Getting out on the ice and doing some ice fishing in the dead of winter is a great way to get out of the house and keep yourself away from getting a case of cabin fever. Of course there are some things you will need before you simply venture out onto the ice and start catching your limit of fish.
Some of the things you’ll be needing include a ice fishing rod and reels for starters, and some things we recommend you get include an ice fishing shanty, ice house heater, winter or hunting boots and a fish finder. Of course these last items are simply things that will make you ice fishing experience more enjoyable and tolerable in regards to staying warm.
But there is one thing that we left off that list, and that’s an auger. Whether you choose to use a hand auger, gas or electric auger is completely up to you but you will need a way to get through the ice before you’ll have the ability to get your line in the water. Each type of auger has its pros and it cons and we’re going to lay them out so you can get the full picture on which auger choice is the right one for you and your needs.
If you’re on the market for an ice auger you’ve come to the right place. Here are our picks for the best ice fishing augers for the money in 2020.
Enjoy Our Manual Auger, Gas Auger & Electric Ice Auger Reviews
Strike Master MD-8 Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger Review
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The Strike master Ice Fishing Auger is made with high alloy carbon steel blades designed to cut with ease through the ice. Its paint is coated with powder in order to minimize ice build up within. It has extremely sharp blades and comes with a blade guard for when it is not in use. One of the best features of this auger is its adjustable handle.
It can change from between 48 inches to 57 inches, depending on your needs on the ice. It has soft rubber grips to provide increased gripping control and ease of drilling. It also has an ergonomically designed handle system. This auger is manual, so you will have to put a bit of work into cutting through the ice unlike with the gas powered variants. One downside is that it doesn’t perform very well on really thick ice, and while the grip is excellent the handle could be studier.
If you are planning of cutting thick ice, you’ll need to be ready for a workout. However; for general ice use this auger works quickly and effectively, leaving you with a series of holes in no time at all.
The Strike Master Lazer hand auger has chrome alloy stainless steel blades and also features powder coated paint to reduce ice build up even in the coldest of conditions. The soft rubber grips on the handle ensure that you have a firm hold on it and this allows for smooth and efficient cutting of even the thickest ice. While this is a hand auger, cutting through the ice with the Lazer doesn’t feel like work and you’ll hardly even be breaking a sweat when using this.
The ergonomically designed handle system makes the Strike Master fully adjustable from 48 inches up to 57 inches. This is a very precise piece of equipment and comes with a blade guard for when it is not in use. The larger the auger, the more difficult it will be to use, so if you are of a smaller stature you might be better to consider a smaller auger. This means that drilling those bigger holes won’t be possible as the auger may be too difficult to use.
It’s not the sturdiest auger out there, but for the price it is well worthwhile as it cuts through thicker ice that other hand augers struggle with.
The Eskimo Mako auger has an auto prime fuel system which means that you no longer need to prime the engine before starting it up. All you need to do is flip the switch to on and you are good to go. The Eskimo Mako auger has a 10 inch diameter and a 42 inch auger length.
It comes with a quick release bottle holder that holds a 1 lb propane cylinder. In addition, the high compression 40cc 4-cycle engine ensures that you are getting all of the power that you need to cut through the ice. Propane has a lot of advantages over gas, including no mixing of fuel and oil, no messy spills or leaks, and less exhaust fumes. You can also transport this auger in your car or truck without worrying about stains.
The auger features updated styling, reduced weight, and a weldless cast bottom. On top of this, the transmission results in extremely fast drilling speeds. There are a number of components that are made of plastic, so unfortunately they are prone to cracking under the strain of drilling. The Eskimo is also prone to stalling out after long uses. Most find this to be more of an annoyance than a crucial flaw.
The Sting Ray S33 Auger offers the same great quality you’ve come to expect from Eskimo. This specific auger is 42 inches long, weighs 28 pounds, and bores holes that are 8 inches in diameter. It features Eskimo’s trademark Quantum auger bit, which makes it easy to re-drill holes because of its specialized centering point and centering ring. These features also make it remarkable stable even on uneven ice. Each purchase also comes with a blade protector so you can safely transport it and help prolong the life of the blades.
This gas auger is powered by a 33cc 2-cycle Viper engine that’s cold-weather tested so you’re confident that it’ll start no matter where you’re ice fishing. It starts using a mitten-grip recoil and held using wide-winged steel handlebars with foam to minimize vibrations. On one side of the handles is a fingertip throttle so you can control the power quickly and easily. The gas tank is also see-through for your convenience.
This auger is fairly lightweight, easy to handle, and performs very well. At the price it goes for, the Eskimo Sting Ray S33 Quantum Auger definitely offers great value for money.
Eskimo ION Electric Ice Augers & Accessories Review
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The Eskimo ION is an electric ice auger that is incredibly lightweight. Coming in at only 21 pounds, it is easy to carry to your ice fishing destination. The wide-spaced, handlebar design and larger trigger button allows for comfort and ease of operation throughout its use.
The drill itself is constructed of steel and drills 8 inch diameter holes into even the thickest ice. The total length of the auger is 34 inches. It can be used inside a shack, in early ice, as well as for reopening frozen holes. It is lithium-ion powered and comes with a battery charger. This eliminates the need for mixing gas and oil, meaning that there is no chance of any spills or leaks. The Eskimo ION ice auger is electric which makes it ideal for shack drilling as it is exhaust free.
This auger cuts incredibly smoothly thanks to its blade positions and the centring ring that measures the depth of each cut and even has a reverse function which flushes all of the slush down and away from your hole. It’s also extremely quiet when in use. This auger is quite expensive, but worth the investment if you are an avid ice fisher. Its one flaw is that it doesn’t have a spike on the bottom, so it is prone to jumping around a bit when first getting started drilling.