Winter poses all kinds of problems for anglers – but that’s not to say we can’t all still enjoy the sport.
And the number one tool in your fight to keep fishing – is the ice auger.
In these conditions, it’s probably more valuable than your rod.
You can cut through a thick sheet of ice in no time – and create access to your favorite fishing spots.
In this particular article, we’re going to take a look at the best electric ice augers for 2023.
And don’t forget to pick up a quality fish finder for winter use and maximize your chances of success.
Let’s get drilling!
Table of Contents
- Electric Ice Augers – A Quick Guide & TOP 3 Picks for 2023
- The 8 Best Electric Ice Augers for 2023
- How to Choose the Best Electric Ice Auger – A Buyer’s Guide
- What is the best electric ice auger?
- Electric vs Manual ice auger – which is the best?
- How long do ION ice auger batteries last?
- What size ice auger should I buy?
- Do electric ice augers work?
- How well do hand ice augers work?
- What do I need for ice fishing?
- Which is better, electric or gas powered ice augers?
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
Electric Ice Augers – A Quick Guide & TOP 3 Picks for 2023
If you’re unfamiliar with ice augers, or you’re simply in need of a refresher, here’s a quick guide to the features and factors you need to be looking out for while reading through the reviews.
- Type of auger – for the purposes of this article, we’ll be looking at battery-powered augers only.
- Size and weight – for ease of use and transportation purposes.
- Type of blade – important for the hole diameter, as well as cutting ability.
- Cutting depth – does your ice auger need an extension for thick ice in your part of the world?
- Type of battery – how many inches of the hard water can it cut through on a single charge?
- Cost – the latest models can be on the pricey side – try to stay under budget, in relation to how much you’re going to use it.
- Extra features – does your chosen ice auger have any extra tricks that you might find useful? LED lights perhaps?
A full buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow the reviews to explore these points in more detail, but to get you started, here’s a selection of my top ice auger picks.
First up, it’s hard to see past the new ION Alpha Plus – which is probably the most powerful, yet lightest electric ice auger ever made. Sure, the price point reflects the technology, but if you’re a keen ice angler out there any chance you get – then this could well be the tool for you.
The Strikemaster Lazer isn’t too far behind – and it will certainly save you a cent or two on the price compared with the ION. A long battery life, fast charge, and ability to punch 100 holes in a foot of ice when fully juiced up should be more than enough to keep most ice anglers happy.
Finally, in my top three, I’ve gone for the Jiffy Lightning – because it’s hard not to include an option from the company that invented the ice auger in the first place. With a high torque brushless motor, intuitive controls, and a special Ripper blade, the Lightning is keeping the company’s legacy alive for punching through the ice “in a jiffy.”
Do you agree with my picks?
Let’s dig into the reviews, and you can find out!
The 8 Best Electric Ice Augers for 2023
ION Alpha Plus 40V Electric Auger
ION has been at the top of the ice auger game for a while now, and their latest line might well leave the competition behind for good.
The Alpha range of ice augers is their most advanced creation yet, available as the Alpha and Alpha Plus, both with a powerful, 40 Volt battery system.
I’ve gone for the Alpha Plus, as it’s a lighter model without sacrificing torque, with a specially designed cutting blade, so you can plow through the ice in no time.
Capable of carving through 2000 inches of ice on a single charge, and with the turbo, high-speed cutting system, it’ll almost feel like the hard water isn’t even there at all.
ION boasts that it’s up to 52% faster than most standard ice augers – and I honestly wouldn’t bet against it.
- Super lightweight and powerful.
- Rapid cutting speed.
- Two batteries included.
- Slush-flushing reverse.
- Choice of eight and ten inch models.
- LED drilling lights.
- On the pricey side.
ION’s new cutting edge technology (pun intended) leads the way when it comes to these tools, and it’s hard to see past the Alpha range as one of the best electric ice augers on the market.
StrikeMaster Lithium 40v Ice Auger
Following close on the heels of the ION (in many ways comparable for quality) is the Strikemaster 40 Volt eight-inch ice auger.
This will give you up to 100 holes in just over a foot of ice on one charge, with twin-serrated, stainless-steel laser blades.
The internal battery-management system ensures you have a long battery life, even in the cold, and the rapid charging base included will get you back up and running in just 2.5 hours.
The impressive torque is backed by a planetary gear system, while the impact-dampening handles will keep your shakes to a minimum.
- Name to trust.
- Dead man safety switch.
- Forward and reverse modes.
- LED lights.
- No fade out.
- Heavier than the ION.
A top-quality ice auger that garners a lot of praise from the ice fishing community. You would expect nothing less from Strikemaster – one of the leading brands on the market.
Jiffy E6 Lightning Electric Powered Ice Drill
Speaking of leading brands, it would be amiss if we didn’t include an option from Jiffy – because they invented the power ice drill in the first place, way back in the 1940s.
While they’re more gas-centric when it comes to their augers these days, this is their eight-inch electric option, with a super-easy start by simply pressing the control lever.
With a high-torque, brushless motor, you have 40 Volts of power and heavy-duty planetary transmission to get the job done.
A built-in reverse feature eliminates the need to skim ice from the holes, and their trademarked Ripper blade lasts longer and cuts faster than anything else available.
- Name to trust.
- Comfort grip handles.
- EasySnap blade protector.
- Integrated USB charging port.
- Available in multiple sizes.
Powerful, smooth, and efficient, this is a top-drawer electric ice auger from one of the world’s premier ice-drilling brands. The premium Ripper blade will punch through that sheet in no time.
ION Electric G2 Ice Auger
While it might be eye-wateringly expensive, the ION 10-inch G2 ice auger is simply the best in the business.
There’s a reason it regularly tops review lists, and it’s no different here. It can make mincemeat out of a foot of ice in just six seconds, making it one of the most powerful battery-operated ice augers on the market.
Packed with ION’s trademark quality, the battery is maximized for cold weather protection, the unit weighs just 17 lbs, and the high-strength polymer cutting head is super-smooth and has no problem re-drilling holes.
Finally, the much-coveted reverse option eliminates the need for an ice skimmer and flushes ice down the hole to save you time and effort.
- Name to trust in ice fishing.
- Balanced, central point.
- LED lighting for low light conditions.
- Exorbitantly expensive for an ice auger.
This is better just about any ice auger available – gas, electric, or otherwise. It’s a game-changer – but you’ll seriously pay for the privilege to own and run this kind of quality and convenience in a power tool.
Landworks Electric Ice Auger
Let’s shift focus a little now and take a look at some options that aren’t quite as expensive as the high-end stuff.
This eight-inch ice auger from Landworks is an affordable machine that still offers you the ability to cut between 40 and 60 holes on one battery charge, with a three-planetary gear mechanism for higher transmission efficiency.
It’s one of the lighter models on the market at 22 lbs, and comes with a built-in overload protector to stop the power-head from overheating.
Ergonomic handles offer comfort and control, and LED lights keep you drilling after hours, with the high-strength steel auger blade that’s built to pack a punch.
- Great price point.
- Battery life indicator.
- Safety switch.
- Reverse option.
- Not as powerful as more expensive units.
- Might struggle in tougher conditions.
Alright, so it’s not going to be able to go toe-to-toe with “the big three,” but this is a decent ice auger if you’re fishing in moderate conditions and you want to save a bit of money.
RAZR 40V Lithium Ice Auger
A powerful seven-amp, 40 Volt Lithium battery backs up this 10-inch ice auger from RAZR.
At 40-inches in length, it’s also the longest machine on our list (not including extensions) ensuring you have an excellent depth range when burrowing through thick ice.
Durable, die-cast aluminum transmission offers smooth and precise cutting, while the twin, stainless-steel blades are RAZR by name and razor sharp by nature.
The LED lights can be kept on even when the unit is not in use, so you can see where you’re working, and the ergonomic handle distributes the weight evenly, so there is no need to apply force or pressure to let the machine do what it does best.
Capable of going through 1,784 inches of ice on a single charge, the RAZR is a force to be reckoned with.
- Long auger shaft.
- Rapid recharger.
- Durable, rust-proof blade.
- Easy reverse function.
- It might be a little on the heavy side for some.
A quality, alternative option to the more well known, tried and tested ice auger brands out there, RAZR’s 40 Volt machine can easily go toe-to-toe with the best. Especially considering you can get through three feet of ice without the need to add an extension.
Ryobi Ice Auger
I was a little reluctant to include this option from Ryobi at first, given the fact that they’re famous for their affordable battery-powered tool system, but somehow stop short of being ever considered “the best.”
But I think that stigma needs to change, as they’ve never let me down yet, and after researching this powerful tool, it more than deserves a place here.
Offering 30% more torque than a typical gas auger, it’s lightweight, manageable, and offers three modes of operation for versatile use.
Capable of using any Ryobi 40 Volt battery, this is a great option if you already own tools in this range, or it can be a solid choice to start your collection.
- Great price point.
- Eight inch ice auger blade included.
- Anti-kickback system.
- Low vibration.
- Forward and reverse functions.
- Although the handles provide good control, they might be a little wide for some.
Ryobi continues to impress with their vast battery tool system, and this is a welcome addition to homeowners who also enjoy ice fishing. And it’s also compatible with an earth auger blade, should you so choose.
K-Drill Ice Auger
Something a little different to finish with, as this isn’t a dedicated battery-powered ice auger.
However, since it’s technically still powered by the battery of your cordless drill, I think there’s enough of a loophole to merit its inclusion here.
And it more than holds its own, as drill compatible ice augers are becoming increasingly popular in the community, as more anglers realize just how effective they can be.
This particular model is one of the very best, designed with a unique three blade system made from high-carbon chipper blades, and weighing just five pounds.
A thermal wrap on the shaft keeps your hands warm and in control, and there’s even a foam float to prevent it from sinking if it ever works loose.
- Super lightweight.
- Great price point.
- Blade cover included.
- Built-in float and thermal hand wrap.
- Not as powerful as a dedicated battery ice auger.
- You still need a good cordless drill.
Yes, I know it’s kind of cheating, but I couldn’t help adding this option in to close out our battery-powered ice auger review – because it’s technically still powered by a battery! More and more ice anglers are making the switch – is this the season you join them?
How to Choose the Best Electric Ice Auger – A Buyer’s Guide
In case you’ve never bought an ice auger before – or you simply need a refresher – check out the tips and advice below on what to look out for when you’re shopping.
What is an Ice Auger?
Ice augers are devices that are designed to drill a hole through a sheet of ice to gain access to the water below.
This could be for any number of reasons – but we’re specifically talking about fishing needs.
They’re different from earth augers, which are generally heavier with rounded blades to break down soil and rocks. The two machines should only be used for their intended purposes – ice augers for ice, earth augers for earth. Simple.
Make sure you understand that when researching ice augers. Some review websites will have you believe that an earth auger is the same – when it certainly is not.
Gas Versus Electric Versus Manual
Ice augers (and all other types of auger for that matter) are available with three different power sources.
One of the first decisions you’ll have to make upon deciding you need to purchase an ice auger – is what the power source will be.
Let’s briefly outline the pros and cons of each below – without going into too much detail.
Manual ice augers are by far the cheapest – you can pick one up for under $50. They’re also the simplest to use, the lightest, and require zero maintenance. Except to give them a sharpen every once in a while.
I won’t labor you with their biggest disadvantage though. Let’s get on to the heavy-duty stuff.
Of which, gas is the most powerful. And a decent gas-powered ice auger will have a much longer run time than any other type.
However, they also require the most maintenance, messy fuel and oil to run, and are the least environmentally-friendly option out there. While that might be negligible, try operating a gas-powered ice auger under an enclosed tent and see how you like it.
Not to mention how damn loud they are, and often difficult to even start.
Good battery-powered (electric) ice augers are much quieter than gas. They don’t give off any fumes or foul-smelling emissions, and they’re generally lighter and more maneuverable.
Additionally, they don’t require nearly as much maintenance, and you save a bunch on refueling costs because they don’t exist. They also get going at the push of a button – which is a massive plus point.
However, at this moment of time, the best electric ice fishing augers are still super expensive. That’s the trade-off, I’m afraid.
And they do still have run-time limitations. The battery doesn’t last forever, however good it is.
Still, many fishing people (including myself) have been making the switch and viewing battery-powered ice augers as a long-term investment. And they’re not wrong.
Size and Weight
Auger blades come in a variety of different sizes, the most common of which will be six, eight, and ten inches.
Your choice of blade size will likely depend on what species you’ll be fishing for. For the likes of panfish and walleye, you don’t really need anything larger than five-inches.
Another factor might be how many holes you want to drill – as smaller machines will be much more maneuverable and able to punch through double or even triple that of a larger, heavier machine.
And not to be overlooked – is how much stuff can actually fall through larger holes. If safety is a concern – especially if you’re fishing with young children or pets around, then bigger isn’t always better.
However, for fishing more and drilling less, as well as the option of hunting the bigger prey, then larger auger blades are the way to go. If you’re after pike or lake trout, for example, this is what you need.
Types of Blade
Ice augers are designed to have sharpened blades to cut through that ice sheet in next to no time – but there are a few things you need to consider when it comes to the edges themselves.
- Shaving blades are razor-sharp, smooth tools that are best used for cutting through fresh ice fast.
- Chipping blades have built-in teeth for handling packed ice that may contain debris. They’re slower, but tougher and more durable.
Chipping blades are also more suitable for re-cutting existing holes, or anywhere other material might have frozen into the ice.
The type of blade is important, and different companies will offer their own take on it. Some blades are better quality than others.
Unfortunately, such is the rivalry between brands, they generally make it difficult to use cross-brand parts, and switch out blades with other makes or models.
Bear that in mind when choosing your ice auger – there’s a strong chance you’ll be stuck with that brand and their parts for life (or at least, the life of the auger).
For most people, you’ll want an auger that is capable of cutting through a foot of ice at the very least.
Unless you’re experiencing a particularly brutal freeze, this is all you’ll need.
Thankfully, then, most ice augers offer a maximum cutting depth of around two feet, some might offer more. The choice of ice auger length is negligible, with most options having a difference of an inch or two.
The depth of cut isn’t as important as the width, but it’s still worth mentioning to anyone buying an ice auger for the first time.
If you’re concerned with the depth, then consider purchasing an extension pole (providing the machine is compatible with one), or picking up an auger that already has it as part of the kit.
If someone could invent a never-ending battery that would be great, thanks. Not only would they become a billionaire overnight, we’d solve the world’s energy problems.
Or at least, the problem of battery-powered machines running out of juice.
That said, the best battery-powered ice augers are designed to offer you solid run time – so you can be sure to drill the holes you need to during your session.
Top tip – remember that cold weather seriously impacts the life of batteries, and while ice auger power packs are designed for this, it’s worth adding a couple of hand warmers to keep them operating at maximum performance.
Still, it’s important to bear this in mind, as different machines will offer different performance levels when it comes to power and longevity.
The more powerful the battery, the higher the cost.
And that brings us nicely onto our next point when it comes to finding the right ice auger for you.
Granted, these babies aren’t cheap – at least at the time of writing. As technology advances, hopefully, the price will come down.
But you can still find some good stuff out there that won’t break the bank, and the best electric ice auger for the money awaits.
As I mentioned earlier – see it as an investment. When ice anglers make the switch to electric – they rarely look back.
Good ice augers will likely come with some additional features to help make life a little easier out there.
LED lights are perhaps the most notable of these extras – something that gas-powered versions certainly do not provide, and they can help keep you fishing or preparing to fish in low light conditions.
USB charging ports are handy for keeping your machine juiced.
Safety features such as dead-man switches and motor locks are a nice addition to any potentially lethal power tool.
And don’t overlook the handles, grips, and any anti-vibration systems that an auger offers. You want as much control and comfort as possible when you’re powering a sharp blade through a thick sheet of frozen water.
What is the best electric ice auger?
That’s a tough question to answer, but if I had to choose I’d say it’s a toss-up between the first three entries in this review – the ION, the Strikemaster, and the Jiffy.
Check out this handy video that pits the three side by side.
Having said that, there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there as these three choices aren’t that pleasant on the bank balance.
Electric vs Manual ice auger – which is the best?
Both have their advantages. A manual ice auger is lighter, cheaper, safer, and more maneuverable. But if you’re not physically fit – it’s going to really take it out of you.
Heck, even if you’re the Hulk, manually drilling ice holes all day is going to seriously take it out of you.
Personally, I think an electric wins hands down. Bite the bullet for this one-time purchase and save your back years of pain.
How long do ION ice auger batteries last?
I don’t know about ION specifically, but most electric ice augers will give you somewhere between 40-100 holes depending on ice thickness and the size of the auger blade.
For the battery’s total longevity – again, depending on the make – expect somewhere between 600-800 recharges before you will notice a drop in performance levels.
What size ice auger should I buy?
It depends on how many holes you want to punch through, and the type of fish you’re angling for.
Smaller augers will cover more ground and produce more holes, larger blades are better for landing the bigger fish – and for more stuff to accidentally fall through.
Depending on what you’re using it for – or if you specifically need a larger auger – I’d suggest going with a middle-of-the-road eight-inch option to cover as many bases as possible.
Do electric ice augers work?
Very well, in fact. So much so that once an ice angler has made the switch to an electric model, they won’t go back to gas or manual.
Pro anglers regularly sing the praises of electric ice augers – so don’t get left behind. They work, they’re awesome, they’ll change your ice fishing game for the better.
And these comfy ice fishing boots will also assist in improving your winter fishing experience all round – regardless of which auger you choose.
How well do hand ice augers work?
Meh, they’re okay. Manual augers are a decent option if you’re only drilling a couple of holes a season, or if the ice isn’t that thick.
They’re also a good option to save money, require very little maintenance, and are near silent in operation with only the user providing the power source.
They do the job, but if you want something a lot more efficient and powerful, then choose electric or gas.
What do I need for ice fishing?
A very good question. Apart from a rod, ice fishing reel and an auger, I would strongly suggest one of these excellent fishing flashers – otherwise, your day or night on the ice is going to be 99% guesswork.
Watch the video below for more information and an example of one keen ice fisherman’s set up.
Which is better, electric or gas powered ice augers?
The answer to this is covered in more detail in the buyer’s guide above. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, it will just come down to personal preference.
But for me, it’s electric all the way, dude.
Ice fishing is a fun challenge that keeps you angling even in the colder months, and the freezer stocked with supplies for the family.
But if you don’t have a decent auger – you might as well not bother venturing out.
The best electric ice augers for 2023 will soon remedy that problem. Let me know which one you’ve gone for and why, or just any memorable experiences you’ve had through the winter.
Stay warm out there, and happy ice fishing.