The Best Ice Auger of 2022: Top 5 Tested & Reviewed

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

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Eskimo Quantum (click to view)
“The Eskimo Quantum has a stainless steel centering point to keep you steady and on target, even on uneven ice and when re-drilling holes. Ideal for all anglers, thanks to its power, durability, and price point.”

Best Premium Option: ION R1 Electric Auger (click to view)
“The ION R1 features a blended polymer cutting blade, easy centering, LED lights for nighttime trips, and ridiculous battery life. It’s also lightweight, making it ideal for any mobile ice angler.”

Best Budget Option: StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Auger (click to view)
“The Lazer Hand Auger features a classic design with quality materials. It’s lightweight and can drill up to 20 inches of ice in 2 minutes. Ideal for anglers on a budget or those who pack light.”

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Drilling a hole through ice is the fundamental thing you need to do to ice fish. There are various ways to do this, from traditional options like hand drills or ice chipping to newer powered augers. Your best options are usually determined by what you’re fishing for, what you’re capable of, and what you want to achieve. 

A good ice auger will get through ice quickly and lessen the strain you put on your body while cutting. If you plan to drill inside a shelter, you also don’t want your auger to be putting off fumes. Above all, you need sharp and durable blades that you can rely on. 

It can be confusing figuring out which ice fishing auger is for you. So we’ve found five of the best ice augers on the market that fill various roles and budgets to help you make an informed purchase that will last you a long time.

Complete your ice fishing tackle! Check our buying guides on other essential ice fishing gear:

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Top Ice Fishing Augers Quick View

Top 5 Ice Augers

Best Overall

Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8'Quantum Ice Auger

Eskimo Quantum

Powerful gas motor

Stainless steel blades with protector

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Best Premium auger

ION 39250 8' R1 Electric Ice Auger, Green/Black

ION R1

Up to 66 holes per battery charge

Light and doesn’t give off fumes

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Best Budget auger

StrikeMaster Lazer Auger-8 in. LD-8

StrikeMaster Lazer

Up to 20 inches of ice in two minutes

Durable, sharp blades

Best Propane auger

Jiffy 46-10-ALL Pro4 X-Treme Propane Powered Ice Drill with 10' Stealth STX Cutting Technology

Jiffy 46 X-Treme

Heat-treated steel gears

Fewer fumes than gas power

Best for Cordless Drills

StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit 8'' /LFLD-8

StrikeMaster Lite-Flite

Heavy-duty steel hex shaft

PowerPoint centering

Best Ice Augers Reviewed

  1. Best Overall: Eskimo Quantum
  2. Best Premium Option: ION R1 Electric Auger
  3. Best Budget Option: StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Auger
  4. Best Propane Ice Auger: Jiffy 46 X-Treme
  5. Best for Cordless Drills: StrikeMaster Lite-Flite

Eskimo Quantum Auger Series

Best Overall Ice Auger: A powerful, gas-powered auger to handle any condition.

Eskimo S33Q8 Sting Ray 33cc with 8'Quantum Ice Auger
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KEY FEATURES

  • Powerful gas motor
  • Stainless steel blades with protector
  • 5-year warranty

The Quantum Ice Auger from Eskimo is an excellent option for anglers who need to drill a ton of holes quickly. The gas-powered auger has exceptional durability and longevity, and if you don’t mind a few fumes, it is the best option for re-drilling holes. Overall, it’s a good option for any angler, thanks to its power, durability, and price point.

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Gas Powered Auger Details

The gas-powered auger has a transparent gas tank, so you can easily see your fuel level. It has a stainless steel centering point to keep you steady and on target, even on uneven ice and when re-drilling holes. The stainless steel blades have great longevity, with an additional blade protector to keep them sharp and strong. 

Who It’s Best For

Since it uses gas as fuel, it’s best used out in the open or when you have excellent ventilation to let fumes out of your shelter. The machine isn’t too heavy, making it great for drilling a ton of holes in a short period of moving around. Thanks to its centering technology, you can also rely on it to center on old holes and re-drill them.

ION R1 Electric Ice Auger

Best Premium Ice Auger: The best battery-powered auger with excellent battery life and fast drilling.

ION 39250 8' R1 Electric Ice Auger, Green/Black
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KEY FEATURES

  • Up to 66 holes per battery charge
  • Reverse gear to get out of holes
  • Light and doesn’t give off fumes

The ION R1 is one of the lightest and most powerful augers you can find. With huge battery life, it’s the perfect option for any mobile ice fisherman and works amazingly well inside of shelters without giving off any fumes. Overall it gives you premium performance at a premium price point.

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Electric Ice Auger Details

With a blended polymer cutting blade, easy centering, LED lights for nighttime trips, and ridiculous battery life, it’s hard to beat the ION for pure performance. The overall machine is lightweight, to the point of coming in lighter than any gas or propane ice augers with anywhere close to the same power. The battery life is impressive, boasting up to 1600 feet of ice-cutting power on a single charge. 

Who It’s Best For

Overall, this is the best option for any fisherman who can afford it. It glides through ice quickly, won’t weigh down a sleigh, and is ideal for use inside shelters, thanks to not putting off any fumes. You can even get additional batteries to last you through multi-day fishing trips.

StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger

Best Budget Ice Auger: An old-fashioned, reliable manual auger that won’t let you down.

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

  • Up to 20 inches of ice in two minutes
  • Durable, sharp blades
  • Classic design

All ice augers used to be manual drills, and the StrikeMaster Lazer hand auger is a classic design with quality materials. Lightweight, easy to carry, and able to go as long as you can, it’s an ideal choice for anglers on a budget or those wanting to pack as light as possible.

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Hand Auger Details

The classic hand drill design is a tried and true way to cut through ice. With experience, getting through around two feet of ice should take under three minutes with its sharp blades. Essentially, this hand auger will go as far as you can, and if you take care of it, it can last you for many years and fishing trips. 

Who It’s Best For

For younger anglers who can put in the effort and those wanting to pack as light as possible, you can’t go wrong with this manual hand auger. Quality blades and handles give it plenty of durability, and long life is taken care of properly.

Jiffy 46 X-Treme Propane Ice Auger

Best Propane Ice Auger: The power of a gas auger without nearly as many fumes.

Jiffy 46-10-ALL Pro4 X-Treme Propane Powered Ice Drill with 10' Stealth STX Cutting Technology
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KEY FEATURES

  • Heat-treated steel gears
  • Fewer fumes than gas power
  • Easy access to replacement parts

Propane augers are popular thanks to being able to be used inside of shelters, unlike gas augers. This one from Jiffy is incredibly popular, requires next to no maintenance, and always has easy access to replacement parts. Overall, it’s an excellent option if you want a gas auger’s power but intends to use it inside a shelter.

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Propane Ice Auger Details

The internal gears are heat-treated, and the auger is powder-coated for increased durability and longevity. Quick-snap pieces allow easy assembly and breakdown of the auger for better transportation. Best of all, propane fuel burns cleaner than gas, making it a viable option inside shelters with poor ventilation. 

Who It’s Best For

This is the perfect machine to drill ice holes for older folks or those who can’t use a manual auger and those who still want the power of a gas auger. It breaks down and assembles quickly, making packing it around simple, and it cuts through the ice as quickly as its gas-powered cousins.

StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Ice Drill Unit

Best Ice Auger for Cordless Drills: Fantastic cutting power in a portable package.

StrikeMaster Lite-Flite Lazer Drill Unit 8'' /LFLD-8
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KEY FEATURES

  • Heavy-duty steel hex shaft
  • PowerPoint centering
  • Secure and powerful T-shaped connection

The best, most portable way to bring along an ice auger is to use a cordless drill and a large auger bit. The StrikeMaster Lite-Flite has all the sharpness and durability you could ask for and is easy to connect to your drill. It’s an excellent choice for anglers packing light and moving around a lot.

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Ice Auger Details

The bit is pretty simple, with a synthetic blend making up the blade. You get extra torque and a secure connection out of the T connection carriage, the PowerPoint technology helps keep you centered, and the steel hex shaft won’t fail or bend when you hit an extra hard patch. 

Who It’s Best For

These bits are the best option for mobile ice anglers, light packers, and anglers who have a cordless drill lying around but not an ice auger. It won’t have any trouble getting through the ice and is an excellent option for drilling a ton of holes, whether all along the lake or inside shelters. 

What To Look For When Buying Ice Augers

Hand vs. Electric vs. Propane vs. Gas

A hand-powered auger requires the most work from the angler as they’re powered totally by hand. They’re lightweight and reliable as long as you have the strength to drill. With no fumes, they’re great for inside shelters, but you will get fatigued if you drill a lot of holes with one. 

Electric ice augers, like hand augers, don’t give off any fumes when in use. Batteries power them, and you can bring multiple batteries on any trip. The more recent ones perform just as well as gas-powered augers or propane-fueled augers, but old models suffer from a lack of power. They’re also lighter than typical gas and propane augers. 

Propane and gas augers are slowly being phased out by electric augers catching up to them. As a result, they no longer have a big power advantage. However, the two of them generally perform nearly the same. Typically, you would choose between the two based on what kind of fuel you prefer or have easier access to. 

The big advantage of a propane ice auger over a gas auger is that propane burns cleaner. On the other hand, a gas ice auger gives off gasoline fumes that stink and aren’t good to breathe in. This makes them difficult or unsafe to use inside shelters, whereas propane augers don’t suffer from this disadvantage. 

Blades

Your blades must be sharp and durable. Dull blades either won’t cut or take forever to get through the ice. The two types of blades you can find are laser blades and chipper blades.

Laser blades cut faster and put less strain on you and dull faster. Chipping blades cut slower and take longer to dull while putting more strain on you. The choice is yours here, as both perform well. We recommend laser blades if you’re going to cut many holes in one day, though, since it puts less strain on your body. 

Ice Thickness and Size of Hole

Ice thickness matters simply because you need your machine to go through the ice and reach the water. Getting an ice auger that’s too short will keep you from getting through, which is why manual augers aren’t great for ice over two feet. You also need to consider the strain you’re put under drilling through thicker ice and try to minimize drilling time for thicker holes. 

A typical ice fishing hole needs to be an inch larger than the fish you plan to be pulling through it. Normally, a 6 to 8-inch hole is all you need, with 10-inch holes giving you more margin or error for larger species. Consider what fish you’re targeting and what fish may be around, and get an ice auger with a bit that can drill a large enough hole for them to fit through. 

Perfect Captain’s Insider Tips

Picking out the best auger for you can be confusing, but you can make it easier by deciding some things in advance. So we’ll give you a few things to consider here.

What fish are you targeting? Get one with a bit that’s larger than those fish. That way, you can always get your catch through the hole.

How many holes will you be drilling? If you’re drilling fifty or more holes a day, you need to lessen the strain on your body. Get laser blades that cut faster, as light an auger as possible, and avoid manual ice drills. 

Are you ice fishing in a shelter, or will you be drilling holes then setting up a quick ice shelter over it? Avoid a gas ice auger if you’re drilling inside shacks, huts, or houses since you want to avoid breathing in gasoline fumes. 

Other Things You Might Need

Before you go out ice fishing, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of everything you might need for your trip. From fishing tackle to lure and shelters, you don’t want to leave anything behind. We also have some helpful articles for choosing the best gear in some of these categories as well! Here’s a quick checklist for things you should have with you:

Questions & Answers

What is the best ice auger on the market?

The best ice auger for you is dependent on your budget, ice thickness, and your ability to use the auger. If you’re on a tighter budget and can use it, the StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Auger or drill bit auger is your best option. If you have trouble manually drilling through the ice, you should go for propane, gas, or battery-powered auger. Just remember to avoid gas augers inside shelters!

If you plan on being mobile while ice fishing, powered augers are a great choice. You don’t lose time slowly getting through the ice, and the wear and tear on your body are a lot less when you need to drill a ton of holes.

What size ice auger is best?

You typically want your ice fishing hole size to be an inch wider than the fish you plan on hauling through them. 6 to 8-inch ice augers give you a hole big enough for most fish species, though you can use a 4-inch ice auger if you’re fishing for smaller species.

What is the fastest ice auger?

For our list, the fastest ice auger is the ION R1 Electric Auger. The laser blades cut very quickly, and in terms of speed, they’ll go through a ton of holes very quickly. Propane and gas-powered augers are also really quick with the right blades on them.