Anyone familiar with ice fishing knows that you need to get through the ice first if you want to catch anything! An ice auger is one of the most essential pieces of ice fishing gear that you’ll need to get started. If you’re new to ice fishing, there’s plenty to learn and plenty to catch – once you have the right gear.
When it comes to ice augers, you have plenty of choices. There are hand augers, electric augers, gas augers, and more. Within those categories, there are even more choices in terms of brand, sizes, materials, and other factors.
To help you find the right auger for your ice fishing trip, we’ve compiled the five best hand augers. Hand augers require a little more elbow grease, but are typically less expensive than other augers and easy enough to learn to use. Choose from our list of the best hand augers so that you can start catching fish through the ice!
The Best Hand Augers
- Strike Master Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger
- Eskimo HD06 Hand Auger
- Strike Master Lazer Hand Auger
- RAZR 8″ Hand Ice Auger
- Eskimo HD08 Hand Auger
Strike Master Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger
- High Alloy Carbon Steel Blades
- Powder Coated Paint to Reduce Ice Build-up
- Soft Rubber Grips
- Ergonomic Designed Handle System
- Adjustable Handle: Adjusts from 48" - 57"
Eskimo HD06 Hand Auger
- CROSS-BOLT TAKEDOWN SYSTEM: Prevents over-tightening when you drill, Superior to screw-together hand augers
- HANDLE AND POMMEL KNOB FOR EASY DRILLING
- DUAL-FLAT BLADES
- BLADE PROTECTOR INCLUDED: Extends the life and sharpness of the blades
Strike Master Lazer Hand Auger
- Crafted from the highest quality material
- Perfect for outdoor and even indoor use
- Made in China
- Material Name:Synthetic
RAZR 8″ Hand Ice Auger
- 6" Auger with stainless steel curved blades and protective cover
- Comfort-grip knob
- Free-spin handle
- Adjustable height
Eskimo HD08 Hand Auger
- Dual-Flat Blades. Stainless steel blades are designed to stay sharp longer.
- Cross-Bolt Takedown System prevents over-tightening when you drill
- Handle and pommel knob for easy drilling
- Blade protector extends the life of the blade (included).
- 8 inch cutting diameter
Best Hand Ice Augers: Buyer’s Guide
It’s about that time of year when the weather grows colder and bodies of water begin to freeze over. These seasonal changes shouldn’t put an end to your fishing hobby – you just need the right equipment to help you adjust.
One of the most important tools you will want to get is an ice fishing drill. The type of fish you’re after and the spots you’re traveling to should be considered when purchasing your ice fishing drill auger.
Powered ice fishing augers are popular choices for professionals. They’re also used by those who fish frequently and those who take on big expeditions. However, a handheld one can suit some fishermen perfectly. It’s a reliable piece of equipment that won’t give out in the middle of your trip.
Here’s everything you should know before buying a hand auger drill.
What to Look for When Buying a Hand Auger
Even though it may seem simplistic, a hand auger is an intricate fishing tool. You should take the following factors into account when considering which one to purchase:
Hand augers are significantly less expensive than their powered counterparts. Powered ice drills can be up to three times as much as the manual versions.
Even though the manual versions are cheaper, there are price differences within this category. Expect to pay about $75 for the average manual ice drill. These products can vary in price from $50 to $100, depending on the features and blade size you want.
Be aware of these price discrepancies and set a budget for yourself before beginning your search for the right product.
The majority of hand augers come in 3 sizes:
Most fishermen will benefit from a 6-inch one, as most small to medium-sized fish will fit through this sized hole.
Most hand augers come with removable blades that can be sharpened or replaced during the middle of your trip. If this is something you want, be sure the hand auger you purchase has this capability.
Do you think you may want a powered auger one day? Some hand auger models can convert to a cordless drill power auger. If this is something that sounds useful to you, consider buying a model with this option.
With a manual drill, digging ice can be arduous work. Minimize the effects with the proper tool. The best ice auger will have a handle with soft rubber grips to maximize your comfort. Find a manual ice auger with an ergonomic design to make you as comfortable as possible throughout the day.
A manual auger is undoubtedly lighter than a powered one. However, not all hand augers weigh the same. Make sure you are physically capable of carrying the one you purchase around with you on your fishing trips. Bringing one that’s too heavy can be dangerous to your safety and that of your partners. If you need a lighter one due to physical limitations, get one with a smaller diameter, as these typically weigh less.
Sometimes, the height of manual drills can be adjusted for your height and for thicker ice. This feature limits arm fatigue as you dig and makes it easier to start holes.
A common accessory for a manual ice drill is a blade extension. A blade extension will come in handy if you’re in the middle of a fishing trip and need a bigger blade to completely cut through the ice. If you think you may need this accessory, consider buying a hand auger that comes with a blade extension. This way, you don’t have to shop around for one separately and worry about finding the proper fit.
Even though a hand auger is an affordable investment, you want to purchase one that will last for the long-term. Winter’s conditions can damage your investment if you aren’t careful. We recommend getting an auger that has a powder-coated paint to minimize wear and tear. This design reduces ice buildup, which can ruin your auger and result in the need for a new one for the next ice fishing season.
Size of Holes
If you are going to be digging holes larger than 6 inches, you may want to consider getting a powered auger. Hand augers are typically used to dig holes of up to 8 inches. They can be used to dig larger holes, but this can be difficult to do if you are a beginner. Unless you’re in great shape or have someone to help you, we recommend only getting a hand auger if you plan on digging a few small holes.
Hand Auger FAQs
Q: What are the advantages of a hand auger?
A: Powered ice fishing drills are quite popular because of their enhanced power and performance. However, a powered auger has its disadvantages. For one, they are very heavy. Powered augers weigh more than double the weight of most handheld augers. They are also quite pricey. A powered ice fishing drill auger runs up to three times as much as a handheld one.
Even if you prefer the powered version, a manual auger is great to have as a backup. It’s lightweight and portable, so why not have this tool on hand? Ice fishing can be unpredictable. You may run out of gas to fuel your powered ice fishing drill. Don’t let a burned-out tool ruin your fishing excursion. Having a hand held auger as a backup will help you in case your powered one gives out.
Manual ice drills are perfect for catching smaller fish like perch or sunfish. Plus, because of their light weight, you can maneuver into tight areas with few problems. There are different benefits and drawbacks to consider when choosing between powered and manual augers.
Q: What does a handheld auger lack?
A: As convenient as a manual auger is, it’s important to know its limitations before you purchase one. A hand ice fishing drill cannot dig the 40-inch holes that a powered one can. If you want to catch large species of fish and need to dig holes bigger than 10 inches, a hand auger won’t be able to efficiently complete the job.
Q: Why should I choose a hand ice auger over a powered one?
A: A powered auger may be right for experienced fishermen who are looking to drill through particularly thick ice in harsh conditions. However, a manual ice drill is perfect for the occasional fisherman. You don’t want to drop a lot of money on a powered ice drill that you’ll only use once or twice a year.
Even expert fishermen can benefit from a manual ice drill. Manual augers let you easily squeeze into tight spots. They’re also easy to transport and lug around, which is great if you love trying out several fishing spots in one day.
Manual ice drills are ideal for the environment. They don’t use gas, oil, or batteries to operate; just your physical strength. By going manual, you’ll be doing yourself and the environment a favor by eliminating the emission of gas fumes.
The ice fishing season can be exciting and rewarding, as long as you are knowledgeable and utilize the best equipment. An ice fishing hand auger is a great investment to make as a beginner fisherman. You won’t have to reach too far into your pockets to make this purchase.
Plus, it will do a reliable job every time.
When figuring out which one is right for you, take blade size, material, grip, and versatility into account. With the right hand auger at your disposal, you’ll have some of the most successful fishing trips of the year!
Pick from our list of the best hand ice augers, or check out our other top ice augers on Fishmasters like electric augers and gas powered augers! For all of your ice fishing essentials, from an ice fishing rod to an ice shelter to stay warm, Fishmasters is your go-to source. We do the research so that you can easily find the best fishing gear and get out on the water, whether it’s frozen or not!