Last Updated August 15th, 2018 If you have never experienced the relaxing, peaceful, COLD activity that is ice fishing, then you definitely should! Ice fishing is a sport that has been around for hundreds of years and is commonly attributed to American Eskimos. Essentially what ice fishing is, is when you drill under the ice to access the cold water fish that are living in the water under the ice. As I’m sure you are aware, that leaves you with the simple problem of cutting through the ice to get to the fish! Thankfully there are a some tools that will help us out with this task. I personally grew up doing everything by hand, and I love the portability of these tools, so for that reason I am reviewing the best hand ice auger to break ice!
Top 5 Best Hand Ice Auger Comparison Table:
|Ice Auger||Blade Size||Material||Auger Height||Rating||Price|
|4-8 Inch||Stainless Steel||48-57 Inch||4.9|
|Eskimo Hand Auger||6-8 Inch||Stainless Steel||49-58 Inch||4.5|
|Strike Master Hand Auger Mora||6-8 Inch||Carbon Steel||48-57 Inch||4.5|
|Eskimo 16500 Silvertip||8 Inch||Carbon Steel||49-58 Inch||4.8|
|Blazer Hand Ice Auger||6-8 Inch||Carbon Steel||48-57 Inch||4.6|
- 1 Top 5 Best Hand Ice Auger Comparison Table:
- 2 What Are My Choices For The Best Hand Ice Auger?
- 3 Strike Master Ice Augers Laser Hand Auger
- 4 Eskimo Hand Ice Auger
- 5 Strike Master Hand Auger Mora
- 6 Eskimo 16500 Silver-Tip Auger Review
- 7 What Features Make for the Best Hand Ice Auger For Ice Fishing?
- 8 Maintaining Your Ice Auger – Tips and Tricks
- 9 Final Thoughts on Hand Ice Augers
What Are My Choices For The Best Hand Ice Auger?
Because ice fishing has grown more and more popular the past ten or so years, there have been more and more manufacturers stepping into the market place. Because of this, there is a huge amount of different ice augers out there. With all this variety out there, you will definitely have some choices to make!
Strike Master Ice Augers Laser Hand Auger
If you are are looking for the best hand auger on the market, then this Strike Master Ice Auger – Laser Hand Auger is the way to go! Strikemasters have been in the ice fishing market place for about the past thirty years and they make great products! This Laser Hand Auger comes in quite a few different blade lengths which is great for fishing in different ice lengths. Along with this, these blades are extremely sharp! I’ve been able to cut six inch holes in under a minute with this system! This ice hand auger has the following specifications:
- Chrome-Alloy Stainless Steel Blades to Combat Rust and to Stay Sharp.
- Powder Coated Paint to Reduce Ice Buildup While Drilling.
- Ergonomic Rubber Grips to Help Your Hands.
- Adjustable Handle Height That Adjusts From 48 Inches All The Way To 57 Inches.
This is the the best out in out hand auger for ice fishing. It’s very compact so it doesn’t take up much space, and it only weighs about seven pounds. With their comfortable and sharp design you save your breathe and your back by converting less rotations into more inches drilled! You can find the cheapest price here.
What We Loved About It
This is one of my favorite hand augers so I do have quite a few great things to say about it. The hardened steel blades on this auger are extremely durable and extremely sharp. I usually only sharpen my blades around once a winter, and I could totally get by without sharpening them if I wanted to. Along with this, I have owned my auger for three winters, and it’s gotten a good bit of usage and it shows no serious signs of damage.
Another subtle thing I love about this auger is that Strike Master is quite popular in northern states, so I can literally go to a sporting or recreation store and find a set of replacement blades. It makes it quite convenient and along with that most of my friends have Strike Master augers so we can always mix and match pieces if we need to.
What We Didn’t Love About It
Thankfully for you, this section will be a lot shorter because we didn’t have many complaints. My main complaint is that after about a winter of use, the bolt that attaches the adjustable handle height was stripped, and I ended up replacing it with something from my garage and it’s back to working great. You can definitely argue that an important part of the auger shouldn’t be worn out and have to be replaced after only a few months of use. Thankfully it was an easy fix, and most people should be able to replace it without paying much.
Overall the Strike Master Lazer is my choice for the best hand ice auger for anyone that is interested in ice fishing. It provides you with a light-weight but durable option to chop ice in an extremely quick and easy fashion. You can’t do much better than a Lazer!
Eskimo Hand Ice Auger
As a company that provides tools just as their name would suggest, Eskimo has been in the ice fishing market for the past few years, and they are starting to provide a great set of augers. The generic Eskimo hand ice auger is an entry level hand auger which is still a great product, but if you are plan on going ice fishing more than a few times a year, I would suggest the Strike Master above.
The Eskimo Hand Ice Fishing Auger has the Following Specifications:
- Available in 6 Inch, 7 Inch, and 8 Inch Blade Diameters.
- Features an Adjustable 49 Inch – 58 Inch Handle Length.
- Features a Unique Cross-Bolt System That Helps to Prevent Over-Tightening When Drilling.
- Ergonomical Handles.
- Blade Protector Included.
Overall this is a pretty good auger, and it’s a great entry level ice hand auger. I would say this one of the best hand ice augers for anyone that is just getting into ice fishing.
Strike Master Hand Auger Mora
The Strike Master Mora is a relative of the Strike Master Lazer Hand Auger. It shares the same work effort but it lacks some of the key features which makes the Lazer a great tool. That being said the Mora is an excellent entry level hand ice auger, and it can really cut through the ice!
The Mora is really designed for ice fishers that are focusing on lightweight fishing. The entire auger has a total weight of Six Lbs which is great for an auger. Along with this the Mora is featured with great ergonomic hand grips and an adjustable shaft length of 48 inches up to 57 inches.
Along with that, this auger features great blades which stay sharp for a long time which limits you wasting your time sharpening between cutting holes. Along with this, the Mora has an optional attachment you can purchase which can attach to a hand power drill which essentially turns this hand auger into a portable powered iced auger! I have attached a link below to the attachment so you can take a look!
Nimrod Strike Master Mora Attachement For Cordless Drill
As I was mentioning before there is a third party attachment that you can screw on to the top of either the Strike Master Mora, Strike Master Lazer, or the Eskimo Hand Ice Auger and it can be used with a cordless drill. This essentially turns your hand ice auger into a portable power auger that doesn’t weigh a huge amount of weight.
This adapter piece boasts that it can cut through 10 inches of ice in only eight seconds, which is great especially since it’s all done without breaking a sweat! This adapter only works on new pin system hand augers like the Strike Master series, and Eskimo hand augers.
Eskimo 16500 Silver-Tip Auger Review
For our second Eskimo auger review in our top five, I have included the Eskimo 16500 Silver-Tip hand auger. This auger is made by Eskimo so you are guaranteed a certain level of craftsmanship. This tool only comes in eight inch blade diameter, and of course makes eight inch holes. This is a great and sturdy auger that really makes carving larger holes a breeze. The Eskimo 16500 Silver-Tip has the following specifications:
- Features blade diameter of 8 inches.
- Adjustable handle height of 49 – 58 inches.
- Weighs just eight pounds which makes it extremely easy to carry on your trip.
- Manufactured out of high carbon stainless steel for added toughness and durability.
- Comes with a blade protector to keep blades sharp.
- Ergonomic “pommel” hand grip style
Overall this is another great product by Eskimo. I would recommend this to anyone that needs a larger auger while still keeping their trip light weight. That being said, one of the biggest downsides of this auger is that it is only made in the eight inch blade diameter.
What Features Make for the Best Hand Ice Auger For Ice Fishing?
Before you go out and buy an ice auger, there are a few different things you need to know. Because we are using our hands to power the auger instead of lugging around a heavy gas or electric auger, we need to make sure we get the best one possible to reduce the work for us.
Size of Auger Blade (Diameter)-
With hand powered ice augers, there are a few different blade sizes. Generally these sizes range from three inches diameter to around six inches in diameter. This is the size of the blades, and the size of the hole that the blade creates. Now, the size you want for your auger depends on what type of fish you are trying to catch, the type of pole you have, and how thick the ice is. The thicker the ice is, the bigger hole you can use.
That being said, another thing to consider is that the bigger the hole, the more ice you’ll have to go through. This means that if you are considering a 6 inch auger, then that means you’ll be digging quite a few holes which are quite thick and can be quite strenuous. That being said, you’ll also want to make sure that you keep the blades sharpened or it’ll be even more difficult to cut through the ice.
Another important factor to consider is the weight of the auger. Generally speaking the bigger the diameter of the blade the higher the weight will be. That being said, if you are hauling all the equipment you need to go ice fishing, it will be nice to have a lightweight auger to cut down on your gear’s weight.
Removable or Non-Removable Blades-
Many ice augers on the market today come with the ability to remove their blades. This is extremely helpful because it allows you to both carry an extra pair of sharpened blades with you, or to remove the current blades and sharpen them. I prefer augers that have removable blades because if i’m going for a long ice fishing trip it allows me to bring a back up pair of blades to replace if the current blades go dull. Along with this, you can also replace the blades with serrated blades which are great for cutting through ice. The small teeth on serrated blades give you more surface area to help cut through the ice.
Blade Material –
Along with different sizes of blades, there are also different materials available for these blades. The majority of these augers use stainless steel blades because they are rustproof and they are extremely durable. Along with this stainless steel option, there are also options that include airplane aluminum and hard pressed iron, but overall I think the stainless steel is the best option for your auger.
Auger Grip Handle –
Because these are “Hand” augers, you are definitely going to be putting a little brute force into it. That being said, it would be wise if you made it so that any effort put into digging this hole, is as efficient and as comfortable as possible. The main concern should be with the grip handle, as having an uncomfortable handle can really make the whole process a hassle.
I definitely recommend you find a hand auger that has a comfortable rubber grip that is ergonomic. There are quite a few options on the market that features handles that have carved finger holds and soft rubber grips that reduce fatigue and increase productivity!
Adjustable Grip Height-
Having an auger that allows you to change the height gives a more comfortable position for both the different depths of ice, and for different users. By adjusting the auger to the optimal height for you, it helps to reduce arm fatigue and allows you to drill for longer and more efficiently.
Can It Work With a Cordless Drill?
If you are looking to transform your hand ice auger into a cordless electric auger, then you need to make sure if your hand auger is adaptable with a cordless drill. If it is, you are able to transform your drill into a premium electric auger for a fraction of the price. If possible, it’s extremely handy to be able to drill dozes of holes in the ice all without the effort of a hand auger and the price of an electric auger.
Maintaining Your Ice Auger – Tips and Tricks
Over time, it is only natural for your drill to slowly lose its edge, and lose the blades sharpness that it once possessed. When a blade gets dull, it gets increasingly more difficult to to cut through the ice. Below are some tips and tricks to help maintain optimal performance:
- If you own an auger that features removable blades, always keep an extra set of blades with you on fishing trips, and the tools needed to change your blades. That way, in case your current blades become dull you can easily switch them out and continue your trip!
- Make sure to keep your blades clean and dry after use! By keeping your blades dry it will help to prevent rust and corrosion from weakening your blades. Along with this, you should make sure you apply blade oil after use to keep it protected from the elements.
- If your auger came with a blade guard you should make sure you use it! Blade guards help to preserve your blades and keep them sharper longer, so make sure you use them!
- That being said, make sure you also know how to properly sharpen your blades when they do become dull.
Final Thoughts on Hand Ice Augers
After reading our reviews and guides on some of our favorite hand ice augers, I hope you have learned some useful information that will help your next ice fishing trip! Hand ice augers are an extremely budget friendly way to create holes for ice fishing, and help you find your fish!
That being said, there are plenty of options available on the market, and there are augers available for everyones specific needs and budgets! I personally prefer the Strike Master augers because of their dependable durability, their high quality craftsmanship, and their lightweight design! That being said, there are augers available for everyone, you just need to figure out what your needs and desires are!