If you’re itching to get out there in the peace and quiet of the still winter air, alone on the ice with your thoughts and the fish, don’t think you’re alone.
If you’re counting down the days until you can spend time sharing the experience, trading back and forth between beer and coffee holed up in a shack with a couple of buddies, you’re not alone.
Coooooold is blowing in and the water is cooling down. The ice is coming.
Are you ready?
Do you have the tools it takes to get yourself set up with ease? Check out our comparisons of the Top Ice Fishing Augers. Fishing expert, Abby Olson shares her top picks and her experience with them.
Best Hand Ice Fishing Auger: Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger
Lazer ice augers seem simple at first glance, but they’re designed for comfort, speed, and precision. The Strikemaster Lazer Hand Auger is efficient enough to match up to a powered performance. Don’t let the lack of power fool you. This auger is able to make every revolution count, so you won’t need to use as much energy as you do with other augers. It cuts through the ice as quickly and easily as a manual auger is able.
Because it only weighs between 5.5 and 8.5 pounds (depending on the size) it’s a great choice when you need to pack light. It also breaks down into two pieces to make it extra portable.
The chrome alloy, stainless steel blades are dipped in powder coated paint, which reduces the amount of ice build-up your stuck dealing with, and they stay sharp longer than the blades of most other models. They cut through most surfaces quickly. The ergonomic handle design helps to reduce fatigue and transfers your effort directly to the blade. It’s built to last for years out in the freezing cold temperatures.
There is a good deal of variation to be had with this model with the size range from four to eight inches auger length. The handle is also adjustable, making it easy for different people to work with it, and the rubber grips make the auger comfortable on your hands. The blade guard protects you from harm.
The auger can be adjusted to move from 48” to 57”, so cutting through 15” of ice in a minute is no problem.
Best Electric Ice Fishing Auger: K-Drill Electric Ice Auger System
The electric auger movement hasn’t yet swept completely across the nation; experienced ice-angers are a bit skeptical still. But ANGLR Expert, Abby Olson was introduced to her cousin’s K-Drill Ice Auger System last winter, and she fell in love with its ease of use and lightweight design. It’s been designed specifically for modern high-powered, brushless, handheld cordless electric drills, making it a very lightweight system.
“When driving out to a spot is not an option, it takes a load off of the weight of the sled,” says Olson. “Unlike the Ion (22#) or the Strikemaster (24-27#) electric ice augers, the weight of the K-Drill auger is only five pounds.” That lightweight design “will make it easy for any ice fisherman or woman to “hole hop” quickly and easily,” she explains.
You can purchase the system by itself to use with your own electric drill, but it also comes as a combo package with either a Milwaukee or DeWalt Drill. With no gas or propane involved, there is no exhaust or “smell” left in the ice shack.
The efficient chipper blade design ensures you’ll be able to drill easier and with more confidence than ever before. That’s thanks to the unique three-blade high carbon steel chipper design which chews through both fresh ice and old frozen holes. So far, it’s the lightest and easiest ice auger system ever developed and the ONLY system designed specifically for cordless electric drills.
“The best part of the K-Drill system is the high speed,” explains Olson. “The drill chews through the ice. Even a pre-drilled hole that has frozen over, common in permanent ice shacks, is no problem for the K-Drill’s efficient chipper blade design.”
It has a float at the attachment point of the auger, allowing the bit to float in the water should it become unattached from the dill.
Big bonus? Olson tells us the Chromalloy blades that are made in Minnesota can be sharpened by the company for free!
Best Gas Ice Fishing Auger: Eskimo Mako 43cc Quantum Ice Auger
The two-stroke gas-powered Eskimo Mako 43cc Quantum Ice Auger ($378) runs on a high-performance, 43cc Viper® engine and has cutting ability far above the rest of the crowd thanks to a combination of the powerful engine and Quantum blades. This makes it a great choice if you’re getting a later start in the season and the ice is already thick and hard. It’s easy to operate with just a light touch to the controls, so you don’t have to remove your gloves or mittens to use it.
Extremely reliable, it doesn’t take but a tug or two before it’s ready and raring to go, no matter how frigid the temperatures are, in part thanks to the included primer. Fuel efficiency isn’t a problem. People tout they can cut multiple holes without having to refuel. We think it’s also one of the most pleasant augers to hold since there are minimal vibrations. There’s no jarring your cold bones with this one, especially given the anti-vibration foam-grip handlebars.
8” model weighs 31 pounds.
10” model weighs 33 pounds.
Things to watch out for:
- The pull cord is a bit more fragile, so you may want to use a little TLC when tugging. Since you don’t ever have to really manhandle it, it shouldn’t be a problem.
- The tank takes a mixture of fuel and oil, so it requires a little work before you fill the tank, but what a small price to pay for a great high-performance auger!
Best Propane Ice Fishing Auger: Eskimo Mako HIGH COMPRESSION 40cc Propane
If you’re going with propane, who doesn’t love an auto-prime fuel system? All you need to do is flip the switch to ON and start drilling. No priming. You can’t argue with that! The Eskimo Mako 40cc with 10” Quantum Ice Auger is both lightweight and powerful, and the high compression ratio makes it eat through ice like it’s butter.
The auger features a 40cc, four-stroke with a 10-inch two-blade system that’s 42 inches long, making it both lightweight, and powerful. The transmission is ball bearing and this auger operates well in most cold conditions.
Though propane, there aren’t gas fumes, so it’s a great choice for indoor drilling. This Mako is easy to start and a one pound tank should get you around 100 holes with no effort.
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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