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How to Choose a Manual or Drill-powered Ice Auger

A manual or drill-powered ice auger is a trusty companion to any ice fisher. The right ice auger will help you drill the perfect hole in the ice for your jigs. Our range includes both manual and drill-powered ice augers. But how do ice augers differ from each other, and what should you pay attention to when purchasing one? Read our experts’ tips below.

What should I take into consideration when choosing an ice auger?

When trying to find the best ice auger for you, there are three questions to consider before the purchase:

  1. Which fish are you targeting and how large are they?
  2. How are you going to transport your ice auger?
  3. Would you prefer a traditional manual ice auger or a drill-powered one?

Read below to learn how your answers affect your choice of ice auger.

Choosing an Ice Auger Based on Target Fish

You should primarily choose your ice auger based on the size of your target fish, as that significantly affects the size of the hole in the ice you are going to need. Ice augers with a diameter of 115 to 155 mm, which corresponds to 4 to 6 inches, are commonly used when ice fishing for perch. With burbot or pike, you should use a slightly larger ice auger with a diameter of 6–10 inches to allow you to easily pull the fish through the hole. A larger hole will also reduce the likelihood of the fish escaping, as your hooks are less likely to get caught on the edge of the ice.

Transporting Your Ice Auger – a Folding Ice Auger Takes Less Space

Ice augers are available with a folding or fixed shaft design. Folding ice augers are convenient because they are easy to transport and take up less space, thus allowing you to store them in the trunk of your car without folding down the backseats. An ice auger with a fixed design cannot be folded down for transport, which means that it will require a bit more room lengthwise.

Traditional or Drill-powered Ice Auger?

Many experienced ice fishers swear by manual ice augers, as they are more traditional than drill-powered ones and thus the only option for some. A key benefit of a manual ice auger is the fact that it is more lightweight than a drill-powered one. Similarly, whereas a drill-powered ice auger will obviously require you to carry a cordless drill with you on the ice, a manual ice auger requires no attachments or accessories to breach the ice.

Manual Ice Auger is the Traditional Choice

Depending on your viewpoint, the fact that a traditional ice auger is operated manually can either be a bonus or a drawback. When you use a manual ice auger, you also get a nice workout as a bonus. Especially with thicker ice, you can be sure of working up a sweat as you drill through. Thus, you should remove some clothing while using a manual ice auger and remember to bring enough warm clothes with you for ice fishing. See here for five winter wear tips from our experts.

Drill-powered Ice Auger Allows You to Drill Dozens of Holes with Ease

You can also purchase a drill-powered ice auger, which consists of a cordless drill attached to an ice auger. The drill attaches to the ice auger with a simple adapter.

As a drill-powered ice auger is more powerful, it allows you to quickly drill holes in thicker ice as well, and you can easily drill dozens of holes without a single drop of sweat. Do note that if the thickness of the ice exceeds the length of the thread, you can add an extension piece to your ice auger to increase the reach.

Maintenance Is Important for Keeping Your Ice Auger in Working Order

Proper maintenance and storage are important for ensuring that your ice auger remains functional year after year, allowing you to drill holes in the ice with ease. Ice auger maintenance consists of sharpening or replacing the blade and lubricating the joints regularly. If you use your ice auger on sea ice, remember to rinse the saltwater off the ice auger when you get back from fishing.

Sharpening and Lubricating an Ice Auger

An ice auger can be easily lubricated with regular tool oil. Sharpening on the other hand is a more challenging process, and we recommend contacting a professional. This will ensure that the blade maintains its quality and sharpness after the sharpening as well.

Replacing the blade is a far easier and simpler way to deal with a dull blade. See our replacement blades here.

Use a Blade Guard to Protect your Ice Auger

You should protect the blade of your ice auger against bumps and scratches during storage. A blade guard is the best way to achieve this. A blade guard is also convenient for transportation, as it will prevent the sharp blade of your ice auger from damaging clothing or skin. Our range also includes blade guards.

See our extensive ice auger selection here and choose your favorite ››

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