The 5 Best hand Ice Auger For Quick And Easy Hole Drilling

by Thavius | Last Updated:   April 11th, 2022
The 5 Best hand Ice Auger For Quick And Easy Hole Drilling


Have you ever gone to your favorite fishing spot only to discover that the water surface has become frozen? In such situations, what you need is an ice auger.

An ice auger is a device that is designed to help you drill through the ice and expose the water. This kind of fishing is known as ice fishing and it is a great way to catch plenty of fish. There are different types of augers for you to choose from, including hand augers, electric augers, and gas augers.

We are going to be focusing on hand ice augers in this guide due to the several benefits that they offer. Though hand augers require more human effort, they are more affordable and easier to use. In this guide, I’ll be reviewing the best hand augers on the market and also provide other valuable information.

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Reviewing The 5 Best Hand Ice Augers

Finding the best hand ice auger can be quite tricky because there are so many products available. So, I’ve done comprehensive research to save you time, energy, and money. Here are the top 5 products on the market:

StrikeMaster Lazer Auger-6 in. LD-6

The Strike Master ice hand auger comes in a sleek all-black design that never fails to catch the eye. It further solidifies Strike Master’s reputation as the best maker of visually appealing ice augers. However, this auger isn’t all about aesthetics. It comes with several features that will appeal to all kinds of anglers.

To start with, this high-performance hand auger is equipped with chrome-alloy stainless steel blades. These incredibly sharp blades cut through ice seamlessly. They will help you slice through 15 inches of ice with minimal effort. The steel construction of the hand auger also ensures increased durability and protection against harsh winter conditions.

Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the accumulation of ice on the blade. It will be reduced to the minimum by the powder paint used in coating the blades. Also, the well-designed handles on this ice auger make it super easy to use. They feature soft rubber grips to prevent blisters and any form of pain in your hands during long fishing sessions. While some users have expressed displeasure due to the presence of a pommel knob, I don’t think it’s a significant drawback. The little round knob is good enough.

Another great thing about this product is its flexibility. The handles can be adjusted 48 to 57 inches depending on the thickness of the ice that you’re cutting. When it comes to accessories, you won’t be disappointed when you receive the package. It comes with several accessories but I like the blade cover the most. This accessory will extend the life of your auger by shielding it from the elements.

Pros
  • It is lightweight
  • It is versatile
  • It is durable
  • It has an ergonomic design
  • It comes with a blade cover
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with a pommel knob

Strikemaster Mora Blade Hand Auger (5-Inch)

This is another excellent hand ice auger from Strike Master and it has been well-reviewed ice anglers. What I love about this ice auger is its affordability. It is the perfect product to opt for if you are a beginner or casual angler. It will also continue to save you money since it only runs on manpower.

Another reason why you should invest in this product is that it comes with replaceable blades. Since you can get new blades at the beginning of the season, it will be a good advantage if you will be doing a lot of fishing during winter. However, some users have complained that the original blades aren’t as durable as the replacement blades.

Additionally, the StrikeMaster Mora Hand Auger was carefully designed for seamless ice fishing. The blades are covered with powder-coated paint to minimize the accumulation of ice. Soft rubber grips have also been added to the device to ensure that it remains comfortable on your hands even after long hours of fishing.

Furthermore, the auger’s shaft can be adjusted between 48 to 57 inches to suit your height. If you want to go on ice fishing trips with minimal weight, this is a great auger to have as it weighs just above 6 lbs. It also features a removable handle that makes it easy to pack.

Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It is easy to carry
  • It is adjustable
  • It is comfortable
  • It is beautifully designed
Cons
  • The blade doesn’t retain its edge for long

Strikemaster Ice Fishing Mora Hand Auger, 7-Inch

This manual ice auger is a great choice for amateur and occasional anglers. It is easy to use and doesn’t run on battery or fuel. I also like how lightweight and affordable it is. Let’s take a look at the features that make this product one of the best hand ice augers.

You will be able to create 7-inch holes when using this auger. This offers a good balance between usability and suitability for catching big fish. The handle also features a soft, rubber material to provide more comfort.

When it comes to construction, the blades are built with high alloy carbon steel. So, you can be assured that they will serve you well. Should they become dull, you may either sharpen or replace them. The package also includes a blade cover, an accessory that I consider essential. A blade cover provides safety and prolongs the life of the blades.

Furthermore, you will be able to carry the device alone since it weighs only 7 lbs. It can also be broken down into two pieces so that you can easily transport it in your sled or car. Getting this hand ice auger in optimal position is super easy thanks to its adjustable handle. You will find yourself drilling multiple holes and catching lots of fish in no time.

Pros
  • The shaft length is adjustable
  • It comes with replaceable blades
  • The handles are specially designed for comfort
  • It has a powder-coated paint finish to slow down the build-up of ice
Cons
  • The bolts aren’t of the best quality

Strike Master Ice Augers Lazer Hand Auger, 7-Inch

Here is another ice fishing auger that operates without batteries or fuel. Though this auger has a simple design, it is an incredibly efficient device. It is quite similar to the Mora auger listed earlier in this guide, however, it has more improvements and works with more effectiveness.

Though the Lazer is a little heavier than the Mora, you shouldn’t be discouraged as it means more durability. So, you can be assured that this product will serve you for longer. This ice-fishing hand auger comes with extra sharp blades cut through the thick ice without fuss.

From my experience, the blades also have decent edge retention. So, you won’t have to sharpen them often. You will also get great value from this product when it comes to comfort. Firstly, the handles are equipped with a soft rubber grip to ensure that they remain comfortable in your palms during extended fishing sessions.

You will also experience minimal strain in your back and shoulder when using this hand ice auger. This is because it features adjustable handles that can be set to the position for your height. Finally, a powder-coated paint finish has been applied to the blades to prevent the build-up of ice during drilling.

Pros
  • The blades are replaceable
  • It has good edge retention
  • It is durable
  • It is adjustable
Cons
  • It has few moving parts

StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Auger 5in. LD-5

If you want a hand ice auger that can help you drill holes in the ice with minimal effort, then this is one product that you can’t afford to overlook. It has all the features you will be needing for efficient drilling. The stainless steel curved blades, in particular, were designed to eat ice.

You won’t have to worry about the build of ice as you pummel through the ice. The powder-coated paint will ensure that the ice doesn’t accumulate on your blades. Also, you will be able to use this hand auger right in your tent since it doesn’t produce any noise or emissions like a gas-powered auger.

Weighing just 6 lbs, this is one of the lightest manual ice augers on the market. It can also be broken down for portability. So, it is a good option if you will be fishing alone or packing light. The lightweight of the auger will also give you more control while drilling.

Additionally, the handles are ergonomically designed so that you can go through long hours of fishing comfortably. They feature rubber grips and be adjusted between 48 to 57 inches. So, you will be able to make the necessary adjustments to suit your height and the thickness of the ice.

Pros
  • The handles are comfortable
  • The blades are durable
  • It is portable
  • It is lightweight
Cons
  • The replacement blades are more durable than the original

Our Top Choice

After reviewing the best hand ice augers on the market, I will be recommending StrikeMaster Lazer Auger-6 inch LD-6 as the overall best. The blades arrive razor sharp so you won’t have to waste valuable time sharpening them. They also match the speed and efficiency of costlier options during drilling.

Additionally, the auger offers exceptional versatility and durability. The handles are adjustable and they feature an ergonomic design for comfort. Is also easy to store and transport.

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What To Look Out For In A Hand Auger: Buying Guide

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of manual augers, they are intricate fishing tools. As a result, there are several factors that you need to consider when buying one:

Price

A hand auger will come at a fraction of the price of a gas or electric ice auger, this makes hand augers the cheapest options by a distance. However, you still have to set a budget as the prices of products still vary from one another.

Hand augers have an average price of $75 with their prices varying between $50 to $100. As expected, the more expensive options have better features and larger blade sizes.

Blade Size

The size of the blades on a hand auger usually varies between 4 inches to 8 inches. Most anglers opt for the 6-inch models as the holes drilled by them will be suitable for catching small to medium-sized fish.

Additionally, you should opt for a hand auger that features removable blades. The benefit of having removable blades is that they can be easily sharpened or replaced during your fishing trip.

Versatility

There are two main categories of hand augers, manual augers, and powered augers. If you would like to convert your manual auger to a powered auger someday, opt for a model that is compatible with a cordless drill.

This feature will make your fishing session much more convenient and it will particularly beneficial when you have to drill multiple holes. Though it wasn’t listed in this guide, the Eskimo hand auger is a good example of an auger that can be easily paired with a hand drill.

You should note that it takes a significant amount of power to drill holes in the ice. So, you should opt for a product that produces nothing less than 18V. Also, you should carry a spare battery whenever you have to drill dozens of holes.

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Weight

One of the biggest benefits of investing in hand ice augers is that they are much lighter than powered options. However, you should note that all manual augers don’t have the same weight. Ensure that you can carry your preferred auger conveniently during your fishing trip.

An ice auger that is too heavy will be difficult to carry around. It will also pose a safety risk to both you and your partners. You should opt for an auger with a smaller diameter if you can’t deal with a lot of weight.

Length

The best hand ice augers have adjustable lengths so that anglers of all sizes can use them conveniently. You will also find an adjustable handle beneficial when working on extremely thick ice.

Durability

Though a manual auger will be more affordable than other options, you will still be investing your hard-earned money. Hence, you need to ensure that you purchase a hand auger that will serve you through several seasons. The biggest threat to the integrity of ice augers is the cold and fortunately, several augers come with powder-coated paint that prevents ice build-up.

Accessories

You can upgrade your hand auger by investing in accessories. A vital accessory you need to have as an ice fisher is a blade cover. I use it to cover my auger’s blade when it’s not in use to keep out the elements and enhance safety. Though most brands usually include blade covers in their packages, they tend to be of inferior quality. So, you should consider investing in a good-quality blade cover.

Another accessory that you could need is a blade extension. A blade extension will be useful when a bigger blade is required to drill through thick ice. Several hand augers come with this accessory so you may not have to buy a new one. As I mentioned earlier, you will need a cordless drill adapter to convert a manual ice auger into a powered drill. Finally, a good pair of gloves will be an excellent addition to your ice fishing gear. It will provide you with adequate control and dexterity while keeping your hands warm.

Maintaining Your Ice Fishing Auger

Drilling with a faulty ice fishing auger is no fun and it can result in you returning home without a catch. Here are some tips on how you can keep your auger in optimal condition:

1) You should always carry an extra set of blades on your ice fishing trip. Also, remember to take the tools you will need to replace them. Watch this video to learn how to replace your blades:


2) You should clean and dry your blades after each fishing trip to prevent them from rusting. However, you should do this with utmost care as the blades are razor-sharp. Lubricate the blades afterward.

3) Always use your blade cover when your auger isn’t in use. This will keep your blades sharp and percent accidents.

4) If you don’t know the right way to sharpen your blades, don’t do it yourself. Take them to a professional or get them replaced. The following video shows how to sharpen your blades:

Lastly, here are some safety tips for ice fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best hand ice auger on the market?

I always recommend the StrikeMaster Lazer Auger-6 inch LD-6 as the best hand auger for ice fishing. It has durable, razor-sharp blades and comfortable handles. You will find it easy to carry around because it is lightweight and can be broken down into smaller pieces. The handles are adjustable and you will also get a blade cover.

What size ice auger is the best?

You should choose your blade based on your fishing style and unique needs. A 6-inch blade will suffice if you are after fish like yellow perch, crappie, and small to medium-sized trout. This blade size is also easier to use and requires lesser human effort.
However, you will need an 8-inch blade if you are going after pike and large trout. Keep in mind these blades are not so easy to use.

Is a hand ice auger better than a powered one?

Powered augers are more suitable for experienced and avid anglers that need to cut through the thickest ice. Meanwhile, hand ice augers are better options for beginners and casual anglers. You shouldn’t invest hundreds of dollars on an auger that you won’t be using often.

What are the benefits of using a hand auger?

Though powered augers offer greater power and performance, they have several disadvantages. Powered augers are expensive, heavy, and many of them run on either gas or fuel.
On the other hand, hand ice augers are great for catching smaller fish and are easy to carry around thanks to their lightweight. They are also super affordable. Even if you will be opting for a powered auger, a manual auger will be a great backup should you run out of power.

What does a manual auger lack?

Though manual augers are easy to use, they have some limitations. They can’t match the drilling power of powered augers. So, you should a powered auger if you are after large fish that require holes bigger than 10 inches.

I've been a fisherman for over 35 years. From catching small bullheads with my grandfather at his pond to catching strippers on the backwaters of the Chattahoochee, I love to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water.