The Best Drill for Ice Auger: Top 5 Picks of 2021 Reviewed

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Budget Option For Early Ice: StrikeMaster Lazer Auger (click to see)
When it comes to portability, the StrikeMaster is a champ. It’s easy to carry and ideal for thin ice. If you’re a fan of manual drills for ice fishing, this durable, low-maintenance auger is exactly what you need.

Best Option For Extra Utility: Milwaukee M18 Drill Set (click to see)
“If you’re looking for a functional drill that doesn’t just perform on the ice, the Milwaukee M18 is worth a shot. This powerful and durable drill does the job for ice fishing but can also be used at home all year-round.”

Best For Dim Light Conditions: Dewalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Drill (click to see)
“For anglers who prefer fishing early in the morning or even at night, the Max XR is built exactly how you need it. It’s great for dim light conditions and a reliable drilling partner for ice fishing.”

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The essential tool for ice anglers isn’t their rods and reels; it’s their tools for getting through the ice. Choosing the right tools for you can make a difference in even getting the bait into the water.

A proper ice auger or drill should be appropriate for the task, easy to use, easy to carry, and durable.

The location you plan to fish also impacts which drills will be best for you. Gas and propane drills give off fumes you don’t want to sit inside a shack, while electric drills require batteries and charges.

Thankfully, technology has come a long way since manual ice augers were the only option available.

We will give you five of the best drills and options for ice augers available on the market today.

Sources researched
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Sources researched
Customer reviews
15,682
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
17
Hours spent testing
Products tested
5
Products tested
Product Name
Best Budget Option For Early Ice
Best Option For Extra Utility
Best For Dim Light Conditions
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
StrikeMaster Lazer Auger-8 in. LD-8
MILWAUKEE'S 2606-22CT M18 Cordless Drill/Driver Kit, 18 V, Red
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Cordless Drill, 1/2-Inch (DCD791P1)
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 89/100
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
Lightweight, no need for batteries or gas
Hand-operated battery-powered drill
LED spotlight so no need for a flashlight
Feature 2
Best on thin or early ice
1,200 lbs of torque
Super light at 3.4 pounds
Best Budget Option For Early Ice
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
StrikeMaster Lazer Auger-8 in. LD-8
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Lightweight, no need for batteries or gas
Feature 2
Best on thin or early ice
Buy Now Button
Best Option For Extra Utility
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
MILWAUKEE'S 2606-22CT M18 Cordless Drill/Driver Kit, 18 V, Red
Our grade
Our Rating 89/100
Feature 1
Hand-operated battery-powered drill
Feature 2
1,200 lbs of torque
Buy Now Button
Best For Dim Light Conditions
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Cordless Drill, 1/2-Inch (DCD791P1)
Our grade
Our Rating 88/100
Feature 1
LED spotlight so no need for a flashlight
Feature 2
Super light at 3.4 pounds
Buy Now Button

Best Drills for Ice Auger 2021

  1. Best Budget Option For Early Ice: StrikeMaster Lazer Auger
  2. Best Option For Extra Utility: Milwaukee M18 Drill Set
  3. Best For Dim Light Conditions: Dewalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Drill
  4. Best Premium Option Power Auger: Jiffy E6 Lightning Electric Drill
  5. Best Drill-Bit Auger Attachment: Landworks Steel Earth Auger Drill Bit

StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger

Best Budget Cordless Drill For Early Ice

StrikeMaster Lazer Auger-8 in. LD-8
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KEY FEATURES

  • 8-inch manual auger
  • Lightweight, no need for batteries or gas
  • Best on thin or early ice

Manual drills are one of the oldest ways to get through the ice. The hard synthetic metals of StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger will stand up to ice and it doesn’t require maintenance outside of some blade sharpening now and then. 

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Upside

Manual drills are lightweight and portable. It makes them easy to carry since they don’t require fuel or batteries other than your muscles to use. They work well inside shacks since they don’t give off any fumes. 

If you’re fishing early in the season and are familiar with the area you plan on fishing, then a manual ice auger can be a good choice for you. 

Downside

This ice auger isn’t good if you need to drill more than a few holes to find fish since it will tire you out. It is also limited to thinner ice because of its size, whereas longer drill bits or power ice augers work better for those. 

You can buy adapter kits to allow the auger to get through thicker ice, but this does require quite a lot of work. Also, this one wouldn’t work great for older anglers or fishing enthusiasts who tire easily or people who will be drilling multiple holes.

Milwaukee M18 Drill Set

Best Cordless Drill For Most Anglers With Extra Utility

MILWAUKEE'S 2606-22CT M18 Cordless Drill/Driver Kit, 18 V, Red
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KEY FEATURES

  • Hand-operated battery-powered drill
  • 2 Lithium-ion batteries
  • Useful around the house and for drilling ice holes
  • Doesn’t come with an ice auger bit
  • 1,200 lbs of torque

The Milwaukee M18 is a durable and strong drill/driver that can help with projects around the house and drill a hole through the ice with the right bits. The package comes with the drill, two batteries, a charging adapter, and a hard carrying case.

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Upsides

First off, the M18 is a regular drill/driver. It works very well for any project at home, so you’ll get more use out of it than an ice-specific drill. It comes with a spare battery, and since it’s electric, it doesn’t put out any fumes. 

The cordless drill weighs under 6 pounds and, combined with an ice auger bit, weighs under 10 pounds. Its weight and power make it an excellent option for any fishermen, whether you’re ice fishing multiple spots or inside a shack.

You’ll need to purchase ice augers made to fit onto a drill to use it, but you can buy a bit specifically for what you want to do. Different size bits allow you some flexibility.

Downsides

While easier and more powerful than a manual ice auger, the M18 still requires effort and strength to push into the ice. You can only charge one battery at a time, and if the batteries become lost or damaged, the cordless drill becomes useless.

Dewalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Drill

Best Cordless Drill For Dim Light Conditions

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Cordless Drill, 1/2-Inch (DCD791P1)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Cordless electric drill
  • Needs an ice auger bit
  • LED spotlight so there’s no need for a flashlight
  • Super light at 3.4 pounds

Another great choice in a portable and light drill is the Dewalt 20V MAX XR. This cordless drill runs off of electric batteries and is smaller and lighter than the M18. While slightly less powerful, the MAX XR does feature an LED spotlight, making it a great choice for anglers trying to drill down in darker conditions.

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Upsides

The most significant upsides to this ice auger are its portability and spotlight. The MAX XR weighs around half as much as the M18. The LED Spotlight is a big help when you’re trying to drill holes at night or before the sun comes up.

There are also adapters to plug it into your vehicle if you need to in a pinch. Like the M18, the MAX XR can be used around the house on projects, so you’ll likely get more use out of it than a manual or power auger.

Downsides

Similar to the M18, if the batteries are lost or damaged, the cordless drill is useless. The MAX XR is slightly less powerful than the M18, meaning it can take longer to drill through the ice, and harder ice may become an issue.

Jiffy E6 Lightning Electric Ice Drill

Best Premium Option Power Auger

Jiffy 56-08-ALL E6 Lightning Electric Powered 8' Ice Drill with Xtdrill Assembly
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KEY FEATURES

  • Electric auger with easy-start squeeze buttons
  • 26 lbs is a bit heavy to carry
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Doesn’t come with spare batteries

A large electric drill is one of the easiest ways to get through the ice. Jiffy E6 comes with a large battery and handles to keep it steady while drilling through any thickness of the ice.

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Upsides

This ice auger requires minimal effort on the part of the fishermen to create the eight-inch hole for fishing. Since it runs on batteries, there aren’t any gas or propane fumes, making it a solid choice for use inside shacks.

For any fishermen willing to lug it around, this ice auger can make it much easier to get through the ice. It saves quite a lot of time and effort in drilling.

Downsides

The unit weighs in at around 26 lbs. For anyone traveling around or with a long way to walk, this could be too heavy. Also, this model doesn’t come with spare batteries, and they increase the weight you’re trying to carry out to your fishing hole.

While the batteries are claimed to be long-lasting, duds can happen, and exposure to the elements can decrease battery life. Furthermore, if you forget to charge the battery or it dies for some reason, the ice fishing trip is over since you can’t drill any holes.

Landworks Steel Earth Auger Drill Bit

Best Drill Bit Auger Attachment

Landworks Steel Earth Auger Drill Bit 8' x 30' Inch for Both Electric Earth/Ice Auger Power Heads & SuperHandy Augers
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KEY FEATURES

  • Carbon-coated heat-treated steel
  • 4 inch/6 inch/ 8 inch wide, 30 inch length
  • Works for thick and thin ice in all seasons
  • Attaches to most drills you’d have at home

Whether you’re going to purchase a drill or have one lying around at home, it will need an auger attachment to bore through the ice. Landworks Steel Earth Auger Drill Bit works on both ice and earth, and attaches to most cordless drills with adapters. It comes in various sizes and has a 30-inch length to get through even the thickest of ice.

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Upsides 

The auger’s hardened steel will stand up well to boring through the ice. So while you may need to maintain your drill, the ice auger won’t require maintenance outside of some sharpening once in a while. 

You can use the cordless drill for gardening or boring ice holes. Its different sizes let you choose the width of the hole you want to bore, and its length enables you to get through even thick ice.

Downsides

The biggest downside to this is you need a drill to be able to use it. You can’t manually force it through the ice, nor will it work as a power auger. It’s just an attachment.

Additionally, this is meant for power drills, so you’ll need to find and purchase additional adapters. This is the best option for its durability and size, but other smaller options might be better for cordless drills that fit without adapters.


What To Look For When Buying The Best Drill For Ice Auger

Portability

Portability is essential when picking out cordless drills since it makes them easier to carry. A drill that comes with a case may be helpful since it will hold it in place and is easier to pack into a bag while keeping your drill protected. The smaller the drill, the easier it is to pack, but the drill has less power. You want to find a balance between the two.

Comfort

Cordless drills usually have padded or ergonomic handles to make them more comfortable to use. You don’t want a drill that hurts your hand when you use it and is comfortable to grip and put pressure on. If you’re boring multiple holes, comfort becomes an even more important factor because of how much damage your hands could take.

Lightweight

Cordless drills are great options because of how light they are for the power they give you. They’re much easier to use than a manual drill and much lighter than a power auger. In addition, being lightweight makes them easier to carry, especially if you’re going to have to hike out to your ice fishing spot.

Battery Power

Long-lasting and powerful batteries make a big difference in a proper cordless drill and a worthless one. If the battery doesn’t provide sufficient power to the drill, it can become more difficult or even impossible to bore through the ice. In addition to this, if you’re drilling multiple holes or taking a long time and the battery dies, your fishing trip could be over since you can’t get a hole to fish through.

Hammer Drill Time

Most cordless drill/drivers have internal mechanics that slowly pound the bit forwards and backward ever so slightly. This makes a huge difference in helping punch through hard surfaces without relying on pressure from you. You want fast timing so you get as many punches as possible per minute because it will speed up your drill’s ability to punch through ice.


Steps to Turn a Drill into an Ice Auger

Step 1: Choose the drill you’re going to use.

You might have a cordless drill already, or you might be purchasing one for ice boring. Either way, you need to know what drill you’re going to use so you can determine which augers are compatible with your drill or which adapters you will need. 

Step 2: Remove any current drill bits from your drill.

Many ice augers are made to fit into the chucks on cordless drills and fit in just like drill bits. Unscrew the chuck to open up its front and remove the drill bit you have in it. It should fall out once you get the chuck open enough.

Step 3: Connect your adapters.

If you’re using a bigger ice auger like the Landworks drill bit we suggested, you’ll need adapters. This usually consists of a handle that comes off the side of your cordless drill and a piece that fits inside the chuck of your drill on one end and the auger bit on the other. 

Step 4: Attach the auger bit.

If your ice auger is made to fit into a cordless drill, put the bit end into the chuck and tighten it down. For others with adapters, connect the bit, adapters, and drill, and tighten the chuck onto it.

Once you have either the adapter set up or the bit directly into the chuck, you’ll want to secure the whole thing to your drill. Use bungee cords connecting the plate above the auger adapter if you’re using one over the handle on your drill. This will help keep the ice auger from loosening in the chuck and keep all connections from coming loose.

Step 5: Try lightly drilling into the ice to ensure everything is connected correctly. 

Go slow. If something comes loose, you don’t want it flying off. Slowly increase the pressure and let the bit do the work for you. If needed, tighten down the chuck more or secure the bungees better. At this point, you’ve successfully made a drill into an ice auger.