • Includes a 1-lb propane cylinder
  • Mitten-grip recoil handle


  • Heavy

5. Best Budget Ice Auger: Landworks GUO003

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  • Power: Battery (Electric)
  • Cutting Diameter: 8 in.
  • Auger Length: 39 in.
  • Weight: 25 lbs.

You can still get a high-quality auger with decent features at a good price and the perfect example is Landworks GUO003.

The unit is battery powered and it comes with a 48V 2Ah battery that has enough power to drill 60 holes. Considering it has a 39-inch long auger, this means a total of 2340 inches. You can buy the larger Landworks 4Ah battery, which would double the operation to 120 holes.

A brushless motor is built in for efficient running and it delivers its power to a 3-planetary gear system for better transmission efficiency.

You also get LED work area lights, ergonomic wide-spaced silicone grip handles, and a quick-safety release plus overload protector for safeguarding the motor against overheating. However, a blade protector is not included to cover the blades when not in use.


  • 2Ah battery with a 60-hole drilling capacity
  • Efficient brushless motor
  • LED work area lights
  • Quick-safety release and overload protector
  • Ergonomic wide-spaced silicone grip handles


  • No blade protector

6. Best Lightweight Ice Auger: Eskimo Hand Auger

No products found.

  • Power: Hand
  • Cutting Diameter: 6-8 in.
  • Weight: 6.5-7.5 lbs.

Weighing in at only 7.5 lbs. for the largest 8-inch auger size, this product is the most lightweight option, which makes it easy to carry. This can be mostly attributed to the fact that it is manual, hence there is no engine or motor/battery weight.

The tool is fitted with a handle-and-pommel knob for comfortable holding when drilling. A cross-bolt takedown system is built in to prevent overtightening as you adjust the auger’s height, which can be extended from 49-58 inches.

This mechanism also allows you to separate the handle from the auger for compact storage/transportation.

Other features include dual flat blades that have a protector to cover them when not in use. This extends their life and sharpness. However, these blades don’t have a centering ring for accurate re-drilling or drilling on uneven surfaces.


  • Lightweight (6.5-7.5 lbs.)
  • Handle-and-pommel knob for comfortable holding
  • Cross-bolt takedown system for height adjustment
  • Includes a blade protector


  • No centering ring

7. High-Performance Ice Auger: Ion X Ice Auger

No products found.

  • Power: Battery (Electric)
  • Cutting Diameter: 10 in.
  • Auger Length: 42 in.
  • Weight: 25 lbs.

Ion’s X ice auger is a high-performance tool that has a weldless cast bottom for smooth and even cutting. A centering ring is positioned around these blades for accurate positioning and metering the depth of each cut.

That said, the auger is electric and it comes with a powerful 40V 5Ah battery. This stores enough charge to drill through a combined 640 inches of ice at a width of 10 inches.

A slush-flushing reverse function is built in to eliminate manual scooping of ice out of the hole after drilling. You also get two bright LED lights for illuminating the work area. This makes the auger ideal for drilling inside shelters or for night operation.

The only problem is that the product is quite expensive.


  • Weldless cast bottom for smooth and even cutting
  • Centering ring for accurate positioning
  • Slush-flushing reverse function
  • Two work area LED lights


  • Costly
  • Short 640-inch drilling capacity on a full charge

8. Versatile Ice Auger: XtremepowerUS 85059

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  • Power: Corded (Electric)
  • Cutting Diameter: 4 in.
  • Auger Length: 32.5 in.
  • Weight: 28.4 lbs.

This product is equipped with a high-strength manganese steel drill bit that can be used to drill holes for installing fence posts, decks, planting trees, and of course, ice fishing.

The bit handles all these applications very well because it can withstand impacts, wear-n-tear, and extrusion. On top of this, it is sprayed using durable black paint for rust and corrosion resistance.

That said, the auger is electric and it has a cord for connecting to a wall outlet. Though this limits portability, it ensures you get unlimited power.

A powerful 1200-watt heavy-duty motor is used to run the drill bit and it delivers high torque plus speed (90 ft-lb. at 200 RPM). This ensures you bury the auger in no time.

Other features include comfortable ergonomic handles with vibration-proof, anti-skid grips and a safety-lock feature that prevents accidental triggering. However, with a 4-inch cutting diameter, the tool drills very narrow holes.


  • High-strength manganese steel drill bit
  • Powerful 1200-watt heavy-duty motor
  • Ergonomic, anti-vibration, and anti-skid handles
  • Safety-lock feature


  • Narrow cutting diameter
  • Not highly portable

9. Smooth-Cutting Ice Auger: Ion 33405

No products found.

  • Power: Battery (Electric)
  • Cutting Diameter: 8 in.
  • Auger Length: 34 in.
  • Weight: 22 lbs.

With a centering ring on its steel auger, Ion’s 33405 is designed to deliver very smooth cuts. This eliminates catching when breaking through the other end of the hole so that no jagged ice is left to fray your line as you set the hook.

The auger is electric and it comes with a 40V 3Ah lithium-ion battery that holds enough power to 1000 inches of ice (8 inches wide) on a full charge.

You also get a lightweight planetary gear transmission for maximum efficiency, a reverse function for flushing slush-ice down the hole after breaking through, a 12-inch extension for extending the length of the 34-inch auger to 46 inches, and an efficient brushless motor.

On the downside, there is no overload protection feature for safeguarding the motor.


  • Centering ring for smooth cutting
  • Lightweight and efficient planetary gear transmission
  • Reverse function
  • 12-inch auger extension
  • Efficient brushless motor


  • No overload protection

10. Ergonomic Ice Auger: StrikeMaster MD-8

No products found.

  • Power: Hand
  • Cutting Diameter: 8 in.
  • Weight: 9 lbs.

Comfort is important when drilling through ice and more so when using a manual auger. For this reason, StrikeMaster’s MD-8 is fitted with an ergonomic handle system that has soft rubber grips for comfortable, non-slip use.

The handle is adjustable height-wise from 48 to 57 inches to accommodate short and tall people. This adjustment mechanism also allows you to remove the handle from the auger for compact 2-piece storage/transportation.

That said, the auger has sturdy high-alloy carbon-steel blades. This section has a powder-coated paint job that reduces ice build-up as you drill through. The product is very affordable but it lacks a centering ring for precision drilling.


  • Ergonomic handle with soft rubber grips
  • Height-adjustable (48-57 inches)
  • 2-piece design for easy storage/transportation
  • Sturdy high-alloy carbon-steel blades
  • Affordable


  • No centering ring

How to Buy the Best Ice Augers

Photo: Eskimo

1. Types

Manual Ice Augers

Manual ice augers are rotated using hand power. They are lightweight and affordable because they lack engines or batteries with motors. This also means they operate very quietly, albeit at a slow speed.

However, manual spinning can be quite a challenge if you have to drill multiple holes.

Gas Ice Augers

These are run by a gas engine, which gives you a lot of power. Combined with a long auger, this type is ideal for drilling multiple holes through deep ice. Another benefit you get with gas ice augers is durability.

As compared to electric pieces, these have few delicate parts. The only problem is that such units can be very heavy.

Electric Ice Augers

Electric augers are very clean; they have zero emissions. That said, there are corded and battery-powered varieties. The latter is usually the best electric ice auger because it has a portability advantage. However, it has limited power and needs to be recharged every once in a while.

Because of this, such models are ideal for drilling a few holes, usually less than 100. Another issue with them is that they can be very expensive.

Propane Ice Augers

Propane ice augers are quite new and are very similar to gas-powered units. The only difference is that they are refilled using propane cylinders instead of filling gas into the tank, which is safer and easier to store. They also run a bit cleaner.

However, they are quite expensive and heavy.

2. Blade Size

The blade size or cutting diameter is measured in inches and the wider it is, the better. This is because smaller diameters drill narrow holes, which limit the size of fish that you can pull up.

We recommend 8-10-inch blades like the ones in Eskimo’s Mako. However, if you are targeting small fish like perch, 4-6-inch blades will do. 

3. Auger Length

This is also an important factor to consider because you need an auger that will drill through to the water below. With that in mind, the longer the auger, the better because you can use it to punch a hole through thick or thin ice.

4. Weight

Heavy augers might be stable to use when drilling but are cumbersome to move around. As such, you should pick one that you can easily carry. Manual units like Eskimo Hand Auger are the easiest to handle because they are very lightweight.

5. Spinning Direction

Whether it spins clockwise or counter-clockwise, we recommend getting an auger that has a reverse function. This comes in very handy after you break through the other end because it allows you to flush the slush into the hole to leave it clear.

Additionally, this finishes the breakthrough smoothly so that no jagged ice is left to fray your line as you set the hook or reel in the fish.  

6. Durability

Lastly, an auger’s durability is determined by the material used to build it. Ice is relatively soft so if the blades are tough and durable, they can be used to drill through other tougher materials.

Using XtremepowerUS 85059 as an example, it has a high-strength manganese steel bit that can drill through soil and ice. This makes it very versatile because it can be used to drill holes for fence poles, deck poles, or planting trees.


By Stephen Mcsweeny/shutterstock

To sum it up, we recommend Eskimo’s Mako as the overall best ice auger because it has a cold-weather-tested gas engine. This gives you incredible performance as compared to battery-or-hand-powered units. It also has a durable all-metal transmission and a quantum auger.

However, if you want a battery-powered auger, check out StrikeMaster’s LFVL-8. It has an efficient battery management system that ensures you drill up to 100 holes on a full charge.

If you like using your muscles though, the manual StrikeMaster LD-8 should be your go-to option. It has ergonomic cushioned handles and is height-adjustable to match your height.


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Martin Garagher
Martin was born in a fishing village near Baja peninsula. He knows the art of fishing since he was 6 years old. He is now an accomplished fisherman with many decorations in his belt. He currently works as a professional fishing trainer and an author in many international fishing magazines.

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