Ever since the introduction of lithium-ion batteries a few years back, electric ice augers have exploded in popularity – becoming major game-changers in the ice fishing world!
Back in the day, you only had two options: heavy, noisy, gas-powered augers, or lightweight but difficult-to-operate hand augers.
Enter the modern electric ice auger – it combines the power and torque of a gas-powered auger with the portability and convenience of a hand auger.
While they used to be fairly expensive, advances in battery manufacturing have made electric augers an increasingly appealing option – especially when compared to similarly priced gas-powered augers. The ability to quickly and quietly drill 100+ holes on a single charge – without the need for gas or pull-starting in the freezing cold – is an attractive option for many ice anglers.
If you’re considering stepping up to an electric auger, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a quality tool that will last for many years. I’ll break down some of the best electric ice augers available right now, and how to pick the ideal one for your needs.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Electric Ice Augers
- Best Overall: ION G2 Electric Ice Auger
- Runner Up: ION R1
- Also Consider: Strike Master Lithium 40v Electric Power Auger
- Best Value: ION 40V
- Budget Pick: RAZR Lithium Ice Auger with Reverse, 24V 8″
Why Go Electric
While both gas-powered and hand-augers certainly have their place, electric ice augers have several advantages that make them the superior choice in many situations.
Electric augers are ultra-quiet, especially when compared to noisy gas and propane-powered augers. They feature brushless electric motors, allowing you to drill multiple holes without scaring off nearby fish. This can be especially useful in early winter when fish are easily spooked.
One of the major downsides to gas-powered augers are the fumes they give off. These fumes make drilling inside your shelter or hut a serious pain.
Electric augers don’t give off any exhaust – and can be used inside your hut or shelter without having to worry about breathing in toxic fumes.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of flooding an auger engine, then you’ll know how much of a pain this can be. Gas and propane-powered augers have all the same problems as other small engines – including oil and fuel leaks, dirty spark plugs, gummed up carburetors, and flooded engines.
Battery-powered augers eliminate all of these issues. Flip on the power switch and you’ve got instant power at your fingertips. No more cursing and yanking on the pull cord like a maniac in -20° weather!
Power on Demand
Unlike older NiMH batteries, newer lithium-ion batteries don’t lose power as they discharge. This means you’ll have full power right up until the battery runs out of juice. Many also feature easy-to-read battery indicators, allowing you to see exactly how much battery you have left before needing to recharge or swap batteries.
Additionally, unlike gas-powered augers, there’s no need to leave the engine in idle as you’re moving from hole to hole. Doing this can actually present a serious hazard – in seriously cold temperatures, your glove can actually freeze to the auger shaft, which can jerk violently if the engine keeps turning in idle. Several ice fishermen have even broken wrists and torn ligaments from this happening!
Eliminating the need to mix your own gas/oil for a 2-stroke gas auger may be the biggest benefit of going electric.
Gas is dirty, smelly, and can spill on your clothes, shelter, or fishing gear – fouling up your whole outing. Additionally, a gas can is just more weight you’ll need to haul around.
Modern ice fishing is all about mobility. Which is why your gear needs to be as light as possible.
While they’re not as light as simple hand-augers, electric augers typically weigh less than their gas-powered counterparts.
A newer electric auger weighs between 17 – 22 pounds, while most gas-powered augers weight between 25 – 35 pounds. This might not sound like much, but when you’re hauling a sled with a shelter, cooler, bait bucket, and other gear, any weight reduction can make a major difference.
High Drilling Capacity
A common misconception about battery-powered augers is they don’t have the power necessary for drilling numerous holes or deep ice drilling.
This simply is not the case anymore.
Modern electric augers like the ION X 40V can drill up to 1600 inches on a single charge. This translates into 100 holes on 16” deep ice – or 160 holes on 10” deep ice.
Electric auger manufacturers are constantly innovating, and as a result, they’ve come up with some handy extra features that can make your life easier.
Built-in LED lights make low-light and nighttime drilling a breeze, saving you the trouble of carrying flashlights, headlamps, or torches. If you’re after nighttime walleye this can be a serious game-changer.
Reverse gear can also be extremely useful – allowing you to push slush under the ice – so you have a completely clean hole without any obstructions.
Best Overall: ION G2 Electric Ice Auger
If you’re looking for the cutting edge in ice auger technology – then look no further – this is the auger for you! ION’s taken the leap to 6 amp-hour Gen 2 batteries, which can provide an astonishing 2000” of drilling power on a single charge. These Gen 2 batteries also feature single cell protection, which extends the battery’s longevity and enhances its cold-weather performance.
Weighing in at just 17 pounds, the G2 is by far the lightest electric auger on the market – by a significant margin. This makes it perfect for hole hopping, run-and-gun fishing, or simply carrying out on the ice.
The powerhead is specifically designed for ease-of-use and ergonomics, with a powerful high-torque, high-efficiency motor and transmission. ION claims the auger can cut through a foot of ice in just 6 seconds – making it faster than anything else on the market.
Its aggressively-designed high strength polymer cutting head cuts through ice quickly and consistently – with a center point optimized for easy re-drilling of old holes.
An impressive 40” shaft length comes standard, making it capable of drilling through the thickest mid-winter ice. If you’re looking to drill through even thicker ice, a 12” shaft extension is available separately. Like all newer electric augers, a reverse switch allows you to quickly flush any slush below the surface.
While it costs a fair bit more than other electric augers, you’re also getting a serious jump in performance when compared to those models. Additionally, you’re getting ION’s excellent 3-year warranty on both the auger and battery.
View on: [su_button url=”https://www.amazon.com/ION-39350-Electric-Ice-Auger/dp/B07W86GF8Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=ion+g2&qid=1568165178&s=gateway&sr=8-1&linkCode=ll1&tag=coastalside-20&linkId=26279396a33b4ae7861e14462208f34d&language=en_US” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#d93f2c” size=”8″ radius=”5″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Amazon[/su_button]
- Cutting edge Gen 2 6Ah battery provides up to 2000” of drilling capacity per charge
- Gen 2 batteries feature single cell protection – extending the life and enhancing cold weather operation
- Incredibly lightweight construction – weighing in at just 17 pounds
- 40” standard shaft length is capable of drilling through the deepest mid-winter ice. (Optional 12” extension sold separately)
- Reverse function for quick slush-flushing
- Backed up by ION’s excellent 3-year warranty on both auger and battery
Runner Up: ION R1
Reliable, lightweight, and built-to-last, the ION R1 is the successor to the vaunted ION X. It combines ION’s new cutting-edge motor with a 5 Ah Gen 1 Battery, offering a 35% power boost over previous Gen 1 augers. This results in an impressive 1600 inches of cutting capacity under normal conditions.
The new chisel-tip cast bottom is another major improvement. By creating a clear centering point to position the auger blades, it makes re-drilling old holes much easier. Additionally, two LED surface lights have been added, allowing for nighttime operation and easy drilling in low-light conditions.
The auger weighs an impressive 23 pounds (8” blade model), putting it on the lighter side for battery-powered augers. A slush-flush reverse function makes drilling slush free holes a breeze – removing the need to manually scoop slush and ice from drilled holes.
If you’re looking to take the leap to lithium-ion, you’ll have a hard time beating the functionality, precision, and durability of the ION R1.
- Available in 8-inch and 10-inch blade width configurations
- New aluminum cast bottom with chisel-tip results in smoother cuts and easier re-drilling of old holes
- Ergonomic, closely-positioned handlebars allow for easy drilling inside shelters and other tight spots
- 5 amp-hour 40V Max batteries provide up to 1600 inches of cutting capacity
- Reverse function pushes slush underwater for slush-free holes
- 3 year warranty on auger and battery
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Also Consider: Strike Master Lithium 40v Electric Power Auger
The all-new 40V lithium auger from StrikeMaster features similar specs to the ION X, making it comparable in terms of battery and performance. It’s only slightly heavier than the ION X, weighing in at 24 pounds for the 8-inch model, and 27 pounds for the 10-inch.
The 40V 5 amp-hour battery can drill up to 100 holes in 16” ice for the 8-inch model, and 70 holes for the 10-inch model. A 4 LED battery status indicator allows you to see exactly how much juice you have left, while a 2-amp rapid charge battery station fully recharges a battery in 2 ½ hours.
Two impact-resistant filament handles provide a secure and comfortable grip, while dual LED lights illuminate the drilling surface and allow you to drill safely at night.
StrikeMaster included their famous partially-serrated Lazer™ blades as in their gas-powered models – allowing you to mow through the ice like a knife through hot butter. A reverse switch allows you to quickly switch to reverse gear, allowing you to push any slush and floating ice down through the hole.
- 40V 5 amp-hour brushless electric motor is whisper-quiet
- Planetary gear system provides plenty of power and torque
- Available in 8-inch and 10-inch blade width options
- StrikeMaster’s legendary Lazer™ blades make quick work of the thickest ice
- Ergonomically placed power switch and safety kill switch
- Easy to read LED battery indicator displays remaining battery charge
- 2-year manufacturer warranty on motor, battery, and charger
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Best Value: ION 40V
ION’s first electric auger – and still an incredibly good value – was the first lithium-ion powered electric auger to really change the game in favor of battery-powered augers. It’s similar to the ION X in many respects, but features a smaller 3 amp-hour battery and lacks the chisel-tip bottom for re-drilling old holes.
At only 22 pounds, it’s ultra-light and easy to sling over your shoulder while moving from hole to hole. The brushless electric motor can tear through 1000” of ice on a single charge – which translates to 66 holes through 2-foot thick ice.
Large, ergonomic handles and large trigger buttons allow for comfortable and accurate drilling, while the included 12” shaft extension extend the maximum length from 34” to 46”.
A handy reverse switch allows you to quickly change to reverse mode – enabling you to flush slush from your holes in seconds. The cutting head also features a centering ring to guide your drilling.
View on: [su_button url=”https://www.amazon.com/ION-19150-amp-hour-Electric-Reverse/dp/B00LDYHO3S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=coastalside-20&linkId=6b17fea42b32a2baba69a113a50b1d91&language=en_US” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#d93f2c” size=”8″ radius=”5″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Amazon[/su_button]
- 40V 3 amp-hour battery can cut through 1000” of ice on one charge
- Quiet and smooth operation
- Battery packs can also be used with the newer ION X model
- Reverse function for quick slush flushing
- 12” auger shaft extension comes included
- Excellent value – top-quality ice auger for around 500$
- 3-year manufacturer warranty on auger and battery
Budget Pick: RAZR Lithium Ice Auger with Reverse, 24V 8″
If you’re looking for a capable and reliable electric auger at an affordable price, then the RAZR 24V makes an excellent choice. RAZR may be a newer ice auger brand, but they have years of experience manufacturing augers for other brands like StrikeMaster – so you’re not risking your money on some fly-by-night operation.
The 9 amp-hour 24V lithium-ion battery provides long-lasting operation, while the full length 40” shaft allows you to drill through more than 3 feet of ice without an extension. A large push-button LED light illuminates your drilling surface, making early morning and nighttime drilling much easier.
The ergonomically designed handle system centrally distributes the auger weight, removing the need to push down as you drill. An easy to use reverse function makes removing slush from freshly drilled holes a breeze, while a rapid re-charge base allows you to fully recharge a battery in about 2 hours.
Despite its relatively low price, the RAZR comes with all the same features found in more expensive models – including a three-year warranty on the powerhead, and a one-year warranty for the battery unit.
- 9 amp-hour 24V lithium-ion battery provides capable, long-lasting performance
- Full length 40” blade shaft comes standard – no extensions necessary
- Large, push-button LED light illuminates the cutting area in low-light
- Reverse function allows for quick-flushing or slush and ice
- Rapid re-charge station included
- 3-year powerhead warranty, 1-year battery pack warranty
How To Pick the Right Electric Ice Auger – Buyers Guide
With so many options out there, choosing the best electric ice auger can seem like a tough task. Let’s take a look at some of the most important features to be aware of – which should help you narrow down your choice.
One of the major selling points of electric ice augers is their weight. Typical electric augers weigh 30 to 40 percent less than their fuel-powered counterparts. This can make a major difference – particularly if you’re the type that tends to drill dozens of holes over the course of an outing.
Whereas in the old days, sitting over the same hole waiting for the fish to come to you was the norm, modern augers, fish finders, and sleds make run-and-run fishing increasingly feasible.
If you’re looking for the lightest auger on the market, the 17 pound ION G2 blows away the competition.
Cutting diameter is another important consideration, as it determines the width of the hole. Most auger models are available in 8” and 10” diameters, with several also available in 6” diameters.
Unless you’re only targeting smaller fish like yellow perch or crappie, you’ll want to go with at least an 8” cutting diameter.
The choice between 8-inch and 10-inch comes down to personal preference and fishing style.
8-inch auger bits will consume less battery during operation than 10-inch bits – allowing you to drill more inches per charge. Most fish you’re likely to encounter will fit through an 8” hole, but if you’re after northern pike, muskie, or lake trout, then a 10-inch diameter will make pulling fish through the hole much easier.
Keep in mind that most auger bits will be compatible with any powerhead of the same brand. So if you go with an 8-inch model, you can also purchase a 10-inch auger bit to give you more versatility.
There are two common ice auger blade types – shaving blades and chipper blades.
Shaving blades have a smooth razor-sharp cutting edge and remove a small amount of ice with each pass. The blade sharpness allows you to melt through ice quickly. Because they’re less durable than chipper blades, they’re intended for cutting through clean, fresh ice.
Chipper blades have wide-set teeth – similar to the groves on a serrated knife. They’re meant to chip through rough ice but are slower and less precise than shaving blades. The design makes them ideal for re-opening old holes that have partially frozen over or cutting on surfaces with dirt, mud, or gravel above the ice.
Generally, a shaving blade will work well for most anglers – but if you’re constantly re-drilling old holes, then you might want to consider investing in a chipper blade.
The augers shaft length will determine the maximum ice thickness you can drill.
Your local ice conditions will dictate the length you’ll need. If you’re fishing in the Midwest, where ice thickness rarely exceeds 18”, a 30-something-inch auger will be more than enough. If you’re up in Northern Canada or Alaska, where lakes regularly see ice thicknesses of 3 feet or more, then make sure you get a shaft extension.
Reverse gear is a super useful feature. It essentially eliminates the need for an ice scoop or skimmer.
Reverse gear allows you to flip a switch and quickly flush out any loose slush or ice still inside the hole. To clean out the hole, simply put the auger in reverse, drop the blade inside the hole and depress the throttle for 5 seconds or so.
Pretty much all newer ice augers have this feature, including all the models reviewed above.
With the increasing popularity of Lithium-ion batteries, electric ice augers are now able to drill an incredible number of holes before they need re-charging. Case in point, the ION G2 can drill up to 2000 inches before the battery needs charging – that’s 200 holes in 10-inch ice!
Most electric augers will be able to dill far more holes than you’ll need in a single outing. But, if you’re worried about running out of power, you can always pick up an extra battery.
Whenever you’re shelling out serious dough on a high-end tool, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting a quality product backed up with a good warranty.
Most electric ice augers come with a 2 to 3-year warranty on the powerhead, and a 1 to 3-year warranty on the battery.
While electric ice augers generally cost a bit more than gas-powered ones, the increased performance, convenience, and versatility more than justify the higher price tag.
If you’re not looking to break the bank, you can still get a high-quality electric auger for less than 500 dollars – which will give you give you years of comfortable and convenient drilling.