Why Make Life Easy When You Can Use a Hand Ice Auger?

Learn how to use a hand ice auger for efficiently drilling holes for ice fishing. Whether you're a seasoned angler or just starting out, using a hand ice auger can be challenging at first. Our expert tips and tricks will help you master this essential tool in no time.

Sick of needing a gym membership just to drill through the ice? Or you are afraid of breaking the bank just to buy a power auger?

Don't worry, outfit yourself with a manual ice-fishing auger from our top picks! These lightweight, portable devices can make quick work of drilling a hole in the ice.

Our top picks offer something for everyone - from beginner anglers who want an easy-to-use device to seasoned pros who want maximum durability and precision performance. Plus, each product is listed at an unbeatable price so that you won't break the bank getting the perfect auger for your needs.

Read through our selection of best hand augers and pick one to start catching those fish today. and get ready to experience easier ice fishing with one of our trusted hand augers today!

Selecting the Best Hand Ice Augers

Finding a reliable and efficient manual auger can be a challenge. Many tools on the market are either too heavy, too difficult to use, or simply not effective.

Imagine trying to drill through the ice with a dull blade or a handle that's uncomfortable to hold. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also be dangerous.

To save you time and energy, we have conducted thorough investigations to identify the premium hand augers for ice fishing. We've also talked with experienced anglers and consulted user feedback to deliver a comprehensive roster of the finest hand augers for ice fishing.

We know you want the best, so we work hard to provide it. Our team of experts is constantly selecting products for our site that meet high standards and offer great value too! Our opinions are based on independent trials and tests but as an Amazon Associate, we may earn from some qualifying purchases. This helps us to keep the site running without costing anything extra for you.

StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger

Best Overall

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The Lazer drill bit is also one of the best auger drill bits for cordless drills and was mentioned in our previous article on ice augers for cordless drills. This drill is specifically designed to be used as a manual auger for ice fishing and is the best one out there.

The StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger is the perfect tool for all your ice fishing needs. Available in 6 size options, this auger featuring chrome-alloy stainless steel Lazer blades, can easily cut through even the toughest of ice.

The blades are powder coated with special paint to reduce any build-up of ice and make drilling easier. Additionally, the handles of the auger are cushioned and ergonomically designed to provide maximum comfort, allowing you to work smarter and fish longer.

With the StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger, your ice fishing trips will always be successful!

Why You Will Love This

·    Comes with a nice blade guard.

·    Surprisingly powerful for a manual auger.

·    You can drill holes and cut through ice smoothly and rapidly.

What Could Have Been Better

·    Re-drilling old ice holes can be a tricky endeavor with these drill bits.

Eskimo Hand Ice Auger

Runner Up

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You would have probably guessed this, as Eskimo and Strikemaster are the two of the fiercest competitors for battling out in all the different categories of ice fishing gear.

The Eskimo hand auger came a very close second in our list of the best manual auger for ice fishing. This dual flat blade auger is the most beginner-friendly option out there and is available in 3 sizes 6", 7", and 8".

This innovative new drill features a clever design that holds the auger hands, which prevents over-tightening when you drill unlike any other augers having screw-together hands, but can feel wobbly on tricky surfaces.

The blades are made of high-quality stainless steel, which makes them incredibly durable and long-lasting. To keep your blades in top condition, the Eskimo Hand Auger also comes with a blade protector included.

This auger can get through even the thickest ice with ease thanks to its dual-flat blade design. The blade ensures smooth and easy cuts through the ice, making the Eskimo hand ice auger a popular choice among ice fishing enthusiasts.

Eskimo hand ice auger

Why You Will Love This

·      Blades can be sharpened easily.

·      The drilling action feels very smooth.

·      Great value price.

What Could Have Been Better

·      The lack of a center tip can cause it to slip.

Strikemaster Mora Hand Ice Auger

Best for Reliability

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This auger has been around for quite some time and is still counted among the top-rated auger after so many years.

The Mora features high-alloy carbon steel blades that are designed to stay sharp for a long time. And if they do become dull, you can easily swap them out thanks to the replaceable blade design. These blades are sharp enough to power through more than a foot of ice with ease.

The handle of the Strikemaster Mora is ergonomically designed with soft-grip handles for added comfort during use. And when it comes time to transport your auger, the included blade guard makes it easy and safe to do so.

Why You Will Love This

·      Can breeze through any ice with ease.

·      Ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use.

What Could Have Been Better

·      Tends to bind with the cutout ice, especially at the bottom of deep holes.

HT Enterprises Nero Mini Compact Ice Auger

Best for Portability

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The HT Enterprises Nero Mini Compact Ice Auger is a portable and compact tool that is easy to transport. Its razor-sharp blades make it easy to drill through the ice, and its lightweight design makes it easy to handle.

The revolutionary Nero auger is here to change your game and has the potential to replace even a powerful propane ice auger. This versatile tool can be easily mounted onto any cordless drill for maximum convenience and ease of use.

However, what sets this auger apart is its silky-smooth cutting power. With one effortless sweep, it can cut through two feet of ice with ease and in no time at all make a fast job out of even the most difficult drilling conditions.

Make the switch today with this cutting-edge invention!

Why You Will Love This

·      A unique offset handle maximizes power transfer, meaning you can drill more holes without getting tired.

·      Adjustable height for better leverage.

·      Easy to transport, thanks to the foldable design, as the shaft folds down to 25" only.

What Could Have Been Better

·       Not very budget-friendly.

RAZR Hand Auger

Best of Rest

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These innovative new auger drill bits are designed to be operated by either a brushless electric drill or as a manual auger out of the box, giving you the maximum flexibility in the field.

And with its durable steel blade carriage and curved blades, you can count on it to deliver efficient and fast drilling every time. One of the standout features of the RAZR Hand Auger is its center point, which helps keep your screw tip steady while drilling and accurate even on uneven ice surfaces.

And thanks to its synthetic Lite construction, this auger is easy to carry and won't weigh you down as you move from hole to hole.

Why You Will Love This

·      Adjustable handle with a comfortable grip.

·      Comes with a blade cover.

·      Solid 5-year warranty.

What Could Have Been Better

·      Not great for very slushy ice.

Though a bit expensive, you can also check out Nils Master UR800C Drill, which is another great choice and is the best convertible manual auger that you can use with an ice auger drill adapter. Check out our article on Ice Auger for Cordless Drill to know more about that.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ice fishing is a beloved winter pastime, but drilling through the ice can be a challenge without the right tool.

Hand augers are a valuable tool for any angler, but with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.

That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to answer all the questions that you might have about hand ice augers. We'll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about which hand ice auger is right for you. So, let's dive in and get started!

Do hand drill ice augers work?

Absolutely! Hand-drill ice augers are the perfect choice for anyone who wants to break through the frozen lake surface without needing gas or electric augers. They work by using a rotating blade that cuts into the ice, creating a hole for fishing or other activities.

While manual augers require more physical effort than power augers, they are still effective in cutting through thick layers of ice, without costing you a fortune. With proper technique and a sharp blade, you can quickly create holes for your fishing needs.

Are hand ice augers worth it?

Yes! Hand ice augers are a great option for those on a budget and looking to cut through the ice without the use of electric or gas augers. They have several benefits that make them worth buying:

One of the benefits of hand augers is their portability. Compared to a gas or electric auger, these are lightweight and easy to carry, making them perfect for ice fishing trips or remote locations where power sources may not be available.

Another advantage of hand drill augers is their quiet operation. Unlike gas-powered augers, they do not emit loud noises which can scare away fish or disrupt the peacefulness of nature.

They are cost-efficient and even save money in the long run as they also require less maintenance and do not require fuel or electricity.

They are versatile and work great on thin ice. But if you need some extra oomph for hard layers, you can get yourself some drill adapters and connect them to your cordless drill to convert them into powerful electric ice augers.

What size hand auger is best?

The best size hand auger for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. Most hand ice augers come in sizes ranging from 4 inches to 8 inches in diameter. 

If you're planning on ice fishing for smaller fish like panfish or trout, then a 4-inch or 6-inch hand auger should work well. For larger fish like walleye or northern pike, an 8-inch auger may be more appropriate. It's also important to consider your own physical strength and comfort level when using a hand auger. 

If you have limited upper body strength or prefer a lighter-weight option, then a smaller size may be best for you. Also, keep in mind the size of the ice fishing hole covers you have if you like to keep the drilled holes covered throughout the ice fishing season.

What can I use instead of an ice auger?

If you find yourself without an ice auger, the next best option is to use a spud bar or ice chisel. These tools are typically used for breaking up ice and testing the thickness of ice for safety purposes. But they can also work well for creating holes in the ice. While they may require more physical effort than using an auger, they can be effective if you only need to drill a few small holes.

You can also use an ice saw and cut out a bigger chunk of ice and remove it from the hole. This can be a bit more labor-intensive but is still an option for those without an auger. Other options include using an axe or even a chainsaw but all these are not very efficient.

And if you are feeling truly adventurous, you can melt through the ice using a propane torch! ;)

How do you hand auger ice?

Hand augering ice can be a fun and effective way to make holes for ice fishing or other activities. Here are the basic steps to follow:

1) Choose the right size manual ice auger for your needs. As we discussed earlier, this will depend on what you'll be using it for and your physical strength.

2) Find a good spot on the ice where you want to drill your hole. Make sure the ice is thick enough to support your weight and that there are no cracks or weak spots in the area.

3) Hold the top of the auger with your non-dominant hand, and the inline handle with your dominant hand keeping your elbows close to your body for stability.

4) Apply downward pressure on the auger as you turn it clockwise. Use your body weight and momentum to help turn the auger, rather than relying solely on arm strength.

5) Once you've drilled through the ice, remove the auger and use an ice skimmer to remove any ice shavings from the hole.

Repeat these steps as needed until you have created all of the holes you need for fishing or other activities.

Is a 6 or 8-ice auger better?

Whether a 6 or 8-inch ice auger is better for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Fishing needs: If you plan to primarily fish for smaller species like panfish or trout, a 6-inch auger may be sufficient. However, if you're targeting larger fish like walleye or pike, an 8-inch auger may be more appropriate.
  • Physical strength: Hand cranking an 8-inch auger can require more physical strength than a 6-inch one, especially if the ice is thick. If you have any concerns about your ability to handle an 8-inch auger, it's best to stick with the smaller size.
  • Speed: An 8-inch auger will allow you to drill larger holes more quickly than a 6-inch one, which can be helpful if you need to create multiple holes in a short amount of time.

How do I maintain my hand ice auger?

Proper maintenance will prolong the life of your hand ice auger. After each use, wipe the blade and shaft with a dry cloth to prevent rust. You can also apply a rust inhibitor or oil to the blade and shaft to protect them. Additionally, make sure to keep the blade sharp for optimal performance.

Can hand ice augers be used for all types of ice?

Manual augers can be used in most types of ice, including clear ice, black ice, and slush. However, they may struggle with thick ice or hard ice with a lot of snow or debris on top.

How do I transport my hand auger?

Most hand ice augers are lightweight and easy to transport. They typically come with a carrying bag or strap, which makes them easy to carry on your back or over your shoulder, but the best way is to use a snow sled. An ice fishing sled can help you transport multiple augers and other equipment at once, making it a great option for those who need to ice fish in remote areas.

How do I sharpen the blade of my hand ice auger?

To sharpen the blade of your hand ice auger, use a sharpening stone or file. Before you begin sharpening, make sure the blade is clean and free of any debris or rust. Use a vice or clamp to secure the blade in place, with the cutting edge facing up.

Place the blade at a 45-degree angle on the stone or file and run it along the edge of the blade in a circular motion. Repeat until the blade is sharp. Finally, you can use a honing rod to refine and smooth out the edge.

How to choose the right manual auger for your needs

Choosing the right ice-fishing hand auger is essential for a successful winter fishing trip. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best hand ice auger for your needs:

  1. Blade Size: The size of the blade will determine the size of the hole you'll be drilling. If you're targeting smaller fish, a 4-6 inch blade may suffice, but if you're after larger species, such as pike or lake trout, you'll want a larger blade of 7-10 inches.
  2. Blade Material: Hand ice augers come with blades made from either stainless steel or high-carbon steel. Stainless steel is more resistant to rust and corrosion, while high-carbon steel is harder and holds its edge longer.
  3. Weight: Consider how much weight you're willing to carry on your fishing trip. A lighter auger will be easier to transport but may not be as durable as a heavier one.
  4. Handle Design: Look for an ergonomic handle design that's comfortable to grip and easy to turn. Some models have padded handles or rubberized grips which can make turning less strenuous.
  5. Consider additional features: Some hand ice augers come with additional features such as adjustable length handles or interchangeable blades, blade guards, etc. which can add versatility and convenience to your setup.
  6. Price: Hand ice augers range in price from around $50 up to $200 or more depending on features and materials used.

By considering these factors when choosing an ice auger, you'll be well-equipped for a successful day out on the frozen water!

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right manual hand auger for ice fishing is essential for a successful trip. We hope that our list of the best hand ice augers has helped you find the perfect tool for your needs. For your reference, our top picks are:

Best Overall - StrikeMaster Lazer Hand Ice Auger

Runner Up - Eskimo Hand Ice Auger

Best for Reliability - Strikemaster Mora Hand Ice Auger

Best for Portability - HT Enterprises Nero Mini Compact Ice Auger

Best of Rest - RAZR Hand Auger

If you're looking to purchase a hand ice auger, now is the perfect time to take advantage of some great late-season discounts on Amazon. Simply click on the "Check Price on Amazon" buttons throughout this article and add your favorite hand ice auger to your shopping cart.

No matter which one you choose, these hand ice augers are sure to provide you with a reliable and efficient drilling experience.

But before you go out fishing, you need to have the right clothes to stay protected, check out our articles on :

manual hand auger for ice fishing

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